I need suggestions for a good-tracking lightweight kayak to be used in rivers, lakes and streams for recreation and for photography. I am a single woman who kayaks with friends but needs to be able to lift the kayak onto my van myself for launching and storage. Suggestions for kayak, car rack (must fold down to fit into garage), and other useful equipment will be greatly appreciated.
if the garage is wide enough, lower the kayak on the passenger side(Unload if required)…and drive into the garage…(you could leave the boat on the van all the time if there is room)…anyway, with the Hullivator lowered over the side the height is reduced.
Pungo 120 Duralite
You didn't say what your budget is.
Wave Witch Classic
Good for ocean, surf, flatwater river paddling.
Weighs 30 lbs, very fast for a 12’ boat, and tracks, has a rudder too.
Solo canoe (NM)
Feathercraft K Light or Kahuna or an
dare I say it…
but you could look into an inflateable Kayak. I am looking at the Sea Eagle Explorer 380. from what I have read (Bias could possibly exist) it seems like a good choice for rivers and lakes, is lightweight and very packable. I am just waiting on the price of gold to go up another 80 bucks.
Google Prijon Capri Tour
The lightest weight plastic kayak available.
New Lighweight Kayak
Hurricane Santee 116
Just bought one yesterday, trading up from a Heritage 9.5. Great boat! Weighs 36 lbs. Weight is similar to much higher priced fiberglass boats. I am a single woman (photographer also). My friend purchased the Santee 116 Sport for the larger cockpit. Try it!
We bought ours in Rhode Island at The Kayak Centre.
Here is a link
I second the Pungo 120 Duralite
My wife can easily lift this thing up and load it on the J-cradles on my Forester. Barely 40 lbs. Also tracks straight and is very stable. Big cockpit with room for gear, storage compartment for light overnight, and interesting add-ons like a center console, a removable tray with holders for cups and camera stuff. You’ll pay a little extra but its worth it. Great boat.
I second any of the Hurricane boats
The Hurricane Santee 116 is a nice recreational kayak that only weighs about 35 lbs. That is very light for a nearly 12’ boat costing about $800 new. It’s also very stable.
If cost is no object…
It’s a good option for a light kayak. You could put it together at the beginning of the season and keep it assembled. I’ve seen several seniors out at the put ins lifting their feathercrafts on their roofs by themselves.
Hurricane Santee 116
We have 2 of the Santees. They are great recreational kayaks. Lightweight, very stable and just plain fun to use.
Your size wquld help
Not knowing how big you are, I’d say a Necky Eliza is worth checking out.
Ask a simple question…
and have a lot of fun sorting the answers.
I can relate…
An Eliza Necky is 15' long and weights about 50lbs..not what I'd consider lightweight.
Inflatables were mentioned and I was in much the same situation. I'm unable to lift a kayak on to the roof..especially since the Jeep is a soft top and doesn't have a roof! Plus my back is weak and lifting a kayak above my head isn't an option.
So I bought a cargo rack that goes into the bumper hitch and purchased an Advanced Elements Advanced Frame. http://advancedelements.com/advancedframe.html
This is a hybrid inflatable/folding kayak that weighs about 38lbs, is 10.5 feet long. It folds up and is easily loaded in and out of my Jeep. I just strap it down to the cargo rack and it would fit nicely in the trunk or hatch of any car. It's about the size of a suitcase and I actually wheel it around with a luggage dolly. Setting it up is very easy. I just use a double action pump and it sets up in about 10 minutes.
Nice thing is, it's a nice kayak. It actually resembles a kayak, not a boat or raft. It's comfortable, tracks very well, is very stable and I've taken it down everything from narrow streams in the Pine Barrens to bays, lakes and the ocean. I've even managed to keep up with the larger sea kayaks in my club outings.
They also offer a 13 feet version called the Expediton which is about 42lbs.
However, the urge to "go bigger" has it me so I've purchased a P&H Capella 160 and a trailer to haul it around. You might want to consider that option if you want to get a bigger kayak. This way there's minimal lifting involved and I plan to use a kayak dolly to move the kayak around once I get it off the trailer so I should be ok. You definitely want to purchase a kayak dolly regardless of what you go with.