Day Touring vrs Touring Kayak

Hi folks, first post here, new to Kayaking and starting some initial research on finding a kayak and waiting til spring to try some on.

Was looking at Perception’s website and they list two categorys- Touring and Day Touring, what is the difference between the two, like for example, the Monterey 13.5 vrs the Sonoma 13.5, The Monterey is a Day Touring and the Sonoma is a Touring. If they’re roughly the same size, what would be the difference in features or intent of use? I’ve tried to email Perception but both emails bounced.

Having said that, I’m looking for a touring kayak for a beginner with at least 4500ci of space. I am a small 5’5"/130lb fit male who is an experienced cyclist, bike tourer, backpacker, and X-C skier interested in the water now.

I’m kind of set on a 14’-15’ length tourer that is fairly lightweight and around $1200 or less. Has good secondary stability and good tracking in all conditions. I live in NJ and would think I’d like to try the easier sections of the Delaware, as well as perhaps hike them to backcountry lakes and extended trips down rivers. I also live right by Campmor so I have access to Dagger, Perception, Current Designs, and Wilderness Systems. I’ve also checked out some yaks from WS, specifically the Cape Horn 150 which is longer than the Monterey.




– Last Updated: Jan-13-04 1:14 PM EST –

Touring - generally refers to the longer, more volume boats equipped for rougher conditions and longer trips.

Day touring - generally the cross-over from "rec" to touring. These boats generally are shorter 14'-16', slightly wider than tourers targeted for the same size range but significantly narrower than a rec boat. Still they have, in most boats I looked at, enough volume to for several days to a week. These boats tend to still focus more on initial stablility than then secondary. Will allow a relative beginner to feel comfortable but have enough flair in the hull to do some edging and leaning.

I think if you're an atheletic type, tend to focus and progress quickly in skills, are not doing alot of overnighters but want performance, you may actually want to go to a lower volume touring boat right from the start. Examples include CD slipsteam, Impex Montauk, VCP Anas Acuta/Pintail, Eddyline Nighthawk, Necky Chatham 16, WS Tempest 165, Elaho, Impex Mystic Etc.

If your paddling waters are mostly inland, you may go with the shorter lengths. For ocean, you may want longer for a tad more speed (provided your "motor" is up for it -- sounds like it is).

Go through the search function, and look through the pass year at discussion around "small paddlers" or "low volume boats." Lots of suggestions and insights in those threads.

I know some of the boats I suggested retail new at higher prices than you said you were willing to pay. But, if you take your time and look through want ads, including those here, you can end up with a very good condition used composite boat in that price range, and a plastic boat at much less.


If you
are planning on lots of small streams,rivers,creeks I would recommend a shorter boat13’ or so or shorter. otherwise longer are a bit easier to maintain speed. Just my opinion.

Lots of good discussions about small paddlers in the archives. I’d add the WS Tchaika to sing’s list. And if you want a project, you’d be a good fit in a Pygmy Tern 14.

You might want to look around for a pool class this winter. It’s a great way to get started. A lot of folks here suggest taking classes before you buy a boat so you’ll be able to make a more informed choice.

If you have year-round paddling stores nearby, winter can be a good time to poke around, sit in boats, and get a feel for things before the rush in the spring. At your size it’ll be important to find a cockpit that fits(or can be made to fit) well enough to give you good control when you want to edge the boat. A low foredeck will also make paddling more comfortable.

I think projects are out of my timeframe, but thanks for the advice. I think I am going to stick to mostly inland rivers and possibly bay areas so I think I’m going for a small rec/touring kayak somewhere in the 12-13’ range. is not far from my sister by Sandy Hook so I could always stop by on a weekend, I believe they are year round, they look HUGE by the photo on their website.

Anyway, I want to go to the Paddlesport expo in march and then take a class and demo the goods there when the pond thaws! But just looking at specs and stuff, I’ve kind of found a few models that look interesting…

WS Shaman, the Dagger Blackwater 12.5, the new CD Kestrel 120

I see a ton of good looking 14’ers but I think I’m going to initially stick to mostly inland flatware, lakes and stuff since I live more inland than at the shore. I am an avid backpacker so I have alot of ultralight gear, enough that I can easily do overnighters with 3500ci of gear space.

Anybody know anything about the new CD Kestrels, not much info, including no reviews here on this site.


Some other suggestions…
As usual, the previous posters have most of the angles covered already, but as someone of identical physical proportions (fit 5’5", 130#), I’d add the CD Squamish and Necky Tikani to your list of boats to try. Based on your criteria, the Squamish might fit your needs nicely (the Tikani is a bit more playful, and its shorter length causes it to lose a bit on tracking). Check out the reviews on those in addition to the other ones mentioned previously.

Seconding sing’s post, if you have a fairly short learning curve when it comes to athletic endeavors AND can put in some time on lessons this winter, I strongly recommend going directly to the lower volume boats. I bought a 14’ light touring boat as my first and outgrew it rather quickly (though friends/guests who are novices love to use it). The lower volume, narrower boats fit SO much better and allow you to do a whole lot more with less effort.

I think so…
I think I’d like a shorter ~13’ boat for inland paddling, flatware, lakes, etc. I also would like a boat that I wont outgrow to fast, in other words, perhaps a low volume boat is a good idea. I am not a fisherman and I just looked at the Necky Tikani or if I win the lottery or so, the Eddyline Merlin LT.

Otherwise, the really short 12’ boats in my previous shortlist I mentioned.

I almost guarantee I’ll change my mind when I actually go out and test paddle them this spring, but I guess that is the joys of shopping. I like the demo or used idea so that might further narrow my choices to basically what’s available.