hi, new here, need advice on kayaks

Hello fellow paddlers,

I am thinking of selling my necky manitou sport and buying a longer sea kayak. I need something faster than the necky but still fairly stable since photography is one of my fondest hobbies. Something like 13 to 15 feet long would be good. How do I go about researching and figuring out what would be a good choice for me? I am 5’5" and 122 lbs.

At the outfitters i have paddled some sea kayaks but they are mostly longer than i want and feel too big for me. I have a friend who has a 15’ QCC that i think is awesome but again too big for me. I might like the smaller QCC, the 300. Or the Current Design vision 130 or 140 in fiberglass.

Any opinions would be appreciaited. Thanks.


Where are you in Socal ?
A good thing to do is to do the Thursday evening social paddles at aqua-adventures where you can rent a boat for the evening for about 15 bucks. You can try lots of boats that way and see how you like them instead of just a 15 minute try out paddle. Talk to jenn there about what boats would fit for what you want to do.

Lots of women paddlers like the Valley Avocet … check out reviews here. Also talk with the women paddlers in the San Diego Kayak Club … you can check out the web page at www.sdkc.org .

In your profile…

– Last Updated: Jan-10-08 8:17 AM EST –

It says that you want to get some skills. Does that include stuff like rolling? In that case you could find that the width and cockpit fit of the boats that you are leaning towards right now could be a problem.
Also, how are you gauging "too big"? By length or allover fit?

I should have explained better
I can only have one kayak since i live in an apartment and it stays in my lr/dr area, not a great decorating scheme but who cares? It has to fit across my lr/dr wall and that means about 14.5 feet long at the most. So i will also need to sell my manitou sport much as i would prefer to keep it. As fas as skills go, i wouldn’t mind learning to roll but photography is of the most importance to me so if i have to get a really narrow kayak to roll, then i will stick with self-rescues and not learn to roll. I simply must take photos of all the amazing things i see out on the water. I hope that answers your questions.

I live in
El Segundo, moved here last year for a job. My real home is Humble TX, near Houston. I took a class from pacific paddlers and learned the basics, also have done paddles to the channel islands and baja, very fun. I think the valley avocet is too long for what i need but thank you for the suggestion.

I live in a 1 BR apartment on the 2nd fl
and have 5 kayaks. You just need to be creative.

another thing

– Last Updated: Jan-10-08 12:12 PM EST –

I think i want a fiberglass kayak for the nice looks and because its not too heavy for me to handle. i need something fairly light. My budget is up to $2K plus whatever i get for the manitou sport. I want something really nice this time since i know now that i will continue with paddling.

I have been looking around but its hard to find anything except fishing kayaks around here. Searching the web so far i like the Currnet Design Vision 130 or 140 and the Wilderness Tsunami 12 or 14 footer in fiberglass, also QCC 300 or maybe necky manitou longer version in fiberglass. Open to suggestions tho.

that is cool but
i want to have some furniture too. (smile)

necky looksha sport
or LV, unfortunately I think the LV is discontinued and only comes in plastic.


– Last Updated: Jan-10-08 12:18 PM EST –

Given the length restriction, here are a few more possibilities:

Eddyline Merlin LT
Current Designs Willow, Vision 130
Impex Mystic
Necky Eliza or Manitou 13/14
QCC Q300 or Q10X
Hurricane Tampico 135S

Your size puts you in the "small paddler" category, so you should focus on boats designed for smaller folks. Boats designed for larger folks will be harder to control.

If you like to build things, a Pygmy Tern 14 would be a good option.

Hang the kayak at an angle on the wall you can get about 2 more feet in length.

Hang the kayak diagonaly on the ceiling. If you have cats they love this.

Use the kayak as a coffe table (my friend’s husband did this in Madison Wisconsin.

Find a friend who can store the boat for you.

It’s possible to find boat rental spaces for kayaks but they tend to be expensive.

About 30 minutes from where you live is Southwind Kayak Center, and about15 minutes from you is Xtreamline Sports.

Both shops are very good. You can demo boats and rent from them as well. At the price range you are looking, I would also strongly suggest you look at used boats.You can get a very good used FG sea kayak for around $2,000 while a new boat will be considerably more.

Although our local club’s classified pages are a little light on boats right now, keep checking them at www.ckf.org (unabashed plug-you might want to consider joining the club too)

I also need to repeat SeaDart’s recommendation of going to San Diego and talking to Jen Kleck at Aqua Adventures. Jen is one of the world’s top paddling instructors and she gives advice from the heart - not necessarily what boat she has to sell this month.

Second unabashed plug - all of the above outfitters, Aqua Adventures, Southwind Kayak Center, and Xtreamline offer discounts to CKF members.

Answering your question
Your kayaks of choice are excellent so I would check availability. The QCC lead time may disqualify a new one but check it out. From reading past comments, call them. Do not rely on using e-mails with them.

I have furniture
There is a bed, dresser, tv, electric piano in the bedroom, a table and a computer desk in the kitchen. http://foldingkayaks.org/gallery/tsunami/ebaystuff_037?full=1

These other 3 kayaks are in the BR closet http://foldingkayaks.org/gallery/tsunami/chuckie_172?full=1

If you want a fiberglass kayak
Call Aqua Adventures in SD and ask Jen how to get hold of Greg, the former owner. He has a couple of 3 piece Kajaksport Vikings for sale.

Length you can manage
One of the kayaks in the basement is mounted along a wall that is shorter than the boat, as mentioned above by having it diagonal. Old high school stuff - a squared plus b squeared = c squared, the c or hypotenuse (sp?) of the right angle triangle is the length that you can actually manage.

Which means under 16’.
She said the wall was 14.5’, and assuming a 7.5’ ceiling, gives 16.3’. I assume she’d want a little wiggle room . . . .

fait-accompli …
What have you already done by the way … curious name …

You mentioned you considered the Tsunami in glass. I have a roto Tsunami 120 and it is a great boat, especially for a “smaller” paddler. Though based on your measurements the cockpit of a 120 or 140 may even feel too loose for you to be comfortable. I’m 5’10" 165lb male, with a 32" inseam. Stability in either boat is EXCELLENT, especially the secondary stability. I’ve never had mine in any kind of sea or ocean conditions so I can’t say how well it will hand big or coastal waters. But Flatpick (help designed them) who posts here has said they’ll handle some ocean or coastal water pretty well as long as you don’t push it.

You may consider the Tsunami SP which was specifically designed for smaller paddlers and children and comes in at 12’, but only in roto right now. Also Flatpick had said they were releasing a Tsunami 130 also specifically sized for a smaller paddler, more so then the 120. Not sure if it will be available in glass or only roto.

Good luck in your search…

the thing is
that wall also has a sliding glass door so if i go diagonal it will completely block access. right now i just have the necky along the floor and i can step over it. but I might be able to hang it across the ceiling except i’m afraid i might drop the boat while i am trying to put it up there by myself. i will have to think about this some more and do some measurements.