what is the highest max weight sit in kayak you are aware of? The Vapor 12 is 375-400. Anything bigger than that, say 450?
Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5
is listed on Eddyline’s website as 450 lbs. It is a really great big guy kayak and can carry a lot of gear even if you weigh 300 lbs. I can attest that it still performs quite well even when loaded up to 375 even in moderate level seas (2+ ft, 12-15 mph wind), because I’ve done it before. Although it may be a little sluggish, I don’t think going up to 450 would be a problem. But unless you already weigh 350, that would be a LOT of gear!
Expedition boats for big paddlers
Probably enough if you are willing to look at sea kayaks. Not sure of the exact weight ranges of boats here, but these are boats out there that were designed to handle that size paddler and gear for an extended trip. P&H Orion, the biggest of the CD Solstice series (take a look at Wayne Horodowitch and you'll see that) among the older ones that tend to show up used here and there. Kayak Sport almost anything - their line tends to be long full expedition boats.
Practical Issue - Self Rescue / Re-entry
Not sure if you are heavy and looking to carry a lot of gear or on the very heavy side. A practical consideration of someone who is very heavy and wants to paddle a SINK is the ability to self rescue. I have been involved in three rescues of paddlers on the coast here who did not have the upper body strength, agility and ability to balance their weight to do self rescues. One lady took four of us to get her back in the boat. If you can’t reliably do a paddle float or stirrup rescue, don’t buy a SINK. Two kayak fishermen required being rescued by the lifeguards with their jet skis and trailers.
Don’t put too much weight into what the manufacturer’s say as a max weight. Each company might have a way to make that determination that is generally consistent from one boat to the next, but if you are going to haul 400+ lbs in a kayak, you are going to want something big.
I weight 220 lbs and most 10 footers are too small, as are some 12 footers. A big 14 footer is much better for my weight. You probably want a high volume kayak in the 15 to 17 foot range – something like a Tsunami 145 is probably the smallest boat to check out.
That’s all assuming you want to paddle the boat somewhere. If you want to sit on a lake/pond and piddle around, anything that floats the 450 lbs will be fine.
I’m a big guy, no doubt about that (as in 6’3" and around 275), but height/weight to strength ratio and distribution is a very important consideration. I learned to roll many years ago when doing mostly WW and can still do so reliably. Most touring/rec kayakers never attempt to learn. SINK self rescue with a float and stirrup set up is often very difficult for larger folks, especially so since they tend to never practice it. Climbing back aboard a SOT can be difficult, but is still often easier than re-entry in a SINK especially if you have some assistance.
Look at Impex Assategue
I think it is listed as #280 max. But, I am about your weight (plus a little). And I have had this boat loaded with 40 plus pounds of gear, food and water. The boat handled well with all that weight.
I don’t know if you mean me
or the OP (I don't think paddler weight/height/pants/jacket size were stated).
I can't even get in a Assateague and feel comfortable. The cockpit is too small. Maybe they need to make a Bigassateague!
One thing I like about the Eddyline NH17.5 is the large 35x19 cockpit and depth of 14". Cockpit size is a *big* consideration if you hope to be able to do a re-entry or feel comfortable for sitting in it for 2-3 hours without a stretch break as I usually do. If you have to shoehorn in on the beach, you will not have fun in the water.
I’ll check em out
thanks for the advice, I’ll check out the suggestions. I have an OK Big Game SOT and I really like it but I learned quickly this weekend a SINK would be nice in the rapids.
Those recommendations above
would not generally be suitable for river rapids. They are sea touring kayaks. Several are composite boats or hard thermo plastic.
What you are looking for is a whole 'nother thng. For a fishing SINK where you may be able to run easy Class I/II rapids, try something like an Old Town Loon 138. You'll probably have to get lucky to find one, but they should still be out there. A Wilderness Systems Pungo 140 could work, but is under your 400Lbs requirements. The WS Tsunami 145 is close to the same, but better outfitted. It would probably not be as good for fishing due to the comparatively smaller cockpit than the Pungo 140, nor for river use running rapids unless you are pretty experienced at anything above Class I.
How about the WS Commander? Sort of a hybrid SOT/canoe/kayak?
Big Guy Boat
I’m 6’ 6" @ 310lbs. I have limited knee flextion. I ended up in a 14’ Hurricane Sport Exped. The boat has very long cockpit & 1 big rear hatch & a big frnt hatch with access from inside cockpit. The boat looks like a glass/comp boat. I’ve been on 4 over night paddle-ins & the boat carries a ton of gear. This is a boat that you might look into.