Call out for suggestions!

-- Last Updated: Aug-04-15 4:55 PM EST --

Basically a beginner - but a 6'-4" 290 lb beginner with a 42" waist, and a right hip replacement - that just cant seem to accept the idea of staying off the water!
Multiple avenues of kayaking to explore - fishing, adventure, smooth, choppy, etc etc.
Want to purchase a good all around "Big Man" kayak.
Purchased a used "on top" 16' but was a little top heavy for it - and was pretty old - but figured out I want to pursue a better kayak.

Talk to me - where can I start?

demo demo demo used used used
This isn’t a bad place to start, and you can search the archives for big guy kayaks (seems there was just another thread on the topic). Some of your decision will be based on the type of paddling you like to do most, and compromising on the type of paddling you like to do only less. For example, a sit on top kayak facilitates fishing best, but if your main goal is coastal touring in conditions, you probably want a sit inside kayak.

I’d start by getting boat models here, sure. But I’d find my local outfitter, see what they have, and whether you can try out some of their boats. A GOOD local outfitter (no big boxes like REI or Dick’s) can probably help you more than anyone here.

Once you’ve demoed and narrowed down your choices or type of paddling, shop this site’s classifieds and other outlets for used boats. Given your size you may have less luck, but it’s a good place to start and to save money.

solo canoe
Have you thought about a solo canoe?

Second the solo canoe to possibly
try out. I run a Wenonah Vagabond Solo with low, sliding tractor seat and a long Greenland double paddle and it works fine. Easier to get in and out of than a yak, easy to access equipment, and more weight capacity. Also use a line from the bow to me to help me pull my but off the seat. Bit slower that a narrow yak and windy days are a challenge if its over 15 though. Just thoughts, R

Greatr advise !
Never thought of a solo canoe for my water activity - makes sense.

Appreciate the comments -

One that fits.
If you are able to, take a look at Current Designs Isle. Not only should the Isle fit you, it’s a fast and very maneuverable kayak.

Kayak was first thought
I live VERY close to the Nanticoke River off of the Chesapeake Bay - the river can become quite choppy in a short amount of time - this is why I was leaning torwards the kayak initially - a little more control and faster - however off the Nanticoke are many many creeks that are beautiful to explore and much calmer - hence where the solo canoe would come in handy.

Split decision - Think visiting the local outfitter is a good call - need to sit in - paddle - different waters to see what best fits my size and needs.

much of it comes down to
the type of waters you’d like to paddle. I know if I only paddled flatwater, a canoe would be my choice.

Check this current ongoing thread that appears to be relevant to your question:

Sit On Top
I think at your size, weight and with a replacement hip, you’d have a hard time with the small cockpit of a touring Sit Inside (SIN) kayak. Although Sit On Tops (SOTs) are slower they are super stable, unsinkable and capable of handling all sorts of water.

Take a look at the Wilderness Systems Ride 135…

A WS Tarpon 160 SOT is a relatively

– Last Updated: Aug-06-15 11:56 AM EST –

fast, comfortable boat you can easily mount and dismount. The only drawback is its weight. 85 lbs.
Has a 350 lb capacity.
The Native Manta Ray 14 is another very good boat.I see they now have a wheel on the stern which is a great idea for moving it on land.
I have paddled both and own the Tarpon, my go anywhere , do anything boat.

Agree With SOT Recommendation…

– Last Updated: Aug-06-15 1:59 PM EST –

I have gone through a lot of SIKs but have found my SOTs to be the pretty darn versatile both for beginners and more advanced folks.

Personally, I use my SOT mostly for saltwater fishing, in some textured conditions and tidal rips. But I have also use it for my annual weeklong island camping/fishing trips in Boston Harbor islands. The right SOT can do a lot.

One of the major (and more legitimate) complaints about the SOT is that it is slower that than touring SIKs. So obstensibly, one would be harder pressed to keep up in group paddles (if you are into that). But, according to my GPS/fishfinder, I can paddle my Scupper Pro at 3.5-4 MPH, without exerting myself in relative mild conditions. That speed was the probably the usual (or even higher) for some of the groups I paddled with earlier in my paddling experience. So, "keeping up" should not be a problem as long as you are not trying to hang with a group of overt (or covert) competitive types.


How about a 14’ Wilderness Pungo
They have a large cockpit, 350# capacity, are fast for a rec boat and you can get a skirt for it to keep dry.

The Pungo 140 is a very good boat for

– Last Updated: Aug-07-15 9:30 PM EST –

the reasons stated. My concern for you would be getting that hip in and out of the boat.
I have a bum right leg with a mind of its own. Getting in the Pungo is easy; getting out is called a wet exit.