Help with Kayak Recommendations

Looking for a kayak that performs similar to a performance sea kayak but does not have storage compartments. My tripping days are over ,still want to paddle but not wanting to lug extra weight (hatches/bulkheads) that I don’t need. I don’t want a surfski nor want to build/use a SOF.

The weight of hatch covers and bulkheads isn’t all that great. So there wouldn’t be much to save in going for a sea kayak without them. And even so, you would still want the bulkheads, as along with providing somewhat dry storage, they perform an important safety function of built in flotation that wouldn’t flood. You could likely find a custom kayak maker who would make you a boat without hatches.

A better route would be lighter material and lighter layup boats as the way to go to get a lighter boat. Kevlar or carbon saves a bit of weight over fiberglass, which is already lighter than plastic. But some boats come in a variety of layups, so if you wanted real light you could get say a carbon boat that is made thinner (lighter, but also not as strong) to save weight. Some of the smaller makers out there do this type of stuff (Epic, Sterling, etc.). Expect to pay for it.

Wooden boats are usually much lighter than composite boats.

I don’t know why you are going without a storage kayak but if you want to go with a less storage one then you can consider Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV. It has less storage capacity with 47 pounds of weight. In the same token, Dagger Kayaks Zydeco 9.0 could also be a cool option because it is very lightweight with limited storage options. It has only 36 pounds in terms of weight.

On the other hand, if you are ok with stand up ones then why don’t go with SUP? paddle boards? This 14 feet Tower paddle board could also be a suitable option if you want some off-season surfing without any storage compartment. But, if you want to stick with sea kayaks only then you can pick any lightweight and limited storage option from here


Would you use float bags to replace the function of air compartments? If the answer is yes not sure how much weight you save.

Must it be a kayak? Pack canoes generally come in sub 25 lbs. They have end tanks for flotation. Since you did not mention them I suspect you are not familiar with them. Swift and Placid Boatworks make excellent ones. The Shadow can outrun many kayaks, Hornbeck makes pack canoes too but their apparent omission of float tanks bothers me.
Pack canoes were intended to be paddled from a sit on the bottom seat with a double blade though some are highly adaptable

I’ve got a sea kayak that was originally a race boat from NZ that has no bulkheads or built in flotation. I paddle it with float bags front and rear and I don’t think I’m saving much weight, if any, over bulkheads. One advantage is that I don’t have to use them if I don’t want which shaves a few pounds. I rarely do this, depending on where or with whom I’m paddling, just for safety sake. Without the bags, I’m pretty sure she’d sink unless I managed to trap some air in one of the ends.

If your goal is a lighter boat, I think you’d be better off paying more for lighter materials rather than removing useful safety features like bulkheads. Placid Boat Works Rapidfire (15 ft long, 25 pounds) is worth a look unless you’re set on having a deck…

QCC offered single and double hatch versions of the Q400 once upon a time. I never carry much, so ordered the single-hatch Q400S. As I recall, the weight difference from the two-hatch Q400X was 2 pounds or so in the kevlar-carbon layup. I have other boats with float bags which are a pain, so I had QCC put a bulkhead in the front end with no hatch. That added back about a pound. In the end, the boat looks sleeker with no hatch (which is why I did it), cost a bit less (always good), and weighs only marginally less. I suppose if you wanted to paddle with no hatches, no bulkheads and no float bags you might save a few pounds, but it’s not worth the reduction in safety in my opinion.