Kayak recommendations for long distance

I am a tall 6’5" paddler who is considering a long distance Gulf Coast paddle. For the past eight years, I have used a 14’ P&H Orca sit-in kayak for my paddling. This has worked well for short day trips, but the boat quickly becomes uncomfortable on longer trips. If I go overnight, I get severe cramping and half to take very frequent breaks just to keep going. If I intend to do a long-distance paddle, I need a better option.

I am thinking that a hybrid sit-in/sit-on-top kayak may be the way to go. Something, perhaps, like the Necky Vector 14. I don’t need to break any speed records. My main concern is comfort over long distances and the ability to carry supplies. But the boat needs to be able to handle occasional rough surf and also deliver some of the control and maneuverability that I like in sit-in kayaks.

Any recommendations? Obviously, I will test out anything before I buy it. Just wondering which direction I should go.

17 feet
At your height, you likely need three more feet for all day comfort.

I’m not sure the total length has much to do with it. I have plenty of leg room in my 14 footer and can adjust the foot stops just fine. Just being locked into position inside the kayak seems to be the problem. I’m thinking that sitting on top will give my legs more freedom to move and make it easier to stretch out on a regular basis without having to exit the kayak.


– Last Updated: Feb-21-16 6:52 AM EST –

you can stretch easier if the kayak is longer in between the pedals or pegs. I think that takes 17'+. Also you want to carry gear. Current Designs Nomad or similar. You can also get HV / high volume models in many brands. Your weight and budget is? Some patience and you can get a very high quality used composite sea kayak for a steal.

What’s your weight? Gear weight? Wallet weight (budget)?

Also try someone’s 17’ with a GPS running. Amount of effort should show a significant difference between the two lengths.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY



Epic 18X Sport…
Seems to be one of the go-to expedition boats. Longer equals more speed, more distance covered and less time in the boat.

Look at these

– Last Updated: Feb-21-16 9:27 AM EST –

NC Expedition, Current Designs Isle and Caribou, Valley Nordkapp and Etain and P&H Cetus.

As for the discomfort, in my experience it just takes a lot of seat time for your body to get used to it, but a really good seat helps. NC Kayaks have the most comfortable seats I've found. But then you have to put up with a boat that is fast, stable, loves rough water and is so easy to paddle long distances.

Epic V7

Sit on top that’s fast and has rear hatch storage.

Speed and Comfort
The longer boat will likely lessen exertion over the distance. For comfort, get a keyhole cockpit and if you have to, move the seat back so you can bend a knee enough to get a leg out of the boat while seated. Very comfortable.

Only you can know if a boat is
comfortable for you over a extended period of time during the day. It’s going to take some “seat time” on your part to find a compatible kayak. Longer trips mean more food/gear and increased load capacity of a kayak. Don’t shortcut on ability to carry freshwater supplies if you are doing coastal trips. While a 14’ kayak might be able to do the job, it will limit your range because of the smaller gear-load capacity. As others have said, increase your kayak length for better gear capacity, speed, water handling, comfort. Start paddling to find out what works for you.

Solo expedition boats by Kruger
The design that holds two world record in expeditions is the

Sea Wind/ Dreamcatcher built by Kruger Canoes.

Also there is the Superior Expedition canoe built by Superior Canoe Company.

They are great for large people too. A hybrid cross between a sea kayak and a canoe. The’ve already done both coast that boat.

I am your height and weigh 230. That
is too much for a Vector 14_ unless you enjoy sitting in a puddle.I have one and it is about perfect for my 130 lb grandson.