Hello all, first post here but I’ve been coming here to read reviews for some time. Bear with me here…
I’ve had a SOT fishing kayak (Tarpon 14) for a couple years but am looking to expand my fleet. I do a lot of river trips of varying lengths and size, from small brooks to large rivers; day trips to multi week expeditions, but very rarely (if ever) more than moderate class II. I was leaning towards a Fusion M but some of the rivers I travel have extensive flatwater sections (One route in particular contains multiple reservoirs up to 50km long), so i need something more efficient on the flats, leading me to river/day tourers and ocean play boats.
I’ve done a lot of research and my current thinking is that I would be better served sacrificing some whitewater ability for tracking. That being said, I don’t want a complete slouch either.
I’m 6’ tall, ~195lbs and size 11/12 shoes. Not particularly experienced with sit ins but I’m eager to learn, VERY comfortable on/in the water and plan on taking level 1-2 sea kayaking courses.
After moving on from the Fusion, my current picks are the Venture Islay 12, Islay 14 and P&H Delphin II. Pretty big spread, but a big price spread as well.
The Islay 12 is on sale at MEC for $999; great price but I’m not sure I’d love it at 26" wide. The Islay 14 looks perfect, but at $1600 I’d likely spend the extra money and get the Delphin. It’ll likely also see double duty as a sea kayak until I buy another dedicated to that purpose,
Could I get some thoughts/opinions? Selection locally is pretty limited, and it’s extremely unlikely I’ll be able to try before I buy (or even sit in one), and the used market here is usually limited to 17" sea kayaks and recreational.
TL;DR: Need a kayak for river trips, flatwater and easy whitewater. Discounted Islay 12, Islay14 or Delphin?
Thanks in advance!