I’ve been reading the forums and the archives looking for info on choosing a kayak for someone who is interested in getting a general feel for kayaks but most of the advise involves a bit more investment than I’m interested in at this stage. Having my own hobbies, experiences, etc. in other areas of interest I understand that cheap kayaks are never going to be overly popular with those who are more experience/committed to this hobby, and I understand that completely.
That said, here’s what I am looking for a little assistance with:
- I have an Old Town canoe and feel that my skills are moderate - I am completely comfortable in the canoe on flat water and minor riffles and have used it for over a decade on flat water rivers and lakes.
- I am only interested in kayaking on flat water, perhaps a small amount of class 1 at most, but primarily on flat rivers and lakes for light recreation.
- I am only planning on doing short day trips (1-3 hours) in places where we are vehicle camping - no fishing, kayak camping, or open water paddling.
- I’d prefer something that is no more than 50-55lbs per boat, and preferably not longer than 12’ (the canoe is too long [17’] for use when vehicle camping)
- I’d like a boat that can be placed on (the roof, Yakima rack already installed) or in (the 8’ bed) our truck by a single person without a great deal of difficulty (a distracted driver has made moving the canoe by myself very difficult, hence the lighter kayak idea.)
- I am 5’10" and weigh in at 170#
- My budget for this is low, around $3-400 for the boat itself, max.
I have been looking at the Pelican boats at Dicks for two reasons: 1) cost - their kayaks are inexpensive and since I’m experimenting I’m not willing to spend a lot of cash at first (later on is something else, but I need to know what I’m getting into first) 2) they have boats that are relatively light and short, I know that I can handle them for loading/unloading just fine, and that they fit my truck with the camper in tow.
I understand that my criteria will not make for a fantastic long-term choice, but that’s not what I’m after at this point. If I decide that the kayak experience works for me than I’ll do a more detailed search for a boat with a local shop who can give me the chance to take out a number of different models on a local body of water like I did when I bought the canoe.
Basically would like to know is if there is any reason, given my info above, that one of these Pelican boats would be a poor choice? If they really are crap, have no redeeming values, and will give me no ability to do what I am looking to do I’d appreciate knowing that before I spend a couple hundred bucks. But, if they are at least passably serviceable for what I’ve described I’d appreciate hearing that from someone more knowledgable than the kid at Dicks.
Thanks in advance for your comments,