Kayak recommendations for newbie


I’m interested in getting a stable water kayak to use on the local lake and as a “dinghy” of sorts on my sailboat. I’ve only ever tried kayaking once and that was in a white water boat. I didn’t fair well as I was unable to keep the boat right-side-up. I would like to find a entry level boat so that I wouldn’t have a huge outlay of cash for this first boat (used boats are definately a plus). What I hope to find from this list is some recommendations on types, brands, and sources for boats that meet my needs. I appreciate any information you all can give.



Look into Sit On Tops
Lots of folks keep Ocean Kayak Fenzy (9’) or Scramblers (11’) on their sail boats here, stable, easy to paddle and to climb on and into. Look at www.sit-on-topkayaking for reviews and other information.

Since it is a used boat you want

– Last Updated: May-19-07 5:47 PM EST –

I'd dispense with all the brand name referrals - you're only going to get what's available.

Get something cheap with a big fat cockpit or a sit-on-top - 12' or less. It doesn't matter what the name is, you're just looking for something that floats.

I think all you need to know is that kayaks wider than 24 inches tend to be very stable.

Boat stability will vary depending on your size, but in general a wider kayak will feel more stable. the tradeoff is that wider kayaks are often slower than narrower ones.

Some of the more popular recreational kayaks are the Wilderness Systems Pungo series, the Old Town Loons, and the Perception Sparky and Swifty. There are a lot of boats that will be fine for simple lake and dinghy duty.

Ocean Kayak and Wilderness Systems make several popular sit-on-tops that might also work for you.

Wilderness Pongo 120

Overall I have found the Wilderness System Pongo 120 to be the overall ideal kayak for what you describe. The kayak is exceptionally stable with a huge cockpit. It handles well and tracks well. Pretty much anyone can use the kayak with out fear of entrapment. I have had all shapes and sizes of people on trips use this kayak including a friend who paddled it on a 3 day 115 mile trip carrying all his camping gear (includind tent) and food.

BTW I am only a guide and instructor

are good on sailboats if you have space concerns. They will also be very stable. There is the set-up time (10-15 min.). If that is a concern, get a sit on top, like the OK Frenzy mentioned above (11-12 feet long, 29-30" beam).