New to the world of the Kayak

HI - just went hunting on a map. OK - you are deep into not-sea-kayaking country, not surprising if you did not find a lot of such groups. Looks like it is an absolutely gorgeous place to live, just not about long boats.

The Boyson Reservoir is very long. On wind fetch alone could be ripping if the wind is blowing out of the south. I suggest staying away from the unprotected open area of that Reservoir unless the wind is coming at more like below 10KT. And that with caution. Fetch is hugely important in wind development, you need to look at wind direction against where you are paddling as well as learn the basic daily rhythms of on shore and off shore wind.

I found a place called Rent Adventure in Thermopolis which might be worth a phone call. Don’t see any indication they are deep in long boat background, but they might be a starting point to find someone who could work with you on those skills. They have rentals which rely mostly on SOTs.

IMO you have two nice boats for where you live. But you need to learn to pick your battles. Enjoy the lake you have when the weather cooperates. Learn to study the forecasts and when it is rough develop a strategy that keeps you in sheltered areas and within your limits.

Add some additional flotation to the bows and you will have boats that you can get a lot of enjoyment out of. Maybe not adrenalin producing enjoyment though.

We live in northern PA and I grew up on Lake Erie with big power boats but have been on the lake in smaller crafts over the years. My first boat/raft I built in the 60s out of a sheet of plywood and about 200 plastic milk jugs when they switched away from glass. As a stupid kid we would take that thing a half mile out with inner tubes as PFD. It worked then but looking back wasn’t one of the smartest things I tried.

Now we have a rec kayak like yours and a canoe and if the day was right I would put them in the lake. I wouldn’t go out far or venture far from the put in and I would know what the weather was going to do. Many nights at sunset the lake is like glass and I have seen it switch in 30 minutes to something you wouldn’t want to be on with a 36’ cabin cruiser. We didn’t buy the boats though for Lake Erie and they will likely never go in it. we use them on rivers and lakes up to the size of yours.

I really think you have the right boats for you for now. you just need to manage the expectations of them. If you really want to explore the wilder side of this then you should get boats more suitable

Thanks folks for your advice. Doggy Paddeler, when you talk of sea-worthy craft, can you give me tips? I am not sure what to look for. Brands and models with pros and cons are what I’d like. Same from all the readers here.

Transportation is of some importance to us because of where we live. My home is on top of a steep hill with a sharply winding and rough road being the only way in or out. 4WD is absolutely needed when it’s wet or snow covered and even then if pick-ups have not got some weight and aggressive tires, you can’t get in or out in the winter. So long slim crafts may not be something we can use, just because we may not be able to move them. But I do see that 10’ 6" is easy, and something up to maybe 14-15 feet would be “doable” for us.

We are not wealthy so we’d have to consider selling the 2 Loons to put money back into something longer. And longer may not be the best for river travel. What I think would be ideal would be 2 boats for open rough “fun” water, and 2 small rec boats for the river trips and hunting. However we have to face reality and think about the money involved, and we probably could not afford 2 boats each. Maybe not, because as total novices, we really don’t know what such boats would cost (shipping a boat can’t be cheap we figure) Advice on the matter is very welcome.

So for the time being we’ll keep using the Loons and just accept the limitations. Both Anna and I do like the chop and some wind, but I will confess we were in over our heads at 35 MPH. We got away with it but probably because God helped us.

Boysen Resivour is an ideal place for us to learn I think.

The reason is it’s got LOTS of little coves and cliffs to shelter up under, cool wildlife to see, fish jumping and it’s just a great place to paddle, yet there is no place more then 600 yards long on the whole lake you couldn’t go to shore on. That’s good when you see you can get within 1/2 a mile of any place on the lake with a 4WD truck in a pinch.

So if the wind came up too hard and we had to go where it blows us, and we had to beach, we can drag the kayaks out of the water and walk to a road. We can also recover the boats no matter where we beach, and not have to carry them more then about 600 yards. At 53 pounds, the loon is less weight then what we carry out several times a year elk, antelope or deer hunting . And we are not having to carry them up a mountain either. So that was one reason I thought it was a good place to practice our paddling in the wind, and as the name of the valley and the river indicates, WIND IS NOT RARE HERE! It’s not constant, but it’s close to constant.

We can bank on 5MPH to 15 MPH nearly EVERY time we go out on the water here. Wind free days number about 20-25 a year around here on an average. Windy days number about 335 to 340 every year. Boysen can be as narrow as .5 miles and as wide as 3 miles but North and south it is about 4.5 miles and is at the base of some very steep and rugged mountain at the north end. So when a storm tops over the crest it can “fall” to the lake level and get going FAST, but when that happens you have almost no time and because the horizon is up hill and quite close, you can’t see it coming until its only 2-4 miles from you. If the storm is driven by 35 to 70 MPH wind you have only 2-4 minutes to get to shore before you are in it. Most times you simply can’t get to shore that fast, but if you just ride the wind to where ever it goes you can get out of the water. We may need to go get a truck the following day to get you boat back from where we land, but you can get off the water and that’s all that counts if it’s really dangerous.

I think if I add floatation bags so the boats can’t sink, and add skirts to help prevent them from swamping we can get out of the lake even if we get blind-sided, and have to put to shore where ever we can get, not where we would always want to go.

But for the future I think Anna and I are going to be fanatical about watching weather forecasts. Wind is a “given” here, but if we think it’s going to be chancy we may just stay within about 200 yards from shore and always go into the direction of the wind when we start, so if we get blown off the water, at least it’s blowing us back toward the truck, not away from it.

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There are some options for shorter boats that have front and rear hatches with bulkheads, though I don’t stay on top of all of the options. Boats that come to mind are the Dagger Stratos and Alchemy and the Eddyline Equinox and Sitka. There are many more and it can be a personal decision when it comes to price/comfort/features/availability, etc.

Based on where you live, you’re probably going to have to travel a bit to find boats when you’re ready. I’m not necessarily recommending these, but here are a few examples in your region that might be worth consideration. You certainly don’t need to be in a hurry and I suggest really thinking through what you want/need:

Perception Sole for $325: 14' Perception Sole touring kayak - boats - by owner - marine sale

Dagger Halifax for $380: Kayak - Dagger Halifax - boats - by owner - marine sale

Longer Perception for $325 (not sure of the model): Kayak Sea Touring - boats - by owner - marine sale

Wow, those don’t cost all that much. Maybe we can have rough water kayaks and rec kayaks both.
I LIKE THIS SITE. You folks are GREAT!

So…input please. If I wanted to get 2 more, both for high waves and curling breakers what would you folks recommend? For those that like rough conditions, what boat is your preference?

I have to confess I did not look at the boats listed by high_desert. But the point is that you can get a lot of boat used. So someone else got to scratch it up first - not a big deal.

Waves and breakers can be handled by the same boat, just if you want to specifically surf there are some that specialize better in it. My take is that specialty surfing is not something you need worry about.

Seaworthiness as in a hull designed to handle waves like ocean or places inland that get waves and wind - and there are plenty - will generally be narrower and frankly more “tippy” feeling on flat water. I dislike the term but it seems to function to describe a boat that tends to move from side to side easily. That is because these boat hulls are designed to be tilted over on the side of a wave and hold steady w/o capsize when they are so tilted. Honestly it is closest to what sail boat folks talk about as degrees of heel. Except a kayak gets that by the allover hull design, not by a big heavy keel sticking out the bottom.

Characteristics that usually go with this hull priority - all for practical reasons - include at least two bulkheads, lower deck, smaller cockpit, static rope around the edges (so you can hang onto your boat in a capsize) and being narrower than a rec boat. Usually some tracking device, rudder or skeg. Either will help help hold the stern from getting sung around by the wind.

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Spray skirts will be sufficient for keeping out smaller waves and wakes, even with a large cockpit. They might implode with large dumping waves, but you probably want to avoid conditions like that anyway. When you have waves washing across the deck, you usually don’t want to be constantly stopping to bail the boat out.

A waterproof NOAA weather radio might be useful for fast moving violent storms, or even better a waterproof VHF radio with weather alert and NOAA channels. This also useful if you get separated.

As far as new boats for different conditions, I always recommend buying used if you can. They will often be about half the price of a new one, and if you decide later that another boat is more what you want, you can usually sell them for about what you paid for them.

As far as transporting longer boats there are many methods out there for almost any vehicle. A friend of mine carries an 18’ boat on a Miata. There are lots of discussions on these boards on transporting car top boats.

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These folks above covered what I meant by sea-worthy - and yes, if you buy used you can certainly find something suitable quite cheaply. Post any boats you’re considering buying and people will give feedback.

Ok, here’s a questions for all your good folks.
It there such a thing as a “Kayakers bible” or "encyclopedia for all things kayak related"?

Is there some book that covers all the basics and gives foundational understanding?

Anna and I will have to wait a bit before we buy any new boats. We have a truck, and SUV and a windmill all that need attention (meaning money) before we can spend any more on “fun-goodies” But we are quite serious about gaining more knowledge and being out on the water as much as we can.

An average person learns from his mistakes. ( hope I have learned a few things to not-do again.

A Wise person learns from the mistakes of others. (I’d love to read a book that has a lot of real knowledge within it’s pages)

A fool never learns at all. (Trying hard every day to avoid this category)

This site is a decent bible when taken as a whole. There are real books people will recommend too.

If you can find them and you’re only looking to do day paddles (as opposed to overnight trips), beginner surfskis are very good rough water boats. Something like the Epic V5 or V7, Stellar S14S or S16S, Fenn Bluefin, Think Ace, and similar boats are highly seaworthy and very easy to remount if you come out since there is no cockpit to flood.

Probably hard to find around you, but the epic’s are available in plastic so arent terribly expensive. They would be a good option in rough conditions, as that’s what surfskis are specifically designed for.

There is considerable information under the top line “Learn” tab on this site. Have you looked around there?

There are training programs such as the American Canoe Association. Yes they do kayaks. The folks at the rental place l suggested you call may know of such in your area.

There are books that tend to cover basics plus aspects such as those more related to sea kayaking and whitewater.

Since you asked about books, here are two that are good for basics and give some explanations of advanced skills that you will grow into.

The Complete Sea Kayaker’s Handbook by Shelley Johnson, or
The Complete Book of Sea Kayaking by Derek Hutchinson

Many more really good books out there, but since you are just learning, these are the best introductory books IMO. As Celia has written, lots of good video and written learning on this website, however I find it sometimes hard to find & organize especially for someone new such as yourself who doesn’t really know where to start. Either of these books is a good start.

Thanks for your service. Remember cold and or rough water knows no ages.

Plenty to learn here, on YouTube, books, videos. Dig in to them all much is free knowledge. I’m at it 12 years still reading, looking, and refreshing my knowledge.

You have two boats use them within their limits. You can find bargains when you have time and persist in your :mag: search.

Like new 900 you can get nice boats for even 500 when you’re ready.

Paddledog52 tell me more about that boat please.

Current Designs Expedition no longer made. 18’-10" x 21"

The Extreme and its kin are neat, fast boats. But it should be pointed out that the chunk of the sea kayaking sales that first saw a decline was the full length “expedition” boats, 18 feet and change. Because most people were not actually doing multi-day camping and wrestling the two feet more than a “day” boat was more pounds every time you had to get it on and off the top of the car.

I have an expedition boat, which in its earlier days got reliable use. It is not the earlier days any longer and I probably haven’t paddled anything that long in several years now.

PaddleDog52 makes full use of these boats where he paddles, and the speed of their hulls. But be aware he is paddling offshore on Long Island is seriously salty and open water conditions. As you think about longer boats, also think about physically managing the length every time you want to get on the water. I just sent an old school WW boat off to a new home with a pond and a kid and people who are fairly clueless about paddling, because as neat as the boat is she is also heavy. I found over the last couple of years I was grabbing the 21 pound ultralight canoe to do creeks and go over berms and beaver dams rather than wrestle with the Piedra. These folks can have some fun with her. I sent her off with float bags but no skirt so limited amount of trouble they can get into.


And also I might add a note to all those following along here:
I am a gunsmith, but not the type that is most common in the USA.
I make muzzleloaders for a living.
I am open to doing some trading too, if anyone out there is interested in such an idea
Here are a few links to pictures of guns I have made:

If any one is into high quality muzzleloaders AND kayaks, and would like to talk, please contact me. Maybe we can work out something that will be pleasing to both of us.
More links to follow




Is Current Designs the maker? I assume the numbers mean it’s near 19 feet long? Is that correct?
And can you tell me the weight?
19 feet may be out of my capabilities. I have no place to store such a long boat and I don’t know if I could get it past the S curve in my road. If I could load such a boat on top of a rack on my pick-up I could get it up here I am sure, but if it’s too heavy for my wife to load and unload that would be a deal-breaker.
Maybe we should talk. Does this site have PM capabilities?

Nice work