I am in the market for a kayak and due to the fact that the local selection is limited at best, am looking for opinions regading a couple of kayaks.
I’m probably an intermediate level who does day trips of 2 - 5 hrs mainly lakes/slow rivers. Some days the wind waves and boats create fun conditions of up to 2’ waves with some whitecaps - as seen on 4th lake in the Fulton chain.
Have paddled a Necky Zoar spor and Pungo 120 for a few years and like the Zoar. I’m looking for something that’s as efficient as a poly boat can be - not to go fast but to cover more water with less effort.
I’m currently looking at the Necky looksha 14, manitou 14 and WS tsunami 14 and 145. Oh - i’m 5’10 195.
I’d like to do a side by side demo but no one within 150 mi has any 2 of these boats together.
Anyone with experience with these boats or others you might recommend - I appreciate you observations and comments.
Thanks again - you’re a very helpful group.
re tsunami 140/145
I own both of these. They are almost identical except the front deck, the area in front of the cockpit, is higher on the 145 making it easier for a larger paddler to enter. The thigh pads are also a little higher which means that as far as these two boats are concerned it's an either or thing based on your size. I'd say you would probably find the 140 comfortable so there would be no reason to try the 145. If the 140 is difficult to get into try the 145. I am very happy with them and can recommend them as good beginner boats. Haven't paddled the others so I can't speak directly to handling comparisons.
North Shore Aspect…
If you can, you should check out the North Shore Aspect. It is a new model out and it is a great boat. It is roomy, but has some performance built in and it is a very predictable boat with soft chines and a shallow V hull. It really does perform well for a 14’9" boat. Check it out for sure if you can, but is a brand new model and a really new brand to the US.
You mention the Fulton Chain - how far are you from Old Forge? Mountainman has all four of the models you mentioned, as well as a place to demo them.
We live 5.5 hours away, but have purchased three boats there.
Wish I lived closer but am 8 hrs away. was there on vacation last yr. and had a good time.
may not be helpful…
....since you don't have the geographic options of trying a lot of other boats, but I'm familiar with and have paddled both the Necky Zoar and the Tsunami 140 (they are owned by two of my frequent paddling buddies and we have swapped boats on numerous outings just for a change of pace. I also rented a Zoar for sea fjord kayaking while out in Vancouver.)
If you like those boats but would prefer a little more speed and ease of paddling in the same size and price range, I highly recommend the Venture Easky series (made by P & H). The company site (they are made in England) is terrible for finding dealers -- we have one here in Pittsburgh who stocks the Easkys but they don't show up on the company web map. But I have noticed that some dealers who stock the popular Tsunami line have started to also have the Easky's which are a little more "sporty". REI offers them (but I know there is not an REI upstate.) The Kayak Shack in Plattsburgh NY is a P & H dealer so they may stock the Venture Easky models too. I have one myself (it's a 15LV, but you would fit the standard model 15) and find it more responsive and easy to accelerate and sustain speed than either the Zoar or Tsunami 140, and it is a bit lighter than either of the other boats. It's terrific in wind and waves -- I have had it in Lake George in a lot of chop (my brother lives in the southern Dacks). In fact it is fun to surf power boat wakes with it.
Are there any paddling regattas coming up, say at Lake George or Champlain? I have always found those are great places to schmooze with other paddlers and get free trials in a variety of kayaks -- most people are glad to let you take a "test drive" in their boats at such events.
Might be worth a drive west and across the bridge/border. Frontenac Kayak near Kingston Ontario has great stock for comparision including the models you are looking at (I've been to their shop) and is selling off their rental fleet right now at good discounts. As a "used boat" I think you could get one across the border without paying duty.
Camillus Kayaks just south of Syracuse has a wide range too, including the Easkys.
I’m a bit taller than you at 6’1 and heavier at 215. I fit perfectly and have truely fallen in love with my boat. It handles chop,waves and wind beautifully.
2nd Gavin’s Mention
North Shore Aspect RM
Compact Sea Kayak - Generous enough of a cockpit and volume to fit a broad range of paddlers.
Have one in the Fleet anytime you want to come play in Hyde Park, NY.
From you’re description I can’t figure out where you are located.
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
“as efficient as a poly boat can be"
I don’t think the boats you mention really fit that category. Think more like a 22” width. If you are an intermediate paddler, it is most likely you would be comfortable in a slimmer boat. I don’t have specs right in front of me, but WS Zephyr series is worth noting.
Thanks for your time,
I have spent some time in a Tempest 17’ oply and it was good. I don’t do “sea kayaking” per say just flat water inland lakes as mentioned. I didn’t think those long skinny boats were used for just day trips so really haven’t considered them. Do you folks use the Tempest, capella zephyr boats for inland lake day tours?
Also storage is an issue and 14’ - 15’ is OK, 17’ is pushing the limits of storage.
Appreciate your replies
here’s one 15.5’ x 23"
I have no experience with this particular boat, but just finding another example of a poly boat, not 17' that is also relatively narrow. Others should feel free to correct me, but I think a boat in this range will paddle more efficiently (I'm sure there are other variables).
Also, responding to one of your questions -- I for one paddle inland lakes (day trips) in a 16.5' x 22" boat; my GF in a 15.5' x 21" -- we both find them to be more efficient to paddle than Tsunami14/Manitou14. Our skinnier boats are not poly, but I suspect similar poly boats are also more efficient. Again, I'm open to being corrected.
Yes at times
When I only had one sea kayak it was the expedition length, so of course that went everywhere. I got a 16 ft boat and use that mostly now, but it is a perfectly major-condition long-distance capable sea kayak if I could pack more compactly.
I still bring out the longer boat for day trips or at times even evening paddles at times depending on the group because it is such a good rescue platform.
16 x 23
Also, while not poly, Eddyline makes the Merlin LT and the Samba. It’s really the efficient hull shape that I’m talking about. Maybe folks know of similar hulls in poly? These are both in the shorter (14’ or so) range, but narrower than a Manitou/Tsunami.
Eddyline Merlin LT is low-volume
The Merlin LT used to be one of two Merlins, the LT and the XT. The LT is sized for smaller folk. The XT was intended for larger folk but was pretty unstable if you had more upper-body mass, so they discontinued it. The Journey appears to be a better, refined version of the Merlin XT and is more suitable for a wider range of body sizes.
QCC, Eddyline, Necky …
… just a few choices for what you are describing. All offer boats in sizes to fit you. Some of the Wildy boats mentioned as well, but not necessarily the T: that’s more of a traditional sea kayak.