Everyone gives different advice about following seas!

Thanks all for these most useful replies. I’m feeling so much more cautious than before I started this thread. Safety is indeed the bottom line. Though it’s about fun too!

Thanks for sharing about your boat karen2. I’ve owned 3 kayaks - a 4.2m fibreglass Solution Escape (fat deep boat that I liked except for sliding rudder controls), a Finn Affinity sit on top, and currently a Bay Sports Expedition Zero. All paddled almost entirely on the river. The Expedition Zero would perhaps have been okay for Magnetic Island trips, but I’m not sure as it has a fairly flat bottom, cramps my feet a bit like your boat, and overall doesn’t seem the best kayak for me to start out sea paddling with. I wanted 2 kayaks anyway so friends who don’t have a kayak can join me, so I’ve just bought another one.

My new kayak - just started on its road journey to me from Wollongong - is an Australis Iguana. I expect that may not meet with great approval here as it’s nothing like a Current Designs Caribou (which looks amazing btw) or other slender & elegant craft that seem to be popular amongst serious sea kayakers. I prioritised stable and seaworthy, which the Iguana clearly is - I have quite given up caring about speed! I know I will feel confident in my initial forays into choppy seas in this. What clinched the deal for me is that it is modular, so I can just pop a 16 foot sea kayak in the back of my SUV and head for the beach. The best kayak is the one that I actually paddle, and I know that convenience will help me a lot in paddling regularly.

Here’s a link to the Iguana, which has been paddled 2000km around the southern tip of Africa by Beau Miles. Dave at Australis told me last week that a few of them are currently being paddled on an expedition in the Northwest Passage:

And from Beau Miles’ 2007 diary about the Iguana: “Kayak rolling brilliantly in side, stem and stern busting waves. Happy with beautiful kayak… The Kayak (Australis Iguana) is simply amazing and capable of going around the world - I could have sold her 10 times already. I take my hat off to John, Dave and the Australis Crew in Wollongong for creating one beautiful craft.”

I think it should get me to Magnetic Island :smile:

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I see full deck lines, multiple bulkheads. And a day hatch, something which I find convenient.
Like it!

gday Jewelsea,

I am a coastal paddler just a few hours North of Townsville based at Mission Beach.

I can’t help much with advice apart from making sure you fit your boat and using a spray deck. This will help you feel part of your boat which makes an amazing difference with how you can move with the choppy nearshore Coral Sea conditions.

Great tip here about planning for an extended stop. We’ve paddled across to Dunk Island but when we get they think “now what?”. We’ve then just turned around and paddled back to the mainland with fatigue setting in. Planning for future Dunk paddles will include food and drinks and camp chairs for a comfy rest stop.

Send me a private message and I’ll send our contact details if you’re ever heading up this way and want to do a Dunk Is paddle.
cheers …, kimbo

Flatter bottomed kayaks have initial stability, but poor secondary stability.
Rounder bottomed kayaks have less initial stability but good secondary stability.
V bottomed kayaks are somewhere in between.
The more experience you have and the rougher conditions the more you want a kayak with a rounder hull.

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They give different advice because …Depending on the kayak design…many kayaks and many water/wave conditions act different . There is no one answer.