Purchasing a kayak for Delaware river

I am looking for advice on what type of Kayak to purchase with the main intention of kayaking the Delaware river. I am 5’9 160lbs. The Delaware for the most part is slow moving although it does occasionally have class 1 and 2 rapids. My main concern is that the river is very shallow at some points. My budget is in between $400-$700 and would not mind buying used. Any advice would be great.

I would consider any of the "cross-over"
boats out there. I’m on the Upper Delaware extensivly and use a Prijon Crusier. There are so many to pick from for these conditions and your size. An Old Town Otter in Polylink 3 would be a good one, maybe a little heavy. The Perception Carolina is a graceful boat. It’s poly rotomold, just right for the UDR. There’s a great number of boats that would work for you. If your’re around here (Honesdale) I can recomend a few places to shop. Just let me know!

there are a number of
day-touring sized rotomolded kayaks in the 11-14ft range that make excellent river trippers. In my experience running various rivers & creeks in the Piedmont, there is always alot of slackwater and stretches of slow current in between the exciting bits that can make the more whitewater-specific boats (including many hybrids) tedious. The Wilderness Tsunami is my choice for such rivers and handles both the slow stuff and Class I-II just fine; a partial list of others to look at are Necky Manitou series; Perception Carolina, Acadia and Tribute; Venture Flex and Easky; Pyranha Fusion. A boat with 2 dry compartments will be easier to empty out when you swamp it, but you could also use float bags up front on a single-compartment design.

It’s nice to have so many choices on the market, and it helps your chances of finding one of these used. I paid under $800 for my Tsunami 120 brand new as a year-end closeout, and I recently spotted a used Manitou 13 for $450.

Who got dangled??

liquid logic Remix XP9 or 10
look like hybrid possibilities – sorry I can’t speak from experience on those – probably lean a bit more toward moving river than flat – which may be fine in your case – will be pretty turny – don’t know how well the skeg really takes care of that (anybody know?). I’ve got a Tsunami and a Manitou in the garage which are hybrids that lean a bit more toward the lake/slow river side (track well) but also do well class I and II. XP9 or 10 probably lean a bit the other way which may be fine for mostly river boating. Demo one of these if you can.

Water reading is the main requirement
for shallows on the Delaware. My WW canoe sits relatively deep, but I was able to get it through the shallows because I could see where the deeper water was flowing through. I think I could have gotten my Necky Looksha Sport touring kayak through about as easily, though one sits lower in a kayak, making water reading just a little harder.

The subtleties of water reading shallows must be learned with time, and even old people like me get stuck now and then. The other solution to shallows is, learn to use the USGS satellite gauges and stay off the river when it’s dirt low.

maybe this…

Yeah, I paddled a Loon 138 in Tybee
Island, Georgia, and it was a decent, reasonable boat. Should not sit too deep for a kayak. $325 is a good price if one can pick out a good one.

Did you see the featured Dagger here on
Pnet? Dagger is a quality brand that makes tough boats. Nice looking, too. It’s a crossover.