Perception Carolina

Who knows about the Perception Carolina 16? I am looking for a good day touring boat to start out in. And the Carolina 16 and the 14.5 both have good prices. The company claims the Carolina is one of the most popular boats in the world. If not the Carolina, Can someone suggest a day touring boat which is under a grand and atleast 14 ft long?

Carolina 16’s
are forgiving, versitile boats that are great for wildlife watching, fit larger folks, and paddle amazingly well. No, they are not a first choice for heavy seas, and they are not speedsters, but the design seems to work for many boaters.


Paddle what pleases you.

Ton of folks up my way have em
and they range in size from about 5’2 to 6’3.

As was said…They’re not speedsters and far too many I’ve seen have had the rudder down which brings up my question on tracking. But I’ve heard no one talking about trading in or up yet.

what is another one?
Which other kayak would be good for day touring? Is there any Necky or Wilderness Systems boat under a grand that anyone likes?

for necky
the zoar and the zoar sport seem to have nice reviews. a coworker of mine just picked one up though i have yet to try it out myself.

The Necky Eskia 16’ is for larger folks like me. It lists for more than your budget but you can get them down to $995 in some markets (NC). I like mine. Looked hard at the Carolina 16 but like the fit and finish of the Necky better.

I liked the Necky Zoar Sport but wanted more boat.

WS makes a Cape Lookout series for “intermediate” paddling. Take a look at that one too. Again, I think I got more for my money with Necky.

Demo all the boats you can in your price range. It’s worth the time investment.


but what about…
what about paddling in the ocean? I mean how do the Neckys and the P Carolina do in the ocean? I don’t know much about boat design but how do smaller boats stand up to the ocean? Like a 12 or 10 footer? Old Town also makes afforable kayaks, does anyone know much about their line?

Do outfitters let you demo in the ocean?


– Last Updated: Jul-30-04 6:41 PM EST –

Ocean Kayak makes a couple touring kayaks. To me the material looks alittle cheap but I don't know. HOwever many places sell ocean kayak and they are afforable. Or Dagger has alot of touring kayak models. Can anyone recommend a dagger?

I have a Necky
Cruiser 2 SOT and you will hear people say it’s not fast, it’s too heavy etc. and they are right, it is a heavy boat but as far as versitility goes I love it. I have used it on rivers, lakes, oceans and have never been concerned about capsizing. I have been in the kayak and had two 17 year olds do back flips off of the deck into a lake and the boat didn’t go anywhere. On the ocean I have had it in 5-6 foot swells and not felt the least bit concerned. Look at the local rental places at the boats they are selling off. We got ours for just over $500 about 8 months ago. Ours is a tandem that you can paddle solo or with two paddlers and a child in the center so it’s a great family boat as well. Oh and just as a side note, we were near a group of solo kayakers a couple weeks ago on the ocean and as far as speed goes, we were not the kayak left behind… My husband wasn’t paddling at the time, he was doing his usual kayaking activity… munching on snacks.

Perception kayaks would be the last kayaks on my list to paddle. I find them difficult to keep on track without the rudder. They don’t respond well at all to correction strokes. I always feel sorry for people that I paddle with when they are haveing a hard time controlling their kayak without useing the rudder. My first kayak was a Carolina 14.5 and it taught about everything that I don’t want in how a kayak handles. When I demoed the eclipse and shadow they handled as bad as the carolina. Test paddle some different kayaks before buying one.

OT and OK
I own a Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro which is their touring model. I liked the boat quite a bit. It is reasonably fast, stable and will haul a ton of gear. It has a tendency to weathercock a bit in following or quartering seas, but a rudder will take care of that.

I also own an Old Town Loon 138 which the company touts as a rec touring boat. Of the 4 boats I own this is my favorite. Easy to paddle, good tracking and glide, comfortable, hauls plenty of gear, stable, good looking, durable.

If you’re considering sit on tops you might want to take a look at the Wilderness Systems Tarpon 160. A very nice touring sit on top. Fast, stable, tracks like it’s on rails, two hatches for tons of dry storage, drier ride than the Scupper Pro. I use mine when I’m expecting to encouter rougher weather conditions than the Loon can handle.

Perception Carolina
We own 2 Carolinas, both 16’. We use them on lakes and rivers and love them! I can guide it so easily, ours do have rudders. Friends of ours also have the Perception America kayaks and really like those as well. They are smaller than our Carolinas and only have one hatch but seem to handle very well and are a bit lighter. I would say try out a few kayaks and see what works best for you. The Carolinas are our first kayaks and we don’t regret going with them at all. We recently purchased 2 Old Town Otters for the teens, they like those as they are smaller. Of course, they are only for day use. We can haul all the extras in our Carolinas and they just play in the Otters. I paddled one of the Otters this past week and didn’t like it at all as I am spoiled to my Carolina. I find it much easier to paddle and much faster on the water. Just an example of what works for one doesn’t always work for another. :slight_smile: The Otters were a great buy and will work great for the grandkids when they are a few years older when the teens either tire of paddling or decide they want a better yak (which they can then buy themselves).

I have a Carolina
And I’m absolutely in love with it! I have no rudder, but in quiet water I can turn it with just 2 fingers on each paddle. The trick is to lean it like a bicycle and it will spin right around where you want it. It’s extremely stable and they are very popular on the shore here in CT. I’ve heard that on LI sound they are the most numerous boats. They surf nicely and for tracking I find it keeps right on course. The only time I find a minor weathercocking problem is when I have my paddlefloat up on deck in the back. Then it wants to turn into the wind. But when it’s not there, there’s no problem at all. But as people always say here, Demo as much as you can, examine your needs; boat weight, product reviews, seaworthiness, room for gear, etc. Some hate Perception, I love them. I find them very economical and stable, attractive and practical. Good luck and happy paddling.

Carolina 16
I also have a Carolina 16. Mine has a rudder though I rarely use it other than to make sure it still works. I agree that the key to turning is good stroke form and edging the boat.

I’m 6’4" and about 190 lbs and the boat fit is still a little large.

As everyone on the site recommends, try to paddle one first. I’ve taken mine on rivers, lakes, harbors and bays with no problem. Haven’t been offshore with it but would only expect to do that in fair weather and seas.

As a first boat, in the right conditions, I think that the Carolina is a good learning platform. To get the most out of it, you need to learn good form, learn to carve turns, etc. I haven’t tried to roll the boat but have seen posts from those who have. Wet exits are easy and reentry is stable with assistance. Use the Carolina to learn and as skills increase, move to a more performance oriented boat if that’s your goal.


True on re-entry
I’ve done paddle float re-entries with this one and the boat is very stable throughout the process. Once I’m up on the back deck I can do just about anything I want to and it won’t go over again. It rolls very nicely if you know how to roll. I had a WW boat that I could never get a roll in. This Carolina is much, MUCH easier. And yes, wet exits are very easy. The thigh braces are small enough to be comfortable and long enough to do what they’re meant for.