First Kayak

Hello all. I’m new to Kayaking and have rented a few sit on tops. I mostly kayak flat water and gentle rivers. I’m wanting to take the plunge and buy my first yak but I’m on limited budget. I have been looking at the Old Town Otter. Anyone have any experience with this boat? I’d really like an Old Town Dirigo 120 but a new one is out of my price range and I haven’t been able to find a used one.

thanks for the advice.

welcome to paddling!
You’re gonna love it. It’s a great sport. Where are you and what kind of water are you going to be paddling on? On a small flat lake you’ll need one kind of boat, out on the sea or around livelier water, another. Check out the “guidelines” over in the left hand margin. There’s a lot of good information there. If you live in a metropolitan area where paddling is popular you can often find a good deal buying used on craigslist.

There are a lot of 12’ rec boats.
How about a used Pungo ,for instance.

i was "in your boat"
just six months ago. Same type of beginner, sticking to flat water and slow streams & rivers i could safely paddle alone. The type of boat you want to buy as others have indicated will depend on how you plan to use it. If you think you will be continuing to paddle lakes slow rivers and mostly “calm” water (no strong currents) then the several different types of “Otters” are avaialble from Old Town Canoe Co. I bought the Otter XT Super Sport. It is perfect for my use and i piced it up at Dick’s Sporting Goods (chain on the East Coast mainly) for $300. A steal, because the original price was $450. It is stable, not at all slow (and i weigh in at 210lbs) has important features like a padded ergonomic seat and storage hatches to keep extra gear dry.

If kayaking will be something you continue to do, then don’t feel like you have to have the most expensive boat right now because for one, you may not even need it for your intended use, and you can always graduate to a better boat when your interests in waters changes. Good luck!

So you would
recommend the Otter as a good beginner boat? I plan to use it in still water (lakes, ponds, etc) and on relatively calm rivers. I live on near the Atlantic coast in Georgia and there are an abundance of small creeks and rivers that I am eager to explore.

For your
intended use and the waterways you describe using it on the Otter will serve you well as a starter boat. As someone else said if you like the longer Dirigo 120 and want a few more features there are plenty of 12’ rec kayaks on the market similar to the Dirigo that you could pick up used.

The longer boat will give you more tracking, and make keeping the boat going straight easier. The shorter boat will have less directional stability, so it will be easier to turn and harder to keep it going straight over long distances.

Good luck, and enjoy it is a great way to relax, have some fun, and enjoy the outdoors.

First kayak

– Last Updated: Apr-25-08 8:33 PM EST –

I bought my girlfriend the pamlico 100 for her first and she loved it I have one as well it is pretty solid and you can use it for recreational and class one and two rapids. I have personally went down some class III rapids on the nantahala and it did pretty well. you can get it brand new for $425. I am 6ft 2in 230lbs. and its comfortable. its a good beginner kayak but if you eventually want to do more I would look At the pamlico 120 & pungo 120. You can usually find good deals on them used as well.

Good beginner boat
My first boats were 3 used Otters purchased at a livery. Sold them six years later for more than I bought them for. Real basic boat, but you will have lots of fun in it.

First Kayak
Hi, I would suggest looking at the Heritage FeatherLite 9.5 or Classic 12 (if you plan on doing larger lakes) both are very stable and we sell them to first timers daily. I also think that for just a little more the Wilderness System’s Pamalico 100 is also a great choice. Good luck with your search, Dave - Connecticut Outdoors, LLC

Where in Georgia?
If you are near the shore you may be in near reach of a paddling club or group where members could have boats for sale. Exactly where are you in Georgia - someone on this board may know of a place to point you both to find a used boat and to get some paddling company.