I currently have a Liquid Logic whitewater boat which I love but I am looking for something more recreational to add to my fleet. I normally paddle rivers in NC. I am just getting into whitewater but I do not paddle this all the time so I need a more versatile boat. Something to do slower rivers on that have the occasional class 2-3 run every so often. I tried paddling these with my whitewater boat but it was a real pain keeping up with the rec boats on flat water. I am torn between getting a sit on top and getting a rec sit inside boat. BTW I owned an old town rush when I first started boating but do not want something where it is tough to get in and out of. If I get a sit in I would like it to be really open in the cockpit. If possible I would like to spend no more than 300 for this as it is a 3rd boat for me and the wife is getting a little tired of me adding boats to our shed. LOL I really like that new Liquid Logic Coupe I saw online the other day. Does anyone have any suggestions on favorites based on my post? BTW I am around 6 feet 180lbs. Thanks!
The $300 limit makes it tough, because
relatively fast rec boats may not come on the used market for that low a price.
If I were buying new, I would look at the LL Remix XP10 and then maybe at the Necky Manitou or at the Liquid Logic rec kayaks designed to cover ground. A touring kayak (like my old Necky Looksha Sport) would be faster still, but less handy in occasional rapids, and it would draw more water making for problems in shallow shoals.
Tell your wife there is a monetary stimulus program for aquiring at least a dozen boats.
The Necky Manitou 13 is a great rec boat with a reasonably large cockpit (maybe not as big as you’re looking for); I bought one on sale last year for $750.
Kayak Suggestions Please…
Thanks for the responses everyone. Most of what I would be paddling in this would be shallow slower rivers with an occasional rapid. I guess I should mention I am flexible on the price point. I am really trying to weigh the benefits of a sit on top verses a sit in rec boat with large cockpit. I am leaning towards a sit on top but I have not paddled one of these on a river with rapids (only out in the Pacific. I know that a lot of sit on tops have thigh straps. Has anyone used these and do they really work? Would I be able to make it through a class 2 or mild 3 run on a sit on top? I know alot of this is relative to your skills and I just wanted to find out if this is something one of these boats is capable of or I am asking too much? Thanks!
Can you paddle a class 3 rapid ?
I think that if you had experience paddling a class 3 run then you’d have no problem doing it with an appropriate white water sit on top. You already have a whitewater boat so use that for any class 3 water you find. For the other water you might really like a Pungo 14 sit inside, or a Tarpon 14 or 16 sit on top. Other good sit on tops are available and for flat water you want one 14 feet long or longer. None of them are $300 used.
will handle Class II-III, does fine in flatwater but you'll still have trouble keeping up with longer boats. Great for downriver float trips with some rapids thrown in.
I live in VA where the rivers and creeks of the Piedmont are similar to what you have in NC; have two Coupes, but for longer distances and overnighters still prefer the Tsunami 120. Still got an eye on the Pyranha Fusion though.
You don’t need a large cockpit
A standard WW boat cockpit will work just fine. In beginning classes I teach students are often worried about getting out of their boat. But the facts are that it is easy to get out. It is harder to keep from falling out. If you only want one boat, the best boat is the Prijon Yukon Expedition. It is faster on the flats than the Liquid Logic Remix (which is a good boat) and can carry more gear. If you are experienced it can handle easier class III. My general conclusion though, is that you need more experience and training. Worrying about the boat is premature.
longer, but frisky boats!
I paddle whitewater in a Remix, sea kayak in a Romany and have just bought an Explorer.
I am also looking at the right whitewater river capable boat that isn’t a total pain to paddle in flatwater for exactly the conditions you describe, I/II.
A bunch of my friends have purchased LL Remix XPs over the last year, both in the 9’ and 10’.
I’ve paddled both XPs as well as the Dagger Approach and Pyranha Fusion. All have a skeg and seemed to track well with limited testing.
I liked the Approach the least. The Pyranha had a cockpit most like a whitewater boat, the XP handled enough like my Remix that I felt comfortable - even with the greater volume.
I’ll likely get an XP. Good for mixed group on the Tuck, the Coosawattee, upper Ami, the Broad - rivers with lots of flatwater. GREAT for rivers in Central Florida like Juniper Springs or the Alexander.
They are above your price point but the Jackson Daytripper has a huge cockpit and is actually quite fast.
The Allwater is their crossover and does an admirable job on both flat sections and class ones I have paddled it in.
The LL remix is popular but I have not paddled one. The used market may get you into one of the above boats for 400ish.
Your advice is correct for most people
and most modern kayaks. Those few of us well over 6 feet tall are now able to get into the majority of kayaks, if there is enough foot and leg room. Time was, however, when I struggled to get into and out of my Dancer XT, and when even Prijon cockpits felt tight in places. I’m still carving the inside of my old Animas to make in-and-out easier. I tried a Dagger Axiom and while I could get in, the limits of the front wall and the thigh braces would make a wet exit very dodgy if I were shoved against a rock wall or anything that prevented a straight drop-out. I’ve wanted to get a modern slalom kayak, and Galasport has one for my weight, but I would have to remove the 32" cockpit and put in a Prijon sized rim, no easy task though I’ve done it.
The OP is probably over-concerned about the difficulty of wet exiting from smaller cockpits, but there are still some of us who need all the keyhole we can get.
Well, If I knew where you are from…
I could tell you that Dunhams sports has alot of rec boats starting at $149. The old town otter sounds like what you are looking for and that is going for $229 around here.
Remix XP or Coupe
Either of these two boats will do what you are looking for. Both are very stable platforms with lots of versatility. Your choice Sit On Top, or Extra Stable sit inside.
It may be hard to get something under 300 but you may be able to find a used Remix XP and the Coupe is in the mid 5s.
Here are some links to stories about the XP and Coupe.
The XP link
The Coupe Links
See you on the water
Kayak Suggestions Please…
Thanks for everyone’s suggestions. I should have mentioned that I own a LL remix 69 and a Capella seakayak. It was not really the fear of being trapped that concerned me as I have my roll down (for the most part). I just really wanted something that was easier to get in and out of on some of those steep bank put ins. I love my remix but looking back at it maybe I should have gone with the XP series. I will check out everyone’s suggestions…thanks again.
you will fit the standard one (not the S).
Outfitting the Pyranha Fusion gives you a choice: Connect 30 outfitting for ww-caliber response. Or an easy crusing, comfort oriented set up w. the River Tour package. The River package is the base set up, Connect 30 goes for about $130 more.
Big cockpit in any case, light stiff plastic for an easy carry (unlike some rec boats) and you’ll be as quick as any rec boat & quicker than a lot of them. Easy to roll, unlike rec boats.
Unlike the Remix, the Fusion rear hatch is actually made to stay dry, like a seakayak bulkhead. There is an optional pod that clips on & off the foredeck & acts like a dayhatch. Also, tho YMMV, I found the seat and backband in the Pyranha much more compact and comfortable (I tried an S w. Connect 30). The skeg on the LL boat is a little easier to use, but w. butt time that may even out.
Admittedly a used rec boat is cheaper, but the $ spent on a Fusion - or an XP10 for that matter- will give you much more versatility.
As far as your current LL EXP, it can do Class 3 and above. The Fusions & XPs are rated for Class I &II+ as they don’t have the heavy plastic armor of the pure ww boats which is a huge safety plus in pinning situations. Yes, some people do Class III w. 'em in videos but they are highly skilled & have a pure ww boat they use regularly for the more difficult rapids.
Lots of great suggestions here. Be sure and try out the LL and Pyranha hybrids, you may find a new best friend '-)