Kayak Advice (Purchase)

-- Last Updated: Jun-23-08 11:16 PM EST --

I am brand new to kayaking. This question I am sure has been asked over and over, but here is my version.

I have canoed some in my life and been a couple times this season. My main purpose is to do this w/ my Lab. She is a pup now, 40 lbs, but will probably top out at 70-75 lbs when she is fully grown.

The canoe I have now is a 17' aluminum white water and is very stable, but is very difficult to paddle straight. So I started looking at kayaks.

I demoed several today, Native Marvel and Ultimate, Wilderness Pungo 140 and a Necky Manitou II. The Necky was my most favorite, followed a few steps back by the Native Marvel. I liked the Necky, it was stable and fast in the water.
I want to do day paddling in resvoirs, lakes w/ my lab as much as weekend overnight camping trips on the Potomac from say Green Ridge State Forest down through Algonkian park to the C&O Canal. The other boat that has been recommended to me is the Old Town Predator K140. The place where I demoed today did not have one of these for comparison. I am looking for someone who does, I am in Northern Virginia, so if anyone knows of a place that has these as demos, that would help.

I am hoping the OTC Predator is fast and responsive like the Necky. The hull of the Necky I think made the difference, it is a little more rounded, not so "V" shaped which w/ my lab was more stable and enjoyable.

Thanks for any advice in advance,


Canoes are better
for paddling with dogs.

2nd the canoe.
Look at a Wenonah Prism,Advantage,Voyager. relatively fast boats with lots of room and capacity.

or a Rapidfire.

I’m new too…
but I ended up with a Percetion Carolina 14 and am VERY happy with it. I use it for day trippn on a lake and small rivers. I don’t know if it is the best for a dog, not a lot of cocpit room for big dog.

large cockpit
A couple of other possibilities:



Pungo or a SOT
or any tandem if the dog is okay being separated from you a little.

I’d stay away from canoes out on big water where the wind can move you around a lot. It sounds like that’s why you are thinking about kayaks anyway.

I’d lean towards the 14 foot Pungo or a tandem. There are also a few SOTs that you could use by placing the dog in a bed inside a hatch, or even behind you in the tankwell. I’d lean towards keeping the dog in front though.


Ocean Kayak SideKick?
Ocean Kayak has a boat, the Sidekick, that’s made for 1 1/2 passengers. It might be worthwhile checking out.

Kayak Advice (Purchase)
Thanks for all the replies.

I demoed the Pungo, great to paddle, but not w/ a dog. The cockpit is to small and is a bit tippy w/ her in it.

The thing about canoes is getting her back in when she is full grown.

I need to find somewhere to demo the Old Town Kayak K140. No one around me has one, so I don’t know how it will paddle.

I did demo the Native Marvel and Ultimate. The ultimate was only a 12, it was steady, but slow. The Marvel was better, it was a 14.

SOT, I think might be an option. I have not tried one, but a concern I have before trying is it might invite my dog to get out more often than not. But I need to try.

The canoe route is good for carrying her, but getting her back in will pose some issues when she is full grown.

Do you know if there are any more demo days this summer in the Virginia, Maryland area?

That might be the best route.