Looking to buy my first kayak!

-- Last Updated: Apr-19-09 1:44 PM EST --

I'm new to the kayaking world, but know that I will continue to do this for many years. So I'm thinking about buying one. I'm about 6'4" 300ish lbs. I've been borrowing a buddies otter, and while its def. to small for me I've been doing fine in it, and enjoying myself alot. I do want a kayak more fitting for my size, but I don't want to spend over $500(broke college student as is).

I intend to fish a little or alot from whatever kayak I buy(which means I'll probably have to add rod holders). I'd like it to be adept at handling windy lakes and going down moderate rivers. Anyways I was looking at the vapor 10 ($379) and it seems like a pretty good fit for all my criteria, but I can't find many reviews on it. I assume its semi new.

I also looked at the dicks sporting goods store (about the only place to buy a kayak around here) and the perception 9.5 was like $279 and seemed like it might work. I'm on the fence about whether or not I should pay a little more for a 12 foot since I plan on having this kayak awhile. I would appreciate any and all advice!

You’re going to need a lot of kayak,
in length as well as width and depth. Don’t skimp just to make a convenient purchase.

I have to agree
with the other reply. At your size the kayak should be at least 12 feet. Look for something used on Craigslist or elsewhere. Stay away from short boats at discount chains. You might find a sit on top kayak better as a fishing platform.

For your size…

– Last Updated: Apr-19-09 3:43 PM EST –

...It's gonna be "tight". My husband is 6'5" and 200lbs and we just bought him a rec boat. Most 10' boats didn't fit him or wouldn't hold him weight-wise. Forget that Perception 9.5. You definitely should think about a boat in the 12' range.

We wound up ponying up $800 for a Native Watercraft Marvel 12 which fits him very well. http://www.nativewatercraft.com/

The Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 was another boat that worked well for a bit less than the Marvel. You might want to check out Craigs List for used boats as that will be far more cost efficient. Do your homework first though because sometimes people ask insane prices for used kayaks.

Any new kayak that comes with rod holders, etc..as standard equipment (IE: "The Angler Edition") is going to cost you more. Buy the standard boat and put in your own rod holders. You'll also have a wider range of boats to choose from. Don't rule out Sit On Top kayaks. These are often excellent for fishing and will fit a bigger person better. Only problem is that you tend to get wet more.

My husband did fit in the Old Town Vapor 10. Without the enclosed back hatch you can get it in the $350 price range so you might want to check that out. It's a no frills boat but quite roomy and fine for a leisurely day on a lake fishing. Even has a cupholder. ;)

the otter I’ve been using is pretty small, but I handle it pretty well. There isn’t much room for anything other than me tho. The cockpit is alot bigger on the old town vapor 10, but I guess its still only 10ft. I’ve also been watching cragslist… no luck so far. My only worry (besides being more expensive) with a 12 ft is how it would handles in a river.

as far as SOT…
I prefer a sit-in the sit on tops are cool, but I plan on taking this thing out in the cold, and rivers… things I just don’t think I’d care for a SOT. Thanks for the helpful advice so far from everyone.


– Last Updated: Apr-19-09 4:02 PM EST –

..One reason we didn't go with a SOT is because of the "cold water" factor..but the fishermen seem to like them a lot.

Old Town also sells a 12 foot version of the Vapor.

12 feet is fine on a river. My husband took his Marvel 12 down the Oswego River in the Pine Barrens last Monday and it worked fine. Longer than 12' might've been more difficult. For the twisty, narrow rivers in the Pines 10-12' is perfect.

I hear ya on finding used boats. They aren't easy to come by if you need something specific with regards to size. My husband sat in many, many sea kayaks and fit in exactly TWO. One was the Carolina and the other the Prijon Touryak. He bought the Touryak and fits fine in it.

Rec boat shopping was a bit better but not much. The "cheap" boat we looked at was the Vapor. If he hadn't kicked in some cash for the Marvel 12 he'd be sitting in a Vapor 10 as a rec boat. The Marvel is a great boat for a sit in kayak and when I upgrade from my inflatable I'm going to get the Marvel 10.

Another interesting Native Watercraft boat is the hybrid version the "Ultimate", which is a cross between a kayak and boat. Another great boat, but again, priced at around $800.

Good points

– Last Updated: Apr-19-09 3:53 PM EST –

Sit on tops aren't so great in cold weather and you will get wet paddling even a mild river. The Vapor 10 is just too small for your size though. You may fit in it's giant cockpit but it's not designed to handle that much weight. Keep looking there are 12 to 14 footers that will do fine on the river.

Try here…
…For both advice on fishing boats and they have a “For Sale” section:


Go for a used Pungo 14
it is a great boat for what you want and for your size.


2nd the Pungo 140
When I started paddling a year ago, I was 6’1", 300 lbs (still 6’1", now 225 lbs). I tested both the Pungo 120, and 140. They both held my weight, but the 140 was definitely better. I spent a few hours in the 120, and never felt that the boat was struggling. I’ve also spent several hours in a Heritage Stingray 14. It held me fine, but I don’t like the boat as much as the Pungo. The Stingrays are less expensive. I settled on the OK Prowler 13 SOT which I bought used for $630. With neoprene socks, splash pants, and scupper plugs, cold water is no problem. I’m in western PA and paddled until late November. I started again in early March.

check out www.sierratradingpost.com for the Prowler 15.

Big man kayaks
I use an Old Town Loon 138,which has a huge cockpit.I’m 6’1 240lbs,and get me,a 16qt.cooler,and a dry bag in with no problem. And I throw in any trash I find while I’m out,and I always have room left over.You can find a used Loon 138 for approx $400 on Craigslist. Good Luck ,Ron

I got one for you…
It’s a Prijion Crusier. Prefect for your size and it’s a “crossover” boat meaning, you won’t outgrow it in a year.

I can’t go to $500, but $600 will work.

email me.

It’s hard to find a kayak that
will be nice and roomy along with the ability to hold fishing gear for under 500… most kayaks in that range will be like the Otter you have been using, and will not be kind of snug and not as comfy.

However, for only 560 dollars, I suggest you check out the Old Town Vapor 12, which could also do some rivers.



I guess…
that I’m gonna keep checking craiglists and other resources for a good used kayak. Otherwise it seems like a vapor 10 is about the best I can afford. If thats what I end up in I think I’ll be fine, I’m not wanting to carry a ton of fishing gear, and I usually don’t keep many fish if any at all (like to catch em not so much clean and eat em). That cruiser really looks nice! I can’t find many reviews on it, but it sure does look the part. No way I can afford $600 though :/. Thanks again for all the input.

do you guys think of a dagger savannah? I see one for sale on this sites classified in a neighboring state. Guy wants $300 for it, seems like a good deal. Comes with paddle and vest.

Also look at paddleswap


The boat is a bargain at 300 bucks
300 bucks for a 14 footer that has two hatches… great deal. I suggest going to check it out, sit in it, and even ask to try it out to see how it is. However, wont be as stable nor as manuverable on rivers. Will be faster than a vapor 10, though. As for the Vapor 10, it will probally be a fine kayak. Old Town is a good kayak manufacturer and makes fine kayaks. The vapor 10 would probally be a fairly satisfactory kayak for fishing.

my only worry…
14 feet is alot of kayak. I take it you can’t just throw it in the back of the truck and go… I def wanna go check it out soon as I can though.

Most beds with tailgate are about
10 feet, so you’d have an awful lot of overhand with a 14 footer. Don’t think I’d haul anything over about 12 on my truck bed.

I may get a truck rack like the TracRac Pro to haul long boats. Then I could handle any length and get them up out of harm’s way (not likely to get crushed at a red light).