Newby tour kayac

Im a newby and looking into a tour/sea kayac. To be used mostly in rivers and bays, need some storage for weekend trips. At 6.2 and 235 lbs I need alittle room. My balance is ok. Any advise on lengh make or models. Im been looking at used ones and really don’t know what I need.



Where in VA…
…are you from? I ask b/c I can probably point you in the direction of a good kayak outfitter that will have several to sit-in so you can get a good fit, then you want to demo it on the water and have your questions answered.

I’d recommend a 16 to 18 ft length for sea/touring kayak.

Your size…+20 pounds
Transitional Touring Kayaks are what you’re after. Slightly wider boat and cockpit than a sea kayak for bigger paddlers and added stability while you learn your way around. This web site has excellent reviews and information for new paddlers and you can search the forums for all kinds of info for beginners. Wilderness Systems, Necky, Old Town, Perception, all make boats that fit this description. Find an outfitter near you that is having a demo day and try several models before you buy. You can also find them used on Craig’s List and on local boards or the pnet classifieds. That’s the general advice.

For me personally, I paddle a plastic Wilderness Systems Tsunami125. I’ve had the boat for a year and wish I had another two to three feet of boat. The Tsunami series (125, 135, 145, 165, Tempest) are all excellent boats, the “5” designates it as a higher volume boat (better for larger paddlers). I’ve taken my 125 everywhere from small ponds and whitewater to large bays and lakes with no trouble maneuvering or keeping up with longer boats, although I am a strong paddler. Given a choice I’d paddle the 165, which is a 16 footer with a day hatch and separate bulkhead in addition to front and rear hatches. These boats have excellent payload ratings allowing for camping or long daytrips. For what you want to do, I’d say stick with at least a 14 foot boat, and don’t forget the basic safety gear if you plan to paddle bays and tidal rivers. These would include a whistle, PFD, small dry bag for cellphone/wallet, hand pump (keep it on the deck when you paddle), spray skirt, paddle float, spare paddle, plenty of water, dry change of clothes in a drybag, good river booties, and some sort of technical clothing for extended swim, like a 3mm farmer john wet suit, or a dry top with wicking base layer.

It is also a good idea for you to take a rolling or skills class thru a local club or paddling group. If you’re talking coastal paddling and tidal rivers, it’d be a good idea to get yourself some basic survival skills, at the very least a clean wet exit and self rescue with a paddle float. You can find a lot of these demonstrated well on you tube. Not the same as a class, but good info.

Good luck. I’ve been a boater my whole life, but just started kayaking last year and am loving it. Find a club in your area and meet some other paddlers to accelerate your learning curve.

Petersburg va
Petersburg va just south of richmond

You’re near…

Appomattox River Co. They claim to be the largest kayak & canoe store in the country. Their main location is in Farmville (about an hour west of you I think?). They do also have smaller locations in places like Richmond, but if I were you I’d take a road trip to Farmville.

They carry P&H, Wildnerness Systems, Necky, Impex, Dagger, Hurricane, Perception…

Their website isn’t very cutting-edge but it does have a list of kayaks that are on-sale and another list of used kayaks. They also carry every piece of kayaking gear under the sun (PFD, paddles, bilge pumps, paddle floats…).

Second Appomattox River Co.
Just drove up to VA last month and purchased my Necky Manitou 14 from them. Not only was it $300 cheaper than my local comapny but I was able to get the color I wanted also.

They had tons of kayaks to sit in and were more than happy to help you out and get any out that they think you may like.

Worth a trip over there to check them out.