Looking for help selecting a Kayak. - Sit-in touring or expedition style.

Personal data:
6 feet tall
230 lbs
Paddle everyhitng from lake, river, bay and would not mind doing some ocean (close to shore).

I own a tribe 11.5 sit on top and it has worked well for me over the past year. I will continueto use it. That being said it is slow and takes some effort to go far. My GF has a 10 foot sit-inside and she seems to expend a lot less energy. Never-the-less I would like to get a sit-inside kayak for myself. My interest is gettign somehting that has increased speed and effeciency so that I can go longer distances, faster and with less effort. I would like somehting longer that but somehting that will work in a varity of places from river to late to bay and maybe into the ocean on occassion.

Looking for some help and suggestions on a kayak that would work for my desires, my size and my budge (tryign to stay under $1250

Let me know what you might suggest

Some I have been looking at online include: Casco 15, Alchemy 14L, Evasion 15.5, Brittany 16.5, Espression 14.5 and the Conduit 13. Again I have no idea - open to info on any of these or suggestions on others. If I could find one I would probably buy a Strait 140 XE by Pelican International - I think it would fit what I want the best but I can not find one for sale anywhere.

**What do the long time people in your local paddling club paddle?

**For your size and weight I suggest something 14 ft or longer with about a 24" beam, seakayak preferably. Anything shorter will have too much draft to be easy to paddle. I’m a little shorter and slightly heavier and paddle a 17ft touring seakayak. My 14" Old Town Egret is OK to paddle at a ratio of 7 but not as much ease as the 17’. Fourteen feet is not much when you plan to “Expedition.” Look for boats with forward and aft compartments. Look for boats with deck rigging, bungies and lifelines. Look for a boat with a length/width ratio 8 or better. Your Tribe has about 4.5 and a 30 inch beam.

You will have a tough time finding a better boat for the money you want to spend, than a Current Designs Sirocco. Brand new they are a bit more money than you want to spend, but you should be able to work a deal. You also might be able to find a used one and for considerably less, but be very careful when buying used poly boats. For that matter, you should be very careful no matter what the boat is made of.

The Sirocco is a do-it-all boat and it will fit you. Your next purchase will be a proper paddle and again, for the money you can’t beat a Carlisle Expedition.

If you like the form/function of a sit on top, you may not have to switch over to a sit inside kayak to get more speed. Look for a longer and narrower sit on to and you generally would have a faster boat. I’d shoot for 14 feet long or longer, and 28" or less wide. Necky Dolphin and Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140 or 160 are a few off the top of my head.

For total speed demon, you could get one of the hybrid surf skis, like the Epic V6 or Cobra Surf Ski.

Unfortunately Necky no longer makes a SOT. I have a 2 year old Necky Vector 13 that’s fairly fast for a SOT, but they quit making them last year. I paddle SOTs exclusively due to a non-bendy knee, so I chose an Eddyline Caribbean 14 when I wanted longer, lighter, faster. I just got it recently, but haven’t paddled it yet. I’m hoping it allows me to better keep up with my Sit In friends when I paddle with them. When I paddled with friends in rec kayaks or IKs, I was the speed demon in my Vector.

Someone posted recently about a new “Scupper Pro” type SOT that’s in development for next year. I have no experience with the WS Tarpons, but they look good.

@Raftergirl said:
Someone posted recently about a new “Scupper Pro” type SOT that’s in development for next year. I have no experience with the WS Tarpons, but they look good.

That is Swell watercraft. They have a web page, but that currently says nothing. More info at their Facebook page -

The founder of Swell watercraft is Tim Neimer, who was the fist person to make a commercial sit on op kayak and founded the Ocean Kayak brand - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Niemier.

Unfortunately, his new products are likely 6+ months away. I am assuming they will be longer and narrower than the standard SOT made now, but don;t know for sure.

Weight & gear packing space look good on my new Eddyline SOT. I’ll have to wait for a little warmer weather to get out for a test paddle…or head south…or buy a dry suit. Whichever of those wins, I’ll report back for sure on speed & handling. So far, I’ve been paddling with a mixed group of folks, with some canoes, some sea kayaks, some Rec kayaks, and some IKs. I could keep up with the sea kayaks in my Vector 13 fairly well, but with more effort. With the others, I was always having to slow down or stop & wait. I really want to be able to keep up with the faster group and cover more distance with less effort. Especially when I start paddling bigger water like Lake Powell.

With a $1250 budget, the OP should be able to find a nice Sit Inside kayak to move up with. Lots more choices in the Sit Inside market.