How many boats did you go through to find the right one?

Guessing close to a hundred, from ~25 years of paddling. My current fleet is a Valley Nordkapp LV, Valley Avocet, NDK Romany Sportive, Eddyline Raven and a Dagger Alchemy S. The Nordkapp LV & Avocet get the most use. A Stellar Intrepid LV and CD Sisu LV are on my current radar.

A dozen or so that I bought and six that I designed and built have given me my three favorites, for today. Tomorrow is another day.

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I assume we’re talking about paddling boats here. so I took a slightly different approach to finding the “right ones”. Over many years of paddling, I was able to try out more boats than I can remember and of the paddling boats I have purchased, I still own all but one. Of the ones I have, I still paddle all but one . Well that’s not quite right. That one that I haven’t paddled for years was given to me. If I had to do it all over, I would probably do it about the same way and hopefully I would make about the same choices.

I was a hard core fisherman (with 2 motor boats) when I bought my first kayak. Bought it so I could access water I couldn’t with a motor boat. That was over 20 years and 20 kayaks ago. I now have 6 yaks and love to paddle as much as I love to fish. Some days I never even take my fishing rod out of it’s holder. Hard to pick a “right one” because of different places and conditions.


Two to get to the first could-build-skills-and-do it-all sea kayak. Another one maybe two to get to a day boat that will do all of what I want these, lazier and solo paddling, days. I think I know what would be a final jump from these boats to get to just one, but since I still have these I am not rushing to that.

just the facts:

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One, to be precise. A WW kayak I bought from Tommy C1, converted to a C1. It was just too small for my son and I, crazy fun for 3 minutes then our legs would go numb. The other 18 boats, whether sailing dinghy, Rigid Inflatable, C1, OC1, OC2, squirt, poling specific canoe, or sailing auxiliary (had gas and diesel powered sailboats simultaneously for awhile) have all been the right one, though some were “20 minute boats” and others I would have been happy on for a year or three.

Probably my favorite and last one. Very comfortable, very fast, dry ride in rough, tons of storage, and 7 years of :mag: searching to find one.


In my defense, my fleet of eight is on the “cheap fleet” side. There are five touring kayaks (one carbon/kevlar, two glass, one stitch&glue, one plastic) plus three shorter plastic kayaks and I counted up the total investment at $3700.

I’ve got this one I just can’t seem to get through,
something tells me it just isn’t right.
So over there on those sawhorse awaits 'nother choice,
sometimes Explorer gives way to Malecite.

A fast lady’s in waiting, a big lake’s to be crossed,
is it right for this boy to adhere,
to those old broad and beamy when there’s miles to chew up,
and Wenonah’s such a fine Voyager?

And there comes rare occasion when the river runs low,
nuthin’ “right” ‘bout it when she gets the vote.
But her royal ex says rock-rampage won’t turn the gal back!
God save my back hoistin’ up Uberboat!
(I’ll likely never get right with a boat)
(But ain’t it fun to keep some hope afloat?)

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Awesome! I guess you didn’t love the Sisson Arctic Raider or the Wavesport X.

Average of $462.50 each… I’m impressed.

That’s a great way of looking at it. My very first boat taught me one thing fast: I liked paddling but that boat was too darn big for me. Good lesson.

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Wow, that’s poetic!

That is impressive geek level @raisins !

The link wouldn’t load before, but I saw it now and yes, that’s impressive!

That’s skewed by the cheaper bargains. I have $2200 in the two best kayaks, leaving $1500 for the other six (average $250 each) which includes three smaller plastic kayaks.

You know you’re a serious paddler when the value of your car skews the boat average downward. :smile:

Unfortunately, raw data doesn’t necessarily tell the story.

The Arctic Raiders (Caffyn design) were bought and used in Austalia for trips (did not bring them back to US).
The X was bought just before another Oz trip, to use for surf practice.

A lot of people around here have boat disease. It reminds of this piece of sage advice:

“The secret to happy life is not to get what you want,
It is to want what you have.”