Best touring kayak for me?

Thx Rich, if I don’t go for one of the boats I’ll be testing next week I’ll give you a shout!

Sounds good.

I was able to test the CD Willow out on West Grand Traverse Bay, and finding that it fit me excellently and was very affordable I went for it. I would agree that it loves to track but not turn, and for my purposes as of now I am very ok with that. I loved covering some distance on the water without even giving a mind to steering, and as others have indicated I’m sure it will make me a more able kayak handler in the long run. And if I use it as much as I intend to I will learn my likes and dislikes and can sell it for a similar price in the future if and when I decide that I would rather have something else for any reason. But I am very happy with the purchase and am already planning my first expedition for later this month.

What do you guys think of the Boundary Waters? I kayaked there for a day a few years ago and have had a kayak camping trip in mind ever since. (If I mention this in a BWCA forum they will shout me out telling me I can only bring a canoe lol. Maybe that would be ideal, but I have a kayak and I want to kayak.).

Anyway, I’m so glad I ended up on this website because you have all been so nice and helpful! Thanks!

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Congratulations on the Willow. enjoy. It’s good practice to learn how to make a 'tracky" boat turn & a “turny” boat go straight.

On the Boundary Waters; look for routes that are on the big lakes and have as few as possible portages. Kayaks are not portage friendly both in carrying and in packing/unpacking.

Nice catch I love CD kayaks. Edge it and it will turn. Personally I like boats that track.

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Congratulations! A boat that fits well and tracks well under your weight is fantastic. Out of curiosity, I googled it, and found this video that you perhaps have already seen. It looks like that kayak edges and maneuvers quite beautifully. Believe it or not, it can be as much fun spending a morning or afternoon doing nothing but exploring edging and turning such a kayak as it is gliding across the water from A to B. I think you found yourself a gem.

Current Designs Willow- PETE’S PICKS - YouTube


Thanks for the advice, rival51. I’ll keep that in mind when I plan my route in the coming weeks.

I appreciate the video, CapeFear. I hadn’t seen it and it was nice to see what I might be able to do with enough practice. I totally agree - I was planning on finding a hopefully somewhat reclusive area in the near future where I can practice all those techniques.

When learning edging be prepared for the occasional capsize. You will learn the limit of your boat’s secondary stability, which is a good thing to know, and get some practice bracing. Best done near shore to begin with and, as always, dressed for immersion. The further you can edge the boat, the easier it is to turn.