Heritage Kayaks 10' vs 12'

Looking into buying our first kayaks in the next few weeks and have been to a half dozen stores in the Knoxville, Townsend, pigeon forge area and am still a bit lost on going with a 10’ or a 12’ kayak.

We are new to Kayaking and I expect to spend the majority of my water time with a hook attaching me to the water. While my better half will spend the majority touring around while Im fishing.

We both intend on some casual traveling so its not a matter of fishing only wihtin 200 yards of putting the boats in water.

Im looking for;

ease of transporting in my ranger pickup

ease of putting yak in water

ease of getting yak out of water, back to house

10’ seems best for all these things. Weight is only 46lbs.


Length: 10’ / 305 cm

Width: 30" / 76 cm

Weight: 46 lbs. / 21 kg

Max Capacity: 325lbs.


12’ seems best for longer trips, but is it needed? and weight is a bit more.


Length: 12’3" / 368 cm

Width: 30" / 76 cm

Weight: 61 lbs. / 27.5kg

Max Capacity: 350lbs.


The 12 will be better for long paddles.
A lot depends on how far you paddle in your sightseeing sessions. If its only a few miles, the 10 will do fine. If you plan on paddling 10 miles or farther, the 12 will be marginally better. Longer than that, the 12 really shows its advantage.

There are some inexpensive ways to carry your kayaks with a Ranger. A rack system tends to be the preferred system, but those can be expensive. Another option is a bed extender from Harbor Freight or Northern Tools. You need a receiver hitch on your truck for it to work, but the extender will allow you to carry two kayaks side by side with a length of up to 15 or 16 feet. If you don’t have a receiver hitch, both of the above outfits also sell an adapter that bolts on a step bumper to allow use of the extenders.

You will find that the range you fish from a kayak is greatly extended. On flat water and slow rivers, the extra length has an advantage. The shorter boat is better for faster water and tight streams where maneuverability is needed.

You may also want to take a look at the Native Watercraft Manta Ray in the lengths you are looking at. Also, almost everyone who ones one seems to love the Malibu Mini-X. Its just under 10 ft.

Another option-

– Last Updated: Feb-07-08 1:39 PM EST –


Looked at the Synergy, but felt comfortable with the redfish. Ocean Kayaks caught my eye as well, but still pretty set on the redfish.

I do not intend on more than 3 to 5 mile trips and I dont see that happening until I have some hours put in to feel comforatble manuevering.

thanks for the input

By the third time out, your comfort
level will be good. Native Watersports owns Heritage. If available in your area, do look at the Manta Ray. Most find it to be a better paddling kayak than the Redfish.

You may also want to check out

They may have both boats you’re interested

in at a substantial savings.

transporting kayak
I have a Ranger PU and have a 13.5 ’ yak. I built a cart out of PVC and strap the yak to that. Then, I put yak, cart and all in the bed of my PU. You’ll have to rest part of your yak on the top of your truck, with something to protest your truck top under it. I have been transpa=orting mine this way for a while now. You can also either buy some ramps or make your own to move the yak out of the bed. My yak weighs 65 lbs., so I’ve found this to be the easiest and least expensive way. I built the cart for around $60. The wheels can be bought from Harbor Frieght for about $10 each when on sale. I used the 13 inch wheels.

Heritage Redfish
I tried out a Heritage redfish and liked it, but I liked another yak for my particular reasons. The Redfish is a nice boat. I tried out the 12 foot. It all depends on how much gear you will be taking with you to fish. You’ll be able to put a lot more on the 12 foot model. I can put an office crate and a 25 guart ice chest behind that in my tankwell on mine. It would take the 14 foot model in the Heritage to do that.

Get a 12’ or longer. Why don’t you check out the Hurricane Phoenix 12 and 13? The plastic is a lot more durable and the weight is next to nothing. The 12 weighs 36lbs and the 13 weighs 46. I use the Phoenix 13 and it’s a fantastic kayak. The capacity is rated at 300lbs and I think that is very underestimated. I weigh 230 and will use a Shimano livewell in the tank and never have water in the footwells.

Phoenix 120
The 120 was recently redesigned and improved. My daughter has the old model and loves it. The new one is nicer and light. About 10 lbs lighter than most plastic kayaks the same size. My daughter is 5’10" and hauls her 4 year old in the tank well. We rigged a seat for him.

The Phoenix 120 would allow you to have a 12’ boat with possibly less weight than the 10’ you are looking at. One tip is to weigh the boat before you buy it. Most boats are over advertised weight. I bring a bathroom scale with me when shopping for a boat. I was burned when I bought a boat advertised at 43 lbs and it weighed 51 lbs when I got it home. Must have picked up 8 lbs of bugs.

Most kayak weights are shown as the bare hull weight. This is before hatches, bungee, pad eyes, or anything else is installed.

Some generalities
A 12’ will sit higher in the water with the same load.

A 12’ will be faster in the water with the same effort.

A 10’ will be easier to steer.

A 10’ will be lighter.

That said, I think 10’ to 12’ is about the perfect length for a river fishing recreational kayak. I’ve used some of the 9’6" Sparkys and such as well, which are fine.

Pay your money and take your choice. Neither one is going to be better than the other at all apsects of being on the water and getting to the water. Either will be acceptable for your intended purpose. At some point, it choosing between them gets to the equivalent of picking fly shit from pepper.

  • Big D

I would add that, generally, for lake
and slow river fishing, a 12 footer will track better. But, you are right, you pays the money and takes the chances.

I got two of the 10’s
I like my Heritage 10’s. Nice n short. Still lots of room for everything for a day of fishing.

I can fit them both in the back of the F150 with the tailgate down, they only stick out a few inches. I can literally pick them both up at once.

I like the shorter ones for fishing as I like to go in very shallow and confined areas. The Heritage models track like a longer model. They really do a great job. My wife just loves them too, I had to buy a second one once she got in, I could not get it back.

You will get a bit more gear on the 12. If you are into kayak camping even rarely, I would consider going longer.

Neither of these are long distance run type kayaks. They are not speedsters but not slouches either. I dare say you will not notice a difference in paddling in 90% of your travels. They both move easily. They both turn well. I just like the little one because I tend to get in some thight turn around spots and don’t like paddling backwards that far.

Happy fishing.

good stuff
Im thinking 10’ will bennifit me most for the areas I plan to haunt. With my old Bass Tracker, I would pull that in close and I see myself in much tighter spots on the kayak.

I want to see if I can rent the ones we want to buy so we can try them out before commiting on the size. Im hoping the place we are buying them will have the type we want to buy for rent as well. I know they rent them there so we will have to see.

Im leaning heavy to the 10’ ones. I am part minamilist so I dont see myself takign a ton of gear. My old bass boat was always empty

10’ is good for…
just about anything. I’ve got two Dagger Blackwater 10.5’s and love ‘em. Both have skegs and paddle like longer boats. Easy to put on the car and short enough to handle creeks and some current. I’ve also got a 14’ boat which would be the preference on long paddles but the shorter boats actually see more water because of their convenience.

My 11’ America w/ no skeg or rudder
actually tracks better than my 14’ LL Stingray. But part of that is less seat time for me in the SR. Still, right off the bat comparisons, the 11-footer was much easier to paddle, while only slightly slower, surprising me a bit. . . .

votes 10’
hi yak …i think u’ve answered your own question …

ie: u take minimum gear = 10’

Ford ranger to haul = 10’

solo paddling…= 10’ (12’ in the wind while solo!!! handful !!)

weight…= 10’

cost…= 10’

10’ is looking like a winner!

Its your boat, paddle what you want too