Ready to upgrade, need advice

I started kayaking flatwater creeks in the area about three years ago with a 9.5 Perception. This little kayak has been a good starter but I’m thinking about upgrading a bit. Here are a few factors…

  1. I like to stop a lot and check out the bluffs and caves along the creek. The perception is very difficult to get in and out of.
  2. I like to take junk along. GPS, camera, binoculars, lunch etc. The perciption doesn’t have much for cargo room.
  3. I like to stay in the kayak and out of the water.
  4. Tuffness… lots of logs and rocks. I hit bottom a lot and also need to get out a drag the boat across logs.
  5. I’m large, 220lbs, and not very agile, to be honest, more like a klutz.
  6. I need to be able to carry the kayak and gear up to 1/2 mile.
  7. No white water, no ocean.

    Any advice?


– Last Updated: Nov-19-09 11:48 AM EST – suggestion would be too start lookin at only boats with large recreational open cockpits and made of plastic..that'll narrow the field down considerably..I have a Pamlico 135T and rated for a max wgt of 400# i'm using as a solo boat(took the front seat out and center bar)I"m 5'7" and 200#..tandems have a huge cockpit opening(depending on model) and plenty of storage room. The other thing to consider is a sit-on-top, if you don't mind getting wet. that would work for you. you need to research the boats online, then test paddle. another option is the NativeWaterCraft hybrid kayaks, they're more like a tunnel hull canoe. Wilderness Systems has come out with their Commander series boats , worth a look. Any composite boat, whether fiberglass, kevlar , trylon, etc , is 1/2 the weight of a poly boat , not as durable and 2-3 x's the cost of a poly, but if you have to portage a boat, weight is critical.

Think about a canoe.

You need a 10 foot Perception Prodigy
the biggest freaking cockpit I have ever seen in my life.

I think you can get them at 12 feet too, but that would be heavier.



Thanks for the advice…
I’ve look a the options you guys have suggested and I really like the looks of the hybrids. I live in North Alabama, does anyone know of a supplier located on the water in the SouthEast where I can try one out?

There is a good outfitter just north
of Atlanta - Wavesport ,I think.

web links…

Pack Canoe

– Last Updated: Nov-20-09 12:55 PM EST –

Probably one of the larger ones given your size and gear.... Vermont Tupper, Hornbeck 12' (or larger), Hemlock Nessmuk XL, Placid Boatworks Spitfire or Rapidfire, and the Wenonah packboats (forget their names). All are composites, but should handle the occasional drag over a log or branch. Lightweight - easy to portage. Might also think about the Old Town Pack -- heavier, and would need reoutfitting for a floor-mounted seat, but Royalex and cheaper.

Howdy Neighbor
I live in North AL and work in Huntsville.

I’m about your weight.

Look at the Pungo 140 by Wilderness Systems