Beginner/intermediate wanting kayak

Always test
If the seller will not let you test that Oracle, I’d keep looking. Boats need to fit and in this case you need to see if it is a match for your body over the course of an hour or so, at least. This is where demo days shine.

I disagree with the above post about where sea kayakers take their boats - we’ve certainly had all of ours wet in bigger stuff and most of them in surf - but this is probably a diff in talking about the boats versus the users. I define a “sea kayaker” as a paddler who takes their boat on the ocean and in fuller conditions. It may be that the above person defines it as someone who is just sitting in a sea kayak. I would agree that there are a number of sea kayaks that don’t get properly inaugurated because the owners don’t take them out into more open water. (and probably shouldn’t)

For what it is worth, we got our first (transition) boats trying to cover most of what we wanted to do paddling. But we got a hell of a slap when we tried pushing that envelope, and arrived the next vacation with full out sea kayaks. And because of their greater range and capability, we found ourselves having a lot more fun than we had with the first boats.

I am not saying that you would be us. But as said above, no one has ever complained about having too much boat. There are tricks to handling the loading that, though they can take some time, make it sometimes easier to slide up a 16 ft boat to the roof than it would be to manage something shorter.

Stability and that video
To start, don’t get distracted by the online advice right now. You don’t know enough to filter out the good from the bad. Frankly, including much of pnet when it gets to specific boats. Get to an outfitter.

Re the video, in that scenario you’d be getting a full length 17 ft plus long sea kayak. From what you have said I don’t see any reason for you to go that long. A shorter “day boat” length, 15 to around 16 ft long, would be plenty for what you have said.

There are hull designs that are likely feel very unstable to you that are in this length, as well as hull designs that are like baby sitters. It goes to the whole package - length, width, where the greatest width is, the shape of the hull in the middle and at the ends and how well the designed volume of the boat matches you. There are lots of boats and no pat answers. You need to demo boats and get this for yourself.

Stability has MANY aspects

– Last Updated: Jun-02-12 11:26 AM EST –

A big surface area, wide boat, will get knocked
around by waves being a LESS stable platform.

Influences on Stability in a Kayak
1) Water conditions
2) Boat shape
3) Boat loading
4) Skill of the paddler
5) The paddle itself
6) Wind

It's a personal choice, one only you can determine, by doing demo's on various boats

good kayak
I have a Necky Manitou 13 and love it (fast, stable, maintains direction well). A Manitou 14 is a larger version of the 13, but it has the advantage of having two hatches - would be good for weekend overnight trips.

Aside from a couple of brief teenage adventures in whitewater boats, my first time in a kayak was a sea kayak class. Not a problem.