Purchase for central PA Kayak Purchase

I am getting ready to purchase a kayak for recreational purposes. I do not want to go over $1100 for the kayak and have a few in mind. My main use will be small lakes, creeks and streams. I have narrowed it down to the Old Town Loon 126, Dagger Axis 12, Pungo 120 and the Jackson Tripper 12. I will be going on the yellow breeches and Conodoguinet creek mostly. I am 5’10 and 230 lbs and plan on taking up 70 lbs of gear on some of my adventures. I also have a daughter who might be on my lap if she gets scared in her kayak. My preference is for a sit in kayak and nothing much over 12 feet. I used to spend a lot of time in canoes on the water I will using the kayak in and i know some places require getting in and out. I used to spend a lot of time in canoes on the water I will using the kayak in and i know some places require getting in and out. However I will be planning on going out in cooler weather so I do not want a sit on top.

I am leaning toward the Loon because it look comfortable. I have not had a chance to go to a dealer and sit in one yet. My main questions are as follows. Which of these kayaks is better in shallow water? Some of the water will be only a few inches deep with some rocks and gravel. Which is the most comfortable for taking 3-7 hour trips in? Which will hold its value best for resale? I would love to have a 14 to 18 foot kayak but that isn’t an option due to space at the moment. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

The numbers don’t add up to 12 feet. There’s 320lbs of you plus gear and an additional/occasional 60lbs? of daughter. Archimedes says you’ll be sitting mighty low in the water and running aground in the shallows you mentioned.

Why not a broad fishing type canoe paddled with a long kayak paddle. Certainly more comfortable to pile all parties and gear into.

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Agree. I know that Loon, my sister has one and it is a perfect boat for her. It is inappropriate for the use you describe. As is the Pungo 12, another boat that is great within its intended useage. I have two friends who got them and it is perfect for their needs. But what you are describing is not that useage.

I too think a canoe might serve your intended use better at this time. However, if you are determined to go with a recreational kayak and you could find a 138 Loon in good condition, or a 14 foot Pungo–and there are others that could work, but you really need to go longer than 12 feet. If you were a couple of thousand miles further west, I’ve got a 138 Loon in perfect condition that I would let go.

Look for a tandem kayak with moveable seats so you can paddle solo from middle. I took my children in a Wilderness Systems 145T when they were younger. At 14’6”, I can easily paddle solo, but it also has comfortable seats for passenger and plenty of cargo room. Mine was free from a co -worker who wanted her garage back, but you can probably find on Craigslist for $600ish


This is the same model of tandem kayak that I have.
$475 in Westfield, NJ.

I used to paddle in a rather shallow river/creek known as the Great Swamp in Pawling, NY. Sadly, I have far fewer paddling locations nearby in my new home in PA.