Right kayak for the Low Country SC

I’m looking for advice on the right Kayak SOT for South Carolina’s low country. We expect to do a lot of marsh, protected rivers and some close-in sea coast paddling.

Is there a preferred shape to the hull? Length? I was thinking a Wilderness kayak. 16ft for myself (6’2" 220) and maybe a 12’ or 14’ for wife and high school girls.

I would take myself to Coastal

– Last Updated: Aug-17-08 4:18 PM EST –

Expeditions in Charleston and rent a couple of boats and get some advice.
It is hard to beat a WS Tarpon 160 or 140. I have owned 2 T160 and think they are great boats.I met a guy who had a 140 and he thought it was great also.Be aware that they are heavy and a wet ride but will take more rough water than you are probably capable of handling.
Other good SOT that are drier rides are the Hurricane Phoenix and the Native Manta Ray. I have long legs (34" inseam) and neither of these had enough leg room with the foot pegs all the way out. No problem in the Tarpon.
The Tarpon catches very little wind because of its low profile. Th old style Phoenix had a very high bow and was bad for windage, but they corrected that in the newer model.The Manta Ray looks like a barge but catches very little wind.
You have to get in them to really make an informed decision.
We are 3 hours away, but Sunrift Adventures in Traveler's Rest will have a huge end of year sale on Sep 6. They have almost every model you can think of there at good prices. They are mostly demo boats but in good condition.

Sea Kayak Carolina
Or, alternatively, talk to Scott, at Sea Kayak Carolina. They can rent you a number of great kayaks to try on trips, or let you demo several of the ones they have in stock.

As important as where you’ll paddle is how you’ll paddle. If you want to fish, you may want a completely different kayak than you’d want if you want to paddle for fitness, for example.

I kayak the “low country” and have 4 different boats for differnt sets of conditions, all within the areas you list: creeks, marshes, coastal ocean. (But it doesn’t take much of an excuse to convince me that I need a new boat.)

check with local club
Low Country Paddlers at http://www.lowcountrypaddlers.net/ You might find some members with loaners or used deals. Chat up anyone you see around with a boat and learn why and what they like/dislike about their hull. Also Charleston County Parks and Rec who offer tons of classes and might have some boat suggestions for local waters.

Tarpon 160
its good for the rest of SC too… Its even fun in the surf.It even fun on places like lake Jocasse.