Kinda new

Background: I had a Current Designs Sirocco several years ago, the wife wouldn’t paddle with so I sold the boat and stuck to motorcycling. I only paddled a handful of times so I’m not super experienced but I did take an ACA class on Essentials on Kayaking. I spent a great deal of time deciding on a boat (that I could buy locally which was pretty limited) but I wound up really liking the boat I purchased.

What am I thinking?: I’d like to get back into kayaking with a similar boat that I’ll probably buy used this time. The thing I disliked most about my Sirocco was the weight and my thought is to purchase a Gulfstream since that’s the Fiberglass version of RTM Sirocco however I’m curious what would be comparable. I’ve been reading on different boats and there are a few different hull designs which have me constantly wondering the design of the boat I just read a review about. I definitely want something ‘playful’ with a skeg, I don’t really care for a rudder and eventually I want to do some camping trips. I really would like to keep the budget around a $2k expense with a ceiling of $3k for the boat…I should be able to find a great boat in that price range used (glass) or new (thermoformed). The kicker is I’m 5’10" and weigh about 230lbs. I’m dieting and I should in several months find myself in the 200lb range and below but keep it in mind that I"m a large guy.

My biggest concern is ending up with a boat I don’t like and it seems like a local dealer with touring style kayaks is not likely near me (Greenville, SC). I know there are places in the area but not really an outfitter that focuses on touring kayaks that I’ve seen.

Despite that my wife still will not paddle with me, she doesn’t ride the motorcycle with me either so I guess I’m bound for solo travels but I’m not going to let that deter me again with paddling. I appreciate any advice you all provide.

Lastly, I don’t have a set timeframe to purchase a boat. I do plan on renting and trying out some boats but again, I don’t know anyplace that rents or frequently demos the longer (16’+) boats so I’ll probably have to dedicate some time to that as well. Hopefully I didn’t ramble too much and provided enough detail. In regards to the boat I’m looking for, I’d like a Gulfstream or something similar, no more than $3k and really something around $2k would be better, 16’+ in length, in the 50lb range and new or used, all for a big guy. I’m not set either way on thermoformed or fiberglass but want to avoid rotomolded.

A good shop
that is reasonably close is in Florence SC. I think it is called “Simply Outdoors” or something similar. The last time I went thru the area I stopped in and they had an amazing selection of used/consignment boats. and a decent selection of new boats.

They also allow test drives.

Here’s another shop…
that is just a little further:

I’ve never been there but I’ve heard good things about the place. It is just over 200 miles but once you get a boat you like, you will be set for awhile.

I drove about 160 miles to try out my current kayak and the trip was super worth the effort.

Here’s an idea… why not do an overnighter with the wife? You could time the trip so you could take a refresher class, which would allow you to get into a bunch of different boats and afterwards treat your lady to a night out on the town.

And this coming October you could go the the Sea Kayak Georgia annual sea kayak symposium and learn a ton of stuff in a great location. I’ve gone twice and will probably go back a third time this year.

Thank you
For the shop ref in Flo-town. I was just through there yesterday which is pretty rare for me to be in that part of the state but I guess I’ll have to head back.

Kayak Carolina
I’ve looked at their website a couple times and they really seem to have their stuff together and I do plan to visit sometime. Charleston is definitely a place I can take the wife and let her do her thing while I play on the water…good idea.

Can’t give you any kayak suggestions, but I can definitely suggest a shop - “Savannah Canoe and Kayak” - excellent gear, excellent instructors.