fastest kayak 12-14 foot

Can someone give me recommendations as to the fastest rotomolded plastic sit in kayak in the 12-14 foot range with speed being the only consideration? It’s difficult to compare kayaks reading the reviews and I know this is somewhat subjective but perhaps with enough information I can narrow it down to a few kayaks. I know most people would recommend a longer kayak but space is a problem. By the way I am 5’11" 175#.

Thanks in advance for your input.

I forgot to mention I yak mostly in ocean bays with 2 foot swells maximum.

Prijon Yukon Expedition
Go blow mold. 14’5". Hope 5" is not gonna kill you. Otherwise, get the Prijon Cruiser 14’1".

kabjkm, thats a pretty subjective
question. Would think speed is a function of design, wgt, & paddler.

U could look @ a hurricane tampico @ 42 lbs, but its thermoformed. Good tracker, good speed, 13.5’

good luck

i’ll probably be condemned …
… for being a troll, or whatever, but each and every time I read a post like yours I want to ask: “What’s the big deal about speed?”

Paddling – whitewater aside – is a slow down and smell the roses type of activity.

While I can understand bragging rights, I also know that a group tends to paddle to the speed of the slowest boat/paddler, and, an aggressive, determined paddler in a slower boat is going to beat the faster boat with a less determined paddler every time an impromptu dash occurs.

This summer, with three boats and a gps at the lake, I did some speed tests. I discovered my fastest boat to be about 5% faster than my slowest boat, which on a one-hour paddle works out to about 3 minutes, or 180 seconds. Big whup.

I was also surprized to learn what I thought to be my slowest was actually the fastest, while the highly responsive boat I thought was fast was the slowest.

The bottom line is that once you get away from the basic do-everything boats, and find yourself in a boat with good glide your boat’s speed is going to be quite immaterial.

Just my two-cents worth, anyway. Besides, if you want to go fast why not get a power boat?

Agree with swordfish.
And if you want to go a tad longer, but still at 49 lbs, you have thePrijon Catalina.

"Paddling – whitewater aside – is a slow down and smell the roses type of activity"

well yes it can be but I would recommend highly tht you get a DVD entitled ‘This is the Sea’(sold here at labeling all sea kayaking as such…after you watch this DVD you’ll see that sea kayaking is a huge huge continuum that benefits the nonegenerian and the speed junkie, the wildlife photographer and the racer, and then there are the subsets including those who like to build their own skin-on-frame kayaks and those who niche into the Greenland rolls, the rope gymnastics. You can and should spend a lifetime dabbling in all of it…you’ll probably find an area that calls your name loudly for you to embrace. For me, I was swimming laps and doing open water swims. Eventually I tired of bouncing off the walls of pools and luckily discovered my first kayak (Aquaterra Chinook) in an LLBean catalogue…so my first venture into sea kayaks was solely for excercise and that is what I did for years, in fact I’d been paddling for almost 15 years before I discoverd a sculling brace! JackL will tell you there are racers out there who’ve never rolled a kayak, others will tell you how kayak camping has filled a void in their lives. Boats and water-what a beautiful combination.

But, then again, when you are talking a
short kayak to be used as described, speed is pretty relative to the paddler’s ability, strength, and conditioning, as much as to the choice of kayak. The special types of paddling you mention don’t appear to fall into the parameters of the question. At that size of a kayak, the differences aren’t going to be that great for the average paddler. Then, there’s the question of what one means by speed…top speed or cruising speed. If one paddles alone, as I do much of the time, speed becomes even more subjective.

Prijon Motion
at 14’11’’

“The Motion is a boat that brings speed and stability to those seeing a smaller boat.”

Agree with Gerry

– Last Updated: Sep-22-06 5:37 AM EST –

But the Motion is 24 inch beam.

Original Poster: "the fastest rotomolded plastic sit in kayak in the 12-14 foot range with speed being the only consideration?"

At 15'3" (over the limit of the question by 16 inches), the Catalina has a 21 inch beam (like the Prijon Barracuda), and at 49 lbs (very light for a plastic kayak), although I've never paddled one (I own the Cuda, 16'11" and 60 lbs.--fast), should be very fast.

Magoo_ns on Pnet loves his.

See Catalina reviews on Pnet. Good luck.

The basic point here is correct
People often worry if they can keep up with the club in their 12 foot boat when other members are paddling 17 footers. Given that club paddles are generally not races, there should be little concern. The speed differences are most significant when both boats are at their threshhold speed.

For starters:
At your heaght and weight, you are missing the boat (no pun intended), if you think you are going to go fast in a kayak that short.

Yes if you were 5’-0" and 110 pounds, but no at your statistics.

But with that said: one of my many daughters who is small has a room full of trophies won in her Perception Plastic Sole.

I don’t know what the fastest plastic kayak in your range is is since it is “the motor” that makes a particular boat go fast, but you might want to test drive a Sole.



I think you’re trying to separate out the tanks at this range hmm? Perhaps try asking "what are the swifter short poly sea kayaks?

I for one enjoy the speed but it can be somewhat subjective - unless I’m in an event. But on a long distance all-day cruise it is noticeable.

I’ve tried the necky looksha sport and sport lv and with rudder down they aren’t bad. I think the sport is under 15’ and the sport lv under 14’. You’ll be a snug fit in either.

Whichever boat has the fastest paddler
I’m not being flippant. We have a guy in our local club in a basic RM touring boat who can out-paddle most people with much longer boats because he has such a powerful forward stroke. I have to say that it looks odd to see a relatively short boat plowing down the river with a three inch bow wake, but he sure does make it work.

Some boats might help you a bit more, and there are some in that length range which have great hull speed, but if you seek speed for its own sake there are other things than the boat to consider.

Why are you looking for this - are you thinking that you’ll want to keep up with people in longer skinny things, camp as well, or do you just want to go for speed for your own training? If the latter, there may be SOT’s out there that would do you as well.

Perception Wavehopper
13ish feet long, nominally, it’s about 23" wide, but those are just the above-water ‘wings’ to meet minimum width limits for racing. Actual water line width is probably 18".

Power to Boat Potential ratio
SPEED! Gotta be the number one concern for beginners. Terms like Hull Speed are tossed around with little understanding. The real issue is, as Celia infers, the engine!!! Many people buy a long boat and have nowhere near the conditioning to experience it’s speed potential. (I would guess most recreational sea kayakers) They in fact will go faster in a shorter boat, especially in wind and chop. Look at the data that’s been collected over the years and we see that there is in fact very little real world difference among popular touring kayaks. In a big race where I live a guy in an Elaho beat people in longer faster boats. Why? He was fit, and kept his boat moving at it’s potential. The weaker paddlers not only couldn’t drive their longer (much faster) hulls, but paid a wetted surface price at lower speeds. The science, and a fit paddler won.

I’m all for speed and those who enjoy pushing it. By all means get a long skinny boat and get fit and have fun. But go for a legit fast boat! Epic, QCC, Rapier, Glider, surf ski etc. Your fitness, and paddle selection is far more important than a kayak that is a foot longer. Not long ago someone told a story about Chalupski putting a woman in their rec boat and challenging a man in a longer, so called faster boat to race her. She won…Oscar did the math, and knew that the woman was a better power to boat potential ratio than the guy. It’s all science. She was no doubt a strong, good paddler.

Confirmation Bias and folklore direct kayak purchases far more than logic and a realistic analysis of ones fitness, and or needs. At the end of a long day touring, the best paddler will be at camp first…regardless of kayak.

I agree with Celia, Salty and others.
As I’m sure you are aware, generally the longer and narrower the boat the faster it can be, but you won’t fit or be comfortable in many of these in the 14’ range because they are designed for smaller people. So, you start getting wider boats that are designed to handle your weight and size. Can you keep up with others or cruise at a decent speed? Depends on your ability more than anything else if you fit the boats intended weight range.

If you will consider thermoformed plastic instead of rotomolded or blow molded boats, I would recommend you check out the Swift Saranac 14. It is manufactured by Hurricane and assembled and outfitted by Swift. It will easily fit someone your size, is a relativly new design by David Yost (been out a couple of years), and has very good hull speed for it’s length. Several people in our club paddle them and have no trouble keeping up with other less fit paddlers in sleeker, longer boats. I am shorter than you and weight 20 lbs. more and paddle a fiberglass version on occasion. I have little difficulty keeping up with most paddlers in our club in most conditions when I paddle this boat.


Look at the Hobie Revolution. Peddle
power in a 14 footer will get you there.

For Speed in a 14ish foot boat…
I’d suggest that you look at the Manitou 14. The hull is very efficent, its fun to paddle, and if you run into high winds, it has a skeg.

Not Plastic
I was very impressed by the Epic GP Sport. I had a SOT version and it was quick and light. I had no trouble cruising at 4.5mph over a 6 mile course and we were not hurrying. It does hit the wall at 6mph. If I were looking for a small light (30 lbs) yak it would be at the top of my list. It would be ideal for traveling with our RV. I was able to pick up a blem for $1000 plus shipping or tax, whichever applies. The sit in will probably cost a little more. I wanted it for fishing but it was a little too small.