Kayak, best bang for the buck?

Hey everyone! Currently I am trying to find an inexpensive Kayak for around $350. I could spend a little more but would rather try to keep the in that ball park. I used to own a QCC700 which I sold about 6 months ago. I know that a $350 kayak is not going to come anywhere near the Ferrari type performance of the QCC and I am not expecting it to. I just want something light that has reasonable performance that will allow me to be on the water when we go camping. I am also going to use it to retrieve my RC boat when it stops running in the middle of the lake. :slight_smile: There are many manufactures out there molding boats in this price range so it is a bit daunting trying to narrow down it down. Any suggestions on a decent design you guys suggest would be great. At least I can minimize my search…



used is your best bet
Are you really serious or just putting us on? Your only hope of getting something reasonably decent in that price range is to find an older used touring boat. Nothing new under $400 is going to be much more than a plastic bathtub/pool toy. Especially for someone accustomed to a QCC 700, for chrissake. If the QCC was a Ferrari, in automotive equivalency these things are not even cars, more like 3 speed bicycles.

Yeah, there are tons of hunks of plastic out there for $250 to $400 but they are all pretty much interchangeably dreadful for anyone who is familiar with a real kayak and expects one that paddles as such.

Watch the Craigslist ads in your area. One thing I’ve noticed over the past 5 or 6 years is that the prevalence of cheap junk boats has taken some of the scarcity away from the decent used boat market. Used to be any kayak that turned up on CL for under $400 was snatched up by newbies eager to get into the sport (and often not really understanding what kind of boat they were getting in picking up used sea kayaks or even whitewater boats). Now the lily-dipper newbs just buy a shiny plastic tub at Walmart or Dicks and leave the quality used boats that turn up for sale to those of us who know what their value is.

how much does your RC boat cost?

That’s why he sold the QCC! (nm)

Too much :slight_smile:
I probably have a grand invested in it…

I don’t expect performance…
I know these things are junk compared to my QCC. However, I would like to have something that will paddle decently that I can cruise around with. I am not planning day trips or anything… The primary use is for my RC boat retrieval. Which is why the low price. I also want something small and manageable. I had back surgery and needing hip surgery. Therefore trying throw a 19 foot kayak onto my car is not what I am looking for no matter how cheap it used. And it is the main reason I sold mine. Certainly there must be some performance differences between these boats. Let’s put the price cap at $500. Does that change things in the performance? Or is it going to be a more expensive hunk of plastic? If it is then screw it and I’ll buy the $299 one and be done with it.

not lighter
Short rec boats are generally about the same weight as 12’ to 14’ light touring boats since they have to be wider to get enough displacement to float an adult. So just as much plastic, just shaped differently. And at least in my experience, a short wide boat is more of a pain to drag to the car and hoist to a roof rack than a longer one.

My 15’ Venture Easky is only 44 lbs, about the same as any of the rec boats you’ll find in your price range. The crappy Emotion Glide ($349) is 49 lbs.

I’m not aware of anybody who does serious comparative tests on utility rec boats. I suspect six of one half dozen of another on performance. But I suppose for what you are doing this one (at 37 lbs, 25" beam and $349) would suffice and it does have a tapered hull at both ends which might make it track better – and the stern compartment would be handy for hauling the RC boat.


Have you considered an inflatable?

Pelican’s are on the short list

– Last Updated: Jul-27-14 9:42 PM EST –

I was actually looking at the Pelican Summit 100x. The RC boat is 48" long and weighs around 12lbs so the small compartment in the back is not going to work... I considered the inflatables but these boats have props and turns fins that are razor sharp. Not a good combo with an inflatable... I'll keep looking...

There is an Elie Sound 100 XE on Craig s list for $400. I sent them an e-mail...

so why would you expect to pay a small
fraction of your RC boat for a full-sized boat meant to retrieve your RC boat?

I’d up my budget and shop used, including Ebay, Craigslist and paddling.net classifieds.

Old beat up aluminum canoes are legion on Craig’s List for little money, after all, you said performance doesn’t matter

The “crappy” Emotion Glide weighs in at about 37 pounds, is very easy for someone with back and hip problems to get in and out of, is very stable compared to narrower touring boats, and fits his price range.

I can cruise it at just under 4 mph in calmer waters.

True, it’s no performance demon, it’s not fancy, it’s not seaworthy for ocean paddling.

But it would work for what he wants and is a decent rec boat that is somewhat better than many in its class, IMHO.

Try to remember what he’s looking for: something comfortable for a person with disabling conditions to knock around picking up his RC boat from the water.

BTW, you might look at a sit on top kayak, as they’re even more stable for activities like fishing, diving platforms, and would pose no problem for the back/hip issues with entry/exit. And they can be had for cheap.

Yes a canoe…
We use to use a canoe affectionately called “rescue one” to retrieve RC float planes that quit over water.