Rascal vs Otter

-- Last Updated: Apr-27-06 10:43 AM EST --

I'm going to buy a used kayak and have a choice of a Wilderness Systems Rascal ($199) and an Old Town Otter ($150). Both are similarly equipped, ie. footbraces, paddle and skirt included. This kayak will be used mainly by my children/wife and occasional mild river running with friends. I'm 6'1" and 175lbs.

Any suggestions one way or the other would be appreciated.

Don’t know the rascal
But my first boat was a used Otter, and it got much use. I still take it out when I’m exploring new creeks and streams where I’m likely to do a lot of dragging over stuff and scraping bottom. It seems to be indestructible.

I paddled both boats
side by side several years ago. I recall that the Rascal had slightly better tracking and hull speed (I imagine due to hull design). But being 10-foot boats, the difference was marginal.

The Rascal has a rear bulkhead with hatches, right? It also has a V shaped hull so you can “lean” it to some degree. Speed, or lack thereof, about the same. Both are fun boats. At that price why are you asking? Why haven’t you bought both?

Don’t know about the Rascal, but the
Otter is a relatively safe boat for novice paddlers, at least compared to some kayaks. With a boat that size, don’t ponder this one too much and invest in good pfd’s and a dedent paddle.

Your right,
the rascal does have a rear hatch and costs about $450-$600 new, although I don’t think it is in production. The Old Town is the $240 model. I don’t know if original retail should make a difference or not? Can either one of these boats handle class I&II rapids or is that too dangerous for these rec boats?

Your right also,
I think either one will work well. And, I will get a quality PFD. Both come with a paddle and sprayskirt.

big difference in designs
The rascal has hard chines and a deeper keel. It will track better but hang up on shallow river rock more often than some much larger boats.

The Otter has a flat arched bottom that easily turns, provides the ultimate in shallow draft and is easy to scoot over shallow rocks and logs. The Otter is also slower.

For lakes, wide deep rivers, and bays, the Rascal will be better. For shallow twisty or rocky creeks and rivers the Otter will be better.


– Last Updated: Apr-28-06 11:39 AM EST –

Franknc - this was very helpful!