Help with kayak purchase for long haul

A friend of mine is going on a long river trip. SInce Im out of touch with whats on the market these days, i figured you all could help me/him etc.

He has very little experience so he needs a stable kayak and wants a rudder too.

He does not want to spend more than $1000.00

Probably something in the 17 foot range etc.

He will be on mainly flat water which can get windy and big seas and a majority of class 1 rivers or less with and occasioanl class 2 etc.

Dont go into the long speeches (save your time) about his lack of experience and the ins and outs of too minute details of every possible yak feature, just get to the point and mention a kayak to “get the job done” His determination will get him through. He walked 3500 miles solo walking 35-45 miles per day ( took only 5 months) carrying a lightweight pack of only 13 pounds. HE is almost 70 years old. Hes ultra conservative and needs nothing flashy if you get my point.

Thanks for the help.


Anything used
It seems that the demands of a flatwater river trip aren’t too great. Probably almost any used sea kayak could be made to work.

A Northwest Kayaks Cadence is stable, predictable, and carries lots of stuff. Most manufacturers have boats that fit the bill.

Look for a width of 23" or greater, and fairly full ends. Outfit the cockpit with foam for a snug, comfortable fit, and get a light paddle with relatively small blade area to push a big, heavy boat.

When you find something used that you are considering, post a question about that specific boat.

A used polyethelyne boat…
Is very likely to be the best way to go. There are some very nice ones in the classified ads on this site occasionally, and if you’ve time and patience, e-bay has some amazing deals passing through. Not often, but they do happen.

I picked up a $3200 (msrp)lightly used boat for $900 with a ton of expensive accessories thrown in. Happy day, indeed.

And, of course, try out your outfitters to see what they have, some sell used boats on consignment.

Seek out a local kayak club, and inquire there, too.

Best of luck,


What happened
to your Sea Wind? Seems like a good boat for the job, and it’s already paid for. ;o)

read the question
Read the question

Its not for me and i dont let anyone borrow my sea wind.

A Prijon Kodiak or Seayak
in plastic. But there are plenty that will do the job and easily found used.


– Last Updated: Feb-11-06 10:23 PM EST –

A used Poly should do the trick,, as mentioned before the Prijon line is great both boats mentioned by Chuck are great (IMHO), also condsider Necky"s Lookshaw Line,I have camped out of my sport for a week and am sure something similar would work well while staying in the price range. Let us know what you end up finding for him , goodluck,, kim

only thing i would add
is to be cautious about older plastic boats and the plasticizers used in them…

Any Number Of Appropriate Sized

– Last Updated: Feb-12-06 7:29 AM EST –

plastic jobs out there for under $1000. Would still have money left over for a good paddle.

The issue is what size is your friend so a long laundry list can be made for him to look in the various gearswaps.


I don’t know…
what about an Old Town Cayuga? the 16 foot one is in the range, looks nice, basic, comfortable and able to grow with it. I looked around and it seemed to be close to the price range. Being old town almost any camping, paddle or outdoor’s store can order it. it doesn’t seem that it will be too heavy to carry

And a Bell Yellowstone solo in royalex is just under a grand as well.

I just wanted to pitch in too


inflatable=stable, safe
My 2 cents:

I suggest sit on tops, or preferable for river/lake travel a sot inflatable. you can add a rudder or skeg to anything with some ingenuity or have your local shop do it.

almost impossible to dump for the solo tripper this is Key.

there is the Aire superlynx 14’ with a vee bottom, add your skeg and you are all set. I have seem them available for 1100$ (demos). There is the smaller Aire strike 2 , low profile in between boat. Both of these boats can handle heavy whitewater, as they are self bailers. The Strike 2 is about 800$ new.

Innova makes some good inflatables Also.

Aires can easily be resold without too much loss

if they aren’t working for your friend. Liam


– Last Updated: Feb-12-06 9:11 PM EST –

Might want to try a Necky Elaho or Elaho HV. They are about a grand and sound like what your looking for. Both around 17", Nice rudder system. We have 2 in the shop where I work. They rock!

Try a Carolina
Its what I’ve been cruising for simliar reasons.

the 15.5 perception carolina goes for about 1k with rudder delivered…

Nice large boat, decent stability, decently fast, and not too flashy

Its on my christmas list for next year, once i have a few more miles behind me and am sure i want something faster :slight_smile:

Kayak for your Friend

– Last Updated: Feb-13-06 1:54 PM EST –

Second the reply from Booyah....the Perception Carolina 15.5 would be an excellent boat, not incredibly long, with great Secondary Stability, and a lot of storage room. I paddle the 14.5 In mainly the types of water you described...(Tennessee River). I've done the 80 Miles from Nickajack Dam Near Chattanooga to the Guntersville Alabama Dam in mine....All Navigable River with Large Lake crossings thrown in...

Additionally, the Perception is very forgiving of rough handling, I drag mine a lot on put in and takeout, and the hatches are of sufficent size to allow for packing large items.

Comfort is a huge plus with the adjustable seatback and cushion (I'm 53 and appreciate it, your friend is 70 and is bound to as well).

ReSale value should be high when he's done with it...the Carolina is hugely popular with the masses...

Hope a specific recommendation helps.