low volume sea kayak recomendations

I am thinking about getting a second boat. I have a high volume kayak now (Mariner XL) and am thinking about getting a low volume boat for day trips.

So I am looking for recomendations.

I would like good tracking (not a lot of rocker) and a boat that can take large sound chop if not ocean waves, be rather fast and be easy to eskimo roll.

And boat that does not have a lot of windage too. But that is a definition of a low volume boat anyway.

I am a 5’7" tall male with small feet but rather wide body.

The Impex Outer Island looks nice but it’s cockpit is not comfortable to me. Their Force 4 looks good but I would rather have less volume.

The Betsie Bay boats look good but are hard to find to test and cost a bit more than glass boats.

And the Feathercraft Khatsalano is interesting as well.

Those are some of the boats I have seen if not tried.

Your thoughts would be helpful and interesting.

day boat why not turny
Why not get a turny day boat if there is any surf or rack gardens about. Does the mariner blow around too much? What makes you want a “day” boat

I liiked the explorer an awful lot, maybe you’d enjoy it or a quest LV or a CD caribou. I did not note the tracking of the valley avocet but I know lots of folks like them.

Try a Force 3 NM

you describe an OI perfectly
If the cockpit is a problem change the seat…it unbolts.


day boat
The OI is not turny but loads of fun, very fast, very rollable, and very linear in edge work with huge primary stability for a skinny boat.

Just TAKE OUT THE SEAT and put in a redfiskkayak.com foam seat. Magic, the boat is super comfortable and even more stable!

Force three looks nice but biled as a pure expedition boat so not really a day boat imo.

Why hot an Avocet, Romany or Romany LV? Super day boats all.


What sort of day trips?
When you say “day boat” many may read play boat and recommend shorter turny types (note the inevitable Romany suggestions). Fine if you like to play in the soup - but if getting some miles is your thing -something else is in order.

So what’s the typical sort of day paddle you’d want this new kayak for?

LV boat
Thanks for the information.

A day boat for me is one that does not have alot of room to carry much. Or just enough for overnight.

There is not much “soup” to get into where I paddle mostly. Some surf if I go out into the ocean and the rocks I see were put there by the Corps of Enginers.

There are no Romany dealers around that I know of but I did see a couple in Charleston SC last month.

My boat does not blow around in the wind as it has a sliding seat and foot brace unit to trim the boat for conditions. I am having some trouble learing to “roll” it and would like that boat that roll more easily, my boat is also 23.5" wide and has no bulkheads, (flotation bags though) a reason I was looking for a sea sock to practice in and for bad conditons.

Removing the seat in the OI is a very interesting possibility. I like the OI except for the fact that it wants to put an extra bend in my legs in a place and direction that I don’t have joints.

Impex Montauk and Eddyline Falcon16
are great day boats and good for short tours. The Khatsalano is not really a low volume boat. See if you can find an older Nordkapp. They are solid boats and can be pretty inexpensive.

even, have you done this? if yes, then joe should have the measurements, and all i’d need to supply is my personal information. have been dragging my feet on the switch as i don’t much like the impex seat.

How about a Nordkapp LV?
Not my cup of tea (too little 2ndary stability for my taste/skill) but the Nordkapp LV is might suit your desires for good tracking fast and able to handle rough water (as well as you can, anyway).

Personally I’d go with an Avocet, Romany, or Tempest 165. Oh yeah, I did go with the T-165!

20 minutes
It really only took 20 minutes. Just take a piece of cardboard and cut it to match the contour of the bottom and side of cockpit hull. Use it to slice off the bottom of the foam seat. Then use dragon skin and foam shaper to fine tune it. I leave it a bit snug, then add another layer to make hip and backside rest. I use 3M Dualock to afix it to boat so it can be adjusted forward and aft for trim and for different seasons.

Why has nobody mentioned…
…the idea of building yourself a low volume SOF?

Some obvious advantages:

Custom fit

Very light

As low volume/high performance as you wish

Very beautiful

Inexpensive to build

If you’re interested, here’s a good place to start…



volume corresponds to how much hull is required to float you, not just how many bags of air fit in the hatches. How much do you weigh?

If You Aren’t Too Wide
The Tempest 165 is lower volume. Turns very well. Not especially fast.

or you can try

– Last Updated: May-30-06 5:52 AM EST –


he has two wooden frame boats, one baidarka and one low volume sea kayak called the "sea rider". click on the first link on his page and then scroll down to wooden builds.

this is the boat I am currently building. Looks pretty idiotproof which is why it is my first attempt. But it should be a good turning boat with some storage but low enough volume to be fun to roll etc.


You might try Nigel Foster Silhouette–very fast, great in conditions, easy to roll, but requires attention. Also, at 20 1/2" may be to narrow.

silhouette for sale
I know womeone who is trying to sell his Silhouette. E-mail me if you are intersted and I will give you his e-mail adress.


kajaksport viking
not quite as turny as the romany or avocet, but more responsive than most 17’ers. plus it’s really fast so you can keep up with the group. comfortable and lighter too.


I’am about 180# right now.

low volume

– Last Updated: May-30-06 10:05 PM EST –

Very interesting boats and construction.

I would wonder if you could adjust the boats dimensions to fit the person using it as the Inuit do? Or just pick the model that is closest to right. I think I saw some of them at the Charleston SC kayak festival. Some were very low volume.

I took a Greenland paddle class with Becky Molina. She is good, and nice too.