Kayak Lenght

Very new to kayaking. Just purchase two kayaks. One a Wilderness Trophy 144 and an Old Town Loon 120. Looking at the two kayaks side by side there identical in lenght. I would have thought the 144 would have been and I wanted a 14ft. However, they are both 12ft long. Is this normal or did I get a short kayak for a long price?? Thanks for your advice.

Trophy 144
is 144" long, or 12 feet.

That’s sneaky labeling.

That’s why
I always bring a tape measure when I shop for a new kayak.

thats a bit deceptive
But a lot of kayaks aren’t exactly the length you would assume. Ever boat should have its length spelled out on a spec sheet. Whether you bought it in a store or online. The length should be apparent.

Ryan L.

caveat emptor with Future Beach
I predict there will be owners of these who will howl at my condemnation of them, but I’m gonna throw it out there anyway.

Whatever they may have labeled it as, the Trophy 144 is made by Future Beach, a Canadian firm whose main business is not kayaks but making colorful molded components for water parks and poolside and beach concessions that they wholesale to the resort industry. They don’t subscribe to the unofficial conventions of model numbering (or kayak design, for that matter.) Per manufacturer description they are marketed primarily as being “designed to be tough and easy to clean” – qualities that may endear the products to the managers of beach hotel liveries but hardly bode well for performance or safety. One only needs to look at the models to realize their design heritage is more pool float than kayak. They are flimsy and poorly rigged with no bulkheads or other safety features. The fitting connections through the hull are not even gasketed.

Yeah, yeah, I know they have plenty of “9 or 10 out of 10” ratings in the reviews – but you’ll notice these are mostly from people who have never paddled anything else. Note that many of the reviews also include tales of having to exchange the boats due to component failures and hull defects. (I worked in the outdoor gear business and other hard goods industries long enough to understand that most people will vigorously defend the items they purchase, no matter how crappy they turn out to be. This is especially true if the purchaser thinks they’ve gotten a “deal”.)

People justify such low-end “rec boats” as “entry level” due to the price ($200 to $400). I have never had trouble finding competent and well designed used kayaks and canoes in that price range for friends looking for watercraft. Personally I feel these FB boats are a waste of good money. By the time you outfit them with flotation and a decent seat, you might as well have spent the money on a slightly better boat – even Old Town and Pelican are nominally better choices.

I think it is significant that most of those Future Beach models have been discontinued and several major distributors have either already dropped the line entirely or (like Dick’s) are discounting them to dump remaining stock. Suit yourself, but if it’s not too late to do so, I would look at returning it to the store and getting credit to buy something better.

LOL! Deceptive in what way?
Trophy 144 seems a pretty accurate name for a boat that’s 144" long. Not the manufacturer’s fault if people can’t do math. Besides, why get hung up on 14 feet? Why is that the magic number? If it does what you want it to do, who cares how long it is? The shorter boat will be easier to store and handle anyway.

Most boats, to my knowledge, are named in feet. I said it was just a bit deceptive. Maybe I should of said they are playing fast and loose with naming standards. Even power boats are named with feet in mind. I also said the op should have done due diligence.

Ryan L.

Water Length - VS - Top of Kayak

– Last Updated: Aug-02-11 2:05 PM EST –

Kayaks float above the water - keeps the cockpit dry .
It's the "bottom of the boat" measurement that counts.
A waterline measurement is a true indication of length.

Having a front or back hull stick out 2 to 3 feet above the water is worthless.
The amount of length touching the water is what truly matters.


Inches vs feet
In the kayak industry, I think it’s accepted that a kayak designation ‘144’ would mean the boat is either 14.4 feet or 14’4" long (I’ve seen both usages). It’s also true that manufacturers are loose with the numbers, and a 15’ boat may be only 14’9". But nobody expresses overall kayak length in inches, except these mopes - so I agree that it is misleading, whether done intentionally or through ignorance.

hull length
Since the FB kayaks have pretty much straight up and down stern and bow the absolute boat length is pretty much the same as the waterline.

I still agree that the “144” in that FB boat name is deceptive, since the standard for canoes and kayaks has long been that the first two numbers stand for the length in feet (and the third for inches in a few cases, in others the third digit is a model distinction, like in the WS Tsunami series.) A Guide 147 canoe is 14’ 7" and kayaks are usually dubbed with the approximate length in feet (11 ,13, 14, 15, etc.) Of course, there is no official “rule” on that but it’s common enough practice that the use of inches for all the FB models is a glaring anomaly.

Still, it behooves the buyer to research specs on any boat before they buy it. FB does make a 13’ plus kayak (I think it’s called the Freedom?) but length on that one sure doesn’t add up to faster – it’s a real barge, more of a diving and fishing platform than anything you would want to try to ferry through the water. Length alone does not a faster kayak make.

You can install a bowsprit and maybe
get the length out to 16’.

But realistically, you need to assess the boat and decide if you should be shopping for a longer one.

Let’s not be too naive about this…
It’s unlikely that this is accidental… said company is probably

  1. well aware of what the usual length/naming conventions are in the industry, and that there’s is non-standard, and
  2. is hoping that less careful consumers look at their boats and think that they’re longer than they really are and/or think they’re getting more boat for their money than they really are.

    There are very few accidents when it comes to advertising or marketing. =<br />

14 ft kayak
If you really would rather have a 14 ft boat then bring it back to where you bought it and voice your :dissatisfaction and get another boat. I think the logical assumption is that a boat marked 144 would be 14’.

Did you buy it at a store that has other boats? If not get your money back and go elsewhere.

return it quickly
The prices on these Future Beach boats seem to be plummeting (my sense is that they had so many annoying defects and customer returns that the vendors are dumping them – also the manufacturer, whose bread and butter comes from bulk wholesale deals with resorts, may also be backing away from what looked like a lucrative retail market due to the headache of having to handle their distributor’s returns). Sometimes big box sellers will only give you a refund based on the PRESENT sale price of an item, not what you originally paid for it. I suspect they would like to be rid of these permanently so it would behoove you to get this back to the store ASAP. Swap it for another Old Town or get cash and go find a good 14 footer at REI or LL Bean’s end of season sales.