There is a lot of options and ive looked at the following ones:
Old town Next
Native Ultimate FX 12 & 15
Freedom hawk pathfinder
I dont have any experience with any of them, but im interested to know if anyone has tried the wavewalk or the Next, and the benefits or disadvantages of the ultimate 12 vs 15. The pathfinder seems like a great idea, but is it slow to paddle and manoeuvre?
The nucanoe looks great and it isnt out yet but has anyone tried the frontier model? Just questions about all of them ive had and cant answer. Any advice on these or experience would be appreciated a lot
There is a lot of options and ive looked at the following ones:
It would probably be helpful if you could explain what your planned usage is for your new boat (fishing? camping? photography? covering some distance?) and what kind of waters you are expecting to paddle in. And also what your important parameters are (cargo space? carrying a dog? lighter rather than heavier? handling? speed?).
Hard to find experienced posters here
There won't be many people here who have paddled one of those boats, so getting comments about first-hand experience with any of them might not happen. I think you need to think carefully about what you need your boat for, and go from there. It is possible that with a better description of what you will be doing, you could get some advice based on reasonable expectations, if not actual experience. I can offer a few comments, but I can't suggest which is best for you, not knowing anything about your plans or paddling style.
Old Town Next: This is the only one that's a canoe, but the seating and therefore the paddling method are the same as for a rec or fishing kayak. There's a long thread over on the discussion forum about this boat, mostly focused on how heavy the darn thing is, but those are canoe folks saying that stuff. A canoe that size "should" be much lighter, but compared to a lot of rec kayaks, the weight is pretty "normal". When comparing a small canoe to rec kayaks or fishing kayaks, you'll have a lot more storage room and more flexible options for storing stuff, but you'll have more difficulty fighting the wind. Cartopping such that no deformation of the hull will occur is much simpler with canoes than with kayaks, though lots of people cartop kayaks right on the bars (lots of them are dented because of that too, and at least three-quarters of the people who do it that way wouldn't mention that simply because they don't care and don't notice). The Next *probably* has the most efficient hull shape of all of these boats, as it doesn't have a complex, multi-curved (or multi-hull) in-water shape, though the NuCanoe model appears to be a close second in this regard. That hull shape means that surface area / displaced volume is the least, but most people paddling such boats won't need to care too much about that, and you may not need to either.
Native Ultimate: Native fishing kayaks have a good reputation for this class of boat. They are very heavy, but not compared to comparable boats.
NuCanoe Pursuit: I can't suggest a reason this boat would be a lot different than the Native, but it appears to be a lot heavier. As mentioned above, it looks like it has one of the more efficient hull shapes among your choices (probably not a lot of complex curvature).
WaveWalk 500: The main thing I know about WaveWalk is that the guy who owns the company came on here once and posted a bunch of total nonsense about how nothing that paddling enthusiasts here are using right now holds a candle to this boat (imagine someone telling a bunch of professional photographers that his disposable camera can beat the pants off any Nikon and you get the idea how this guy's marketing sense works). The boat looks okay for what it is, but it seems like it requires the use of a really long paddle on account of the greater width and seating height. If you paddle any distance or in windy conditions, you'll really notice the extra strain that a long paddle puts on your body (I myself would avoid any boat that required use of a long paddle, but I'm a long-distance traveler and I'll also soon have old fart status, and you may be a young pup). Also note that this boat probably has at least as much wind resistance as a comparably sized canoe, and likely more. If you do any camping trips, you won't be able to put packs down low, and if you could, adjusting for proper trim would likely not be possible. If none of those things concern you, it might be fine.
Freedom Hawk: I agree that it looks like a clever idea, *if* you need to stand. However, a 14-foot boat that weighs 100 pounds, that's just crazy in my book. I have a small aluminum Jon boat that has at least three times as much interior space, and though it's the heaviest boat I own, it weighs a lot less than that beast (I think it weighs about 75 pounds). Setting aside that issue of extreme heaviness, I suspect that the outriggers might complicate car-topping and pre/post-launch preparations too. You would need to find out if my expectation about prepping the outriggers before and after cartopping is true, but basically consider things like weight and complexity against having the ability to stand up, and whether a basic old-fashioned boat might actually be more practical.
get a craft made by a real, dedicated
boat company, not commercial craft designed and made by chains. I think you'll appreciate the difference when out on the water...
Wow lots of great input on those I had no idea the freedom weighed so much and I’ve heard some about the wavewalk brands questionable advertising methods. The pursuit is heavy and id prefer to stay drier if possible. Ill be using the kayak to fish almost year round with the occasional camping. And yes im 19 6`2" 260 pounds so weight of the boat isnt a huge issue, but it would be nice to have a lighter one. I have a truck that ill use to haul it and a trailer if necessary. I love the natives design, but it seems they’ve limited one to their accesories which are quite pricey and I also dont know how easily it would be to put an anchor trolley and rod holders etc. On a Next
I also have a bad knee from a motorcycle accident when I was 16 and I dont know how the legs forward position affects knees and if any of these would be better to avoid knee pain
Well, I found the weight of that Freedom Hawk right on their website. I commented on it with the idea that you might not be aware that that's really "a lot", if you haven't carried small boats before. Maybe there's some info on the website about whether the outriggers need to be prepped or removed prior to cartopping, though now that you've mentioned carrying in the back of a truck or on a trailer, that and the weight may not be as much of a deal-breaker as would be the case for many of us.
Regarding installation of an anchor trolley on the Old Town Next, I doubt that you'd need to. In a canoe, it's a simple matter to get up on your knees, scoot forward a bit if necessary, and reach a forward thwart for anchor-line tying. In a SOT kayak, being able to reach a forward part of the boat with your hands is pretty much impossible, which is why people use a trolley for their anchor line. An anchor trolley on a canoe might be a convenience, but hardly necessary if you are fairly mobile/agile and not captive to the seat due to physical limitations.
When it comes to the idea of staying dry for fishing at all times of the year, that's where the Next would have an advantage over the other boats. SOT kayaks tend to get splashes coming over the top pretty easily, but that won't happen in a canoe on typical inland waters suitable for fishing from a canoe. I don't know if you are planning inland fishing or ocean-coast fishing. For the coast, a SOT is most likely the better choice for safety reasons (climbing from the water back onto a SOT is do-able, but doing the same with a capsized canoe is quite a trick, and not possible for most people. For inland waters, most people figure on being able to get to shore after a capsize, but if you are far from shore and the water is cold, you still might be better with a SOT).
As far as your bum knee goes, no one can answer your question about kayak seating position and knee comfort except you. You could test this while watching TV or reading a book or whatever. Sit on a pillow or a stack of newspapers/magazines/phone books that's a few inches high. Position yourself right in front of your couch or living-room chair so that it acts as a backrest to hold you upright, as the boat's seatback will do. Watch a movie or read a book and see how your knee holds up. If you really need a higher seating position for the sake of your knee, that might be a reason to get that WaveWalk (keeping other boat characteristics in mind, of course). You should also know that many types of leg discomfort or pain resulting from a kayak's seating position can be cured by doing stretching exercises aimed at the hamstrings, as the only difference, as far as your legs go, between standing with knees slightly bent and sitting in a boat with knees slightly bent is the greater tension in the hamstrings (with any luck, it won't be an issue though).
Oh by the way, if you think that Old Town Next looks good, you might be better off getting a used, general-purpose solo canoe. It would be lighter and the seat could be mounted higher (on most canoes, the seats are not adjustable in the same way as on your car (though a few are), but they are adjustable in that you can easily modify them to suit you).
I havent even considered looking used just never crossed my mind. Ill definitely try the movie thing and check out craigslist.I dont think the boat will ever see ocean in missouri haha I never thought about not having to have a trolley due to mobility and being able to reach things more easily in the canoe. A used pack canoe would be much lighter and essentially the same as the next with a different seat setup, but as you said that can be changed. I think ill keep an eye out for a used pack or next if somoenes sells one so soon and if nothing comes up the ultimate seems like a good choice as well. It seems a pack, the next, or the ultimate would suite me well ill just have to keep an eye out for a good deal on one of them. I appreciate your help a lot ive been researching everything high and low but couldnt seem to come to a decision, but I think ive got one now
Where/What In Missouri?
I personally think you’re going about this wrong. What were your criteria for determining what kind of boat would work for you? Unless I missed it you’ve told us HOW you plan to use it but not WHERE. There are lots of great paddling opportunities in the Show Me State ranging from big impoundments to small Ozark streams and most of them offer camping and fishing. It sounds to me like you need a reasonably maneuverable big boy SOT or a canoe but noone can be more specific until you are. If nothing else name some places you’d like to take your boat and those of us who are familiar with them might be able to better help you dial it in.