Kayak Selection for Fla Keys tour

Fellow Paddlers,

I’m planning to participate in the Paddle Florida “Keys Challenge” in January 2016.

I’m having some challenges with the skeg box leaking on my 17’ sea kayak (home built wood strip). If I don’t get it resolved, I may have to use my back-up boat and I need to know if it will be ok for the trip.

My back-up boat is a 14’ Dagger Alchemy L. For those of you who know this boat, it’s kind of a “jack of all trades” boat with a drop down skeg. I normally paddle it in rivers up to Class 2 and along the coast. It’s certainly not ideal for ocean touring due to it’s short length. The question is, “Can I make it work” for the Fla Keys Challenge if I’m willing to work a little harder than those paddling a true sea kayak?

I sure would appreciate some feedback…

Bob Beaullieu

Jack L would be your go to guy
14 foot boat is more apt to get bopped around in the chop. For sure its more about the paddler and most days seem short to moderate. you have a couple of long uns at the end.

I have paddled some of Florida Bay but not this particular outing.

If it were me I would do some serious ferreting to find out why your skeg box is leaking.

You would have no problem at all.

– Last Updated: Oct-30-15 6:52 AM EST –

My wife and I are in the Keys now and will be here all winter long.
I paddle an 18 foot QCC, but she paddles a QCC 10 and we paddle to all the off shore Keys.

We paddle with people all the time that are in 14 and 15 footers.

I have never heard of this event, so I just looked it up.

You might want to tell who ever wrote their rules that you won't be paddling on a "river" as stated in their guidelines

Hopefully they put a "Hold" on it if a front comes through. When they come through (usually every ten days), you can have some very nasty conditions for a few days with "small craft" warnings

Jack L


– Last Updated: Nov-17-15 10:28 PM EST –

Padnets resident expert


search: flex maslan

read Burnhams’ book from Barnes n Noble

I have a report here in ‘trips’ “Flamingo to Long Key”

Get over to Flamingo n paddle out to a chickee/platform. Magnificent scenery. Use my advice and a GPS.

Your trip conditions depend on the weather. Take a look at Weather Underground’s almanac reporting for the week and surrounding weeks for the trip time. Weather comes in from the west then as the front passes wind shifts to the south and east.

Do you know of the Watertribe disaster out of Fort Desoto of last year ?

Yes, go for a long hull…17.5’…buy an Epic or QCC or Wenonah Solstice

Wetsuit, booties, cool weather gear. Sunhat with neck cover. Max Raybans, gloves, headnet

The trip takes you past or thru areas sprayed with mosquito spray eg the KOA.

The organ-izers will not drag you thru negative conditions but… there are negative conditions during January. But worser in March.


the front from LA passes thru …

are you on the bus or on Bahia Honda ?