Please help, need advise!

-- Last Updated: Mar-11-09 11:44 AM EST --

Wife and I are in market for Kayaks, and the selection is overwhelming. Here is some info:
- $2000 or so total outfit for both
- Intermediate level, casual and fishing
- Ability to strap some gear
- On top type only
- 12-14 foot or so max length
- I'm 6-6, need leg room, weigh 210
- Must have great seat with high back

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

why don’t you toss in max weight at 35lbs

and all carbon fiber construction?

Seriously 6’6" 10’ boat, does not compute… Unless you are talking John boat.

Start looking for used boats at that price, or spend slightly more end get a Tarpon 160 and or a 140 for the wife. you can out fit them with any seat you like.

Demo or rent
Find a few models that interest you and demo or rent 5 more than that. You would probably be uncomfortable in a ten foot boat. It would most likely be very tippy at your height as well. I would start with a 12 foot and go from there. I personally like the Native Watercraft Manta Ray series. I’m biased though. You will probably be looking at used product at that price range. Most kayaks 10ft and over seem to start at $600 or so. Hope this helps.

Try here

What do you weigh?
If you’re over 200 lbs, even a 12 footer will feel a bit small. I second the Manta Ray 14, especially if you are over 200 lbs. The Mad River Synergys are also an option.

Try any 10 footer and you’ll probably agree that you’re “gonna need a bigger boat.”

Topkayaker is a good place to look around at SOTs.


Look Into Symposium

– Last Updated: Mar-09-09 3:02 PM EST –

I still call myself a newbie, had my kayak almost 2 years now, but I still say to try to find a kayak symposium so you can try out a plethora of kayaks. Try and google one up in your state or a nearby state you can easily travel to. Check online for deals from places nearby. I live in WA and took a 2 hour trip to Oregon (gas prices were low then) to get a great deal on my kayak; it was on sale, there was no tax in Oregon, and got my PFD thrown in.

I have a sit on top, a Heritage Redfish 14 (14 ft), that I'm very happy with. It happens to be featured on their homepage now:

My husband has an Ocean Prowler Big Game Kayak. It's a bit shorter than mine and a tad wider. With that being said, he can't really keep up with my slimmer longer kayak. It came with pole holders, but you can always add them onto one that doesn't have them.

Keep in mind, that whatever you choose, you may want to keep the length/width of both your kayaks the same to have a better chance of you both being able to keep up with each other. Consider a longer kayak for both of you. Also, I love the seat in mine, hubby didn't so much and bought another one.

Happy shopping!


length edit

– Last Updated: Mar-09-09 4:42 PM EST –

My mistake on the length, been using a 11 foot Ocean Caper. I like it, but would consider a 12-14 footer. I just have never used a longer one, makes a big difference?? I weigh 210.

I Second the Symposium!
Where do you live? My wife and I went to the WMCKA symposium ( Michigan a year after we bought our poly boats. I knew everything already, but went anyway. Turns out I didn’t know anything. Since that symposium (and another one last year) we have kayaked Georgian Bay, the St. Lawrence Seaway with Fin whales, and a plethora of other places. We also bought new yaks last year. The symposium allowed us to try many, many brands and models. We then went to one of the dealers (from the symposium) and demo’d some more. It is amazing the difference between boats, even highly rated ones.

So, demo, demo, demo. Go to a real life kayak shop and talk to the experts. It probably will save you from buying the wrong boat.

Weight can make a big difference
I haven’t paddled a Caper, but my guess is that it’s a wet ride for you. Put someone in the 130 lb range on the same boat, and it’ll be drier and easier to paddle (less plowing water).

Put you on a Manta Ray 14 or Prowler 15 and you’ll ride high and dry – and moving it through the water will be a breeze. Try out the bigger boats, probably a minimum of 14 feet.


I’m still trying to get over the
"intermediate" and “selection is overwhelming” thing. Those two don’t seem to square. There’s no official test or criteria or anything, but in my experience often when you’re intermediate you already know what’s around.

I’m 6’5" and 235. Like everyone said,
you need a 14’ boat.I borrowed my bro’s 12’ Pungo which was a great fit and comfortable.

As soon as I started pushing it, it bogged down.

I rented a 10’ SOT and it was worse than bad; I was pushing more water than I was floating on.

Lone Star Kayaks:

RTM Tempo (aka Scupper Pro)

Cobra Tourer

That Tourer is above your price point, but look around and you might find one used or a blem.


Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120
Ocean Kayak Prowler 13

Perception search 13

Leg room will be an issue in many
boats. I had to remove the foot rests in the Manta Ray to get the correct leg position. My Tarpon 160 just fits. My legs are short for someone our height; 34" inseam.

Blem Tourer

If the link fails, just search on ebay.



– Last Updated: Mar-10-09 2:07 PM EST –

if you actually want to paddle then the choice is simple a Tarpon 160 or 140, with the 160 being the better choice. If you just want to "Float" then any fat short boat will do. I am 6’3” 250 and the T-160 works great for me. You don’t need the rudder. It’s also a dry ride unless the waves are big enough to break over you. The scupper pro is also a decent choice for big folks. i have paddled them all, and i purchased the T-160. Now if QCC would just make a SOT 700!!!

what to buy?
Hopefully you’ll take all this advice and go to a demo day and actually sit on and paddle the boats of your choice. There simply is no better way to learn what “fits”. An adjustable seat will probably be helpful if you have long legs and limited spread due to heel wells being too short. I am 6’7"+ and find most unsuitable, but I know one is out there. I think you will have a hard time finding a decent, properly-sized SOT in the price range you want.