Newbie looking for info on kayak

Hey everyone,

So im finally looking into buying a kayak and I found one that looks very interesting but it was purchased at an estate sale by non-kayakers. Its a 13’touring style kayak. The only identifying logos or brands if you will are a blue logo with the letters BKW in a blue circle and an outline of a profile of a kayak. Can anyone help me out? And please excuse my ignorance, but I just can’t seem to find any viable information. Thanks!

-Paul T.

Does it have…
bulkheads, or perimeter rigging, skeg or rudder?

Is it plastic or other material?

I suspect the BKW is a logo for a rental outfit and the boat is otherwise a no-namer or one that got left outside for manufacturer info to fade.

If it is from a decent manufacturer, there will be a long VIN type number scratched into it near the stern or bow.

Does it look like this?

thats the one!

look at the link
These are all the pics i have of it. The boat is physically in michigan and I am in Ohio working. I was going to have a buddy check it out for me on friday.

depends on what you want to do

– Last Updated: Aug-17-16 4:13 PM EST –

That is NOT a "touring style kayak". In fact it's an old-school whitewater kayak, and definitely not something you would want for lakes. flatwater rivers, fishing or most recreational use. I had one like that many years ago -- not that brand but the same form and length (the 13' was an Olympic minimum length standard for solo slalom kayaks).

Few people even use them for rapids anymore either -- whitewater paddlers use modern shorter boats. These old slalom kayaks turn on a dime but won't go straight worth a damn. And you have to buy and use inflatable flotation bags for them. They often come with no foot pegs which you would have to buy and install. And they have a very low deck and are narrow in the cockpit area -- a lot of larger people don't fit in them. I had trouble finding anyone small enough to fit in mine when I sold it.

Unless you're into retro whitewater boating, I would save my money and look for something else.

I wonder if "BKW" is for "Bayerische Kanu Werken". Slalom kayaks are called "kanu" in Germany,

And what willowleaf said
Interesting they did not show photos of the bottom. If it is what she (and I) think it is, that is where all the damage is. Where it hit the rocks.

But it is not a terribly useful boat.

Borealis Kayak Works, formerly of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Nice catch! nm

Bingo! (on BKW i.d.)

Are you near Cleveland? This ad is in the Cleveland Craigslist – good all around touring kayak in good shape with all the bells and whistles you need and a good length for anything from local streams to even the Great Lakes (once you’ve had some lessons and experience). Would fit all but a really big guy. They list it for $700 (a bit high) but say " or best offer" – and are including a paddle and spray skirt. I would offer them $500 and settle for as much as $600 if they’ll take that for it.

Thank you!
Hey everyone thank you very much for your help on this! I feel a little better about not purchasing that kayak as it seems to be not exactly what I am looking for. I do really like the touring variety as I really want to go out on the great lakes (but not too terribly far from shore) and it seems like they may be a good option. The prices just seem a little high for a resident’s salary. That being said, Im nervous about going with something like a sundolphin or something of that persuasion.

Thanks again for everything and all advice is welcomed.

and in response to the craigslist post: damn thats a really incredible deal. Im actually in Dayton, and it looks like that kayak is about an hour from me. But my wife may murder me for spending that much :confused: Thanks guys!

Great Lakes kayaking
You are correct in that you need a touring style (also called sea kayak) to venture out into the Great Lakes, even close to shore where waves, strong winds and currents create the same dangers you would encounter in the ocean – in fact all the Great Lakes are really inland seas and have all the hazards except tides.

At minimum, a sit inside kayak for Great Lakes use has to be at least 12’ long – 14’ and up is better for most average to large guys – and must have sealed bulkheads so it won’t swamp and sink, a small enough cockpit to allow use of a spray skirt and have non-stretch deck lines that would enable you to climb back in if you capsize. A rudder or drop down skeg is also good insurance for open water lake kayaking. Cheap recreational style boats like those mass-marketed by SunDolphin, Pelican and Future Beach are NOT appropriate for anything but small shallow lakes and flatwater streams.

New touring kayaks will run you around $1000, plus another $200 at least for a decent paddle, life vest (PFD), bilge pump and sprayskirt. However, decent used sea/touring kayaks are not that hard to find on Craigslist. I’ve bought many of them over the years, for my own use and for friends and family. I’ve gotten good seaworthy boats several times for $400 or less, often with at least a paddle thrown in. Just last year I got a really nice skegged older 14’ touring kayak in great shape with a good fiberglass paddle, PFD and skirt for $400. So be patient – I know a lot of deals come up in Ohio and Michigan because I have found them for family in both states.

You can set up automated Craigslist search apps that will forward any items posted under “kayak” to your email daily. If you see something that looks promising, you can check user reviews on the “Reviews” tab on here. I do caution you to read them with a critical eye – everyone tends to rave “10 out of 10” for their first kayak, even if it really is nothing but a plastic pool toy. If it’s the only boat they’ve ever been in, they have no basis for comparison. But the reviews for the more costly sea kayaks and touring kayaks tend to be a little more realistic.

Posting an inquiry on here when you see a model, as you did this first time, is also a great way to get realistic feedback.

The best way to dampen criticism from a mate who protests your buying a “toy” is to get them involved by buying them one too! kayaking is a low overhead recreational activity that is best enjoyed together. And used boats in good condition have good resale value in most cases. I look at most of my used kayak purchases as “rentals” or in some cases as “free” toys. I’ve sold most of them for as much or even more than I paid for them.

since you’er in Dayton you might
check on a used touring boat at Whitewater Warehouse. they don’t just sell ww boats, and sometimes wheel and deal on some used boats.