Fast Touring Kayak?

Figured with Spring coming up people might be selling their kayaks more, maybe if they want something newer so I might be able to test them (or at least sit in them.) Also I am hoping to find some demo days coming up.

Unless I just find an amazing deal I probably won’t buy one this year but I would like to get all the demo’s in that I can so I would like to know generally what to be looking at.

If you read my WW post this might sound familiar, I figured two posts would be better.

In this one I would like to talk about a touring kayak. I would be looking for the fastest touring kayak I can afford. Not worried about storage space or turning ability, just speed and comfort. Try to keep the price under 5k. I much prefer sit in kayaks but I’m not sure if fast touring kayaks are mostly sit on tops?

I’m almost 6 foot tall, 110 lbs. This would be used on lakes or very large rivers, doubtful it will ever see the sea. My outings would be for 12-14 hours. Any other information required?

(If you didn’t read the other post I really appreciate everyone’s help, I have my “general purpose” kayak narrowed down.)

QCC -700 or Epic 18
Both fast and both can handle any water.

The QCC has large compartment covers

Get one with a rudder

Jack L

At 110 Pounds

– Last Updated: Jan-10-15 6:04 AM EST –

I'd be looking at low volume boats. You can move the seat back on a lot of boats to accommodate your height.


– Last Updated: Jan-10-15 10:39 AM EST –

Ok, I had to double check your previous post on 110lb. at 6'. You're a skinny tall drink o' water.

P&H Cetus LV. I've used the Cetus MV (I'm heavier) in numerous 14-64 races and done better better than OK.

As I see Willowleaf indicates you've size 13 feet then the shoe choice is going to influence your fit and comfort in a number of kayaks. 'Course you could go with a Valley Rapier 20. I'll tell you more of the fit on that when mine comes in March.

I'm sure other suggestions will follow.

See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY

For light folks

– Last Updated: Jan-10-15 10:06 AM EST –

The Kayak Pro Nemo is a much better fit and will behave better on the water than either the QCC700 or Epic 18. Fastest 18 footer you'll find for light folks. If you have large feet you won't fit in it though.

Also consider the Pace series by Tiderace.

The Cetus MV (or maybe even the LV for your weight if you fit in it?) is nice too and more of a "sea kayak" rather than race-oriented fast kayak. But unless you spring for the most expensive layup, it is heavy.

I would also consider the surfskis with hatches if a sit on top works for you. They are more ergonomic and lighter in general, but you are exposed to the elements (can be food or bad)

Big feet

– Last Updated: Jan-10-15 10:30 AM EST –

I was involved in the OP's previous inquiries -- complicating his boat selections (and which he didn't mention here yet) is size 13 feet.

Frankly, silvercobra, your best bet would be a custom built skin on frame which would be tailored to your unusual body conformation. These usually run from $1500 to $2500 and the builders can make a low volume boat with a little more room for those dogs of yours. And the kayak would weigh under 35 lbs. I've got an 18' West Greenland SOF that's only 31 lbs and is wickedly fast. It's the green one shown in the shop shots in the "gallery" on this website:

Just Google "custom skin on frame kayak" and you'll find lots of builders. Brian Schulz, of Cape Falcon Kayak has a terrific website and blog with great background on this kind of boat. He also builds them to order for $2000 -- you would have to check with him on what his projected delivery would be. He could also tell you who some of the other good builders are.

These boats are not only beautiful, light and fun to paddle, they are chick magnets (in my case, guy magnets.)

Be aware that any touring boat that is going to be very fast is also going to feel unstable and "loose" to you initially. It will take getting used to.

Size 15 bere
I’m size 15US and also 4" taller at 6’4". With long legs (36-37") inseam, that eliminated most of the boats I suggested above. The Valley Rapier 18 fit me even with WW style booties though. But it is a demanding boat, a bit more so than the others I mentioned. Worth a try though - the seat was too narrow for me but would be perfect for someone with narrower thigh bones.

That said, size 13 and say 32" inseam might fit in some of the abovementioned kayaks fine (perhaps the Marlin version of the Nemo from Kayak Pro).

Portland Boat Show

– Last Updated: Jan-10-15 3:51 PM EST –

If you were able to attend the Portland, Oregon boat show--which is going on right now, you could pick up a brand new, beautiful 15'-8" fiberglass sea kayak for the grand total of $1099. NC Kayaks has many others at $1000 off the regular price. Their models are 15'-8", 17'-2" and 19'-2". They are all very fast, light and gorgeous sea kayaks. You can see some of them at And they are all built right here in the USA.

Going fishing?
Or trolling?

6’ 110lbs and male
Barely seems possible.

I’d do a qcc 700, if for nothing else, the big hatches.

It is though
I’m not sure how I am so light, people can look right at me and still not believe.

Thanks so much Willow and everyone else.

I will keep my eyes open but it looks like a skin on frame will probably be my choice so it can be custom made to my odd size.

Also thanks for mentioning my foot size, completely forgot.

For those non-believers
Here is a link to a few of my pictures showing my body size.

I am the one in the red swim shorts

How comfortable is your skin on frame kayak?

Also do they normally have deck rigging or is that something you have to add?

Would you say that is your fastest boat?

I’m not overly worried about stability and know that comes with time. I’m an extremely balanced person and actually have more fun in the boats I am told are “tippy”

Don’t doubt you
I have a 16 year old nephew who’s at least 5’ 10" or more (I have to look up at him) and 105#, think his shoe size is 11. You’re both bean-pole ectomorphs and lucky to be that way.

Never heard that word before.

I’m not the biggest fan about my body type but I know it could be much, much worse. I’d like to slap every single person though that tells me I need to eat more.

Hey Willow, answer my other questions about SOF :slight_smile:


– Last Updated: Jan-11-15 12:50 PM EST –

I built a Cape Falcon SC-1, essentially the same as the current F1. They're as comfortable as you make them, as the seat can be anything you need. Likewise with deck rigging - Brian equips them with latigo (leather) cords, but I swapped mine out for bunges, also added a painter to the front deck and paddle keeper to the rear:

On the water, SOF are quieter and less jarring when going over waves and wakes - the frame and skin both flex. A Cape Falcon LPB (Long Pointy Boat) might be right up your alley. It's a stretched F1, made for speed. The front deck could even be raised to make room for your feet.

It's worth reading Brian's description of his boats, he's very good at explaining the tradeoffs in kayak design:

skin !
I had not run across skin for touring. How are you on skin with sticks n clams n whatnot ? Review for us ?

But what’s with FAST TOURING ? why fast ? too weak at 110 ? Fast usually implies edgy/nervous/less than stable not to discumb the true experts here for whom genetic true balance allows paddling a rope… that the FAST hull over 25 miles for 2-3 days maybe tiring for mortals

Just really like speed in all aspects of my life. I’d like to compete in races one day and the water tribe challenges sure do sound awesome.

Just never know what the future holds, if I am going to put up the money though it will be for the fastest touring boat I can find.

SOF answers
Comfort: My SOF has no seat (they typically don’t) only a backband. But I fold a n ensolite pad or yoga mat in half and roll the front edge a little to cushion my thighs and it is very comfortable even for long paddles.

Deck rigging: sure, look at the boats on the sites I sent you. Mine has bungies that I can slide my extra paddle under. You might notice wood or bone toggles strung on the rigging which can be slid to tighten them and also spaces them above the deck so it is easier to slide a paddle beneath. You can add whatever you want when building to spec or later on. You can also paint or stain the cloth skin before coating with urethane. I have seen some gorgeous custom designs. The skins are usually ballistic nylon, like what is used for the shells of tactical vests. Some use other types of canvas. The skins are very tough (there was a video on Youtube of a guy trying to destroy one with the claw end of a hammer). Eventually if they get beat up you just cut the skin off and sew on a new one. In fact, some folks have skinned them with transparent vinyl – see-through kayak!

Speed: absolutely my fastest boat. When I paddle in a group I often have to wait for folks to catch up or double back to meet them. The version I have is a copy of one designed for seal hunting in Greenland. It was intended to be fast and quiet with minimal paddling and splahing, also to continue staright on when the hunter dropped his paddle to grab his spear or rifle as he came alongside a seal on an ice floe.

Another site with pics of home made skin boats is That site has instructions for building them.

As to stability, that depends on the design, but it sounds like that would not be a problem for you anyway. Actually, lighter people sometimes add ballast to a boat like jugs of water to add weight. You might want to try that with any longer boat you get and sww hiw it changes performance. Putting it in bow or stern can also improve various handling problems. Some touring yaks are designed to be best with a load of gear so if you are not camping with them, adding weight can make them behave better.