new kayak buying question

I’m very new to kayaking and looking to buy 2 kayaks for me and my fiance (23 &21). I plan to do some of my kayaking on class 1 & 2 rivers, lakes, and a little coastal kayaking, since i live in sc. I was wondering what kind of kayak you all suggest. I dont really have the option to try many out so its gonna be a buy and hope i like thinkg. I have looked at Liquid Logic-tuxedo, Perception-swifty and sundance, Dagger, Mainstream. I’m looking for something fairly maneuverable but that may still o decent in the flat water. any help is appreciated. Also what acc. do i need like what kind of skirt is good and so on. thanks

where are you in SC?
If you’re near Florence, you can try models at Naturally Outdoors (.com), the new store is near a river so you can try before you buy. If you’re upstate, ther are several places to try before you buy.

Dr Jack ( marriage counsultant, and long
time watcher of guys getting the short end of a long stick) by buying their soon to be brides kayaks; when their soon to be brides have no intention of continuing to be the wonderful fresh out door type girl as soon as they get you hooked, suggest that you let your soon to be bride pay for her own yak.

With all that advice given, The Swifty is a wonderful starter kayak.

Many on this forum have started with them and gone on to bigger and better things after learning that they indeed want to stay with the sport.

If these are your first boats. you should not be disappointed in the Swifty.

It is not fast, but it will turn on a dime since it is so short.

It is very stable. You would have to try very hard to tip it over, unless you are very overweight.

If they are still made out of plastic, they are just about indistructable.

As far as accessories: Don’t buy a bilge pump.

Save a few bucks by using a plastic milk jug or equal with the bottom cut off and the cover still on and tie a line to it to keep tethered behind your seat as a bailer.

Naturally you need a PFD, (it is the law).

Harmony used to make a pretty inexpensive skirt, and if you will be doing any white water or surfing at the beach you will need one.

For a paddle get one that is two piece and allows you to use it either fethered or straight.

A couple of water bottles and you should be in business.



about the bilge pump
I’m new to kayaking, but I got a thought about the bilge pump.

Has anyone ever considered one of those kerosene transfer pumps?? There cheap, available at almost any hardware store, and they seem to survive just about anything.

Not to be sarcastic…
…but you are showing that you are new, and please don’t take this as a slam.

That would be fine if you have all day long to get the water out, but if you are out in the water and get hit with a wave or waves, or worse yet if you tip, the idea is to get the water out of the yak as quick as possible.

The plastic bilge pump, (Harmony or equal) with the large discharge pumps the yak out in less than a minute.

They are invaluable.



less than a minute?
Swifty full o’ water?

I don’t think so.


Parity, Water in the boat
JackL has a good point about assuming that both of you will be equally interested in paddling. You can try, but don’t get too invested in the idea of equal enthusiasm. By the intermediate level of paddling, we look around a group and will see one couple for every five or more spouses that are out there having brokered agreement from their not-so-interested spouse to get away for the day. The deal often includes paying back with work around the house or an evening out with the in-laws, it seems.

That said, if both of you are equally interested you’ve started out with a fabulous way to spend time together.

As to the pump out thing - since you are looking at boats unlikely to have a sealed bulkhead both front and back, one thing you want to do is to add flotation and, at the same time, reduce the amount of water you are likely to have to remove. That can be accomplished by getting flotation bags, which fill with air and both help keep the boat from diving nose or stern down as well as fill up space. Anchoring them in a boat like the Swifty requires some thought, but it can be done.

As to “dumpability” in a Swifty, for heavier or taller people it’s not nearly as hard as it seems. There are a couple of them at the place we rent in Maine, and we’ve seen my brother-in-law take one over just by lifting up his hand and turning his head to wave at someone. Granted he is heavy and has the natural balance of a rock, but for him it was quick.

As above, as long as you respect the limitations of shorter and less featured boats like the Swifty, and dress properly for the water and air temps, they can be fun. And I have to say, they are a lot easier to haul around than our 17 plus ft boats.

You are correct…
I was thinking of a yak with bulkheads.

My QCC on self rescue practice can be emptied in about 30 seconds.



Look also at the Heritage Range

try lots of boats
both of you need to try boats. you might not like the same ones. but don’t buy the weaker partner a shorter boat. most of our local paddling is slow rivers and people seem to like yaks in the 12 ft range. they can cover some distance and still handle easy. and don’t forget that a good, light weight paddle and a pfd that actually fits make the experience much better.

any other suggestions
does anyone h ave any tips on any other beginner boats or any of the ones i named. tell me what u know about em, thanks

Try an Acadia
My wife started out with a 12 foot Acadia from Perception. It’s a great boat, and I can’t get her to try something better. You can get it with a rear bulkhead, which upgrades the safety factor greatly, since you can dump the water from the boat in an assisted rescue situation. I think they go for about $500. I’ve had people of all sizes out in this kayak, from 100 lbs. to 260 lbs., and it handled them fine. Happy Shopping. Alan

A couple others
I’ve owned a Necky Manitou Sport for the last 6 months. 10 ft. 11 in. with a 26.5 in. beam. Very stable and tracks well for a boat under 12 ft. and quite manueverable. The cockpit is easy to get in and out of(42 x 20 in). About $550 new. A really good 12 footer is the Prijon Capri Tour. Fast, tracks very well. and reasonably stable, and easy to roll. Very good quality plastic; only 42 lbs. Cockpit is smaller than on most recreational boats(36 x 18 in.) but still easy to enter and exit. Bought one of these a couple months ago and do stuff I’ve never done in a kayak before. About $700 new.

Second the Prijon Capri Tour

– Last Updated: Nov-29-05 2:17 AM EST –

Here is the website, click on Capri Tour. Really nice boat, I have two. See many review on here. It is the lightest--as DJC says--plastic twelve footer you will find at 42 lbs. DJC has stated it well above, and with 24 inch beam, I would say it is your fastest plastic kayak in this size range too. The plastic is high grade blow molded, not heavy less stiff rotomolded. If you call, Ivana is the USA distributor (or her husband Landis) and they are likely to cut you a deal on two at once although these German made kayaks are slightly pricier than some others as they are well rigged and better plastic). I ordered a 17 footer (different boat) from Prijon and they split the shipping with me and cheaply it was at my doorstep, well packed and unharmed. (although always better to test paddle any boat if you can). No sales tax if you live outside CO. These are truly fine 12 footers for gentle coastal, all flatwater, and ripply rivers. Again, read the reviews (all 9s and 10s) on Have a great day and select wisely, you'll spend countless hours plugged into that seat in whichever model you buy. Consider a custom outfitting kit for you and wife once you get to know the boats a little. Ciao.

So, like, what’dja buy?