Boat for My Wife

Now that I’ve been bitten by the paddling bug, I’d like to get my wife a boat so we can enjoy the sport together. She’s paddled my Necky Eskia a few times, but its too much boat for her.

I’d like to get her something that complements my boat but don’t know where to start. We’ve looked at the Necky Chatham (new for 04). Looks nice, skeg design,appears to be similar to the CD Scirocco. I’ve run into very few places that rent to boats I want and demo days are over in my area.

My wife is 5’8’'and about 140lbs (but I didn’t say that:-))

Our most serious paddling would be on the coast, mostly in simi-protected waters.

Suggestions are appreciated.



Many are great on Salt water
My choice is the Perception Carolina, and from what people tell me, it’s one of the most popular boats along the shore. But if you’re into necky, how about a Gannet? That’s a very popular boat too and great for someone her size. If you want one just a tad bigger there’s the Santa Cruz. I haven’t shopped for Necky’s at all and I’m probably not up to date on most of them. I don’t know if some that I mentioned have been replaced with new models. But the Gannet or Santa Cruz would be about the right size as you describe the situation. Good luck.

Carolina Boats
Looks like there are at least 3 (poly)models out there from 13-16ft. I’ve seen a few of the 14’ boats in rental fleets. I assume they hold up pretty well?

Eddyline Nighthawk 16
Ia a great boat for women. 4-49 lbs, tough, beautiful, and handles well.


She’s not tiny, which means she’s got more choices. Her weight does put her on the “small paddler” end of the scale so you should look for a fairly low volume boat. If you search the archive here for “small paddler” you should find a lot of discussion on the topic.

The Chatham 16 looks good, but I haven’t paddled one. The Wilderness Systems Tempest 165, VCP Avocet, Current Designs Squamish, and Eddyline Nighthawk 16 might work. The P&H Vela is a very nice small person’s boat, as are the small Impex models, and the Wilderness Systems Tchaika is nice and light if you can live without a forward hatch.

Slipstream by Current Designs
tracks well, as well as having good maneuverability. It is 22 inches wide and 16 feet long, and at 41 pounds is a pleasure. May want to take a look at it. Good luck and enjoy the search!

suggestions, but think about seeing if there’s a CD Caribou you can give a try -the skeg variety. It’s a sweet, fast, pretty stable hard-chined med (low?) volume boat.

JackL’s wife Nanci drives a Perception Shadow which she really likes, and I think she’s around your wife’s mass if not her height.

Whatever you do, make SURE she’s part of the process, of course, as boats can be quite personal, and if the shoe fits, it’s SOOOOO much nicer to

Paddle On!

-Frank in Miami

My sister has the Perception Shadow, and last thing I remember about her paddling that boat was our dad running circles around us in the motor boat, all the rest of us having a blast in the waves, and her screaming at him to stop because he was getting water in her boat. She’s about the same size as your wife, and that boat is nice and comfey for her, but I think a lot of the time she misses her old Current Designs Storm, now mom’s.

No, she is much smaller
at 5’-2" and 120 pounds.

As a matter of fact her new QCC-600 is way too big for her.

She does love that Shadow though.

Cheers and stay happy,


Hurricane Aqua Sports, “Tampico”
My wife is about the size you listed. amd she loves her Hurricane Aqua Sports “Tampico”. It is 13’ 6" long, and about 24" wide. It is the Thermo Formed Plastic they call Trylon, and the boat only weighs 38 Lb. It is a great beginner to intermediate boat, that tracks very well. Cockpit opening is large enough for a beginner to easily get into. It also has front and rear bulkheads with hatch covers that do a great job of keeping water out.

She loves it, so what more can I say!?!?!?!? Look them up on the internet “



Boat for significant other
Go light and demo the following:

Eddyline Nighthawk 16 (Modulus)

Eddyline Merlin LT (modulus)

Perception Corona (kevlar)

Prijons (kevlar)

Boreal Designs (kevlar)

Wilderness Sports Chatham (kevlar)

a couple of possibilities
I’m not an expert, but we have a couple of paddlers in that size range. The Impex Sea Breeze/Mystic has worked really well for us, as has the Wilderness Systems Cape Horn 140. The Current Designs Squamish is another good design, and has some excellent features for the price. If you are considering building a boat, the Squeedunk Grebe, the Pygmy Artic Tern 14, and the Chesapeake 16LT would be very good choices.

Yak for wife
I just recently purchased an Eddyline Merlin LT. I’m about 5’5" and 130lbs. I demoed about 6 other boats and found this one the quickest and easiest to paddle. It’s not a real long kayak, it’s about 13’5" and 42 lbs but I’m able to take it out and not be dependent on my hubby. I’m new to yaking and this boat truly makes kayaking pleasurable. Julie

Boat for my Wife
I too paddle a Necky Eskia. My wife, like your’s is petite sized. She currently paddles an Old Town Castine and loves it. Boat is very well made and on our coastal trips in the sounds it does a beautiful job. Has dry storage both fore and aft. It is available with an optional rudder. May be worth your consideration.

Aqua Sports
I never really looked at these boats but may. What can you expect to pay?

The Cape Horn
Although I’m shorter and heavier than your wife, I too would suggest she try out one of the Cape Horns by Wilderness Systems. My Cape Horn (with rudder) has taken me from flat protected rivers and lakes to the Outer Banks, Lake Michigan, Quebec’s Saguenay Fjord and the St. Lawrence and many places in between. I have found it a good kayak for progressing in my skill level.

The Montaulk at 16’ and about 49lbs is a very nice kayak that you may want to look at for your wife.

I vote Eddyline Merlin LT
I had one for a while and loved it except that I’m 5’7" and uh… a bit heavier than your wife and the cockpit was uncomfortably small for me to get into and out of. Having said that, once I was in it, I was very comfortable… just took the jaws of life to get me out again.

I ended up selling the LT and bought a Merlin XT (15’ long) because it has a larger cockpit. I’m very pleased with my decision. Since your wife weighs less, I’ll bet she would like the Merlin LT. It doesn’t have a skeg or rudder, but doesn’t need it. The low profile is just not affected much by wind. It’s lightweight, attractive, tough (carbonlite), tracks like a dream.

Let us know what you decide on!


that Slipstream
sound sweet! I’ve only seen Current Designs in ads though. Think I’ll start my Christmas wish list now. Being female, 61.5" tall, 98 lbs, it can be tough getting a touring boat to fit me.

isn’t the Shadow close in size to my
Dagger Prospect 15.5’? My boat is 22" wide, I’m quite petite, and I do pretty good in it. I was looking @ a Cortez but it was too big for me. My being only about 5-1, deck height is an issue for me.