My next step kayak...

You are not a poser
if you paddle. Others not mentioned, The Valley or Nigel Dennis kayaks, Seda Glider, Kajaksport Vivianne are a few bu get yourself to a kayak fest or demo day try the boats on display and ask to try peoples personal boats to get a feel for what works for you.

Stitch and Glue
Lots of models. Way cheaper than composite. Lighter than composite. Great winter project.

a tempest 180 might be good…

I’m glad you said that …
about paddlers not being poseurs. A great boat for a beginner that you can grow with to become an advanced paddler should you so desire is and NDK/SKUK Explorer HV or Romany HV (Poseidon). They can be had in the previously been enjoyed market for $1,200-$1,500 if you’re patient.

Thanks Everyone!
First, I’d just like to say while it looks like the Impex Assateague may be in the lead, I’m looking up and researching every single recommendation on here. All recommendations are greatly appreciated. I thank everyone for taking a moment to point me in the right directions. I’ve learned that the “community” is a collective of good folks always willing to lend a helping hand.

It’s not the weight of the boat that scares me loading/unloading. It’s the awkwardness of lifting an object of that length that I wonder about.

Unfortunately, nobody in my vicinity has a demo day anytime soon. My local outfitter has one Assateague in stock and I’ll be test paddling soon. I’m also talking to them about some of the other yaks listed on this thread.

Another outfitter that I’ve looked at has a boat that no one mentioned yet: a POINT 65N X-RAY. It looks like it fits the bill, but no one mentioned so I’d like some input if anyone’s familiar with this model.

Gnarlydog I promise not to pack any lounge chairs on my camping trips.

Thanks all

actually lounge chair can go
but not your Lazyboy® type one.

Thermarest® makes the best compact chair for camping.

You insert your sleeping mat and sit on the ground with excellent back support.

A must for long trips unless you want to go very light.

if you can’t roll
there are some kayaks that you will have to develop that skill in order to paddle in waves, esp. off the stern.

Have you even narrowed down your price range, plastic or composite?