i 'm a experince kayaker and have canoe and tatem kayak. i’m consider buying one of the folowing; current design kestrel 12 or 14 ft, eddyline skylark 12 ft, sandpiper 12 ft , equinex 14 ft, or wilderness systems pungo 12 ft. i like to go lightweight. the diffence in money not final factor. i know real decision is to demo. i live in south jersey and may buy from bellhaven of jersey paddler. i like hear some opinions from anyone who owns any of these kayaks. i mainly be paddling small river and lakes. i do go on 10 mile trips with sj out door club. thanks bob
I have some experience in a 14 ft Krestel and substantially more in the Equinox. Of your list these are the ones with both fore and aft compartments thus making them closer to touring boats (if you swamp a boat with only a rear compartment it is hard to get the water out again). Of the two I personally was much happier with the Equinox. It is quite a bit more lively. I thought that I would tire of the Kestel - it has so much primary stability that it is difficult to edge. I think if you try the two side by side you will feel the difference immediately. The quality of the Eddyline boats is very impressive.
You would do well with any of them.
In the summer I do 10+ mile trips with my Eddyline Sandpiper or Pungo 120 multiple times per week and I have no problems. We can’t win a raise against the touring boats but we move along quite nicely and the folks I tend to paddle with are in about the same size range so we move along together at the same speed. I have been considering getting either an Equinox or a Kestrel 14 as an upgrade and I suspect I will at some point but for now the 12’ boats are serving me well in the types of areas I like to paddle. The size and weight makes it easy to transport the boat and to access the water in tight spots. You already know to try whatever boat you are considering and buy what feels right to you. The more boats you try the more likely you will be to make the right choice but I suspect you will be happy with any of these boats that you are looking at. Have fun!
Haven’t seen many people out there who own the sandpiper, although it is really light (I carried it and paddled it). I did paddle with a woman who had a Skylark, who really loved it. She travels all over with it, and she doesn’t look like the heavy lifter type. If memory serves, it has bulkheads, and has a little storage which the SandPiper lacks. It’s very cute.
that rather then the Pungo you consider the Tsunami from Wilderness Systemes. You get a bit more boat for your money, and you will be able to use it more situations. The only reason to not look at it is if you specifically want a long wide open cockpit and a wider boat, in that case the Pungo is more for you.
Jersey Paddler currently lists a sale on 2006 WS Tsunami 125’s in Duralite for $975. The Duralite version will reduce overall weight by 10-12lbs, and weight was one of your factors.