Greetings. I’m looking into making my first kayak purchases (for me and my wife) and I was looking for a bit of advice or links to good articles to assist me in my mission. I’ve done some research, but now I’m having problems getting to the next level of knowledge to make a more informed decision and focus my search. Our goal is to spend less than 1k per boat and we really would like to find them used for less. We would like to try before we buy, but I would like to narrow it down a bit so I can start watching for demo opportunities or potential CL steals.
A bit about us:
We are on the cusp of 30, both reasonably fit. I’m 5’11", 200-225 with long legs. She is 5’6" 150-175. We fairly regularly kayak (6-10 times per year) and always use rentals. Most trips are 2-5 hours, though we have done full days on a couple trips. No idea about distances as we rely on the rental trips and times. Almost all is calm flatwater, with some possibility of light rapids. I don’t expect that either of us have good technique or paddling skills.
What we hope do:
We are looking for durable and multi-purpose kayaks so that we can do a bit more than the rentals allow – different locations, overnights, light whitewater, etc. I expect that 75-80% of our trips will be full day or 1/2 days on flat calm water. The rest would be a mix between overnighters, Great Lakes, light whitewater, and maybe calm seas. We wouldn’t be looking to do more than 1-2 nights out of the kayaks, the Great Lakes/Ocean only in the calmest of conditions, and whitewater maxing out around class 2-3 range. For nything outside of these conditions, we would be happy to get rentals or something.
What I think we are looking for:
When it comes to boats, we are looking for something that can meet most (preferably all) of the trips above. We do a lot of rivers – some of which are small, so as I understand it, anything over 14’ is prolly out. We are both more concerned with stability and efficiency than speed, but I am far more comfortable with trading some stability out for efficiency/speed than my wife is – though I think we will both get a lot better with the stability thing as our technique improves. We would like to have at least 1 dry hatch on each boat for gear, lunches, etc. Also, neither of us are a fan of the SOT designs and would prefer cockpits. Weight is not a huge issue for us.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is that I should be looking at the Day-Touring, Cross-over, or Hybrid rec/touring type boats. Something in the 10-12’ range. Possible options include: Dagger Axis 10.5 and Katana 10.4, Liquid Logic Remix XP and Stinger XP, the Pyranha Fusion and Fusion RT, or the Hurricane Excursion 128. I’m sure there are others too, these are just a few that I found that seem to maybe fill our need.
- Am I going to be able to find a kayak that can fill these needs or am I asking too much from one boat?
- Am I overlooking something important or should I be making other considerations while shopping?
- Does anybody have any good links or advice that would assist me in my journey?
Much appreciated. Thanks.