Can you take Keowee (9ft) on the Ocean?

-- Last Updated: May-01-12 6:46 PM EST --

How does the Perception Keowee (9ft) handle on the ocean?

I have the option to buy a used one in good condition, and would like to take it on the open ocean, over swells and in some cases attempt a beach launch through typical shore waves.

This is on the Pacific, off the California coast in Orange County. I'm not super picky, I'm just anxious to get out kayaking again (I had previously used a Chinook and Kyook on the ocean)

the Keowees are the first little baby kayaks we ever had, and we still use them in WW rivers.

I used to take mine to the Ocean all the time.

Get a skirt that fits it, and when you head out through the breakers just go straight through them.

When the whole family would go to tyhe beach, I would take off in mine, and go for miles and miles.

For what it is worth; the plastic in them is much tougher, (thicker) then the newer rec kayaks.

Make sure you have a pump for those bigger breakers that will capsize you on your way back in.

Jack L

Where in California on the Coast?

– Last Updated: May-01-12 6:33 PM EST –

You would be fine on a calm day in a bay or protected inlet. The problem is the boat has a very large cockpit that usually is used without a skirt. It's a pain to deal with a rec boat if it capsizes in waves and you have to get it back to shore. A sit on top like a Ocean Kayak frenzy would be a much better choice for paddling through surf and ocean waves. A used whitewater kayak with a good skirt would also be a better choice. If you post up where you are from we can recommend boats that you can get used from craigslist etc for not a lot of money.

The Kyook and Chinook kayaks are lowend sea kayaks and much more seaworthy. I think you would be disappointed at how slow and unseaworthy a rec boat would be if you have much experience.

Located in Orange County, California
Thank you for your replies!

I’m located in Orange County, California.

I probably wouldn’t be going further than a mile off-shore, mostly staying around a half-mile.

Breaking waves would mostly be right near the shore, so nothing too un-swimmable in case of disaster. Most waves beyond that part are non-breaking swells or 1-footers at most.

We used Keowees in an ocean bay
We used Keowees that the place we rent had around for several years before getting our transitional boats. No surf, but we were out around bumpy points and even being careful got to some places where a capsize would have been bad. They were satisfactory for longer than the first boats we bought, transition 13 footers, but that was only because we couldn’t go as far with them as the 13 footers. We made it to our fifth day on Muscongous Bay with the transition boats before getting the reality check that sent us home thinking sea kayaks and skills.

Aside from when my brother-in-law is in one, they seem to stay upright pretty generously. But they are blatantly boats that not should be further from shore than you can swim in - they self-rescue lousy if at all. I don’t know if you could swim in a half mile. And they are a pain in the butt to paddle in wind or make distance in.

I like the idea of a sit on top by seadart. They are usually pretty self-rescuable, and they can’t be any more tiring to paddle than a Keowee.

Quick check on craigslist …
I just did a quick check on Craigslist - lots of sit insides and sots that would be better. If storage length is a problem the Frenzy is not a bad boat for SOCAL. First boat we bought for my son and we still keep it around to introduce folks to kayaking. Here’s one:

Otherwise I would look for a more seaworthy kayak. Sure you can go out when it’s flat, in the Keeowee (SP) but you will be limiting the time you can paddle and expanding your abilities.

Celia, seadart, jackl,

Thank you for all of your replies. You’ve all been very helpful!

Water temps …

– Last Updated: May-02-12 11:16 PM EST –

A mile off-shore could translate to a multi-mile swim... Make sure whatever you wear is suitable to protect you from hypothermia. What kayak you paddle does not matter much once you are out of it for good (though some kayaks will make it more likely that you can get back in) ...

As for the beach break, even small surf can swamp large open cockpits. It was entertaining to watch a pair of tough guys trying to launch in their similar boats like yours in surf that was no more than 3 feet where it was breaking. They could not get past - kept getting swamped and flipped over because they had no skirts, mainly. meanwhile whitewater kayaks shorter than 9 feet had no problems at all...