Quality Rec Boat

-- Last Updated: Aug-11-13 9:13 PM EST --

I'm looking for some suggestions for a good quality rec boat. All I plan on using it for is lakes and slow rivers. I was thinking a 12 foot boat, with at least one sealed bulkhead, adjustable foot pegs, lighter weight, and one that is a sit inside. I'm looking to spend between $600-$800, but I figure with the end of the season upon us maybe I can snag a good deal. Thanks

Elie sound
In my opinion, an Elie sound 120 XE fits the bill. I have seen the 140 in REI and it looks like a stable fun boat that might give a taste of edging if you wanted it enough.

Wilderness Systems or Perception …
Are two good brands of rec boats, and can be easily found at many outfitters as well as sports mega stores, REI, etc.

Are you near any outfitters?
I just checked and it looks like there are some outfitters here and there in Michigan that could be culling their fleets soon, and appear to have the kind of boat you are looking for. If you are near an outfitter and know what they have, you might be able to get feedback on the boats here.

Weight can be an issue in a 12’ boat.
I weighed 240 and that was too much for a 12’ Pungo. Mfr tend to list a higher capacity than is realistic IF you want make it move.

Lots of good open cockpit boats like the Pungo.

Axis 12

– Last Updated: Aug-12-13 1:11 AM EST –

I like my Dagger Axis 12. It is closer to the high end of your range. It seems that there are changing the outfitting of this kayak in the fall so the existing stock will probably sell lower.

Great comfortable seat, back can move from a high up rec position to a low at the rim position. Cockpit is large but not so large that a skirt is useless -- spray skirts are easily available. Optional thigh braces can be added.

It is still more of a flat water kayak but handles nicely in moving water with skeg up. I have had mine in class 3, which was probably pushing it to the limits a bit -- I do have hip pads and thigh braces added, however.

Probably a bit too high volume if you are on the small side -- better if you are on the larger side for contact but adding the braces and pads when are you ready does help.

good idea
I looked online, one of the outfitters has the Perception Tribute 12. I’m wondering if they have one as a demo boat I could get for a discount. Anybody have an opinion on them, good or bad? I like this one because it fits what I’m looking for, and I think it’s something I could grow into as my skills progress. But it also appeals to me because it wad built for smaller paddlers, which I am. But is it a good boat?

Great little boat! It’s one of the few low volume rec boats out there. It’s more like a scaled down touring kayak in fit, performance, and outfitting.

Good to hear!!
I think it’s a really pretty boat, but that’s not reason enough to buy one so I’m glad to hear it’s a good one too :slight_smile:

Eddlyine Skylark
Look for a used Eddyline Skylark.


They’re $1,349 new, but good used ones come up occasionally in your price range. It’s a very high quality boat, and lighter than most other boats of the same size.

Where in Michigan are you?
There are lots of people who can give you good advice about boats and shops depending on where you are.

out this Current Designs Kestrel 120 from Sierra Trading Post. I have purchased 2 kayaks from them (blems) and they shipped to my home. At $599., they look good,


try it out
it’s a demo boat so they shouldn’t have any reluctance in you trying it out. At least you could determine fit and comfort.

Not sure where yo’re shopping but i’m pitching for Kayak Corral in Saline, MI. They have no reluctance to allow demos and used to have an onsite pond.