We don’t have a Prijon dealer close by. So before we do a long drive let me ask those experienced with the Prijon Yukon Expedition whether my wife would have a chance of fitting it (or it fitting her). She is 5’6" and normal weight and width. I can do outfitting but if she is likely to feel like she is swimming no matter what then we won’t make a trip to try it.
Don’t Have Experience with that Boat,
but I do have a rudder-equipped Kodiak in my boat shed, which I love to paddle and use for camping, especially in rocky areas.
I am 5 ft 7 in tall, 210 lbs light, and built like a sack of cement. The Kodiak is a 17 ft. long, 23.5 in. wide boat, and the cockpit (36 in. long x 18 in. wide) is VERY roomy inside for me.
As I also use the Kodiak as a loaner, I have not tried to outfit the Kodiak to tighten up the cockpit fit, as I have done in my other two kayaks. But I must say, it would take alot of outfitting to tighten up the Kodiak cockpit.
The Yukon is a 14 ft. 5 in. long boat, 24 in. wide and has the same super sized cockpit as the Kodiak (36 in. long and 18 in. wide).
However, the Catelina might be the better fit for your wife, with a length of 15 ft. 3 in., a width of 21.25 in. and a cockpit size of 32 in. long and 17 in. wide.
Source of Prijon kayak specifications:
Also the Catalina is likely to be the boat that performs the best on flat water.
I've observed several women (including my wife), and other smaller paddlers, sucessfully using the Catalina in a variety of conditions.
haven’t tried one lately…
but my first boat was a Yukon Tour, similar to Expedition.
These are typically "big person" boats. I'm 6'3, 185, and found it "roomy." You could probably pad it out, but beyond fit, you need to do more research on these models.
Maybe it was largely due to my inexperience, but others would agree these are not the easiest hulls to paddle. Perhaps more at home in white water. On flat water that boat had a mind of it's own. I don't miss it.
Combi - another option
I’m 6’ 5", 240 lbs, and I take the Yukon when I want a “loose fit” for river touring. I think a better option for a smaller person would be a Prijon Combi 359 (which I also have, and am quite pleased with the performance). The Combi has a tighter fit, and is a bit shorter and lighter. The Combi does not have a bow hatch, but has ample room in front of the feet for a large dry bag (I use one of the large Prijon Overnighters). The initial stability is a bit better for the Combi than for the Yukon. Both have rock-solid secondary stability. If you go to the Prijon Facebook page, you can see video of both the Yukon and the Combi tripping in the Grand Canyon.
Might want to pass
I’m a big fan of the Prijons in general but she might find the Yukon too roomy in the cockpit. It could work with enough outfitting, but I think you could do better. I’m 5’7" and was about 190 when I had my Yukon, and it felt a tad roomy to me even then.
Another Prijon option would be the Capri. Built for a smaller person, the Capri is really more of a rec boat than a river boat - but a lot of people use them on rivers. Everyone I’ve met who has one has been very enthusiastic about the Capri. To get a flavor of the enthusiasm, just check the reviews under “Product Reviews”. Setup for camping would be same as the Combi - put stuff in the rear hatch, and in a dry bag in front of the feet.
Capri and Combi
I have both of these kayaks and like them for class 1 river running. There’s very little space in the Capri hatch and it isn’t close to water tight so the Combi would be much better to camp out of.
Both are fun boats. Capri is very light and quick, V hull for tracking. Combi is heavy and built to withstand bouncing off rocks with little or no damage to the hull. It handles more like a whitewater boat.
I love my yukon
I find that it does have all kinds of room you could probably outfit to be comfortable for her though.the other atributes of this kayak will probably outwiegh the fit issueas she could control this vessel with ease. I think this boat is the best all around kayak there is the handling is unreal. it is soooo easy to control no matter what size you are this boat will literely spin on a dime with the rudder up. the initial stability is unmatched I have a kodiak a yukon and a tempest 17 and even when i lend her to rookie paddlers they can keep up with the sea kayaks. it moves along well in flatwater and is an unbeleivable touring kayak in river currents, you can pop 180s into eddies for a break with ease even when fully loaded you should try this kayak then try a traditional sea kayak and youll see what i mean. after using the yukon tunring a regular sea kayak seems like a chore. sort of like comparing handling a kayak to handling a canoe in the wind.If you paddle flatwater do get the rudder though for good tracking.
cheers and happy paddling.