Carolina 16

I am a novice paddler, I have been paddling a Rec boat ( Emotion Edge) for a few months and having a ball, and I find I want more already. I am looking at a used Carolina 16 tomorrow, for what I feel is a pretty good price and since my wife is agreable to it being an early Christmas gift I am pretty excited. I am looking for advice on this boat specifically.

I read some reviews I found online and it seems this is a good second boat for me to continue to learn and expand my horizons. I have been paddling day trips on some smaller lakes and rivers, I want to continue to do that and also move onto bigger water, the Delaware river and perhaps other larger places later on. I am a big guy, rather overwieght but working on it, around 280 at the moment but headed in the right direction. I am a bit concerned with the fit since this is the first one I have tried which isn’t a Rec boat with a huge cockpit, but indications are that I should be Ok from the reviews I read…comments? Just how should this boat fit?..remember I haven’t paddled anything but a rec boat and a canoe so the fit of the thigh braces etc is all foreign to me…what should I look for?

Some other questions I have…

Would this boat be roll-able? I think so, perhaps not the best rolling boat but I believe it will roll, correct?

Would this boat be acceptable on somewhat bigger water, such as the long island sound, hudson river or similar? I don’t have the skills to be confident on open water yet, but I would like to be able to do that later since I am sometimes out there. I’m not talking about paddling around Greenland in a gale, just perhaps a little bit of open water on a nice day to see what it’s like.

Any specific knowledge of the Carolina 16 that I need to know? Problems, issues, things to look out for when examining the prospective purchase? Most reviews seem to be quite positive but you never can tell. The owner says it’s only a few years old, is there any way to verify that by hull number or similar? I don’t think I will be able to test paddle it but I will be able to sit in it for a fit test etc.

Thanks for any assistance and Happy Paddling!

Mikey in NJ

time for lessons

– Last Updated: Nov-16-08 12:55 PM EST –

it's big enough for you, it can be made rollable,,it's you not the kayak as to whether you can roll it.

You have to experience self and assisted rescues to put equipment limitations in perspective. My experience with the Carolina 16 and big people is that the aft deck was pretty high and the guys who were big enough to sink that boat didn't have an easy time of self-rescue and rescuers really had to lay their body across the foredeck to stabilize it.

In this category of kayak appropriate for folks your weight they really didn't design it as "sea kayak" as much it fit a niche that later was called "transitional" sea kayak. More stability than a kayak designed for skills and conditions where rolling is a base skill but also priced mid-point between sea kayaks and rec. boats. The consequence is that some things like hatches that are ok for smaller people in smaller boats might be totally inadequate for bigger people where that aft hatch might have problems withstanding your weight in a regular rescue.

Again it's something that can be worked around but it's a limitation you have to experience first hand and not through second hand experience.

Makes sense

– Last Updated: Nov-16-08 1:21 PM EST –

Thanks for the comments, they make sense. I have heard the term transitional sea kayak but never really thought about what it I think I get it. With the understanding that I might need to change boats again later on at some point I believe I could definetly learn a lot with the Carolina though, right?
Lessons are definetly on the game plan for the spring when they start outdoors here again, plus if I can find anything in a pool indoors over the winter nearby I will be giving that a try as well.

Till then I'll just be paddling around on familar water when the weather permits..oh and I do have a wet suit and I have been in the water recently (intentionally) with no problems so I believe I am prepared adequatly for the conditions until it gets too cold.

when I said “sink the boat” I meant it’s a big boat that requires a big person to take advantage of that volume.

Basically if you plan on paddling in rougher conditions then rescue practice becomes necessary,even if you paddle a stable rec boat in rougher conditions.

It’s easy to think that a different boat gives you the permission to do more adventurous paddling when it’s really the person swinging the paddle.

You might consider a Necky Manitou 14.

Be sure to read the reviews of the Perception Captiva - particularly the more critical ones. The Carolina 16 is a rebranded Perception Captiva from a few years ago. If the boat is a Carolina 16 it is likely only a few years old. The Hull Identification Number will tell you the month and year of manufacture. It’s usually found on the starboard stern end below the deck/hull seam. This will help you decode the information.

Hull ID #
Thanks for helping decode hull ID numbers, and the fact that the Carolina 16 is the same boat as a captiva…looks like I have some more reviews to read now.

Mike in NJ

Hi Mikie. I think you are going to be
to big for the boat. I wanted a Carolina…really bad… but after sitting in one, or TRYING to sit in one, forget about it.

Bought it

– Last Updated: Nov-17-08 5:24 PM EST –

I bought the Carolina 16, hey, when your wife says go ahead and buy yourself a Kayak as an early christmas present it's pretty hard to say no :-)

The fit was a little tight with the thigh braces in place, I took them out and now it's a little loose I think. So I am going to try making up something halfway in between what was there and what's not there now and see how that works..though I'll probably paddle it without the braces tomorrow anyway if the weather is ok.

I suppose rather than re-engineering the braces I could just commit to loosing 20 more pounds off my fat A$$ and putting the braces back in..that might be a good goal for the spring, actually

Big difference
between a Carolina and a Carolina 16 (Captiva).