Kayak for older female - 190#, 5'8" tall

I have been solo canoeing (Bell wildfire - gel coat - 28#) for many years - big lakes, rivers with ripples and several water falls. I would like to purchase my first kayak mostly for ocean paddling, but need something lightweight to handle myself. I have been looking at Hurricane boats. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Lightweight made in USA

– Last Updated: Apr-19-15 11:22 AM EST –

Isle au Haut by Lincoln Kayaks

As light as 40lbs at 17'2". 44lbs at the heaviest.

Listed in the Gear section Of PNet


My review and videos of it

See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY

Would the cockpit fit the poster?
16 x 30.5

Lincoln kayaks run on the deep side

– Last Updated: Apr-18-15 7:30 PM EST –

Also not fitted out tightly in terms of thigh braces unless the newer owners changed that. About 12 pounds more per inch of height than me, at least a good shot it'd work.

Open floor plan seating
Side-less seat allows for comfortable fit for curvier hip profiles. I’ve been impressed at the fit range.

The position of seat back is far back enough for my 34" inseam legs to clear without taking my shins against the front coaming. I’ve got 4" on the OP so for leg length she’d be good to go.

Celia, I take it you’ve been in the shorter models. They can be deep in the non LV models. The Isle and Schoidic are new for 2015.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY



Maybe redesigned?
I wonder if they redesigned the Isle au Haut - I could swear that was one of the models I first saw at the Castine symposium in 2003 or 2004. But granted it has been a long while since I paddled a Lincoln. Schoodic was a very new boat the second year of that Symposium.

Hurricane is also made in USA…
I’m not the size of the OP, but I’ve paddled the Santee and the Tracer. Nice boats.

Waterlily, try to find a dealer near you that can let you test paddle them. I’ve a friend in Crystal River, FL that has a shop that sells the Hurricane line and can provide you with a test paddle, but that may be useless information to you.



New models, renewed names

Your memory is good but these ain’t the Lincoln of 10 years ago.

Other choices may exist out there but for the parameters of fit, weight and ocean terrain as well as being made by a regional specialized manufacturer, I was impressed enough to invest in bringing the line into The River Connection offerings and Fleet.

Ultimately the OP needs to demo whatever models she decides on. (How often has that but of advice been given? Lots.)

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY




– Last Updated: Apr-18-15 11:21 PM EST –

What's your budget? As an older female myself, I've stuck to increasingly lighter boats, preferring skin on frame sea kayaks, especially Feathercraft, for their low weight and excellent performance. I now have my eye on their newest model, the 100% inflatable Aironaut. You might want to take a look at it. Besides being very light and seaworthy, these are boats that can go with you on airline trips as checked luggage. 14' 9 long and weighs a remarkable 20 lbs., inflates in 6 minutes. Throw it on the roof rack with one hand. What is not to like? (except the price at $2370, but the quality, convenience and pleasure of use are worth it).



A less costly option is the Pakboat Quest 155, a 32 lb 15' 6' hybrid folding frame and inflatable sponson touring kayak at around $1000.


Santee very challenging for rescues
High deck - among the boats that are popular locally with older women, that is probably the one where I have most often come close to or failed in being able to get someone back in for an assisted rescue. Let alone a self-rescue.

Good to hear
Sandy had a very consistent, solid build process. But even ten years ago I thought the boats could use an update. The guy who bought the line when Sandy retired is a terribly nice guy, and knows his stuff. I am glad to hear the designs got a makeover.

Is easier if you don’t get a big kayak. Hurricane Sojourn 135 @44lbs

Or Current Designs Vision 130 @ 40lbs. Be careful about shopping by numbers as some manufacturers consistently understate the weight., ie Wilderness Systems.

long can be light
My longest boat is an 18’ skin on frame ( wood skeleton and urethane coated nylon skin) and it weighs 31 lbs.

Wooden kayaks are also comparatively light. I’m just pointing out that if you really want lightness, you need to think outside the molded plastic box. Most people are not aware that there are other options. The average plastic sea kayak weighs between 50 and 65 pounds. Wood and skin on frame and inflatable rarely exceed 40 and can be as light as 20, like the Feathercraft Kurrent and Pakboat Saco.

A good intro to rigid (non-folding) skin boats is Brian Schulz’s blog:


Sojourn and Vision
The Hurricane Sojourn seems to be a big step up in design from previous Hurricanes. Hard chines, full-length keel (very pronounced at the bow and stern), moderate V, stiffening architecture on the deck. The hard chine also makes for stiffer sides than its predecessor the Tampico. Looks to be a stable design with fullness in the bow and stern. With respect to the weight, I took my scales to the dealer and weighed the Sojourn 135 at 43 lbs. No idea how accurate my scales are, but hefting it it does feel like 43 lbs.

The internal dimensions of the Sojourn cockpit are 16.5 x 34. Whether that width would fit the OP would depend on her weight distribution, but the length of the cockpit will work. The depths of the 3 models (126, 135, and 146, not counting the LV)) are approximately 12, 13, and 14".

The Current Designs Vision has a fairly flat, keelless bottom in the middle. Some reviews indicate stability issues. To my eye the Sojourn looks like a more stable design. Plus you really can’t beat the price.

With the Sojourn it looks like Hurricane has really stepped up their game to rival Delta and Eddyline. The price of the Sojourn will make paddlers think twice about paying twice the price for a Delta or an Eddyline. Previously those high prices were somewhat justified by Delta’s high-volume, high-stability hull and Eddyline’s beauty and stiffness. The Sojourn is a step toward closing those gaps.

Hurricane Tracer is a good boat that will fit you. My wife, senior (señora?) citizen Sally drives one and while not as tall, or quite your weight, got it because she liked the way it paddles, and it didn’t make her feel any cockpit-claustrophobia, which I may be over-assuming you’ll appreciate coming over from a canoe. It handles Gulf, Atlantic, and Florida and Biscayne Bay waters just fine.

However, it’s no 28# Wildfire, coming in at 48# in its Hurricane-proprietary Trylon vacu-formed thermoplastic. It a tough material, and makes a handsome boat at a fairly affordable price. If you can handle the weight, it’s a good big-water boat we’ve also maneuvered in quite tight saltwater mangrove creeks and tunnels down here even with its 16-1/2’ length.

Best of luck in your search for a canoeist’s ‘dark side’ boat! May you fjnd one in which you can happily, double-bladed,


-Frank in Miami

Still with us?
Waterlily, are you still with us? Any thoughts on our suggestions?

Lightweight kayak
I am still here and have been researching the suggestions in everyone’s comments. Thank you so much! What a wonderful group of people. So far I am leaning toward the Hurricane SOJOURN 146 or the Tracer 165 (which is listed on their site but not available to look at) I have also looked at skin on frame kayaks and like them very much but have read some negatives when it comes to wind and waves. The jury is still out. I am attending a sea kayak symposium and hope to paddle some other brands, etc.

wind and waves
Rigid frame skin-on-frames are actually superior to most hard body kayaks in rough water. They absorb the force of waves and float over them rather than plough into them. You may have seen negatives rergarding lower end inflatables which can be bulky enough to catch wind, but I’ve never seen complaints about a folding kayak or fixed skin-on-frame having performance issues in conditions.