Kayak Choosing! Please Help!

I was looking for a kayak for under 600 dollars that would do well in the river and the gulf. Some of the kayaks I was looking at was heritage 10 and 12. I was also looking at the Perception sport angler 12. Any thoughts on this or any other kayaks would be greatly appreciated!

Define "do well"
What river? How far in the Gulf?

A 10 ft SOT will float but I wouldn’t want you paddling with me cuz you wouldn’t keep up.

If you want to fish thirty feet offshore on sunny days go for it.

Sorry, I am looking for a kayak that can easily travel long distance and it can go along ways on the gulf.

You should be thinking 14+ for a SOT or depending on your weight 16’ to 18’ for a sit inside.

Look for used
As above, you need a longer boat than you are thinking of right now given your answer to doing well. And likely some work in on-water self-rescue etc if those trips are going to be well offshore.

if you’re going to set a budget number
You had better start shopping used.

First, what kind of boat do you need to do what you want? It sounds like you need a fishing SOT with some length, get a list of recommendations from someone here who knows these boats.

Second, what’s the price range for new?

THIRD, what’s your budget?

Finally, what’s available, new or used.

If you were just looking for a rec boat to float around on your pond I’d say get whatever you can afford, but you’re not.

Start building
or get very lucky on Craigs List if you want to meet both the cost and performance requirements. Check with Jeff @ http://www.kudzucraft.com/index.php for what you need to build something that meets your requirements.

Go find…
a large local kayak specialty store. Not only will you get good advice, many of them - like mine in New Jersey - have special discounts (20-50%) on last year’s boats.

list for Tampa


there is pressure for buying short hulls…buy 14’ or longer.

If on the Gulf try a sit on top if only ‘paddling around’ but if looking to serious kayaking then an enclosed hull.

Gulf eather is often HOT so a sit on top is cool.

If you get serious then buy a second kayak, a sit in.

a lot of
junk in that list and there are a lot of kayaks around Tampa. Tampa is a buyer’s market, many sellers may take half.

There’s a Kevlar canoe in Groveland

Heritage 12 would work.
There is a bit of boat snobbery on this site. Heritage kayaks are seaworthy and can be paddled in open waters. the 12’ Heritage is kind of wide, so it’s not going to paddle very fast and you would not be able to keep up with skilled paddlers in sea kayaks. For fishing and messing around in coastal waters it would be fine.

Too bad about the budget
The OP is describing a Venture Islay 14 SOT.


See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY



Snobbery on every hobby site
There’s equipment snobbery on every hobby website. I flew RC airplanes for 6 years. Only spent $200 the entire 6 years on 2 planes. The folks on the RC forum would have had me unworthy if I didn’t spend $1000/year on RC.

I was unworthy on a bicycle with my 7 year old Walmart mountain bike I cleaned up out of the garage. You know what, that unworthy bike got me almost 600 miles under my belt in 3 months, lost me 40 lb of weight, cured my bad knees, began to fix my Cholesterol/Triglyceride problem, and got me into a pretty nice, but basic, bike that I rode all last year. Wouldn’t have happened without the Walmart bike.

I have been wanting to start paddling (started riding the bike instead hence, still wanting.) I’ll probably be buying a $250 kayak. I won’t be worthy on any of the kayak sites I’m sure. Well, it’s a $250 kayak or none at all. Everyone says Craigslist. Well, if you don’t have a clue what they are, you can’t do Craigslist very well. I have no idea what I’m looking at on Craigslist. I could be buying a $500 kayak for $600 for all I know if I went Craigslist.

read the

99% of the reviews are from people who are pleased they bought that kayak. That is because they buy the kayak they wanted.

Look for legit negative reviews.

SOT’s on Craig’s List in FL

– Last Updated: Feb-20-15 3:40 PM EST –

I am guessing the OPer is from Florida? Or some southern state that might have a similar selection if the Gulf is your targeted area.

I just looked at kayaks oon Craig's list for one area of SW Florida. I tripped over a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 160 that looks to be well outfitted for $550, another for $1100 and a few Prowlers for between $700 and $1200. I saw lesser boats listed for similar prices.

Bottom line, if the OPer can get some guidance from this site on a decent starting boat, Craig's List has boats in his price range if he keeps an eye out.

those mean it’s good?

Thanks for all of the help!

A lot of real estate on the gulf between
Pensacola and Corpus Christi.

Perhaps the OPer would narrow it down.

Snobbery ?
Not telling OP to buy a more expensive boat just given his performance expectations…

Chief Brody says “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”.

possibly STAY AWAY from those boats nn.