I’m a 72 year old in pretty good shape, 6’-1” about 190 pounds. Paddled an old Perception sea lion (17’ plus and pretty heavy) for a while about 15 years ago and taught canoeing on Sebago Lake in Maine about 106 years ago. Looking to get back into kayaking in Virginia, so probably paddling on the James River, above and below Richmond, on the Chesapeake and maybe some costal ocean. Almost all would be day trips. I’m looking into a lighter, shorter kayak… don’t need the practice carrying or loading the heavy old sea lion (it’s for sale and in really good shape) any longer. I’m considering the above boats and would really appreciate input, opinions thoughts. I have sat in the Eddyline Fathom (boat was not in the water) and found the cockpit snug (compared to the sea lion) but not uncomfortable, however it’s probably a bigger boat than I want to deal with at this point in my life. I may go to a demo day locally in June where I hope to try the Eddyline Journey. I can purchase Delta thru REI, but no way to paddle or even sit in one anywhere near me, but the three Deltas I mentioned sound very interesting. Thoughts?? I’m also new to paddling.com, so I hope I can figure out how to get back to this thread if I get any replies??
The longer the boat, the less energy it takes to make it go. Same for weight.
As above I would go long. 15.5 Delta or Journey. Honey has a journey does well speed wise cruising. I hate the hard seat no clue if they changed it. For me it’s horrible. I am 6’ 230. I love the current design seats in my composite CD kayaks. Journey doesn’t feel lighter than my longer composite CD that are 50 lb. + -. Delta no clue paddled with the 17’ Delta it looked nice paddled well in calm water.
The longer the boat, the less energy it takes to make it go.
That’s only true at higher speeds.
I cruise at lower speeds with less effort in my 13’8” Curtis Lady Bug than in my 16’ Bell Magic or my former 16 Wenonah Advantage. The longer boats have a higher top end speed possibility, if the paddler can take advantage of it.
I paddled a sea lion about 15 years ago (tours around Casco Bay — hi!) and recently demoed a Delta 15s and 15.5GT on the west coast. I’m 5’11”and 155lb, so the 15s was the better fit. I found they both handled well and the “amenities” on a new thermoform boat were so luxurious compared to the old sea lion that I was in paddler heaven. Seats, hatches, weight. I ultimately went w a composite layup from Current Designs; my paddling may be a little impact-risky compared to yours. But I’m guessing you’ll love the deltas for their all-roundedness, even if the boat doesn’t track like that tank of a sea lion.
Edit: you gotta demo these boats; don’t just order from REI!
Thanks much for the input. I may go to the demo day I mentioned and at least try the Journey and maybe even the Fathom, as they have a very nice used one for sale. The 15.5 also seems to be well liked per the above.
I’ve seen a comment or two on other forums saying the the Delta 14 is a bit of a barge… sorry to hear that as I’m still wondering whether that boat or even the Delta 12.10 might be enough for the kayaking I reasonably plan to do these days… no overnight trips or even day paddling more than 8-10 miles expected. Specifically, I’m wondering if a smaller, lighter kayak might tempt me to actually get out on the water more often.
With regard to the tours around Casco Bay from AlwaysWet above… I spent most of my time on Frye’s Island. Wondering if you ever made a trip to Squaw Island just north of Casco Bay and a few miles south of Frye’s Island?
By the way… essentially no chance of demoing the Deltas as they seem to be very hard to find on this coast. I’d hate to take advantage of REI, but they are wonderful about taking back anything they sell for up to a year. Wish they stocked one or more of the Deltas in their stores. Anyone know if REI has any Deltas in any stores even remotely close to Richmond, VA?
Check rei stock o line
I’m seeing great reviews on the Delta 12.10. Still wondering how the Delta paddles/handles compared to the 12.10. REI has just come out with their 15% off sale so I’m going to go with one or the other. Need input if anyone can offer it. Still got the used Eddyline Fathom in the back of my mind. If I were 10 years younger I’d jump on that in a heartbeat, but I’m probably beyond overnighted at my age… but still thinking about it. Help…
I meant how the Delta 14 paddles compared to the 12.10
I have the Delta 12S that I use to paddle lakes and rivers. I’m very happy with the size, weight, and handling. I’m 5’7”, 150# and it fits me well. The smaller size makes maneuvering narrow passageways easy for me. I plan to get a longer kayak before going on the ocean, though. I really like the hatches (especially the day hatch), deck rigging, and seat on the Delta. I imagine the 12.10, being a little bigger would fit you well and handle similarly.
Don’t even think about anything shorter than 14 feet and if you really plan to take the boat anywhere but little ponds, be sure it is unsinkable. Your age and size shouldn’t be a problem. I’m about your size and three years older and the boat I use the most is 19’-2".
Don’t even think about anything shorter than 14 feet.
There are several reliable kayaks under 14’ that can be used safely on lakes and sheltered ocean areas. At the top of the list is the Delta 12.10, which I’ve used off the Blue Hill area in Maine and on large lakes in very rough water. My current Hurricane Sojourn 136 is far more stable than my previous 15 footer.
I can think of several good reasons to consider these short kayaks—the stability of these specific models; lighter weight; easier loading; easier carrying around and storage; increased use due to easier loading; much more maneuverable in winding marshes and streams; and believe it or not, increased carrying capacity. My Sojourn easily carries gear for 5 days, including a cot and chair.
So yes, do think about kayaks in the 12-13.5’ range, with the caveat that the hull design needs to be right for primary and secondary stability, maneuverability, tracking, and reasonable efficiency. In other words, judge all kayaks by the way they handle, not their length.