Day Touring Boat

I’m ready to move out of the Rec kayaks… I’m looking to buy a Perception carolina 14.5… I currently have an Arcadia 12.5. Before i start shopping around i wanted to see how much of a difference i will notice between the 2 boats…

I want my new boat something i can grow into… Ive had the Arcadia about a year.

Should i got for a 14.5 or 16.?

I will be paddling lakes, bays and oceans on calm days…

Thanks for your help and advice…

More info needed.
I have never paddles a Carolina 14, but they sure do seem to be popular. Several years ago when I attended the ECCKF in Charleston SC they were everywhere. Sort of a Volkskayak.

I did paddle a c-16 years ago when I was shopping for my first touring kayak. It is suited to bigger/heavier paddlers, and has a very roomy cockpit. Unless you are a big person, I would not recommend it.


Carolina 14.5?
What would be the next step up from the Carolina 14.5?

I’m aroud 5’ 160lb.


how about a plastic Valley Avocet?
It’s 16 feet long, 22 inches wide, and it’s a wonderful sea kayak for all skill levels.

Try a Tempest 165

From a rec boat to
any carolina is not take much of a step up. I had a Carolina. It was a good boat but very wide and kind of slow. The challange will be gone after a few weeks. I would suggest a longer narrower boat.

Find a demo day or a outfitter that will let you rent or try different boats. Find something you will not out grow as fast.

Thanks for the advise… My budget is a $1,000

Any other models to check out/test drive…

Check Out Used Boats
if you’re limited to $1000.

seconding used
This is a great time to pick up a used or demo boat.

If you are ready to move up from a rec boat, buy a real kayak - something around 16’ or longer and narrower than 24". There are a lot of used poly boats for sale under $1000. Otherwise you are likely to not feel much difference and grow out of it pretty quickly.

Tempest 165
second and third Kudzu’s suggestion for a Tempest 165.


I have one
I bought adn Avocet RM last year and love it!


These are all…
really good suggestions for you. Demo…demo…demo…and demo and look for a used boat that you can truly grow into. But then of course, ‘growing into’ is an interesting operational definition. You may want to talk with an experienced paddler who has no investment in selling you a boat…and assess where you want to be in terms of paddling skills by the end of the paddling season. And then demo a bunch of boats that will provide what you need. Great advice about purchasing a used boat. At this point, I only build my own boats or purchase used ones…my .02.



I suggest the Prijon Calabria
I have really enjoyed my Prijon Calabria for the past 4 years. 14.5 long, 25 in wide. Excellent for day touring in the conditions you described. Plastic is very sturdy and the hull design makes it easier to manuver and lots of fun. Also very adjustable and can fit a variety of paddlers. I am about 6 ft and weigh around 195. Very comfortable. Price is around $1,000.

As they all say - try, demo and try them again. A boat is much different on dry land compared to in test paddles. Even rent the one you think you like to give it a good try out.

Enjoy the journey…

You’re 5 ft?
If your height in the above post is correct, you are going to have a devil of a time finding a boat that gives you the kind of thigh contact that you need for good boat control in more challenging conditions. Don’t know what you mean by growing into the boat, but over time that’s usually what people do with these things. Buying used may give you a much better chance of finding a boat in the 16’ range that fits you better. And you’ll get more boat for the money.

I don’t know the WS Tempests well, but there’s a good chance you’ll do well with a Tempest 165. And just for the heck of it, see if you can find an Impex Mystic (RM or glass) to try. They show up used, and their conbination of a lowered deck in a cockpit that is not an uncommon size opening may give you a fit that can be padded out well. Or maybe a Necky Elaho - had a pretty aggressive set of braces but an otherwise not bad fit for a north american boat. And at 160 pounds you have the weight for the Elaho.

I bought my Tempest 170 for $750 at an end of year sale. It was a rental and demo boat. I also had a budget of 1000. By the time you get a paddle float, paddle, pfd, whistle, and a couple of other small items, your budget is shot. So…

You really need to be lookign used for the best boat for you. Scratches mean nothing and as long as the bulkheads don’t leak excessively and the deck lines and other safety features are intact, you are good to go.


I said buy a 16 ft. boat. I did not notice you size. Being 5 ft. tall that might be a bite to long.(?)

I’m wife and here friend have Neckie Looksha Sports. It’s 14.5 ft. long. My wifes friend is less the 5 ft. and she loves it. So does my wife.

There are several for sale in the “Classified Ad”


Just a thought.

Good luck

Another Boat Suggestion…
The dagger specter is a solid boat and in the Airalite plastic they make one 15’ and change. I have one and I do like it… should be easily attainable within your budget as I bought mine (5 months old) from a dealer who used these for training for around $900.

Look at the Catalina from Prijon.

A woman in TX has one for sale now on Pnet for $800, see classifieds. Shipping likely about $150. A very fine boat. You can see a mention of it in the Prijon thread.

Note that if you want wider beam, the Prijon Seayak-- theri most popular boat-- can be found for about $1000 used, and it is very seaworthy and about 23-24 inch beam.