New here. Question about weight limit

I have a question on the weight limit. I got a kayak with a 250 lbs weight limit. I weigh 227 without my gear? Am I too heavy to use it?

How much gear are you planning to bring?

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You can put a lot of weight in a boat, but you will run into some issues depending on the conditions. Weight limits are more like guide lines and advertising, than they are actual safe limits. I would definitely lean towards to staying well under the listed limit, or going up in boat size depending on what conditions you’ll be paddling in. You will have very low free board, which equals low margin for error. You will need a good quality spray skirt if there is any chance you will encounter wind, waves, or wakes. If you loose your balance without one you will take more water in and more quickly than a lesser loaded boat. Once you take water into a boat that is pushing its limits you’re in trouble. If it’s a sit on top you will get wet, water will continuously come through the scuppers. Then you will be basically sitting in a puddle all day.

If you are just planning on using it lightly loaded on flat calm water then you can probably get away with going up to the limits. If you are planning on loading it up to go camping, using it on big bodys of water, using it in the wind, going down even tiny rapids, using it on water with a lot of boat traffic (wakes are unpredictable), you’re clumsy, or anything other than leisurely paddles on calm water water I think you should go for a bigger boat.

I paddled a heavily loaded low free board canoe a couple thousand miles, it worked fine most of the time. I did run into serious issues a few times with unexpected waves, wakes, and wind. I was wind bound more than I would have been in a more seaworthy boat because I couldn’t handle waves of any size. One time I got caught by a storm that materialized in minutes, and sunk me in less than three. I have paddled a much more seaworthy canoe (one with considerably more freeboard), though one with about 75% of the weight rating with the same load. That boat would have shrugged that storm off like nothing. And I have pushed that boat and load though way worse with little worry. I also have a friend who is a about 235lbs and who has paddled small kayaks, he does not enjoy them. Basically what I’m saying is that you need to seriously consider what you will be using the boat for. Then decide if the benefits of that particular kayak outweight the added risk of overloading it or nearly overloading it. I think the safe thing would be to get a larger kayak. You will probably enjoy paddling a larger one more anyway.

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Not much. My pdf, waterproof case, and some snacks and water. Ill only be using it on lakes and lazy river.

You’ll be fine, IMO. If you are just starting, paddle it and learn what will work well. Your next boat will be better

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You would get better performance from a higher volume boat ( ie longer). There are two kinds of capacities: the load it can carry before sinking or being subject to swamping ( freeboard is the measure) and performance capacity… The second is usually 60-70 percent of the latter.

You have a boat designed for a light paddler and while you may be ok on the flat water what happens when you near the absolute capacity is the boat gets squirrely. The hull provides less stability.

been there done that.


Thanks everyone. I appreciate all of your help.