Please provide some feedback on the Delta kayaks. I’m considering buying the 16 footer. I live in The Seattle area. I’m a beginner. I do appreciate your input. Thank-you.
There are six reviews here…
I haven’t paddled any Delta kayaks, so I have no personal feedback.
Performance touring vs touring
The Delta 16 is in the performance touring category, not usually where a beginner would start. If your ambitions are to become competent quickly, it could be OK.
Personally, I would recommend the 14 in the touring category for a beginner, the 15.5 would be for a large person.
Thanks for your help guys. Maybe I should consider the 15.5 expedition?
They describe the 15.5 as a minivan - it’s for a big person and/or lots of cargo, enough for a 2 week trip. If that’s you and what you plan to do, fine.
If you’re just a regular-size person looking to learn and do day trips, the 14 would be much better. Also, it’s 12 pounds lighter(!). I have a 52 pound kayak and a 41 pound kayak, and the difference carrying and loading them is profound.
How tall and how much do you weigh?
Rent one and see?
You are pretty golden living where you do that you should have the ability to rent a variety of models to really get a feel for what you like. It’s funny with kayaks how an inch of deck height can make a big difference or some other small detail. It’s really nice to be able to spend a couple of hours in a model you are considering just to see. I’ve bought boats without trying them first and had both good and bad results. You are a short drive (1/2 day) from demoing pretty much whatever you want though. I wish I was so lucky.
We rented a couple of 16’s for some beginners on a family trip one day and they did just fine in them. Have you paddled one yet? You are within these guys suggested weights for it. http://frontenac-outfitters.com/kayaks/kayaks/delta-16-kayak-skeg/
You didn’t say what sort of paddling you are planning on doing? Lake/Ocean I assume? Planning on day paddling or multi day trips?
Perhaps a good question to ask here instead of would this model work (unless you’ve demoed it and loved it of course) is Which boats would you guys suggest for someone my size for my intended use? Then you could take that list and see what’s available for rent in your area. Maybe consider getting a roof rack and a PFD up front and renting a while? (Unless you’ve already gone through this)
If general sea kayaking is your intended use I’d try to rent your chosen Delta 16, the new 17 and a Tempest 170 as well. There are people here with a lot more experience than myself that hopefully would have more suggestions as well.
Hopefully some of that was helpful.
I have a Delta 17 Expedition (2012 model). A great boat for long distance touring. Very stable. Also if you have to deal with the company, they are very helpful. I had a couple of problems early on. One of the inner neoprene hatch covers had its elastic fail - stitching came undone, but they shipped me a replacement overnight. And I lost the screw that adjusts the seat - again replaced immediately. Will be taking it down the Mississippi this year and around to Texas.
Other things being equal (which they are not), a longer, narrower kayak will be faster than a shorter, pudgier kayak. If you paddle in a group who are mostly in 17’ boats, then you’ll struggle to keep up in a 14’.
The advice to try various boats and accrue some experience is important. If new at this, you’ll find that kayaks that initially feel comfortably stable, will eventually feel and handle like barges. Some that initially feel tippy, will eventually feel stable and more nimble than the barges.
Reviews on paddling.net must be read with a grain of salt. New owners fall in love with their new babies, warts and all. If the reviewer seems very experienced, you may get a usable review (and likely lower than a 10 out of 10 rating).
As a beginner, my first kayak was about 17’4" long and 22" wide. It was a nice size for this 5’ 5" tall septuagenarian.
Can’t be expected
to do any independent research… It always baffles me because it’s quicker to google something than to make a forum post and wait.