first kayaks-Kestrel 120 & 120 hv

my wife & I have rented several boats over the last year and are now ready to buy. The boats

that seems to “fit” the best are the kestrel 120

for my wife and the kestrel 120 hv for myself.

We paddle mostly south florida in bays (fla keys)

slow moving rivers (estero) and some other rivers

in central fla. Most all of the paddling we do is

day paddling but would occasionaly like to do an

overnight trip. Any info regarding the limitations of the Kestrel 120 would be appreciated.

I had a 120…
…and found it to be a great little boat in the mangroves and rivers. The only limitation would be the lack of a front bulkhead for big water. The 140 would have more range for camping the Everglades.

this might help

I have the Kestrel 140 TCS
and LOVE it! Don’t let the “nickname” fool you, in my Kestrel I can easily keep up with with my hubby in his necky Looksha IV ( if I don’t have my camera).

The 120 is a great boat too, but the 140 has the extra bulkhead in front for additional storage. Also if you do deside to go with a group that may be crossing some open water, there is the possiblity that they will require the boat to be at least 14 feet long.

Current Designs has a great boat in the Kestrel. Hope you purchase and enjoy!


Another option
I was looking for a used FG kayak last summer. The Kestrel was at the top of my list, but what I found was a good price on a Pachena and bought that instead. I like it quite a bit so far - haven’t had it long enough to review, but I agree with most of what’s said in the p-net reviews:

Pros of the Pachena vs. Kestrel - 2 flush hatches (hate those rubber covers), standard rudder, fishform hull

Cons: heavier (wish mine was kevlar), standard rudder (if you don’t want it), fishform hull (if you like swedeform).

Quality is very good on this CD boat - I will be keeping it even though I plan to build a SOF this summer. It’s going to be a popular loaner, I can tell. I never got to paddle a Kestrel, so don’t know how the hulls behave comparatively speaking.

i’ve got the hybrid
and the 29 pound weight is stupendous…but know in mine there was a design flaw…the seat was not supported fully to the floor of the kayak, when a heavyish neighbor sat in it the seat cracked…my simple fix still works, i carved some minicell to fit under the seat for to support it…other than that it is a awesome boat for what it is. If you are like me and can pack like a backpacker the 120 has plenty of room in its sole hatch…you’ll need flotation up front too so get a float bag that doubles as a storage bag and then use the space up front too for any additional items you might like.

I took two boats to Ontario sept. 06, the kestrel and the QCC 700…the Kestrel was used more simply because it was so easy to portage.

Nice boat
I have the Kestrel 120 HV. It is a little big for me but I bought it as a boat that friends and family (meaning larger people than I) could use as well since we own a cabin on a lake. I really like the boat. It tracks well for a short boat and it’s fairly quick for a short, wide boat. I have used it on slow moving rivers and flat water. A concern is the lack of a front bulkhead, but I bought it because I wanted a shorter boat than my sea kayak to use on one of the twisty rivers up here. I do like the fact that it has rear hatch since it’s nice to put lunch and extra clothes inside where it will be dry. Before I bought the Kestrel I was borrowing a friends Pamlico (which had no bulkhead). If you put anything in it without a dry bag it would get wet from water accumulating on the bottom from getting in and out of the boat. Plus, water sometimes drips into the boat from the paddle and from the occasional water fight between friends :-). In short, I really like the boat and is a keeper for me.