Elie Horizon 130T? Other Suggestions?

-- Last Updated: Jun-01-11 11:45 AM EST --

Hi! I am a beginner kayaker and looking for a decent tandem kayak for my hubby and I. We are brand new to kayaking, actually. It would just be recreational, perhaps fishing a little here or there.
We would be using is on the Gulf and local lakes.

We've looked into Hobie Odyssey and Kona, Perception Tribe 13.5, Wilderness Tarpon 130T and Malibu Kayaks Pro2 Tandem. Upon much googling and internet shopping I came across a good deal on ebay for an Elie Horizon 130T kayak with paddles and seats $868.00 delivered.

Is Elie a good brand? It seems like it is from Canada. So I am unsure why it's being offered in the U.S., but I am not sure that matters.

Basically, the reason we are considering this one is because it has dry hatches, bow and stern wells, cup holders and is a complete package under $1k. We are also seriously considering the Hobies, but are trying to find something a bit less expensive if we can, while maintaining the dry storage hatches. I like the price of the Perception Tribe 13.5, but it lacks dry storage.

Can a hatch be added to the Perception Tribe 13.5??

A local shop sells the Perception, Wilderness and Hobie. Any others we've found online. Any advice for any of these kayaks (especially the Elie), or suggestions that would fit our needs? Thanks!

Pond paddling
Looks like a pond paddling boat. Since that is what you say you are interested in it’s probably good enough.

I doesn’t seem to have rod holders or other fishing outfitting, so if that’s a serious concern you might be buying more accessories.

The Tarpon line is generally a fishing kayak, but the tandem doesn’t seem to have any rod holders either.

The hatches on the Horizon look tiny. I doubt that you’ll get much more than your car keys and wallet in there.

Don’t forget to buy PFDs too.

Small hatches
Not sure if this matters- but we live on the Gulf of Mexico, and we’d be using it in bays and the sound mostly. Otherwise, we’d use it on lakes.

Hatches: We’d probably only use them for small items such as keys and wallet. Thank you!