Perception Corona vs Auaterra Chinook vs

I'm looking for a cheap used sea kayak. I won't be using it much but will probably do 15 miles or more a day when I do use it.

A couple that have come up on CL for ~$400 are:

14.5' Perception Corona
16.5' Chinook Aquaterra
16' Necky Eliza

I'm 6', 180lb in good shape. Is the Necky Eliza woman specific? What would you go with?

Add. sizing
Shoe size, inseam, waist.

Chinook is an older style but will fit without the add. sizing info. For the Eliza, more size info may be very helpful. I’ll let Eliza owner speak to the particulars on that model as I don’t have direct experience with it.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

more info

Shoe size: 11

Pant size: 33 waist, 34 or 32" length


– Last Updated: Jun-14-16 1:55 PM EST –

First off, the Eliza is too small for you. That model is a low volume boat intended for people under 150 lbs. I doubt your feet would even fit under the deck.

I used to have a Chinook and they are barges -- you would definitely fit in it but might find it too big. Kind of depends on what you expect to do with it. It will paddle straight but not turn easily. Lots of cargo capacity but it might be a drag for you if you want something more playful or are interested in speed. And it depends on the age of it. The older ones do not have dual bulkheads so you would have to buy a flotation bag to stuff the open half of the hull. Later models are fully equipped. Also the older Aquaterras tend to have horrible seats. Removing the seat back and replacing it with something like a Snapdragon backband is one fix. Bear in mind that this boat is likely at least 25 years old and should be inspected carefully for oilcanning and UV damage to the plastic.

The Corona is kind of a sports car (compared to the Chinook, which is more of a minivan or SUV). It is comparatively narrow (22") and nimble and may be challenging to a newbie -- it will be faster but you'll need to learn to trust it's stability, which will likely feel twitchy to you. It would probably fit you best of the lot (though you would have to check the clearance for your feet) but you need to be able to handle it. It would be my choice, but I like that kind of boat. A lot of those older Perceptions are nice boats and very well built. I picked up a 2004 Perception Monterey 14 last year for $400 for a family member and was very impressed with the quality and features. Here are the catalog specs on the Corona:

more info

I appreciate the extra info and what to look for. I was leaning towards the Corona and especially if it’s going to be faster. I may also be willing to get something new – like a Riot Edge 14.5 for $800, but figure buying used may be better and upgrade down the road when I figure out what exactly I want and how much I’m going to use it.

I’ll be using it to kayak inlets in North Carolina. My goal will be to cover as much ground in a day (5-6 hours of paddling, 3-4 hours of exploring on land) as possible.

I’m pretty comfortable on/in the water. I pretty much enjoy anything in/on water and have tried most water sports. I bought a $200 (new) kayak last year and have taken in some pretty good white water and some good currents and chop. Is 22" about as narrow as I should go? Also, will there be much of a difference between 14.5’ and 16.5’ for my ability? Is a spray skirt needed for most touring kayaks with small inlet chop? I don’t mind getting splashed, I just don’t want to be taking on a ton of water.

get a spray skirt
I think you’ll be happier with a spray skirt – just paddle drip (which is inevitable) can dump a lot of water in your lap and be annoying on extended trips. And if you are paddling in waves and wind you really want the protection it offers. It’s a lot easier to recover from a near capsize from a wave hitting you broadside if water isn’t rushing into your cockpit. Lessons from an outfitter would be useful and prudent before you get into longer outings – you could actually learn to roll a Corona and you need a decent skirt for that.

Get a hand bilge pump too (Harmony makes a good one.)

A longer boat can be a bit faster but not if it’s heavier and wider. 22" is actually pretty narrow and few sea or touring kayaks are going to be less than that – most are 23" to 26" in fact.

Hope the Corona is still available, in good condition and fits you. That would be a fun boat for what you are planning.

Great thank you. That makes sense and is giving me a better feel for size and things. I figure I’ll buy used and if I later want to upgrade or want something specific, I could resell for not much of a loss.

I need to get a spray skirt for WW anyway, so it would be great if I can find one that fits both kayaks

Corona cockpit
At 34 1/2" x 18" for the cockpit, the Corona is slightly smaller in width than my Venture Easky 15LV so it may take a Seals 1.7 sprayskirt which is fairly common for whitewater boats. I got a Seals 1.7 all neoprene rand style skirt that came with a Dagger RPM I bought used and found it was just a bit too narrow for the 19 1/2" wide Easky coaming.

I think you may find the Corona a nice boat if it fits you. It is similar in form and dimensions to my Easky which is a boat I love for flatwater speed and even for light whitewater (open class 1 and 2). And at that price you could easily resell it for at or near what you paid if you decide you want something that does things differently.

Meanwhile, before we get too psyched about the Corona, is it still an option? I’ve missed out on a lot of kayaks for sale on Craigslist. Good ones go fast when the price is right.

still available

Yes, the Corona is still available but the seller is on vacation. I’m planning to check it out when he gets back, assuming he’s back before I take my trip and doesn’t sell it to someone who offers something closer to his asking price.

But even if it doesn’t work out, I can still take my rec kayak, tandem, inflatable row boat, or SUPs on the water. I’ve taking some pretty good trips and WW on my cheap rec kayak but a sea kayak seems very worthwhile based on what I’m looking to do.

now I want to try a Corona
Sounds like a fun boat.

Corona Roll
Plan to be wet. The corona is fine after you realize that it’s demanding in its low primary stability. Plan to be wet. Bring your paddle float if you don’t have a reliable roll. Also scrap the backrest and replace it with a good backband.

This being said from my 6’ 195# experience with from years ago.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY


– Last Updated: Jun-15-16 8:42 PM EST –

I've got a 2000(year) Corona. I started paddling with a Carolina and after a year or so went to the Corona. At the time, for about $1100.00, it was about the best outfitted around 15 foot boat I could locate within the major brands sold locally. Back then, it took a couple months before I was confident searching the skies for the passing helicopters and low flying planes. You all know...our heads have more balancing effect when paddleing than waves for the most part.......oddly enough, I haven't paddled it in about 5 years, maybe more.... I just have much better tools,(composite valleys) but I wouldn't give it away(400 bucks) so I just keep it for the right instance... Even though it's a shorter boat, It's geared to bigger paddlers with a higher front deck. It does pearl through waves making it a wet ride and it's short for Great Lakes following seas, but as a river or small indland lake waves, it's great...... I'm thinking I just might need to put it back in rotation....