boat on a budget

I’m trying to go from zero to kayak fisherman (including rod, reel, etc.) in one swoop. I’m on a $1000 budget. According to the reviews, the two best kayaks I have found within my price range (both about $550 new) are the Ocean Kayak Scrambler XT and the Perception Pescador. One additional consideration is that I won’t always be using this boat for fishing, so how it handles is important. Any thoughts about which of these is a better boat or other kayaks or cost considerations I have overlooked are appreciated.

Go used

– Last Updated: May-05-10 12:53 PM EST –

Your profile lists two locations that are rather far apart, including one that is an area with a lot of Sit on tops (SC). It appears you are not averse to some driving - I'd suggest you go used/demo. There are probably kayak places in or between the two locations that would have something that'd work for you.

As to your budget - it isn't hard for a really lightweight paddle to go for over $400, and that you usually want to get new if possible. Add the PFD, some other safety gear and some apt clothing - starting out used for the boat would give you more head room.

I agree - used
I agree with Celia - get a used boat. And don;'t worry about a plastic boat with scratches on them. Actually, in this case, they can be your friend, lowing the price without affecting the way it paddles at all. Scratches are fine, gouges may not be.

Spend money for a decent paddle. Maybe not a carbon one, but dropping $250 for a decent fiberglass shouldn’t be out of line.

Allow money for PFD and other clothing. For FL, PFD plus bathing suit may be fine. MN, depends on season and water temp, but you may want a wet suit. If water temps are below 65 or so, I wear some sort of thermal protection for water (wet or dry suit).

Cheap new choices
At Dick’s a perception is on sale and may also make a good choice:

I’d also agree that used boats are often found at bargain prices.

your better off with a quality used boat rather than a inexpensive new one as you will be wanting to upgrade in a year or two if you stick with it…

Resource Site…

Use the research tool to narrow down a short list of boats that likely fit your needs. Then, keep your eyes peel on craiglist and other gearswap sites. a little patience, you will end up with a decent SOT/fishing boat anywhere from $300-500 max. (with patience, I was able to pick up two Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro SOTs separately from different sellers for $300 each on Craiglist.) Another $200 for PFD and paddle. Another $200 will get you a decent saltwalter fishing rod/reel combo and lures from Cabelas. Might want to add another $30 for a one of the rod holders to troll with.

Tight lines.


Sing do you ever come to NC
Want to sell a Scupper Pro. Can’t find them here.

Dunno… My Luck?
I got a brand new RTM Disco first… For $550. Heard about the SC, saw it on Craigslist for $300 and thought what the heck… SC turned out to be a good boat and probably better than the Disco for more casual paddlers like my son (and fishing friends). It also packs way more gear for overnight camping/fishing trips than the Disco as I found out a 5 day fishing safari on the Boston Harbor Islands. Anyway saw a couple more SC’s at different times for about $400-$500 which I passed on. Six months after the first SC, saw another for $300. I snapped that one up. So, if my son ever wants to go camping/fishing on the harbor Islands this summer, we are set to go.

The Disco is a more fun surfing SOT, tho’ I don’t do that unless the fishing is slow and there are some swells to play with.

Anyway, patience in looking for the SC but it may come in the form of a RTM Tempo since OK discontinued the SC again… BTW, I saw a RTM Midway. That doesn’t look (I didn’t try) too bad either. Size-wise, seemed to be between the DISCO and the Scupper Pro. The bottom configuraton is probably a bit more to the disco (relative anyway) than the SC. Midway may be worth considering.


Used WS Tarpon,140 or 160.

Second the Tarpon.
Friend of mine fishes a 14 and loves it. Decent PFD will run you 60-80 bucks. Aqua-Bound Stingray two piece carbon shaft/plastic blade paddles are nice at about $150 on sale. Look for a used boat package. Craig’s List, E-Bay, this board also has used stuff for sale. It’s where I found my canoe.

Scupper pros
I have two also. just pressure washed a couple of years of grime off them and they look really good. grime reminded me of so many places like the keys and even good old sparkleberry swamp here in SC. Now I gotta go get new grime…

be a great choice if you can find them…