New kayak

Ok, I know I’m asking the almost impossible question, but here goes anyway. I’m in the market for a kayak after having spent a few days last summer dinging around in my son’s. This is the criteria. It will be used primarily on lakes and rivers up to class II (maybe an occasional class III but for a very short distance and not by design - I hope). I would like to have the capacity to carry light camping gear for 1 or 2 nights so a hatch and adequate storage would be nice. Obviously, I’m going to use it mostly for solo tripping. I think I’m past the stage of playing around in the whitewater. A couple of other related questions: 1) - what would be the optimum length. 2) - do I need a rudder (skag) -avantages & disadvantages. So any suggestions on an all around kayak that meets all these needs? I know it probably doesn’t exist, but give it your best shot.

Thanks so much for your suggestions and help.

hurricane tampico???
u shouldnt need a rudder or skeg for rivers or lakes. The tampico should fit your bill. but then u didnt tell us what your size is…so its a bit of a guess, but they make the tampico in an xl and std size model.

good luck, I wish I was up in Montana about now!

New Kayak

Thanks for the info Kurt. I’m 6 ft and 177 lbs.

I’ve been looking at the Tampico so your advice sounds good.

Right now in my part of Montana it’s snowy. We got 6 to 8 inches of very wet snow in the valley and the mountains got 2 to 3 ft. Ought to make for a couple of more weeks of good skiing depending on the temps. Lord knows we need any kind of moisture we can get.

Where in MT?

– Last Updated: Mar-31-07 7:57 PM EST –

I'm from the Flathead.

PS: Just looked at the Tampico, looks a lot like an Eddyline Merlin. I don't think I'd do
class III with it. Class II might be dicey depending on your skill/experience. I've done easy II's in my Prijon Calabria.

Liquid Logic
Manta Ray 12 or 14. If you’re considering sit-on-tops, these are great boats. I’ve got the 14. They were designed to handle up to Class III whitewater and they handle flatwater very well. I took mine on a 4 day camping trip and found out that it would carry a bunch of gear and still paddled well. 400 lb max total, paddler and gear. I put a huge canoe-type portage dry bag in the tank well. Very comfortable and a pretty dry ride for a SOT. I call it my SUV kayak 'cuz it does everything really well.

from Pyranha and P&H
Take a look at the Venture “orca 14”

Also - New “Speeder” from Pyranha.

14-15 is good length - as it will have storage capacity, hull speed, and capable on going on open water too.

Jim @ Pyranha and P&H Kayaks

Class III
Anything that is good for Class III is going to be by definition bad for everything else you want to do. Get a 14-15 foot rotomolded or thermoformed boat, with about a 24 inch beam. Stick to Class I, I+ for awhile. If you decide later you want to do whitewater, get a whitewater boat. But it sounds like your real interest is calm and slow moving water, with some light camping.

"2. do I need a rudder/skeg…?"
Wow, you must be new around here…

that’s a can of worms to be opened with caution!

(has been the subject of many a heated debate on this forum for as long as I can recall…)

Check Prijon’s lineup – the Combi or Yukon might work for you.

OK, but
The Orca is not on the Pyranha or P&H websites.

sorry -
orca is on the venture kayak website…

you might also look at the easky 13 -

can of worms
Actually I am new around here. Didn’t mean to “open a can of worms” but I really do appreciate everyone’s help. It is a bit of a daunting area to delve into for the first time. I’d like to get it right, at least as right as it can be gotten.

No problem
The rudder/skeg/none debate elicits very strong opinions among paddlers. A search would bring up more pages than you’d care to read. I’ll try a condensed version…

The primary function of rudders and skegs is to help hold the kayak on course in adverse conditions, such as strong winds from abeam or on the quarter. No boat can be neutral in all conditions, and most are designed with a slight weathercocking tendency. A rudder or skeg can minimize the need for corrective strokes or edging and allow the paddler to concentrate on propulsion.

A retractable skeg has a control, adjusted by hand, that varies the how much of the skeg is submerged. This should allow you to trim out most of the weathercocking. A rudder allows you to make course corrections with your feet while paddling. Racing kayaks and surfskis all use rudders.

Why not use a rudder? Many people don’t like having a mass of metal at the stern where it can interfere with rescues and be dangerous to swimmers. They don’t like the sliding footbraces that are part of many rudder setups. And they think that folks who learn in rudder boats will have no incentive to learn corrective strokes, and will be worse off it it breaks.

Retractable skegs are simpler and give you rigid footbraces, but pebbles can get jammed in skeg boxes and cables can kink.

Having neither is simpler, lighter, and more reliable. You can do a lot with edging, trim, and corrective strokes. People kayaked for centuries without them. But they had skills most of us never will, and were in boats of much lower volume than most of ours.

Do you need one? My opinion is that you should be able to paddle a touring boat in calm-to-moderate conditions without one, but they can be awfully nice to have when things get ugly.