sit inside kayak for 240#, woman 54 year

-- Last Updated: Aug-04-14 8:13 PM EST --

Interesting in forum members suggestions of a sit inside for a larger woman, who will be paddling with a partner who is going to be in a enlightened 16 ft duralite 16T, want to fit in my boat and be able to keep up with him. Haven't been paddling long, but have a rowing machine beside the bed to train on.

Thanks for the responses thus far - looking at an Eddyline Sandpiper and a sit on top tarpon 120, but worried the tarpon could not keep up with the enlightened t16. Would also like to know if you all think a qcc 500 would fit me? I'm not really pear shaped but definitely heavy in the hips and have to get the extra seat belt thingy on airplanes - don't have a buy an extra seat yet however.

We will be paddling lakes, ponds and slow moving rivers - no ocean paddling planned unless it's completely flat.

Update: I did try the books on the floor thing and ended up with 17.5 inches. Wondering how much weight I would have to lose to fit into a QCC, which has a 16 inch opening. Looked at their boat selector thing online and became alarmed that if I lost weigh the 500 wouldn't be the right boat for me anymore it would be the 400. This is all hypothetical so far. I sure wouldn't want to spend $4000 on a boat that did not fit me if I lost weight.

Another consideration is the weight of the boat - looked at the boat selector on this website and basically ruled out anything over 50# as the Enlightened that we purchased last weekend for the man is 48# and I don't want to move anything heavier than that even with 2 people to do it.

So.... lot of considerations here, haven't ruled out the weight watchers idea either, did it a few years ago and got down to 138# so I know I can do it when motivated.

When I made the list of the less than 50 pound boats here is what was on it, haven't checked the cockpit sizes yet

15.6 ft Wilderness Systems Zepher 155 pro 46#'s
16 ft. Wilderness Systems Zephier 160 pro 48#'s
12 ft. Stellar S!2 40#'s
10 ft. Seaward Intrigue 35#'s
14 ft. Seaward Compass SR150 48#'s
14.5 ft. Rowan Boat Company Tangent 45#
16ft. QCC Q500x 42#
13 ft. Pygmy Pinguino Series (has to be put together 33#'s
17 ft. Pygmy Borealis XL (also has to be put together) 43#'s
12 ft. Eddyline Sandpiper 38#'s
11 ft. Dagger Zydeco 11 48#'s
12 ft. Current Designs Vision 120 SP 32#'s

Not sure how to put this delicately
And this may not apply to you depending on your frame size. Women as they age are statistically pear shaped. Which means a lot of the weight is going to be below the combing of the kayak. My wife talked me into taking her friend kayaking, and her friend brought a friend along. I would guestimate the friend’s friend weight about 220 lbs, not over the limit for lots of kayaks, but we could not fit her behind into cockpit and into the seat. I would suggest looking at your measurements and see how they compare to seat measurements, I believe 15" wide is pretty standard for sit inside kayaks. A large rec boat will be different .

Kayaks fit like pants
And being a woman you know how that goes. You really cannot buy without trying them on. Too lose and you have no control. Too tight and its a girdle. Remember those?

The Tarpon…
…will not keep up unless they’re both dropped off a cliff.

The QCC 500 has a large cockpit and should be fine.


Cockpit sizing
For sit ins have a look at what size spray skirt they take. Look for something that takes a Seals size 1.7 for a generous opening.

At 240 I would be looking at 15+ feet for decent speed of course this is just my opinion. The issue I find with boats made for heavier paddlers (me included) is they often make the decks too high. You want the hull size so you get a decent water line but who needs a 15"+ high deck? If you are looking at a Tarpon maybe look more to the 140 or 160 for more speed. For a sit in that will carry you and still have a lower deck with a big opening check out the Delta 15.5. Of course you’d have to sit in it to see but you might fit the QCC well too and it would be much faster than the Delta 15.5. Lots of boats out there with big cockpits, Tsunami 145,165, Focus 150,155, Expression 15 or even a Pungo for a huge opening. Many options out there, try renting a few if you can to see what fits. Also lots of options in the longer boats too.

My wife got up near your weight
And she is only 5’2" tall. At that point in time she stopped paddling but she also would not have been able to get into her Pungo because of a bad knee and trying to carry the weight combined. Her knee wouldn’t bend with that weight on her. But the Pungo has a huge cockpit and with most of the extra weight being lower body weight it’s stable as a rock. The 14 footer has a capacity to carry 350 lb FWIW. It probably would not keep up with your friends 16 ft boat but it has good speed for what it is, a rec boat with a nice hull design.

Incidentally ( and I certainly don’t know your situation), my wife didn’t put up with the weight, she didn’t accept that’s how its going to be, though she had done that for a long time. She is a Weight Watchers member now and she has 25lb to go to meet the top end of her suggested goal weight range ( her range should be between 108 and 125 lb). It’s taken her two years but almost there and no work really beyond dedication and accountability. It’s just a matter of eating correctly the things you like to eat and keep track of it. She has done wonderfully well on that plan and fond new things to eat as well ( I have to eat gluten free so that really trickens things up !!!)). It’s a lifetime change for good health. The key to this being she doesn’t deprive herself of food, that’s not Weight Watchers way. You track it by a points system. And now we paddle together again, she doesn’t rent a cart at Disney to get around anymore ( she is older , going to be 66 soon and with that weight and knee she was hanging on things to get around, couldn’t keep up etc.). As we age we need to take care of ourselves even more than when we were young. And that is spiritually as well as physically I might add. Everyone marvels at the change in my wife. Full off pep now. Arthitis inhibits her some but still, huge difference. I compliment her every chance I get. And she isn’t alone.

Width is tought
I am a bigger guy and the first struggle is in the width of the cockpit. I am more top heavy but stocky and large framed. If the cockpit width isn’t 18+ inches I can’t really get inside. Anything smaller I might be able to push myself it but it is doubtful I’ll get out without help. A Seals skirt size of 1.7 is my limit on a cockpit – 2.2 feels just right to me but very little is in that size.

I know I can’t get in a QCC and I fit fine in airplane seats using a normal belt and I weigh a lot more than you do.

A good first step is to sit down with your back to the wall and sit in a kayak position. You can take two text books and push them against you on the sides. When you get up then you can measure that space and at least have some approx of width. Cockpit measurements are not always the opening to fit in so you have to get in a bunch to try.

The next challenge is if you can squeeze the second leg into a cockpit and that is where the length and positioning of the size braces as well as deck height can hurt or hinder you.

flat water
For your intended use the Pungo 140 should be on your list.

Eddyline Denali
The Eddyline Denali has a vast cockpit, but can still be considered a well-rounded sea kayak. This is the boat that I would look into if I were you.

QCC 400X
I would look for a used QCC 400x.