I’m currently shopping to upgrade my current kayak. It is an older 12 ft Sundolphin that is a SOT but the seat area is recessed into the mold so it’s more like a sit inside without the deck. It is a great little kayak and it is faster than my previous one (11 ft Emotion SOT) but I do a 1.5 hour commute 2x a week and would like the new kayak to cut some of that time if possible. It is used exclusively on a flat water lake, no current, some wind, and waves from passing boats. There are occasional night or early morning trips in the dark, too.
I would like something around 14ft and light enough that I can put it on the top of my car for transport as needed.
I really like the SOT kayaks for fishing with the open decks and the comfortable chair/seats and the large weight capacity, but I’ve read these are really slow. I also need something that will turn water during rain storms (either scupper holes or sit-inside) and can carry a good amount of gear/stuff (grocery shopping, etc). Doesn’t have to be dry, but I do have a small ice chest + food.
Utility is better than looks which is why I’m drawn to the fishing type. I love these newer fishing kayaks that are 14ft with open decks and comfortable seats that you can stand up in and walk around on. But I imagine it’s like paddling a concrete block through the water.
My current kayak (sundolphin) is quicker than my previous Emotion because it is quite narrower and longer. I realize the narrower you get the more instability there is.
I guess speed, weight capacity, and price are at the top. I also hope this will be my last kayak purchase. I really would prefer to pay around $500 and I don’t mind used (my Sundolphin was used and half price) but I’m willing to go up to $1000 for the right boat.
I’m also noticing kayaks from Amazon and other sports chains area really not available anymore. Is that just the going trend or is it shortages due to covid?
I guess I’m looking for a really speedy utility kayak that has ample storage, open deck (if possible, or storage options on deck). Any ideas?