Could someone help me please?


I really need to advice and help in general on a few topics.

I’ve been looking to get into kayaking for about two years now (I’m 15 years old, 6’2 and weigh 172 pounds) and I’ve come across a boat listed on a classifieds for a very reasonable price. It looks to be a Current Designs sea kayak (As stated in the description) 19 feet long and made of fiberglass, but the owner is unsure of the model. I’ve been looking all over Google for the past week and I’ve come to the conclusion that I THINK it’s a Current Designs Extreme or a Current Designs Nomad GTS. Could someone help indentify the kayak and tell me if it’s worth picking up for $75? I’m completlely new to kayaking. I’ve been canoeing for a bit now, so I know the basics (Using a single bladed paddle anyways) but I’ve personally never been inside of a kayak besides sitting inside of one in a store. Do you think it’d be a bit too much to start kayaking on a 19 foot long 49 pound sea kayak? It’s the only kayak that I’ve found at a reasonable price and I think I could possibly flip it if I bought it. Buy it for $75 and eventually sell it for a more reasonable kayak (Like a 10-12 foot) I’d mainly use it on the Delaware River in New Jersey, but occasionally it’d be on the Gulf of Mexico. I feel like it’d be great for stability and long durations on the water, but how well does it turn? And would it be too tippy? Also, how do adjustments go? I read online that thigh braces have to be made specifc to every person. Thanks for your time!

Just buy the boat: you have nothing to lose at $75 unless it’s completely not seaworthy, and even then you can probably get most of your money back by selling the rudder on eBay. Get a decent paddle and a PFD, and make sure the kayak is seaworthy (and that you can paddle it) on a small lake or pond before you get onto the river. Get a spray skirt, especially if your area is windy at all, or if you ever plan to be on rough or fast water. Read up on self-rescue. Look around for a used roof rack that will fit your vehicle; foam racks may work for a while if you don’t have to drive fast or far.

The next poster will point out something obvious that I’m not thinking about.

I’d buy it too just to try it out if nothing else, then you can always clean her up and find it a new home. If you don’t want her tell me where she is. :slight_smile:

Run, don’t walk, to buy that kayak at that price.

Should be a great boat for your suggested use on the Delaware river and Gulf of Mexico.

Practice your balancing and basic strokes and turning on a calm lake before putting it on a river or Gulf.

As long as you keep your head between the sides of the kayak and don’t lean over the sides, you should stay upright.

Keep your hips loose to move with the waves to keep your balance.

Also, a 46" bent shaft canoe paddle should work well for you in that kayak, since you’re already familiar with canoe strokes.

At that price buy it, just start out with it in a place you can capsize without it being a big deal. And after paddling a real sea kayak you will not find yourself wanting to go back to a 10 to 12 foot rec boat by the way.

The boat is definitely in the Solstice family of CD boats. And I think you are correct in pinning it as an Extreme or a kin, the Nomad. If it is, neither of these boats love to turn. They like to go straight fast. And have a more aggressive stability curve than some of the other Solstice boats like the Squall or its larger version. So take it some place where you can get wet near shore and mess around in some wind turning it before you try any larger bodies of water with current or boat traffic.

But for $75 grab it and get some seat time. At the least you will find out everything you need to learn to be able to really enjoy kayaking.

Looks to be in decent shape, as well. It’s a steal at the price, and probably just needs some tlc. Being a fiberglass boat means repairs should not be overly difficult and learning to repair glass and gel coat can be a useful skill.

As for your other concerns:
-don’t worry too much about the boat length - unless you develop a sudden urge to run class III water, it’ll do fine for your described paddling
-most plastic boats, without a rudder, weigh in at 45-55 lbs. without a rudder, so at 50 lbs with a rudder, it should be pretty manageable for someone your size. Lifting is fine exercise anyway, right? :).
-looks like a later model solstice to me, as well. Probably going to like to stay low to the water and produce a dryer ride than the earlier ones, but due to the minimal bow/stern rocker, it will probably have a lot of waterline and track well. It looks to me as though it will turn decently when leaned.
-check the bulkheads for integrity and make sure they are still in decent shape: if not, either get them replaced or install float bags.
-check the keel for signs of dragging and need of repair. The mud at the rear suggests that it was (at least) stored outside or dragged to its current location for the photo. If you don’t want to do the repair yourself, a local shop can probably do whatever work needs to be done
-definitely repair the hole in the top deck or mount something useful, like a compass/gps, to plug the hole


Oops - missed the hole. But gel coat is really easy to repair especially if you are a mess like me and don’t care about getting it finely finished. The gel coat is an easy thing to do, just get the two tubes of goop from a marine store like West Marine or Hamilton Marine and do it outdoors (fumes). They will likely have color tints right next to the gel coat repair stuff.

IF the hole is thru the fiberglass underneath, you will need to epoxy in a fiberglass patch. Again, something that you can do yourself for something of this size.

One issue that you need to confirm with boats of this era - ARE the inner neoprene hatch covers also available with the boat? Those hard hatches leak without the neo underneath. I think you can find them, and at $75 for the boat there is plenty of room left to get them. But don’t take it on the water without those neo covers, since without them a capsize could result in the boat being on the bottom of the pond.

So much very useful and educated information. I really appreciate everyones time and dedication to help, it means a lot.

I plan to practice it on a small calm branch of the Delaware River to start out (It’s about 100-200 feet wide) It has little to no wake or current whenever no wind is present.

What should I be looking for whenever we go to look at the boat? Just the typical cracks, deep scratches, gouges and etc?

I never even thought to look at the bulkeheads. Thanks for the reminder haha

My father use to be a mechanic for 20 years, so he knows how to use fiberglass and other materials, so that isn’t really an issue I think

I’ve never heard of neoprene hatch covers before. If there isn’t any, then shouldn’t there be a gasket on the inside?

Thanks again for all of your help

The boats of this era from CD, with a peaked deck, generally had inner neoprene covers that essentially were the gasket. The hard hatch covers formed a reliable seal because of the inner neoprene liner. FYI, they are easy to get, like here And other places.

Or they may be with the boat - with the hard shll covers on no way to tell. Here are some pics.

The hard hatch covers were held on via straps that ran acoss the hatch cover and clipped together, as in the above images. In your photos, there are what look like three straps hooked up over the rear hatch cover and at least the setup for the three straps over the front cover. In fact the straps may be all there and are unclipped and hanging by the side of the boat in one of the pictures. It is hard to tell. Either way, enough of what you need is there to complete the rest for a $75 buy in.

Take a look at where it got dragged, but if your dad can help with any repairs it’d likely have to be much worse than it look like in the pictures for that to be a problem you couldn’t solve.

The peaked deck on this boat fixes its era. My first sea kayak was a Squall of this design phase…

Ahh, I see. I saw some of those on Ebay awhile back. I’ll look into it once I go to see the boat in person (Hopefully today)

buy it for 75 and then double your money and sell it to me for 150.

You will find it an excellent kayak and fast. Gaskets for the hatches are available as all parts for it from Current Designs. They slide right on easily and are better than the gaskets they used a few years ago. It probably needs deck lines for sure no big deals. Dump the Yakima pedals if you like the boat for 75 bucks you can get the Sea-lect pedals that will bolt in. You will need to replace the steering cables if you do that also. Your done for 100. It is an Extreme which is 21.25" x 18-10" or 18.83’. It’s the type of boat when you get used to it you will see it’s a keeper. I have two a regular and High Volume which is 3/4" higher deck. Last two digits on rear of the hull is the year. It’s early 2000’s from rudder shape is my guess. Black rail / seam doesn’t look faded that bad so it has been under cover and not in the sun. Grab it you’ll have an excellent sea kayak not a toy for real cheap and never lose a dime on it. You will be surprised how gel coat will buff up. Plug the hole with epoxy and put a decal over it. I restored one to like new condition that was so dirty you couldn’t tell what color it was. Bulkheads were plastic back then and they are set in silicone if they are there which I think they are they night need some new sealant but it’s 5 minutes work. Probably don’t even need it. Hull shape is identical to a brand new one. My first time in a Extreme / Nomad I rented I was exhausted in 1 hour from twitching. Few times out and it feels totally different so don’t let that put you off. Cruises at 4.5 and top speed for me is 6.9 mph. Doesn’t turn on a dime for me but someone that could really edge could probably spin it easily. Does cover ground well and in rougher water it’s a dry ride. The thigh braces will be fine when you adjust the pedals. You’ll never look back at a rec boat if you give this Extreme 4-5 hr. of practice. Fix it up and you could flip it for 750+


It is a sea kayak. Get a decent kayak paddle. That single blade paddle will not do. You will not be able to brace on either side when you need to. AND you’ll need to at first a lot. It’s kinda like riding a bicycle for the first time…lots of wobble till you get your balance. Every new boat that’s narrow’r than the last is tippy, till you get used to it. Remember too that the rudder is for trim not steering. Your paddle and “edge” is for steering.

My wife rented a few boats when she was getting into kayaking. She didn’t like the plastic tubs in the 10 and 12 ft range the outfitters had locally. She got me to go with her to Sweetwater Kayaks in St Petersburg, FL and get a brand new Valley Etain, 17’3" kayak, Its not unheard of to start with a real seakayak. It is the difference between a 2mph struggle and a 4 mph glide.

For $75 dollars I’d draft up a bill of sale where they can put the sellers information down…in case you need that information later.

How does a rudder trim a kayak?

(typos corrected) By helping the stern to resist getting blown sideways in quartering or broadside winds. Trim is not just weight distribution. While I am here, sailing is a source of some of the more universally useful concepts for kayaking as well as other activities, because water current and wind exert similar forces on a solid object. It is not a bad idea to get those concepts under your belt for kayaking.

@PaddleDog52 said:
How does a rudder trim a kayak?

If the incoming tide is wanting your stern to turn or a wind or quartering sea is wanting your boat to “round up” (sailing term) into the wind the rudder “trims” (aviation term) the boat so it doesn’t do that. If it wants to go left a little right rudder takes that out. Yes, you and I just paddle different and faster and let the boat dynamics take over. But if you want to throw the rudder hard over and make a sharp turn it just doesn’t do that well.

lost me with aviation term trim when talking about kayaks or a boat. thanks

Trim is a standard boating term and should be familiar to anyone who uses powerboats, as well. The only difference between an aircraft and a boat is the medium. An aircraft only has to deal with air/wind, while boats have the resistance of water as well. Trim, as a concept, is maintaining the cleanest (least resistant) profile possible when moving through a fluid. As applies to kayaks, a rudder can help attain that trim, but there is the additional factor that the rudder/skeg, by definition, increases resistance.

The other issue for kayaks is the comfort of the paddler. Trimming the boat with ruddering or altered strokes as a swell passes beneath also causes resistance. There is a point where the rudder/skeg provide more benefit than loss. Where that point is, however, is dependent on a few things, not the least of which is the efficiency of the paddler when making adjustments to their strokes to maintain a decent trim (ie. like the j-stroke used in canoes to offset the trim loss each time the paddle is pulled on one side).