Good basic river yak?

-- Last Updated: May-09-07 9:51 PM EST --

Looking to go from a rec to an intermediate in length for use on slower rivers with no more than Class I and II.

May consider simple overnights camping. Take minimal gear.

Looking at a used Krestel 14 now.

Any thoughts on the Krestel or other 14-15' makes/models?

Are you going to portage?
Class II is whitewater and Class III is serious whitewater.

The Liquid Logic Manta Ray is good for class I-III.

I like them Krestal buns & fried onions.
Dagger has a boat with a rear hatch and a skeg, slower than their old Crossover, but more capable in whitewater.

Prijon CombiTour
A great boat for the purpose that you have in mind.

Not for class III
LL says “easy rivers”. That is not class III.

From LL Manta Ray web site
"The Hull

In the prototyping process, we paddled the early Manta Rays everywhere: We took them on calm lakes where tracking is essential; we paddled them down rivers ranging from class I to class III, where maneuverability is mandatory; and we paddled them in the ocean where swells and breaks threaten both stability and dryness. After a few changes following these missions, we knew we had created the hull we wanted – super stable, fast and easy to paddle. "

lol, yeah but that’s Shane Benedict…
who’s testing those boats. He’s a pro boater and the head designer for LL. He could hand paddle a bathtub down class III.

CD Kestrel 140
I take my roto 140 on ALL Iowa rivers and have run Class II on many of those trips. I overnight camp along the rivers as much as possible and have found that I CAN stretch it to two days if I prep properly. The roto version is heavier of course, so thats something to consider. I got the plastic for two reasons: It was more affordable AND I could bang rocks and drag without doing serious damage. I figured my first kayak should NOT be a $2,000 boat that I could ruin within the first month. I’ll upgrade next year if I have the $ to do so. If not…this boat will do me for a while longer, no problem.

CD Kestrel 14 in Roto
is a good choice for river putting.

I picked up a demo in January, to be my winter boat/ice cutter on the Mississippi.

Had it out a number of times in ice, high current, etc. Went up small creeks in it during high water, explored the flood planes.

It is a nice and stable boat with fore and aft hatches, reasonably fast, and appears resistant to scratches from ice and crud that river carries during high water.

It has a large cockpit, so it is easy to get out, but you’d need to get a spray skirt with built-in tensioner, to keep water from pooling on it.