Best Prijon boats for us?

Hi All, first post here, relatively new to the sport. My wife and I are looking to upgrade from our rec Prijon’s to more sea worthy models. We just moved to Alaska from NJ (that’s a whole other story), and the rec boats we learned in on the lakes of NJ just don’t seem right for the seas of AK. We want to paddle in the “protected” bays around Whittier and Seward.

Specs: Me 5’6" 170lbs, my wife: 5’6" 140lbs.

I’m a fast, aggressive learner, but she is very stable in her kayak and likes to keep it that way. I do like to stop and take photos once in a while, and while a fast boat like the ‘cuda appeals to me, it doesn’t make a lot of sense if I’m always paddling with my slower partner.

We plan on doing day, and 1 or 2 night overnighters max. We both enjoy the “glide” of some of the rental 17’ kayaks we’ve had ie Perception Eclipse.

My main question is: Is the Kodiak just too high volume for someone my weight? Most of my paddling will be done with a very light load.

Does the Seayak at 16’ and much less waterline still have the glide the Prijon’s are noted for?

For my wife, I’m thinking about the Seayak or the Touryak, but worry that the Touryak might be too high volume and bouncing like a cork if not laden.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

The Kodiak are…

…hard to beat. If it’s corky on you, you can always carry extra water jugs.

There is also a Catalina which is a bit smaller for

smaller paddlers.

Why only Prijon?
Your wife is right at the cusp in size of boats for small paddlers working best for her, which means that you might need to look among different makes to get the best boat. For example, the Necky Eliza was very well-liked by a woman paddler I was in a group with the other night who is almost exactly that size.

Is there an availability reason you are limiting yourself to Prijon?

The Kodiak
is huge, I think it would be much to large for you and your intended use.

seayaks would work…
the seayaks are nice, i found the kodiak too big for me (5’ 8", 165 lbs)… i have not noticed any problems with seayaks keeping up with kodiaks… if i pack carefully, i could easily live out of my seayak for a few weeks… both are very nice kayaks. i routinely paddle my seayak with others in kodiaks, we all seem to have about the same speed so no worries there… i believe the kodiak is more for larger paddlers than the seayak is…both of you should fit a seayak ok…


– Last Updated: Jun-24-08 12:51 PM EST –

She'll be faster in a Catalina than in the bigger(wider) boats.

I'd think the Seayak for you if you're going to be carrying only daytrip gear.

Empty expedition-sized boats are no fun in the wind.

Right track
You’re on it. For your sizes and type of paddling, the Prijons fitted to you are the way to go.

Kodiak was designed for bigger loads and paddlers. Don’t force a fit.


– Last Updated: Jun-24-08 2:05 PM EST –

I demo'd a Prijon suited for my size (and your wife's) when I was deciding on the first RM sea kayak. I readily admit that I could be wrong, but I seem to recall it was the Catalina. If I am correct, I'd suggest that you get your wife into one before closing any deals.

While it'd be an easy enough boat for me to handle now, at the time I found the Prijon to be uncomfortably stiff in how it handled minor chop etc. It still came out of the set in the top 3 (I had them line up about 7 boats for me that day) because it was correctly sized and any handling problems seemed within the realm of what I could get used to, but another boat came out as a clear winner that day.

If your wife seeks barge-like stability, my minor discomfort could be a much larger problem for her. Best to find out sooner. Unfortunately I think it is really the only boat in the Prijon line that is a perfect match for your wife and your intended use.

Thanks for all the info.
Wow, thanks for all the suggestions. As to the question of why only Prijons, well where we live in Alaska, availability is an issue, especially availability to test drive. We like our boats now for what they are, and have heard good things about the Prijon larger boats.

REI is having a sale on glass tempest 170’s, so that is appealing also.

I’m a little unsure of the Catalina for my wife, it is only 21" wide. Does anyone who paddles this boat have any input? Does it feel more stable than what one would imagine a 21" wide boat to be?

Magoo_ns owns and paddles a Cat. Email him.

21 inch is same as Cuda, and I agree with Celia, the rockerless 21 inchers are unforgiving in the soup. Too “stiff”.

I owned two Kodiaks and at 5 foot 8.5 inches and 165lbs, it was a good fit and I think, outfitted, works well with the least weathercocking of these known-to-weathercock boats. Renata Chlumska (google it) paddled thousands of miles in a laden Kodiak, and she couldn;t be more than 129 lbs, wet. I paddled my Kodiak unladen, minicelled. It is not at all a good roller, but none of the Prijons are.

Seayak is reasonable. Need a rudder though, as it is a weathercocker. I was a huge Prijon fan in the past, having owned and sold many, and frankly, although I still adore my Cuda for fast flatwater, I enjoy more rockered boats with skegs now (eg Valley).

Motion would be a good choice
for your wife.

Catalina wouldn’t satisfy her need for stability, and the Touryak’s too high volume.

Just one person’s opinion.

Catalina sounds good…
…for folks your size. They’re very light, agile and fast. Can be a bit tippy, but the infinitely adjustable cockpit outfitting will make the Cat responsive and quite comfortable for long trips. My only quibble with the Catalina was its’ tendency to plow into wind waves rather than ride up and over. Amazing how much gear you can cram into the hatches, too.

Kodiak is big …
I paddled it when I weighed ~ 210 and had lots of extra room and I’m taller than you. I liked it a lot but I think I would go for a Valley composite if I lived where you do.

If you can check out Valley boats.