First Kayak


First time posting to the board. Any recommended boats for a 6’4" 220 lb guy looking for my first boat?

I was looking at a Tsunami 145, a Necky Zoar Sport, a CD Whistler, or a Carolina 14. All with rudder. I’ve looked at a Dagger Charleston w/skeg, but never paddled a skeg boat.

I plan to mostly paddle on slow rivers, large lakes, but would like the option of taking it out on Lake Michigan as well as taking a multiple day overnight trip.

Any boat that’s better or worse for these particular needs?

Does it have to be a kayak? I’d steer you toward a nice roomy canoe.

The boats mentioned
are all on the smallish size for someone your size… any reason you are not looking at longer boats?

mainly price…my cap is near $1200 and would prefer to stay under $1000 if possible. If I found a longer used boat I would go for that.

you are probably at least going to want to sit in them and check the fit. Paddle them if possible.

I’d also consider the longer boats, even if it means going used. At least them if it doesn’t work for you, you can recoup the $$$ and move to another boat. Think 16 foot and fairly high volume.


I’m shorter but heavier.
And for touring, I prefer a longer boat.

Though, with those boats.
I’ve paddled boat the Tsunami 145 and Carolina 14. Both were fine. Very stable. A little wide and therefore a little slow. But, were alright.

CD Storm in MI
is begging to get claimed - right here in our home state - for $600. Check classified. I don’t know the buyer and I’m not affiliated w. Current Designs.

It’s roto, ruddered, and meant for a big guy - the paddler weight range goes up to 240 and the total maximum load w. you and your gear will go up to 400 lbs… that’s a lot as touring kayaks go. Plus you get full deck rigging, slick recessed deck lines, flush hatches and a much more streamlined glide than the others presently on your list.

you can get all the specs on line here: Note: this is for a Storm GT. The seller may or may not have the GT Model. Ask, and get the year of the boat. The Storm was redesigned in 2004.

Good luck. Go long :wink:

I’m your exact size and price was a big issue for me. I picked up a fiberglass sea kayak used from a local kayak center that had some demo’d models. I got a great deal. Check local outfitters, eBay and Craig’s List. Or go to local kayak demo days/festivals and look for used buys. I ended up with a Point 65N X-Ray which most people have never heard of. Thus far it’s been great. Other boats suggested to me for guys our size: Impex Assateague or the QCC 500 or 700.

As long as…
It costs thousands & is made of kevlar, “they” ( hi-archey) will approve.

Paddle easy,


Don’t mention the words:







Here on these boards. “They” will not approve! If anyone here asks, it is made of gold plated kevlar, and carbon fiber AND it cost you over $1200. You will thank me later

Paddle easy,


Don’t know why you say that
Almost every single “I’m new to kayaking, recommend me a boat” thread I’ve ever seen, the undisputed common consensus is to do a lot of demos and to look for bargains on used boats.

Dunno what you mean about “Composite” and “Molded” being looked down upon.

There is definitely snobbery here, but it’s certainly not directed at people new to the sport and their first boat choice. If anything, IMO the boat snobs would prefer to see the newbies in beater starter-boats - nothing worse than a newbie having a better boat than them!

You need more carbon fiber in your diet
The carbon will absorb poisons and as fiber, will promote new growth.

Second the used, and more, boat

– Last Updated: May-14-09 7:30 PM EST –

Lake Michigan can be tricky enough that overnight trips like you mention call for a decent rank of skills on the paddler's part as well a boat that'll fully support them. Most of what you mention are transitional boats rather than full tour kayaks, and as someone else mentioned may be poorly suited for your size. Going used will get you more boat, and leave you less likely to end up suffering from buyer's blues after you sunk new money in a boat that you realize isn't it by the end of the season.

A tried and true boat, like the CD Storm mentioned above, has gotten many a paddler started to bigger and getter things while being quite inexpensive. My first sea kayak was its smaller sister, the Squall. While we parted ways after a couple or so seasons, my time in the Squall was much of the reason that I was able to extend my reach.

Check out…
…The Prijon Touryak. My husband is 6’5" and 200lbs and fits in it well. It’s a high volume boat and very nice.

Tsunami145 is a bit slow…
I’d recommend the Tsunami165 if you like the model. Has a day hatch with bulkhead, quicker than the 145 and still maneuverable enough on rivers.

Consider necky or old town
I am 6’2" and 215, so i’m close to the same dimensions, and for 2 years i paddled an old town cayuga 146, it fit me fine. I tried the 130 and it worked, but seemed like i was a little heavy for it. I have yet to try a Manitou 14, but they are very popular boats in my area, are supposed to be similar design to the cayuga, and also come with a skeg. Definitly sit in it and try it out though. It all depends on how long your legs are, my cayuga i have the footpegs on the last notch, so at 6’4" it will be hit or miss wether or not you fit it.

Way too big
Were this guy to go with a Tempest, he’d be at least the 170. Good boat, can be obtained used, plastic and cheap - maybe a little more sedate than the 165 is all. But I doubt those legs and posterior would make it into a 165 cockpit.

I fit fine in the 165 at 6’2’’, 250
The 160 is another story. Had to do contortions to get into that cockpit.

Oops - Tsunami not Tempest
I scanned quickly and read it as Tempest 165, a different story.