buying the right kayak/canoe

At 65 years old, am an intermediate paddler, looking to buy a new or used kayak/canoe to use on Lake Michigan, rivers, bayous etc.

9 to 12 ft / sturdy and lightweight would be my choice along with being reasonably priced.

I fish/photo/paddle solo for fun and want to get from one spot to another without alot of fatigue.

My problem is choosing what is best for me…there are so many types out there that its almost impossible to look at all of the sites.

I appreciate any advice you can give to me.


For starters
What boats have you paddled, and what did you like/dislike about them?

you should also
mention where you are - if there is a good outfitter in your area you could see what kayaks they have, paddle with them and then make your choice.

IOt will require extremely high skill levels to ue the same hull on Lake Michigan and moving water rivers.

That given, it probably won’t be a 9-12 foot hull.

Find a good local retailer and seek advice.

There are many hulls that wiull fill your needs, but not just one.

Demo, demo, demo
No one can tell you what boat is best for you.

Call local dealers and ask if and when they will be having a “demo day”.

The other option is to ask any paddlers that you know if you can try their boat out.

If you can get a back copy of Paddler Magazine, (the Jan -Feb issue), it has a buyers guide which would be a good place for you to start looking.

Another good place is right here on P-net under product reviews.



buying a new kayak
I have a 28 lb. Poke boat.

but its not good in Lake Micigan.

Can there be a fast/light/under 12 ft. kayak out there?


new kayak
I live on the west coast of Lake Michigan.

I already have a 12 ft. 28lb. Poke boat but it is not good in the big lake.

Is there a light/fast/under 12ft. kayak out htere?



new kayak
I already have a 12ft Poke boat but its not good in the Lake Michgian waves.

I live on the west coast of Lake Mi.

Is there a light/fast/under 12ft. kayak out there for me?


new kayak
Thanks for the reply.

I will try to get the Paddlers Jan. issue.

Looking for a light/fast/ under 12ft. kayak.

I have a 12ft Poke boat but its not good in Lake. Mi. waves.

I live on the west coast of Lake Mi.

Problem is your paddling venues

– Last Updated: Apr-20-07 5:22 PM EST –

The problem you are having is that you want to paddle on Lake Michigan, and most recently you added wanting to handle waves on Lake Michigan.

Trying to find light, fast and well suited to handling waves on Lake Michigan is not going to happen at 12 feet in length, unless maybe one or another of the specialized boats like surf skis or higher end SOT's intended to be able to play in that kind of environment fits in that length range. And I suspect that those don't fit the rest of what yo would want.

I would also ask if you were up to handling Lake Michigan's waves as a paddler, and any emergencies that might arise in those conditions. The limitations of your present poke boat may be a significant and desirable safety factor in themselves.

If you stay out of waves on Lake Michigan, there are any number of 12 ft boats that might do for you. As above, you still need to confirm that you are physically comfortable in them and that requires going to dealers and demo days and trying boats out. In fact this is a great time of year for that - many paddle shops host demo days in May. Given that your needs are actually fairly broad, the choices in the 12-14 ft group are too many for someone to just point you at a single boat.

But if you want to include dimensional water on Lake Michigan, with no apparent reference to a skills set, there is not an easy answer to this one.

I’ve paddled my Prijon Capri Tour, a decently fast 12-footer out in San Francisco Bay, and even 1 ft. swells wash over the bow.

Hobie Sport
Take a look at the 9.5 FT Hobie Sport.

In a word, no.
Hi, Barb.

If you want to get out in waves safely, you’ll need a good sea kayak with bulkheads, and you’ll need to paddle with others. Since speed is related to length (the longer, the faster), it should probably be around 16 feet for you. If it is to be light, it would have to be kevlar—expensive!—and even then, it wouldn’t be lighter than your current Poke Boat. Sorry!

BUT. If you find a good group to paddle with, it could make all the difference. Don’t let your age and gender bother you! There are lots of like-minded people out there. Promise! I have seen women your age load sea kayaks on their cars, alone, and use little kayak wheels to get them between the car and the water. Once the boat is on the water, you don’t notice the weight.