Kayak Selection?

-- Last Updated: Mar-12-13 7:39 PM EST --

I have been looking at getting a used kayak ever since I fixed and sold the Hurricane Santee. It's been a lot of looking and I now am thinking that the Hurricane Tampico 14S would be a good fit for me and there is one available. My build is I'm a skinny assed short guy who weighs in at 145 in wet cloths! But now a Aquaterra Scimitar has come up for less money but in good shape. Seems to fit the bill for my build as well. Both are touring hulls as I will be using them on lakes and rivers and not the ocean but know that both could handle that if and when the occasion comes up.

I have read all the reviews here and on other sites for the Hurricane but outside of this site can't find a whole lot about the Aquaterra aside from when folks are selling them.

Both can pack a fair amount of gear and both have rudders which is a plus as I want to add a sail, probably Spirit Sail, at some point.

After a life time of canoeing I know that I am a novice with this kayaking stuff so would appreciate thoughts on the choices I'm going after. I got a thick skin so please post some advice good or bad.

Many thanks.


It appears to have a low deck:



Probably doesn’t weathercock much but “may”

provide you with a wet ride in waves.


Fairly narrow boat
I never paddled a Scimitar but an archived Aquaterra catalog (http://www.perceptionkayaks.com/content/perceptionkayaks.com/assets/page/1995/page%2020.jpg) lists its maximum beam at 23". Of course, that might suit your build very well.

I have paddled a Chinook which is an inch wider (and 10" longer) and the Chinook did not feel tender to me and I am a fair bit larger than you.

On the other hand, putting a sail up on a 23" wide kayak might be interesting.

Same Site I Was On
That is what I am going off of. This is the Hurricane:




– Last Updated: Mar-12-13 11:56 PM EST –

I had a Scimitar for two years (sold it last summer for $380). The Scimitar is basically a nice boat BUT it likes to wander, annoyingly so. I always had to use the rudder because otherwise it required constant correction to track straight, even in calm water with little wind. Might have been able to reduce the drift with some ballast but since I had other boats without that issue and needed to reduce the fleet it was the one I sacrificed.

And within 3 months I noticed the same boat for sale on Craigslist by the guy who bought it from me. He'd spiffed it up a bit ( he restrung all the rigging and refinished the rudder) but maybe he didn't like its wandering ways either.

On the plus side, despite the narrow beam it is not a tender boat -- quite stable and comfortable and turns well. Just wants to turn a bit too much on its own.

back…decade+ the higher volume boats

– Last Updated: Mar-13-13 1:31 PM EST –

with volumous bows gave a much safer ride in with a wave, even though med-low volume boats are nice for control.
Fun along the rocky, surfy coastal areas..
*If you've got any canoes forsale this spring/summer doug, feel free to drop me a msg....;-)

Paddled with someone who
had one and did a short test paddle in theirs. I agree on the wandering. One thing I did notice was that the way the rudder is mounted very little of it actually got into the water. I found it to be very ineffective compared to rudders on other kayaks I have paddled.

For full disclosure- It has been a long time since I saw and paddled this kayak so my memory might not be that good.


not that high volume

– Last Updated: Mar-13-13 2:53 PM EST –

I wouldn't characterize the Scimitar as high volume. Check out these photos of the one I had:


I also have a vintage Aquaterra Chinook and had a Dagger Magellan (a boat I should have kept). Both of them I would say were higher volume. The stern deck of the Scimitar was low enough for layback rolls and the bow didn't seem much bigger than my Easky 15LV. There was just something odd about it. A slight camber in the keel and that upswept Greenland style bow may have contributed to the "drift". The thing turned pretty well. It was just annoying to paddle over long distances. Using a Greenland paddle helped a little. Using a standard Werner Camano the thing zigzagged no matter what stroke I used.

Might have been fun for surfing but I never had that one in coastal waters. Nicely made boats and certainly one you could take just about anywhere. If you can figure out a way to overcome the tracking problem. A couple of jugs of water in the bow hatch might help. I never paddled it loaded with much.