Anyone within, say, 200 miles of Atlanta, have a Betsie Bay (Valkyrie) that I could test (and even potentially buy)? I currently paddle an Impex Force Cat 3. I love it but it’s getting heavier, or rather I’m getting a bit weaker at 70 yrs old. So I’m interested in a Betsie Bay but don’t want to buy one without paddling it. Or, suggestions for an alternative to Betsie Bay? Already-built Pymy?
From their website:
“Where can I try a BBK kayak?
We do free demos by appointment near our shop in Michigan. We can also often refer you to BBK owners in your area who may be willing to demo their kayak.”
Betsie Bay’s phone and email are listed at their site:
Skin on frames
Another option besides wooden boats is skin on frame (SOF) Greenland style kayaks, made with wooden frames and urethane impregnated ballistic nylon skins, are even lighter and offer another good option for us older paddlers. I have an 18' x 21" of that type that weighs 31 pounds - truly a pleasure to paddle as well as to transport and load. Many folks around the country build them on their own or in classes and there are builders who construct them to order. So they do turn up for sale used fairly regularly, including in the classifieds here and at the Greenland Kayak forum http://www.qajaqUSA.org.
Builder and kayak designer Brian Schulz has an excellent blog on skin boats at http://www.capefalconkayaks.com.
Another option, which I also own, are folding kayaks, I have a Feathercraft Wisper (39 pounds) and a Pakboat Quest 135 (28 pounds), which are both Greenland style kayaks that perform very similarly to hardshell boats. Besides the lightness, they can be knocked down to transport in the trunk of a car or even checked as luggage for airline travel, which makes them really handy if you like to travel a lot.
Thanks. I spoke to them a year ago and there didn’t seem to be any owners in the area. I’ll try again.
Many thanks. I hadn’t known about the greenland site - very interesting. I’m still hoping for a BB owner somewhere around here to show up and let me test his/her boat.
A Pygmy would be great
You build or have someone build for you. All the functionality and 2/3 the weight of a fiberglass boat.
I had an NDK Pilgrim and loved it – except the hideous weight. Sold it to a younger, stronger paddler.
has one in Sarasota Flordia.
Farther away in both time & space, Alan often has several for testing as the WMCKA symposium Memorial Day.