First, thank you for taking the time to read my question, I appreciate it. Hello, I was doing some research on kayaks and found this forum. I have a simple question, but I doubt a simple answer. I kayak on a lake about 6,000 acres about 90% of the time. It has basically two types of conditions, windy (where water gets choppy) and calm. I’d like a kayak that can play on the waves when it’s choppy, sorta go up and over and toss you around a bit (out in lake, not on shoreline) but also either have semi straight tracking or drop down skeg to make calm waters fun. I’m not looking for massive speed, but still cross the lake with relative ease. I’m 6’3" and 230lbs and have 35" inseam with feet that are just shy of 12" long (size 14 shoes). I’m looking for a price tag under $1,500 new or used. It will be a Day boat, just going out for few hours at a time and looking for sit-inside solo kayak. I’d consider myself a beginner-plus to intermediate kayaker, at it for few years, done sit on top and in rec boats, some light tourers but all either rented or borrowed, used friends and stuff. Looking for a “ME” boat, that fits my needs and size, I can keep for long while. If you have any input or I left anything out feel free to comment. Again I really appreciat it.
The sky’s the limit. There are so many good sea kayak designs available that, as long as you fit, would work well for you. Since you’ll be solo it needs to be light enough to carry by yourself. I’d spend the money on a used carbon, kevlar, or fiberglass boat and skip the plastic. Make sure it has bulkheads or at least air bags and get yourself a bilge pump. Without it you will be sorry if you flip it unless you are wearing a skirt. Rudders are great to have in the wind and many nice composite kayaks have them. Try it before you buy it.
Here’s a link to a thread on a similar topic:
There are some very nice kayaks listed and it’s a starting point to search your local used market.
And here’s a link about a the purpose of a skeg: http://kayak-skills.kayaklakemead.com/skeg.html
If you haven’t already done so, learning how to wet-exit and re-enter your kayak in deep water is a necessity. A certified ACA kayak instructor can teach you that (plus lots of other things), as well as help you find your “me” boat. Happy hunting!
Current Designs makes just the boat you described and it should be within your budget. The Sirocco will fit you and it will take on anything your lake can offer and a lot more.
This one will go most anywhere you want to go on that lake calm or full of “sheeps in the field”. It also has room for size 14 shoes. clcboats.com/shop/boats/kayak-kits/chesapeake-kayaks/chesapeake-17-sea-kayak-kit.html
Thank you for your responses
New it is $1700, but you might be able to find a deal on one or a used Venture Jura HV, a high volume touring kayak for bigger paddlers with skeg made by the respected British kayak designers P & H (Venture is their rotomold plastic line). I have their smaller but similar Easky 15 LV (I’m only 5’ 5", 155#) and really love my boat for exactly the conditions you describe, smooth handling and tracking in waves and wind. I don’t know where you are located, but the RIver Connection in Hyde Park, NY, has the Jura HV in stock and they offer demos: http://www.the-river-connection.com/canoesandkayaks/venturekayaks/venturekayaks-jura-hv
I tried a tsunami 125, but saw a few places online that dont stock this kayak, but do stock is 120 145… contourparts. Anyone know if this is a lesser model? Thanks
Tsunami 125 is for a smaller paddle. Some places just selling to a larger, less picky crowd may not keep them around.
The skeg is for windy days; not calm ones. I lucked into a used Dagger Alchemy some years back that’s been a comfortable ‘do it all pretty well’ boat. Check it out. The Wilderness Systems Zephyr should be on your list to try also.
Rookie’s link up there explains how to use the skeg very nicely. I’ll argue one point… technically the skeg does not steer the boat but I have used mine many times to allow the wind to steer my boat. For example if I want to turn upwind in a stiff breeze I’ll raise my skeg and won’t need to do many corrective paddle strokes. The wind does the work for me.