Perception Swifty Kayak

I have always been a canoe person. Last Saturday at my son’s soccer game, a lady whose son plays on the same team as my son found out that I canoe and offered me her kayak, FREE!!! She said that she purchased it and then never used it and would really like to get rid of it as it was in her way and I tried several times to pay her and she refused. I went and picked it up after the soccer game this morning and took her up to a nearby lake and absolutely had a ball with it!!! Here is my question: It is missing the bow grabhandle. Other than that it is perfect!! Where could I obtain a replacement grabhandle??



Careful . . . .
You may not be able to claim you’re a “Canoeperson” much longer. lol

Just googled, “kayak grab handle”. If you need one of the strap types, try typing “strap” instead of grab. This was one of many, many hits, so you’ll have to sort out what’s best for you.

I always thought the Swifty was just…
a newer model of the Keowee, (which I have two of).

If it is, then just use a piece of rope tied in a loop.

That is what ours have.

If you want to you could make a wooden grab handle that the rope loop goes through.



good on you!
Swifties are incredible boats!

Be careful.
They are addictive. Soon you will be moving on to bigger and faster kayaks. A good paddle makes a huge difference in performance. We had the Keowees and they are great boats. Very much under rated and a lot of fun. Very fish able. You can make your own handle with a little nylon webbing.

How nice
to read such positive comments about the Swifty. I’ve had one for 7 years and it has been perfect for Florida’s spring runs and rivers.

Mostly I’ve paddled alone or with folks with comparable boats, but lately I’ve been going with a group, all of whom have longer, faster boats, and I’m working myself to death keeping up with them.

So I’m looking for something a little longer, a little faster, but—and this is most important as I have a bad back and need to be able to car-top it by myself—no heavier (Swifty weighs 38 pounds.)

The Tsunami SP is one I’ve considered but haven’t had a chance to demo.

I would appreciate suggestions.


To stay light , you will have to look at composition or polycarbonate boats. There are quite a few new boats that are designed for smaller paddlers. There have been several recent threads on this.

Or the Hurricane Tracer
I think they come in on the light side, and you’d get the speed you need.

Also look for new plastics.
“Trylon” is one new brand, and there are others. I think Hurricane kayaks have a version, and maybe WS. They are light and cheap, compared to FG and Comp.

I hadn’t thought about anything as long as the Tracer. One of the guys I paddle with just bought one, and maybe he’ll let me try it. That boat is so long and skinny, it looks like a darning needle next to my little tub.

Also looking at the Tampico 135S, just 41 pounds, and the Santee 116, even lighter than the Swifty at 36 pounds. I hope either of these would enable me to keep up with the group without wearing myself out.

Any opinions on those boats?

“Skinny” boats
The Tracer is quite light, and it can actually be a little easier to get a longer boat off the top of a car than a shorter wider one. You can more easily slide it rather than having to drop the weight onto your shoulder.

Don’t skip considering longer thinner boats just because the look daunting in terms of stability. You get acclimated to that change very quickly, and you are more likely to still find the boat adequate to your needs a year later given that you are paddling in groups. It isn’t the length per se, but the fact that the boat is fundamentally designed to glide better over the water than some of the shorter ones.

Good point
I definitely will see if I can try my friend’s Tracer. I’ve been thinking that something in the 12-13 ft range would allow me a bit more speed but still maneuverability for twisting creeks. Often our paddling here is done on rivers, such as the Rainbow or Chassahowtizka, which are wide, with side trips up narrow, winding, beautiful spring runs, where longer boats have more trouble.

Celia, thank you for your advice. I never skip your posts, even when the topic doesn’t concern me. I appreciate your depth of knowledge, your willingness to share, and you civility even when confronted with abrasive ignorance, as in a recent thread.

Don’t rule out two boats.
You already have the Swifty, and buying a new, longer, sleeker boat does not mean that that old fav has to go on to a new home. Take the appropriate boat out depending on the day . . . .

You are right
and I would never sell my Swifty. It was a gift, and has much sentimental value. It has been on the water at least 50 times a year for 7 years…reckon what it would be worth anyway; it’s a scratched up, banged up, oil-canning, distorted old wreck. I identify with it greatly!

wooden kit boats
Or, if you are so inclined, you could look into building a wooden kit boat. As an example, the Pygmy Arctic Tern 14 has an adverstised weight of 32 lbs. Even if it came in a few pounds over (not uncommon for a first-time builder) it would still be lighter than what you have now, for a 14 foot boat.