I know next to nothing about recreational kayaks. But I have a friend who wants a recommendation for a new rec boat. She wants to paddle around in flat water, take pictures, bird watch, and get a little exercise. There are, of course, lots of boats that will work for those things. The problem is, my friend is rather wide in the hip area. She currently has a Perception Sundance 12.0 which she finds too small and uncomfortable (really!). Is there another boat that anyone would recommend that might work for her? A SOT is not a possibility.
I think the Wildy Critter
has a larger seat area, but the cockpit isn’t much wider. I don’t think you are gonna find much wider seat, cockpit than what the Perct. has. I have seen OT otter, rush, Waldens and ect. They all seem about the same size wise.
Cape Horn 15???
Not exactly a rec kayak, but…
My wife really likes hers - solid initial stability, very comfortable seating, and it handles very tidily for a 15’ boat. Very sharp-looking boat, too - that flat rear deck really makes it stand out from the crowd. Has double bulkheads, a day hatch, and a very roomy cockpit. Good deals can be found on used CP 15s if you look around a little.
If money is no object
and weight is any concern a pamlico pro is a delight.
Perhaps somethind from pokeboat would be nice for her and less expensive. Peryaps some models woul not offer th erpformance but some would.
Necky Zoar Sport
Necky has a boat that is actually a “bridge” between rec boats and touring boats, the Zoar Sport. It is 14’X 25” and it has a pretty large cockpit opening at 34”X 17” so getting in and out should not be an issue.
It is user friendly enough for beginners and it allows some growth as well, it can even be rolled (not the easiest boat to roll, but it is doable). It retails in the ball park of $800.00 new.
Wildy Chesapeake, 23" wide cockpit
It’s basically a poke boat. Unless it’s the seat that’s uncomfortable, this should help. Frankly, even the Phase3 seat is roomy. I can almost get my 8yo daughter to sit beside me it one.
Check out the Old Town XL-139
I started kayaking in the Old Town Adventure XL-139. it is a great rec kayak, with a sea kayak style. It is 13-9" long, by 28" wide. I really enjoyed paddling it. I liked the front and rear bulkheads and hatches for dry storage and flotation if needed.
The cockpit opening (width & length) is on the larger side, and being a big guy I still found it very easy to get in and out of. You can get the details on the “Old Town” web page.
It is available with or without a rudder. Mine didn’t have one, but I never felt I needed one.
Good luck on your search!
I think your friend may be in some trouble. The sundance has one of the largest cockpits made for a solo rec kayak.
Lets take a look. The cockpit width of the sundance is 22". And most solo rec yaks are going to be within the 26 - 30" max width range.
The width of some other popular models - that even the big guys like are:
Pungos and Pamilcos are 22"
Old Town Dirigo = 22"
Old Town Loon 138 = 18"
Dagger Blackwater = 21"
The biggest necky is around 21"
Wildy does make the pamlico 135t tandem/solo, that has a 24" cockpit - heard and experienced some mixed things about this one.
Why not a small canoe? Old Town Pack, Wenonah Sandpiper, etc.? If its a double balde and lower centery of gravity, you can always lower the seat and still use the double blade.