Seakayak Suggestions Please

Hello Everyone,

I have been paddling now for a few years and have decided to upgrade. I currently use a Capella RM166 which has been a great boat. My only complaints about it are it is a little slow and it feels a little roomy for me. I am about 6 ft 185lbs size 10 shoe. I am looking for a faster glass boat that is not too heavy. My Capella is a beast to load up after a long paddle. I paddle mostly lakes but plan on taking trips to the NC/SC coast soon and maybe surfing. I expect I will probably go used since I do not want to spend more than about 2,000 or so. I have looked into the explorer and maybe P & H Bahiya but just wanted to get some overall opinions. Thanks to any that reply.

The west side eft was $2200 new with understern rudder in 2 in or 6 in depth. Or kickup rudder that is better for shallow but will be up out of water in big waves. I used it twice at 20 mile blackburn challenge. Both times were about 3.3 hours. I added bulkheads and small out of way thigh braces. At 33# it light and rocket fast. Switching rudders is tough.

See if you can Demo someones

It is fast and very stable in rough water.

If you are anywhere near the western part of NC, give me a shout, and you can try mine.

Jack L

Seakayak Suggestions Please
Thanks Jack! Do you know if this QCC is available with no rudder?

If you’re down IN SC
You should check out Nigel Law’s Shop in Savannah. Savannah canoe and kayak.

Demo a Tiderace xcite, and an xplore,

he also has mega surf kayaks in stock if you’re into surfing a dedicated surf boat!!

Plus Nigel and Kristin are awesome folks.

I’ve got a Capella RM 166 and I’m actually surprised by how light weight it is. If you are thinking a similar sized fiberglass/composite kayak will be lighter, you might be surprised. I recently helped someone carry their 17’ glass kayak and it weighed much more than my Capella. Not that you can’t find a lighter kayak, but just don’t assume that a composite will be lighter.

Savannah Canoe and Kayak
I’ll second Nigel and Kristen.

Cool shop, great people and excellent padders. Worth the visit to get to know them.

Not my list
But hard to fault and a good place to start:

Yes, you can order it any way you want

– Last Updated: Oct-19-11 2:34 PM EST –

rudder, skeg or none.

Not sure if you know about QCC, but if you are not happy with it they will refund all your money and pay for the return shipping within the first thirty days.
It might not be the boat for you, since I am guessing the one you have now has the pointy bow, where the QCC has a plumb bow, but I figured I would throw it out for something to look at.
The only problem is you are looking to pay around two grand, so you will have to hunt for a used one

Maybe +1 for the faster kayak
I’m the same height and weight. The Capella should work pretty well as far as sea kayaks are concerned for coastal play. May want to hold onto it for those purposes. If you want something glass that’s a little more efficient at cruising speed or gives you better top speed, maybe you can do that without worrying too much about surf zone specific performance. There’s always some form of compromise given performance objectives.

If you only want 1 kayak hanging around, and you’re around the NC/SC border, I live in Wilmington, NC. I have a Bahiya, Quest LV, Nigel Foster Legend that you can demo(not for sale or rent)in the ocean with me. Let me know if you’re in the area. I’m going out with some folks Sunday, and I have the next couple days off. Or whenever you happen to be around?

Seakayak Suggestions Please
Thank you “Capefear” I appreciate the offer and I may take you up on the demo. I was planning on keeping my Capella since it has been a good boat, plus I don’t have to worry if I scrape it across rocks.

No problem
Just click the e-mail icon next to my post and I’ll get it.

Nice list.
Hard to quarrel with that list as somewhere to start. Especially if envisioning any coastal paddling.

I would, of course, add the Valley Aquanaut to the list :wink:

It’s like buying a new suit. It of
each person differently. TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!

If you see one on the water that catches your eye, ask if you can try it out. Most folks are agreeable clothes. You need to try for the fit.

I did buy one, Necky Chatham 16, just from sitting in it as it fit like a glove and because I was lucky a friend had one like it, she let me try hers. Liked the way it handled, turned, the height of the deck, the fit of the feet and thigh braces, and its lime green color.

Had another friend try my “Lime Baby” out, who wore same size clothes I do, but her hips were broader than mine but thinner in the tummy area than I, so she couldn’t get into it.

Yup! Like clothes, it pays to try for a good fit. Clothes you can return to the store. A kayak? Not so much.

CD Solstice GTS
If you want a light boat to go fast in a straight line you might want to try one. I have one if you are in Raleigh.

Comfort and Performance
I had a 166RM for a while, and found it relatively hard to roll and quite uncomfortable. The thigh hooks are crummy and the original seat was way too narrow for my hips (I’m 6’3", 185# and size 13’s). The boat has a high deck to fit people bigger than us.

I’d suggest you try other boats for fit and performance. An Explorer will not be lighter, but rolls really well and fits me like a glove. A Romany would fit you well, I think. Also an Avocet. I don’t have experience with Impex boats, but you might find them a bit lighter.

Have fun with the demos.


Seakayak Suggestions Please
Thanks Everyone for the input! Yeah, I was looking at the Romany boat. I paddled the explorer and also enjoyed this but I know this boat is also a little heavy.

light, stiff, and durable

– Last Updated: Oct-25-11 11:04 AM EST –

often don't go together, I would normally say pick two. But light and durable are usually at odds with one another.

How often are you just lugging around a 55-60 lbs sea kayak. I want my kayak to last. If it is a little heavy, that's ok with me. I know that the racers want light. I would too if I was racing, but then I would know that I want a surf ski, and I would want light and stiff, and that durable was kinda off the table. You have to kinda baby those things in the same way you take care of a surf kayak. Don't drag it over rocks, don't noseplant it in the sand etc. A sea kayak is kinda like a jeep, you should be able to abuse it a bit and just add more gelcoat.

I've tried to go for standard layups on my tiderace boats, classic. Though hardcore is pretty cool, and they have seemed really durable and stiff. Though I would never claim light. The boat is around 55lbs. But I can hit stuff and not have to worry about it.

2 cents.

does tiderace make a light layup?
Just dreaming at this point. Beautiful boats and a bit more exciting than my Explorer.

Seakayak Suggestions Please
That is a good point. I never thought of it that way (duh). The durability of the yak was a big concern of mine. Many times I launch my boat off of a mix of sand and pebbles/rocks. I was a little concerned about a glass boat and the damage I could do. Do I need to baby a glass boat such as the Romany or Explorer? The last thing I want is to cringe if I hear my new glass boat getting a little scraping action in the shallow part of a lake.