I need a BIG kayak

I am a beginning kayaker who is on the large size. At 6’7" 380 lbs. you can imagine it’d be hard to squeeze me into a kayak cockpit. Therefore my question to all of you: What kayak manufacturer makes a craft with the largest cockpit and the most carry weight? I’ve been told the Impex “Serenity” (great name) is a real player but I want to know what else is out there. The people at paddling.net referred me to P&H, Necky and QCC but they really don’t fit the bill. I’ve thought about going to a solo canoe but having gone that route I’d like to try out the kayak. Any help would be appreciated.

Take Care and God Bless

search for a used Necky Pinta

– Last Updated: Nov-10-09 3:20 PM EST –

A friend who is 6'6" and 325 has one and it's perfect. Needed a foam pillar behind the aft bulkhead to support the deck in rescues as the wide beam made for too much flexing. The first question though is whether you are comfortable sitting with your heels at butt height. In other words how much of your mass is gut that will inhibit sitting with legs out position for a period of time or whether you need a kayak/canoe with heels below your seat height.

I'd determine that first before picking the kayak so the kayak best fits your comfort and not vice versa.

I made a s&g Chesapeake 18 for lessons where folks over 300lbs and over 6'5" just couldn't fit in regular kayaks. Pygmys Boreal XL might do it. What kayaks have you been in that you could paddle? There's a range of recreational doubles that would work fine, you just have to be aware of their limitations as you would a canoe. In my limited experience with big folks if you can't self-rescue in any kayak you better be near shore.

Have you paddled a Wilderness Systems Pamlico 165? it's rec. double that you could turn into a single paddler.


I'm guessing this hull shape is what someone your size could utilize as a sea kayak. It's probably way outside the budget and the seat would probably need modifying but it's what comes to mind.



look at the Old Town boats
Their recreation models feature large cockpits.

If you could find a first generation Loon, it would fit the bill, if you don’t mind going used.

Pacific Water Sports Thunderbird
If you can find a used one.

You might try
the Wilderness system Pamlico 135T or Old town twin otter either of wich could be set up solo. Wha type of water do you plan on paddling in?

Current Designs
CD makes some very good boats for truly large paddlers.

Why not a Sit on Top?
W/S makes the Ride 135 that has a 400lbs capacity.

I’d recommend a sit on top
The WS Ride or the Tarpon 160 would be good ones to try.

I’ve paddled
A Seaward Vision, would fit a larger paddler just fine…

I second the Kruger
I have one, and they rule. Best boats ever.

thye are spendy, but worth it. Kayak like, but also canoe like. Can paddle them with a single or double blade. A Loon or Monarch, also Kruger designs might be found used. Sawyer canoes makes a Sawyer Expedition which is similar, but a little cheaper. Clipper makes their Sea-1 which is similar.

What is it about kayaks you liked that you didn’t like about a canoe? Some kayaks have rudders which makes them better than most solo canoes IMO.

Not to sound real harsh, but if you lose weight your possiblities will open up. Kayaks are kind of tailored to skinny short (6’ or so) people in general. Not putting you down for weight or height, we can’t choose how big we are, but thats pretty much a fact. It’s a tough sport to get into if you are big, but definitely worth doing.

Impex Assateague
If you’re looking for a sea kayak, the Impex Assateague is a barge. A wonderful, seaworthy boat, not fast but spacious. I did many miles on the Newfoundland coast in it in my larger days.

Used Sealution XL
It may not be quite large enough for you but it is a huge sea kayak. It is worth a try.

I’m not sure where you are…
but if you’re in Florida, I’ve got a couple of boats you could try out, and friends who have more.

I guess my point is try to find a local paddle club, and see what you can try out. Most of us would be happy to help.


big boat
I tried the Ride and though they might rate it at 400 pounds, that would be completely submerged. I couldn’t work with it at 300 pounds.

Suggest you look at the Malibu Kayaks eXtreme or Xfactor. I know someone your size who paddles an eXtreme (15 foot SitOnTop) and the Xfactor has even more float (14.5 foot SitOnTop).

I have a Perception Acadia II (tandem SitInside). Basically, I reduce it to a single seat. Plenty of float, but sleek…it ain’t.

Solstice Titan HV
by Current Designs will fit you. I’m sure.

my suggestion …

– Last Updated: Nov-11-09 7:44 AM EST –

Hi Big Guy ....try looking @ a Pamlico 135T or the 16'tandem....it has a overall max. weight rating of 425 # i think. a lot of big ppl are removing the front seat and the center bar and unbolting the rear seat( which you have to do anyways to remove center bar and front seat)now the rear seat is free to slide as needed to balance out the weight. and you won't find a bigger cockpit opening than on a some tandem kayaks ...check out the other tandem brands as well. Some you can get with a rudder, some you can not. If you wait till season end, a lot of stores will be selling their season's tandem rental fleet at big discounts. good luck

USS Kitty Hawk

Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5

– Last Updated: Nov-11-09 10:15 AM EST –

I'm a only a little smaller than you, but the NH17.5 will absolutely work. That's what I paddle and I actually have plenty of room to spare. It's carrying capacity is 500 lbs and it performs quite well for a large boat. Plus, Eddyline's construction and materials are second to none. It also has a skeg instead of a rudder.

I initially wanted a Pinta but they discontinued those just as I was about to order it. I subsequently had a chance to paddle one and was pleased to learn that I liked the NH 17.5 better than it. Used Thunderbirds and Pintas are a bit difficult to locate, but the NH17.5 is current production.

I have also considered a WS Tsunami 175. The cockpit and deck height dimensions look good, at least on paper, eventhough it is only listed as a 400 lb boat. I haven't had a chance to try one out yet. I fit in a Tsunami 145 and paddle it fairly comfortably, so I would think a 175 would only be better.

I can't even get in an Impex Assateague, so that's probably out for you since you have me by a few inches and 80lbs. It is definately NOT a big persons boat. Forget the Pamlico 135 too, unless you want to paddle it as a squirt boat. Yuo may be able to modify a Pamlico 165 seat position to work, but too much effort for good back support. I squashed the Ride 135, felt totally unstable. The CD Titan looks interesting, but the cockpit is likely going to be way too narrow for comfort. It is 17.5 vs. Eddyline's 19.

I also have a Tarpon 160, but feel that I'm at the upper limit for it. There will be a lot of wash over and leg length may be an issue for you as well. It could work, but I think you will paddle the NH17.5 with more confidence and success since you are just starting out.

volume wise
but I’m not sure about handling on the water. I don’t doubt it could take his 380lbs without hitting the sheer but those very fine ends really have no volume but lots of resistance to turning. Even if the stability was acceptable I think it would be awful in waves as those ends would be like skegs on the bow and stern.

my research says go 4 the Nighthawk 17.5
I’m only 5.3 but I come close to 300 pounds, sometimes under sometimes over. The Asseteague is out of the question. Don’t bother. I’m not sure about the Pamilco either,

I know there is room enough for you in a Pungo 140 but you could test paddle one and see how your weight works in one. My Pungo sits lower in the back due to my weight. You weigh at least 70 more pounds than I.

The Pungo 140 works well for me. I dream of having an Eddyline but I know I should test paddle one first. I keep putting it off.

This year it was security storm doors, next year it will be flooring, but the next year it might be an Eddyline. Meanwhile an all black cat got born in my condo so I named him Eddyline. I may have an Eddyline Kayak one day yet.

Being big is not fun. You have my full sympathy and understanding. I say that if you can afford it, don’t mess around, go for something good that fits you well and in which you will enjoy your time paddling.