injured and need a new yak?

I’ve been nursing a pulled pec for over a year now and have finally admitted to myself and even worse to my wife, that my current yak is too heavy for me to try to cartop and paddle myself. I do mainly bay/estuarie paddling and a little bit in larger lakes and some mild river paddling if I get time. I also fish and take photos from my yak. I do need to cover some water when I’m paddling so I need a boat that isn’t a barge like what I have…

My current boat is an Ocean Kayak Ambush that weighs in at 100lbs and is 44inches wide (no surprise I pulled a muscle or two unloading and loading this on the minivan).

My other problem is that I’m on a budget of about $600-$700 canadian for the new yak and this seems to be my biggest issue. Any suggestions or advise on what I should do from here would be very well appreciated…

Thanks in advance and have a nice day!

Dana J. Cofell

Try here

– Last Updated: Jun-22-06 11:45 AM EST –

Join this list and look for an used Kevlar boat in your area. But it might still cost >$1000.

Build It Yourself - Ya, Really!
In my book, good, light, cheap boats = S&G or strip-built construction. The stitch-and-glue technique is well within the skills of just about anyone, requires few specialized or expensive tools, and is a very fast way to get a boat in the water. Strip-built takes a lot more time, requires more in the way of tools, and yeilds beautiful boats. Both are designed to be light - my VOLKSKAYAKs weigh in at about 40-45 lbs, and a friend’s strippers are right around that range. Given the large number of designs out there, you should be able to find something that’ll fit your paddling plans to a ‘T’.

You can also check the classified section on - I’ve seen S&G boats there for well under $1000. Keep an eye out locally, too - I’ve seen boats like my VK sell for $500 Cdn. here, which is about my materials cost to build one.

First sell the Ambush and add the money to your stash for a new kayak. Look at the used boat listings on this site and others. You dont specify weight requirements so it is hard to determine what your shopping for. It sounds like you are interested in a SOT. If so, there are only a few that are 50 lbs or under. The Huricane Phoenix line is one. Cobra may have a few more. The Mainstream Kingfisher at 48# is an inexpensive boat and comes in at under $500 US new usually with a seat and junk paddle. You would find better boats on the used market. A Scupper Pro would be a real find and has been widely used for fishing.

small canoe?
You could still use a double-bladed paddle.

solo canoe…hmmmmm?
I’ve considered a solo canoe, but I still am having a problem finding one in my low price range… kids and bills have to come first… I can’t sell the Ambush as my kids love coming out with me on it and usually then I’ve got some help from the wife loading and unloading, it’s when I’m alone that I’ve got the problem… Any suggestions on where to find a solo canoe cheap in southern Ontario area…

Not a solo but…
Radisson makes some light weight aluminum canoes. The 12 and 14 foot pointeds might fit your needs. We have a shop here that sells the 14 foot pointeds for $709 US. You might be able to find a used one up there. The 12 footer might be in your price range new> IIRC the 14 foot model weighs 41# (18.64 kilos).


How about the OK Sidekick?
I had never really considered a SOT in the past (have/had a WS Shaman/P&H Capella) but I bought one of these on sale last summer from REI, and my family and I have really enjoyed using it since then. The price looks to be right in your range. And much more manageable than your Ambush in terms of size at 52 lbs and 30" wide. I’m able to get mine on/off the top of my Ford Explorer by myself without too much effort.

You probably already know the Ocean Kayak dealer in you area since you currently own one. However, REI does offer 10% off any accessories purchased with a boat but I don’t know how much hassle it would be to purchase a boat in US (they only deliver boats to the lower 48) then haul back over the border with regard to duties, taxes, etc. REI and other “big box stores” get slammed quite a bit on this forum but for this type of boat purchase I feel like REI can’t be beat (particularly if you’re a member and you get over $60 in dividends at the end of the year). Looks like there are two REIs in the greater Detroit area.

I paddled solo, with my 7 yo son (45 lbs), and with him and my 110-lb wife this past weekend on the Chesapeake Bay and we had a great time. The product reviews on this site provide a pretty good appraisal of the boat. I fished from it in the Outer Banks of NC last summer and it should also be a good platform for photography.

I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about the boat. Good luck in your search.


Hornbeck boats?

– Last Updated: Jun-22-06 2:23 PM EST –

I don't know if this is what you're looking for, but Hornbeck boats ( - can't do the link thing!)are VERY lightweight canoes that you paddle with a kayak paddle and sit on a low seat on the bottom of the boat - like a kayak.They have a 10'5" kevlar model that weighs 16 lbs. and is $1195. Their 10'8" Black Jack carbon kevlar weighs less than 12 lbs and costs $1495. I know that's more than you wanted to spend, but maybe the weight savings is worth it. They look like VERY nice boats! Good Luck!

Sorry, I gave the wrong width for
the OK Sidekick. It’s 32.5"

The lightest boats I’ve seen:

Folding Kayaks

Another option that you have is a folding kayak. They do not have to be car-topped at all, but can be assembled when you get to your destination.

Either PackBoat or Atlyak will fit both your paddling style and will probably fit your price range, brand new. There are also a lot of used ones that you can get for a similar price. Smaller Folbots are easy to assemble, and are sold for the price range that you describe.

Typical assembly times are 20-30 minutes, depending on the model. Look at for more info.

new boat ?

– Last Updated: Jun-22-06 10:08 PM EST –

Is it possible that just getting another way to transport the boat you already have would fix the problem ? That is , if you can live with a barge.
A lightweight tow behind trailer may be the answer. [the ad was in Canoe & Kayak]

has a lightweight trailer and I'm sure there must be many more.