Kayak advice

I am going on a 6 day 5 night river kayak trip, bringing all my own gear. No experience outside of some kayak fishing and recreational paddling … so I’m training on my old fishing kayak. It’s been suggested that I buy a sea kayak 15’+ in length for this trip. 5’5" 155 lbs female. Any suggestions? Is there a kayak out there that would be good for both touring and fishing or is this asking too much? Paddling minimum 6 hours per day on trip … so comfort/stability important. Never done anything like this before so any advice is welcome.

You might have as much or more trouble
doing the trip in an unfamiliar sea kayak.

What river is this? What are the conditions?

Whichever boat you take, do some rehearsal on packing. You don’t want to have a titanic struggle to get everything in.

If you had more time, I would suggest you get a solo canoe and learn to manage it. Much easier to load and unload. And you can carry beer in a cooler for the others.

Where are you located?
I don’t see going for new prices for a purpose like this even if everything else checks out as far as your own readiness. It would help if you said where you were located, someone may know a decent used source to point you at.

Also, what are the conditions on this river trip? All flat water, anything moving, etc.

6 hours per day is a hard haul. How far away is this trip in terms of your ability to prep for it. And do you have a good light paddle? I mean really light. For that many strokes over 5 days, you will come away with damage if you go with a heavy poorly balanced paddle.

renting? or used…
I would be hesitant to buy a new kayak just for a trip like that. Are there any outfitters from whom you could rent a boat? It would definitely be helpful if you would tell us where you are located and where the trip will be. I am exactly your size and have owned 9 different touring kayaks (all in the 14 to 18 foot range) and rented several others – could recommend quite a few models or suggest used ones in your area that might work.

The characteristics you want in a fishing kayak (able to sit in a stable position and room for lots of on-deck gear) are not what you want in a distance touring kayak (easy forward speed and storage sealed inside the hull).

rivertrek 2014
it’s on the apalachicola river, in north florida 107 miles going with the current. I don’t even know what a really light paddle is? I am the most inexperienced of the paddlers as you can tell.

kayak advice : rivertrek 2014
it’s on the apalachicola river, in north florida 107 miles going with the current. I don’t even know what a really light paddle is? I am the most inexperienced of the paddlers as you can tell.

That’s a pretty mellow river. If you
can get your gear on your boat, should be no problem.

The river is wide enough that speedboat wake could be an issue, but if your party keeps toward one shore or another you should do fine.

I still would oppose getting a new sea kayak. You’re better off in your own boat.

Have you tried Green Wave Forum?
This link is for the Apalachicola. You can pick up a lot of useful impressions from trip reports.


Light paddle
23 to 26 ounces would be ideal but that’ll also set you back over $400 new. As close as you can get to that though - for the concentrated paddling you describe you almost can’t be too light.

You WILL need to bring a spare paddle set, like your current paddles if you don’t already have two. That is too long a trip to be without a backup.

As to what boat… if the river is calm as is indicated above, by day 4 or 5, the ease of moving a skinnier boat along will make the fist day of getting used to the diff in stability worth it.

Getting too hung up re sea kayak
Not sure anyone even said a full out sea kayak.

But a transition type touring boat, like the Tsunamis at 14 ft about, will carry stuff for a 5-6 day trip more happily than most SOT’s, are likely to take less energy to move than a fishing SOT and are a comfortable width. At 23 -24 inches they don’t send someone into the water at all easily, and this category of boat tends to be around used.

OPer will be traveling with a group. That lowers the concerns about a simple getting-used-to-it capsize and elevates the concerns about having a boat that will make it easier for her to keep up with a group over back to back days of paddling.

Not a

– Last Updated: Jun-18-14 10:07 PM EST –

lot of kayak exper but have done some distance river tripping.

If you are fish/floating for 6 hours, that wont be a big deal. The only thing you have to do on the river is be on the river. If your water is running at 3 mph, that means that you will cover 18 miles floating in 6 hours. If you put in early 730, to fish and break for a long lunch you can still be at your campsite by 330-4 without trying to hard.

I have a long sea kayak I bought because of my size + gear. My son has a 14.5' carolina and my buddy has a 13' OT castine. Both of those boats were plenty to carry all their stuff + them for a planned 4 day that we aborted after 2 this year and the castine went 107 in 4 days last year with a long day of 36+ miles. I honestly think my son with the 14.5 had more usable storage room than I did.

If I could have found a smaller used boat that fit my 6' now 255 frame with capacity for 100lb of gear (food, camping stuff, CHAIR, paddle, skirt, PFD, clothes, ect ect ect) and some buffer, I would have, but the big one that I found is rated for what I need.

If you have backpacking gear, you will get enough into a 13' touring boat for the trip. If your stuff is car camping size, you will have trouble with a 17' sea kayak.

used ones your area
There are a few used ones I spotted on north Florida Craigslist for sale that could be options that would work for you on such a trip: