Recommend a kayak for light paddler

-- Last Updated: Dec-28-11 4:18 PM EST --

I am in the market for a new kayak. I have been paddling for a couple of years. My first boat was a P&H Capella 166 RM. I found this boat to be a bit too big for me. Not necessarily in length, but it just didn't fit right. At times I felt that the front deck was a bit too high and just felt cumbersome.

I would like to find a better fitting boat in the 15-17' range and am looking for some suggestions. I am 6', 130 lbs. It's tough to find jeans that fit, let alone a kayak.

Any suggestions? So far, the Tempest 165 and Venture Easky 15lv are on my radar.

I paddle a lot of tidal tributaries off of the Chesapeake Bay as well as the Bay itself. Mostly flat water but the bay can get rough at times.

Other possibilities
Impex Force 3

CD Suka

Aquanaut LV (composite)

Avocet RM

Thanks. I should mention that I want a plastic boat. I’d tear up a composite boat.

Consider a skin-on-frame
In the construction process the boat is modified to fit the intended paddler perfectly. They are very light and very tough. You would be hard pressed to “tear one up”. You can build one yourself by attending one of the several workshops or you can order one built for you.

the smaller Alchemy by Dagger. You’d probably have to move the seat back some to be able to use the footpegs… or do away with footpegs and put some foam at the bulkhead.

one vote for the Easky
I think you’ll be pleased with the Easky 15LV if you decide to go that way. I’ve had one for a couple of years and have greatly enjoyed the boat, very versatile and great in rough water (as you already know from your prior experience with P & H designs). Honestly, it was an impulse purchase for me-- caught my eye at a local shop, I tried it out and was sold.

I have several other boats and find the Easky tracks as well as my 17 and 18 footers but is more maneuverable. I’m not as tall as you but have relatively long legs and there is more than enough room under the deck. i like the fit of the cockpit and the ease of adjustment of hardware and the overall finish and details of the boat. It has some features I wish my others had, like the security bar inset in the deck that allows me to slip a cable lock on it. The light weight (45 lbs) is a definite advantage too, compared to similar 15 foot boats. It’s easy to carry and load. Hatches could be a little tighter (I get a little water in the stern compartment when there is a lot of deck wash.) But that’s been my only complaint so far.

I think it’s a fine kayak for the money and have had a lot of fun with it in a wide range of conditions.

turns out
the Easky 15LV is listed at 75 gal volume – on par with the Avocet RM, Romany Surf RM, Tempest 165. I thought it might be a little less since it’s shorter.

Here’s a useful link to bookmark

P&H Capella 160 RM and North Short Atlantic LV RM are a couple more to throw in to the mix of low-volume plastic boats.

Pilgrim Expedition would fit
NDK/SKUK Pilgrim Expedition (17’ long, 19.68" beam)–has knee bumps to make it very comfy while keeping overall deck height low.

Explorer LV might also work well for you, though it’s slightly longer and wider.

Tempest 165, as already mentioned.

All 3 are good all-around sea kayaks.

How About…

– Last Updated: Dec-29-11 3:52 PM EST –

Check out the Tahe Marine Greenlander, low volume and great boat.

Chester River Kayaks in Maryland may still have one of last years model on sale as well. Not sure of their winter hours but give them a call.



P&H Delphin
Has the outfitting from the Pyrahna whitewater kayaks. Fits lanky paddlers well. Easy to add to hip pads. Would be fun in the rough stuff.

Numerous other plastic choices out there.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Dagger Alchemy LV, Delphin 155
Zephyr 155, TSUNAMI 140.

If you were interested in composite instead of sturdy plastic, then there is an entire fleet of boats for the smaller paddler.

whatchaknow about
the Venture Islay? is it a downsized Delphin? I wonder what it weighs; the D is darn heavy!