My next step kayak...

I’m beginning the search for my third kayak. I’m in no hurry, I may wait all the way up until next spring to purchase (although I did hear a nasty rumor through my local outfitter that kayaks maybe taking a price increase for the first time in a couple of years w/ the ‘09s).

-Looking for a touring or sea kayak somewhere between 16 and 18 feet in length.

-I’m a larger sized guy. 6’4" 225 lbs former rugby player (meaning most of my build is athletic though I could stand to lose about 5 lbs of spare “baggage”).

-In addition to my size/weight, I also want a larger weight capacity boat w/ dry bulkheads b/c I like to load camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, grill, etc.) and go for long paddles with primitive camping overnight.

-I always like the best bang for the buck. I’m a sucker for a great deal. I’m very economical (i.e. cheap yet willing to pay for quality).

-Great performance/tracking and a comfortable/durable seat are major plus’.

-Last, but not least, I don’t want the fanciest kayak on the market b/c I don’t want to be a poseur, but I would like a kayak that’s a little bit ahead of my skill level so I can grow into it.

From reading reviews on this board I see that many of you consider the WS Pungo 120 to be “the Cadillac of rec boats” . In essence, I’m looking for the equivalent but in a sea/touring kayak.

I’d like this kayak to complete my trinity (I already have a SOT for the beach, and a 12 ft rec kayak for leisurely paddles, now I’m looking for my performance kayak). I’ve been out w/ some guys who have yaks like the WS Tempest 165 and an Eddyline Nighthawk. They both look like really great kayaks, but I basically know nothing about these type of boats. I’ve never even used a rudder and/or a skeg.

Let me thank everyone in advance for any advice/kayak suggestions that they may have!

it has to be a kayak that I can manage to load and unload by myself off the top of my Nissan Pathfinder on solo trips (not incredibly heavy).

the last prerequisite narrows it down to
a composite kayak.

Most poly kayaks would be a bit on the heavy side for lifting it alone on that SUV.

Unfortunately a light kayak spells $$$. No bargains there unless you find an inexpensive used one.

I guess you do a search on from an earlier post listing all kayaks for large guy.

On top of my head I can recommend the Impex Assateague since I am similar in height and weight that you are.

And the hatches are really waterproof.

Almost all of my paddles are camping trips that vary from a few days to a few weeks. The occasional surfing session.

Selection of pix of camping trips at

stunning pics
and to think I chose NZ over Oz for a vacation in that direction 3 years ago :frowning:

Ah c’mon a big rugby player can heft
a 65 lb boat up on top of a SUV.

Seems like there was a recent thread on sea kayaks for big folks (with big feet).

Also look around for closeouts now that we are approaching the end of the season.


Ditto jimyaker…
If you can paddle it, you can cartop it you big rugby playing ox…

I find this boat very desirable right now. Take a peak:


How about a QCC500X?
It fits all your requirements and is on sale now for 20% off.

Or a QCC 700
Below is a link to QCC’s site. They have a used 48 pound Kevlar boat with rudder, thigh grips, other for $2500.

That is a great boat you could grow into. Very fast, stable and rides waves great. It will hold anything you could ever think to put into the boat. It is very well made, will last forever (mind is used a lot, four years old and in great shape). It is also a “big boy boat”.

Good luck finding just the right boat.


a second vote…
…for the Assateague.

You lucky soul.
Your friend has a Nighthawk. Coax him to let you paddle it. Then your are done until you find a good deal.

Next kayak
Check out www.tahemarine. I have a Tahe Mari 3. really fast hull, plenty of volume for a guy my size 6ft/225lbs, plus gear. They are fairly well knowen in Europe, new here, but I’m not afraid to try somthing new. I’ve taken it on a couple of 2-4 day trips to Apostle Is. and I’m planning a trip to Voyagers in Sept. The inital seems a bit tippy at first 'til you get use to it, but the secondary is really strong. They go for about $2900 new with skeg. Check, they had some almost new ones in really great shape for sale last spring. I hear the Revel is even faster.

look into Impex
They make great boats, the Assatague would fit you great.


I think you should get an inflatable
doll. Put her on the deck.

did tsunamichuck …
…hijack string’s account? :slight_smile:

Anything Prijon is typically good for bigger folks.

I second (third, fourth?) the Assateague recommendation. Another Impex boat that might be up your alley is the Force Cat 5. I have the Cat 4 version of the Force (I’m 6’ 185), and I love it. It’s a great tracking boat, but not to the point of being difficult to turn, particularly if you’re willing to give it some edge. Lots of room for gear and very watertight hatches (even after a long day including rolling practice, I never have more than a few drops of water inside my hatches). Also, don’t be put off by the fact that Impex bills the Force as their “pro” boat – it’s a great choice for a first “serious” sea kayak. Not too squirrely, but it will definitely reward more advanced skills.

second the Force5
as great tracking kayak.

I Have been outfitting one for an upcoming 2 week wilderness camping trip. Keel strip, sail, electric bilge pump and tow points.

Some pix of outfitting at

The kayak is large enough for sensible camping gear (read: no lounge chairs will fit) and the cockpit fits a larger paddler.

Not the best surf play boat though since it has little rocker and nose dives in large waves.


3rd boat
Look at the Current Designs Gulfstream.VF

guy is 6’4" 225 rugby player
shouldn’t have anyproblem at all putting a 65 lb boat on a pathfinder.

electric bilge pump??!!!
I’m impressed