Two more choices
I found two Kevlar kayaks. They both are at quite a distance from me and I can’t find much info on either.
One is the tchaika
The other is called hop on top.
I see that the tchaika is for smaller people. I am short at 5’ but I weigh 159. I think I will always be somewhat chubby even though I work out so I’m concerned that this one will not fit well. It is going for $500
The owner of the hop on top says he has been in races in it and came in close. It looks like a nice kayak. He wants $650
I know I was ambivalent about SOTs but this looks pretty sweet.
Two more choices
It seems that the hop on top can be tippy and is meant for people with more experience than I.
I am leaning towards the necky manitou. It sounds like a reliable kayak that I can handle with good ratings.
but I just lost two more pounds and…
That tschaika is nice!
Sorry for bothering you all. You have been so helpful!
From everything you all said, a step up from plastic would be good. Anything over 10’ is best. And narrow.
This kayak is light, 14’ long, and built for people with shorter arms. The owner says she has beat people in plastic 16’ kayaks in it.
Comes with a PFD too. For 500 and maybe I can get it down to 400.
I’ve paddled all three - bliss, zydeco, and manitou. Of them all I would choose the manitou, hands down. Although faster than the others, I do think that after some seat time you will find it seriously slow - which will be an excuse to get a better boat.
Depends on goals
I’d be confident in making a wager that more than 90 percent of all people who paddle kayaks never feel the urge or need to upgrade to anything faster than a wide, tub of a rec boat. Between that extreme and the other would be the type of people who’d be happy to stick with the Manitou (or something like it) forever.
on the manitou
well, I found a used 14’ for $750. Its coming from a company not a private person so I am guessing that it is in good running condition (no broken parts).
I keep hearing so many good things about the manitou and a lot of you are suggesting the 14. For just a little bit more it probably would be a kayak I would keep forever. With two bulkheads I can go camping and the skeg will allow me added tracking. Another thing about it is that if I wanted to show my friend how to use it, this kayak could handle him as he is almost 300lbs. The smaller kayaks, not so much.
I haven’t a lot of experience
with other boats, but I have tried the Zydeco, and it was a cow.
My own boat is a Perception Carolina 14, and my mother had rented a 11 foot Zydeco, and it was very slow, massively prone to weathercocking, and it was no more maneuverable than my boat.
As I mentioned, I haven’t tried a lot of kayaks, but I have been very happy with the Carolina 14 as an all-rounder. I’m starting to think about longer and narrower since I spend a lot of time in open water, but it’s hard to imagine a better go-to boat than the one I’ve got.