Attaining on the Potomac

Going up-river is what I call it. I try to go up about 4-6 miles here on the Potomac around Frederick, Md… 'till I poop out. I think it a good work out, and like the work/journey. I have a pongo 120 which I like, and do O. K., but saw a Perception Carolina that was faster, for example I really enjoy the “lounge-ness” of the Pungo, and could care less about shooting rapids, or being up on ban-lon encrusted kayak-snobbery. I would be appreciative of advice on a good up-river kayak, as some of the fast water is a bit much for an old dude, such as I. I would then be looking used. Thank you.

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Others will have more knowledge of the specific boat you might want to try than I do. However, a plastic boat like you have is perfect for the often rocky upper Potomac. To make upstream paddling easier you want a slightly longer and narrower boat to achieve lower resistance to the current. Maybe around 14’ long and 24" or less in width. Be aware that a boat like this will initially feel less stabile, but with a bit of seat time this will usually go away.

In general, at least up to a point, the longer and narrower a boat is the faster and easier to paddle forward it is. However, you trade off in that it will be less maneuverable and stabile on flat water. A much longer boat will be more affected by the eddies and crosscurrents common in that area.

Anything a bit longer and skinnier. What are your storage and transport parameters?

Thanks for the input. That is about the way I feel about it. I think I could use a longer, more narrow boat than the Pungo 120, …like the Calolina 14, but don’t want to get into something too tipsy. Dan

Lunch and a camera, maybe a puff. I daydream of paddling as far as I can and then camping, but that will probably never happen. Again, I want to look at the Calolina 14’, as an example, but don’t want to get into a cramped cockpit, … that Pungo 120 is so easy to deal with…getting in and out wise. Thanks, Dan

Those standard cockpits are not all that “cramped”. I have fairly long legs and I can get into all of my kayaks (I have 5 in the fleet at the moment) by plunking my butt in the seat and then drawing my legs into the hull one at a time. You have better control of a sit inside kayak if you are able to bring your knees up under the cockpit rim which may not be possible with an oversized cockpit. you also really can’t have a competent spray skirt on an opening as large as on a Pungo – collected water will make it cave in. As others have mentioned, it will be less effort to paddle a narrower and longer boat upstream. A boat with more interior volume will also tend to sit higher in the water so you have less submerged mass to move through it. You didn’t mention your weight – a 12’ boat is kind of small for a larger guy. Even the Pungo 140 is a bit narrower (if you can find a used one, since they discontinued it).

Thanks, not much collection of water, as I stay out of such situations. I just like to work my way up river. Bombing through rock filled infernos is not my idea of fun. I like to paddle. I am about 5’ 07" 165, and about 40 years older than my teeth.