First Kayak

Going to be paddling on large lake and mostly slow rivers, some shoals, possible Class 1 water. Looking to be able to load/transport kayak myself so trying to keep it at 50 lbs or under. I’m 5’10" and 180 lb female, wide hips :o)

Looking at the Dirigo 106, Rogue 10 or Axis 10.5.

I haven’t been able to find any place in my area where I can test drive any of these. What do you think?

I’d like to keep around 10’ for transporting/storage.

12 ft easier to load

– Last Updated: May-30-13 7:21 AM EST –

10 ft boats are too short to slide well. By 12 ft you have a boat that you can slide onto and off a car top rather than having to lift the weight of it. It also might get you into a boat with a volume better matched for your needs.

For the distance between car and launch point, there is a variety of carts available from pretty cheap to fairly expensive.

Can you store a 12 ft boat, or 12 ft and a few inches?

Not those boats
You seem to indicate that most of your paddling will be on large lakes and slow rivers. I would not want to paddle any of those short wide boats in such conditions – you will have difficulty achieving good tracking and comfortable speed in them, particularly in wind and wave conditions that are common on such water bodies.

Celia is correct that longer boats are simpler to load and to handle. You are quite a bit taller than either of us, so regular car top loading should not be a big deal for you either from the side or from the rear. Wider boats (which short ones have to be to get the volume for flotation) are more of a struggle to lift and carry. With a longer narrower boat you can easily get the center balance point and hoist it on one shoulder, or lift the bow up with the stern on the ground and position it on the rear roof rack to then lift and roll up into place. The weight difference is not as great as you fear. My 9’ whitewater kayak weighs 40 lbs but the 15’ long plastic touring kayak I use most often only weighs 46 lbs, just 6 lbs more. It is FAR easier to load than the short wide boat. I even have an 18’ long sea kayak that only weighs 32 lbs (I can lift it with one hand).

So unless you are planning on hauling it in a pickup truck bed I don’t see why you would want to stick with a boat too short for your intended usage.

I really think you need to find a good outfitter with on the water demos and get a feel for what different sizes and styles of kayaks feel like before spending your money. Are you anywhere near these folks?

That might depend on the car
I have a Hyundai Elantra sedan, and I don’t have a bit of trouble sliding any of my boats up the trunk and into Malone Seawings. Boats include a 9.5 ft rec boat, a 12 ft 9" canoe, a 11.5 ft SOT and a 12 ft 9" SOT.

A frequent paddling buddy drives a RAV4, and anything less than 12 ft would be harder to load on that.

good point

– Last Updated: May-31-13 11:20 AM EST –

What kind of vehicle do you have and how are you plannning to haul your boat? Knowing that (and whether you also have storage restrictions) would help with suggestions.

Also, none of those models you are considering have bow bulkheads. You will need to get a flotation bag to fill the space ahead of your feet for safety.

if you’re looking at Jackson Rogue
put the Jackson Journey on your list…very able boat for lakes and rivers… 13.5 or 14 feet depending on size and not heavy… good size to lever onto most vehicle roofs. Cockpit outfitting is superlative befitting a Jackson boat. Rudder optional.

you’ll have a much better feel for what you want after you demo some boats.

Truck Bed
So I drive a Subaru baja and I can easily fit a 9-10 foot kayak in the truck bed through the pass through into the back seat. This is with about a foot of kayak sticking out the back versus 2-3 feet of kayak if I got a 12 footer, etc…

I was trying to avoid having to strap anything to my roof…

good info
now I see why the Jackson Rogue is on your list.

I haven’t paddled one.

You should try to demo a Pyranha Fusion (the new M or the classic L size) which is just a couple inches over 10 feet. I have one. I can do any river that I can handle, paddle on small lakes, and recently did a 5 mile open water crossing on a very large lake going into a moderate headwind of 12-15 miles - at the end of a full day of 10 twisty river miles. I used the skeg on the lake and in long flat stretches on the river. The rest of the river was full of boulders and wet logs and the Fusion had excellent balance sliding over them. Meanwhile, on the lake I easily kept up w.the 9-12 rec boats.So I know the Fusion can handle it all.

The HDPE plastic that Pyranha uses is light but very strong. Get the Connect 30 option if you can, it’s more robust and performance oriented than the RiverTour option. And Connect 30 gives you a comfy bulkhead to put your feet up against instead of pegs.

In the same crossover category as the Rogue and the Fusion is the Liquid Logic XP series. You’d be in the XP10. The XP series is a bit wider, a little heavier. I find their skeg easier to use. But the Fusion is a bit quicker and the stern hatch of the Fusion keeps things absolutely dry.The Fusion also has the cool 1 liter detachable pod that gives you a day hatch up front (where it makes sense on these boats).

Both fine designs, see which one fits you better. All of them are right around 10 feet. If you try the Rogue give us some feedback.