hurricane tampico in "big" water advise

Does anyone have experience w/Tampico in larger waters (ie: great lakes). I would like to do something the the Apostle Islands but am unsure if I should be looking at more of a “seayak” for that type of paddling. As I already own a Tampico I was wondering if it would suffice for journeys of this sort.

Of course you NEED a sea kayak
and any reason will do.

What are your skills
A Tampico wouldn’t be at the top of my list for that water - if Hurricane a Tracer seems better. But it is still about what you can do. If you can’t do a variety of self-rescues and handle significant waves, it isn’t going to matter what you are in. If you can, you may find that some boats facilitate that better than the Tampico.

If you go with an outfitter
and bring your own boat it must be at least 16 feet long and have front and rear bulkheads.

Since your asking the question I think you are not experienced enough to do this on your own. Go with an outfitters group trip. You will be glad you did. The price will include a boat, food and sometimes tents. More expensive but well worth it just because of the safty. “Living Adventure” was recommened to me. Have not gone yet but hope to soon.

thanks celia & ice…
I appreciate your input. Although I’ve put appx 400 miles on my tampico since last july I’ve only paddled inland rivers and lakes in michigan. Thats mainly why I wanted to ask for some input on my boat being capable of big water…as I’ve never done it. I hope to get to point pelee ntl park in ontario (2 hrs away) in the next couple weeks and I plan on just taking my boat along the shoreline of lake erie to get the feel of some larger waves. I guess if I like it I should start thinking about a sea-yak. I went to the store and sat in a current designs siricco today.

thx again

If you like the thermoform
plastic, try the Hurricane Tracer.It is 16.5 long. I have one. It has about the same handling as the Sirocco but weighs on 47# where the Sirocco weighs in at about 70. Can’t pack as much stuff in the Tracer though. You might demo one.

It’s all about your skill level and size
I have taken my Tampico S on five mile crossings in the Mackinac straits several times. The kayak can handle it but do you have the skills for self-rescue?

I’m a smaller woman but kept up with those in our group with longer boats. It would be a real squeeze to get more than two days gear in a Tampico S and have any freeboard which is why I also have the Tracer. The Tampico L has more room for gear. But I still paddle the Tampico more often cause it’s lighter and more manageable (for me). Take lessons first before undertaking anything out on the Great Lakes and the advice to go with an outfitter makes sense. My best friend has a 17 foot sea kayak and I’ve noticed she still struggles with it in wind and waves and her skill hasn’t progressed leading me to wonder if going a little shorter (cargo loading aside) might make a kayak respond better for paddlers working their way up the skill ladder. Sure worked for us.

learning opportunity

A great place to learn, demo, and have fun.

outfitter or guide
Is what I also would suggest. I paddle warm waters down here in south florida and have 10 years kayaking experience on multiday trips in coastal waters. I do have basic skills and rescue practice on a frequent basis. Still, I felt the great lakes was much more challenging than the waters I paddle in so I went with an outfitter for my first time there. I am glad we did, as there were some really different situations I needed help with like surf landings and launches, dealing with sea sickness in swells and figuring weather fronts and conditions on longer trips.

great lakes kayak symoposium…
I was looking @ that, however registration closed yesterday and I cant talk my wife into taking vacation to go up to join in. I was considering going up saturday morning to see if I could demo w/o being a registered participant.

Worth a try
I wouldn’t be surprised if they had walk-in, day registrations still open as long as you aren’t trying to get into a fully filled class. A lot of the challenge at these bigger symposiums is in the classes taught by the bigger names in the sport, and the more specific trainings. Beach time to mess with boats shouldn’t be as tight.

But even if you have problems getting into boats that day, check out the local outfitters that are there and go back to try their boats at a later time.

You’ll probably ultimately want to go to a skinnier etc boat than the Tampico anyway if the Great Lakes are calling you. This may be your start down the road to storage problems…

Watch out!

– Last Updated: Jul-13-06 3:05 PM EST –

You're in the same position I was 3 years ago--proud owner of a Necky rec kayak, and about to spend a week on the Canadian shore of Lake Superior for work. Rather than bring my little rec kayak on the big lake, I went on a trip with guides in Ontario (Naturally Superior Adventures). Next thing I knew, I'd bought first a kevlar sea kayak, then a cabin on the lake near the Apostles, then a betsey bay valkyrie (a wooden kayak good for rolling and other fun stuff), and now my bank account is very empty, but I get to paddle on Lake Superior every day.

If you're planning on paddling in the Apostles, good outfitters include Living Adventures and Trek and Trail. Avoid Brule River outfitters--they cost half as much, and that's because they're clueless about the lake and good at getting people into deep trouble. Living Adventures will rent kayaks if you first take their half day safety course (covering assisted rescues, paddle float self rescues, hypothermia), which is an excellent idea. The lake is very warm this year, but a wet suit is still necessary for crossings (or at least hydroskin).

Don't take your rec boat out on the open lake--but you can take it in the estuaries. Bark Bay slough and Lost Creek bog are two good spots near the Apostles, and Long Lake is awfully pretty too (that's an inland lake on the peninsula). If I were you, I'd come up with the tampico for protected waters, and go out with Living Adventures for their 5 day trip (or the 7 day trip) through the islands. Their prices are very reasonable for the 5 and 7 day trips.