I am in the market for a new sit-in kayak to replace an SOT that has been collecting dust due to the fact that I have another that I paddle more regularly.
I am about 5’11" and 230 lbs and am looking for something that I can use on flat water and slow-moving rivers for overnight trips. My weight requirement (me + gear) puts me in the 17’ length range.
There are a few opportunities in my local classifieds, namely: a Necky Looksha 17 for $300, a CS Storm for $350, and a WS Sealution II XL for $450. All appear to be in decent shape (judging by the photos), though there is some noticable oilcanning on the Necky. Without having seen the kayak in person, it’s hard to say whether its due to storage/strapping/sun and therefore can be remedied, or if the plastic has stretched due to abuse. No noticeable defects on the other two. All three are rotomolded poly.
Given my size (girth), I like the idea of the slightly larger cockpit on the Sealution. The Storm has the smallest cockpit, with the Looksha right between the two. All three get fairly decent reviews on their speed and handling.
So, the million dollar question: does anyone have any experience with these boats that they can share? I am aware that every paddler will be of a different size and paddling style and that it is hard to say what boat will be best for a person, so I am more looking for objective observations than good guesses as to how a particular boat might suit me (though, if you have a guess, I’ll definitely hear it!). Unfortunately, I live out in the middle of nowhere and there aren’t any nearby options for demo opportunities, so I am just trying to make the best decision with what information I can glean.
I did not respond in this thread because all three are bigger boats than would fit me.
But if it is any comfort, my first sea kayak was a Squall. Partner to the Storm for smaller paddlers.
Fantastic first kayak, honestly I could not have done any better for a first sea kayak to get me onto the water and back home again. She went into the hands of another newer paddler when I was able to get into a composite boat who, from what I heard, did very well with her.
I keep all of mine in the barn. She never goes out there so she doesn’t know how many I have. Remind her that paddling is like playing Golf. You can play the whole course with a putter but you will enjoy the game more with the proper club for the hole.
As far as the Necky, there are several ways to repair oil canning, but it’s not always entirely successful. It all depends on whether or not it can be repaired to the point where it does not affect how well it performs afterwards.