Lightweight 14-15 ft sea kayak

Looking for suggestions for a lightweight 14-15 ft sea kayak.I’ve paddled an Impex Force 4 for ten years and like it. Next spring I will be spending time at an apartment near the ocean that has limited storage space and requires a long walk down steep stairs and across rocks to get to the water. I’d like to get a lighter kayak…willing to sacrifice speed for less weight. Don’t really need skeg or rudder as long as wind- cocking isn’t bad. Suggestions? There was a builder in VT called Walrus that had a model called a Griffin that looked good but they seem to be out of business. If anyone has a line on a used one I’d be interested…or other suggestions.Thanks.

Price range your weight & height

More info
5’ 11", 165 lbs, size 11.5 feet. Day use, not camping. Price range…negotiable (i.e. me negotiating with my wife) .ideally a used boat for less than $1,500.

P&H Delphin

have you looked at folders?

– Last Updated: Nov-17-16 6:08 PM EST –

Folding kayaks are among the lightest and are particularly practical if you live in an apartment since they can be partially or fully collapsed for storage out of the way. They can also be checked as baggage on airline flights.

For your budget, Pakboat's newest model, the 14' 11" Quest 150, will be $1,385. They are supposed to start shipping them before next Spring. This model will weigh 31 lbs, has a 24" beam and load capacity of 275 lbs. It can also be used without the deck as a sit on top.

I have their previous model, the smaller Quest 135 and like it very much (it is my 6th folding kayak and third Pakboat). The Quests are very seaworthy, handle like a hardshell but weigh half as much. Very comfortable seat arrangement too, with inflatable thigh support, adjustable fixed foot pegs and a backband. They, like all folders, are particularly great in rough water. I can assemble my Quest in less than half an hour, but leave it set up during the season.

And here is an album of photos I created showing each of the assembly steps for my Quest (though the new 150 model is supposed to be simplified) -- just skip to the last one to see what the boat looks like. Don't be freaked by the all the photos, they were set up for people new to assembling the boats to use for reference if they are confused by the directions. It really is simpler than it looks at first glance.

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Their site was updated May 2016

so maybe it’s still viable.

Walrus is listed, but apparently all new models. Nice weight at 31-39#.

Thanks for finding a Walrus Kayaks
dealer. I was wondering where they’d gone to.

You might have to fold your size 11.5
feet to fit them in the 11.5" cockpit depth Walrus Griffin, unless that measurement is at the back of the cockpit, rather than the front. It doesn’t look like the deck height drops much between the front of the cockpit and the bow, so there may be hope in that boat for your boats if that 11.5" cockpit depth measurement is at the rear.

A used Perception Sonoma 13.5 might
work for you. It’s got pretty good foot room, though I’m not sure about the leg length for you, since I’m only 5’6" with a 30" inseam. It’s very efficient for a 13.5’ kayak.

The Epic GPX might even suit your needs, though it’s almost 2’ shorter than your listed criteria. It’s supposed to be very efficient, but I’ve never paddled one.

wood or skin on frame
For lightest possible, see if you can build or find someone who has a wood or skin on frame boat for sale. These boats can be about half the weight of plastic boats.

Beyond that, composites are generally lightest (but may not meet your price range). Off the shelf composites to consider at Valley Gemini and P&H Aries.

Thermoformed plastics are generally a bit heavier. Eddyline and Delta both have boats in this size range.

In rotomolded plastic, light is a very relative term. Many find all plastic boast to be heavy. Maybe a Dagger Alchmey or Stratos could be considered. Neither is really light.

ps - I hope the Delphin suggestion above was joking, as they are heavy beasts

also an article to read
California Kayaker Magazine had an article on kayaking and small living places. Might be worth a read. Can be read online at In “Issue #9 - Summer 2012”

skin on frames
I also agree that skin-on-frames are another option to consider but you would have to make one yourself, order one from a builder or find one suited to your metrics that is already made. Skin on frames are the fixed version of folding kayaks in that they are a skeleton frame with a textile skin – in fact they are the original kayak design. I also have a skin on frame boat (besides the folders in my fleet) and at 18’ long it only weighs 31 pounds.

The Cape Falcon F1 designed by Brian Schulz is an excellent design for a shorter sea kayak if you can find one. I don’t know if Brian is currently making any to order, but he periodically holds classes where he oversees people building their own under his instruction. Check his website for more information on skin on frames and on his courses:

Pakboat looks interesting
Thanks! I had not considered a folding kayak. The Pakboat 15 looks very interesting, and the price seems very reasonable.

Sonoma 13.5 and Epic GPX
Thanks, I was unaware of either of these, and they both look really good…and looks like the Sonoma has been around a while, so maybe possible to find a used one.

Gemini and Aries
Thanks, these both look good and worth looking around for used ones. Not quite as light as the Sonoma 13.5 or Pakboat but maybe manageable. And thanks also for the article link.

oru kayaks
seen them used in 'Dacks for long portages, very impressed

Novus Composites of Tacoma, Washington builds a very nice light weight 15’-8" model that is fast, needs no skeg, nor rudder. They happen to be on sale right now and they ship all over the country. Check them out at

@magooch said:
Novus Composites of Tacoma, Washington builds a very nice light weight 15’-8" model that is fast, needs no skeg, nor rudder. They happen to be on sale right now and they ship all over the country. Check them out at

Thanks, I did not know about them, and they look nice…and amazing prices assuming the quality is OK. Unfortunately I cannot go over about 14 1/2 feet in the storage space I have available.

A friend just asked for my help in selling his Pakboat XT-15 folder which he bought 5 years ago and probably used 4 times. It’s 15’ long and weighs 39 lbs. This model was around $1500 new and they rarely come up for sale used. I think $800 would be a reasonable price for it. I’ll have to check it out if he can get it to me (lives several hours away) – I think there were some bungee cord retainers that needed to be replaced (a minor job that I can do). It is identical to the red and grey one shown in this video.

Thanks. I am leaning against a folding kayak at this point. I’ll be paddling in the open ocean, and I want bulkheads. Although I can roll reliably in my current boat, an Impex Force 4, I always assume that sooner or later there could be a wet exit somewhere in my future, and if so, bulkheads are a must, especially since I often paddle alone. Also, the area I’ll be launching and landing in has a lot of sharp rocks and I’ve had enough times where I lost control of my boat when landing in waves to expect that will also happen again sooner or later. At this point I am thinking about either a Tsunami 140 or a Dagger Stratos 14.5. I’ve determined that the limit for the storage space is 14 1/2 feet. Both are heavier than I’d like but they both seem to have reputations for tracking well, which I want. I’d love to find an equivalent boat at 14- 14 1/2 feet made in fiberglass but I can’t.