Small narrow Kayak?

-- Last Updated: Jan-12-12 10:32 AM EST --

I am looking for a poly kayak in the 12ft range but not a wide one which is all I have seen. Something like the Perception Tribute but not that wide. I currently paddle a tempest 165 at 21 inches. I really dont want to go wider than 23". Anything like that??

I want to have a kayak that I can handle easily and not twist my back when unloading/loading. I have tried many ways with various types of loading help and I don't want to struggle when alone.

It is to be used in PA on rivers/smallish lakes.
Maybe something new this year that I haven't seen yet?

SUP & Crazy Creek
At less then 30# and topped with something like a Crazy Creek chair you could use a 230cm+ paddle and do quite well I’d think. Your parameters don’t seem to mandate the need for a cockpit.

It seemed to work well for me yesterday taking my lunch hour out on the Hudson River while the weather was nice.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Find a used Piccolo
I"m picking a used one up tomorrow. 21 1/4" wide X 13’6".

One question re loading

– Last Updated: Jan-12-12 12:06 PM EST –

You are sliding, not lifting, yes? I can't say that I am fast at loading and unloading a full out sea kayak myself, but with a set of rollers hanging off the end of the roof rack and a good cart for the ground I manage it without ever carrying full weight.

That said, a small easy boat to throw up is damned nice. When I start pool sessions in February, I'll likely first grab the little Inazone even though I "should" be bringing the 15ft Vela. But it's hard to ignore the virtues of a boat that I can fit into the back of the station wagon.

Tsunami SP
12 foot by 21 inches. But you’ll swamp it if you weigh more than 120 pounds.

radical suggestion

– Last Updated: Jan-12-12 12:28 PM EST –

Have you considered a skin-on-frame (SOF) custom made kayak? There are folks that will build them for $1000 to $2000, which is not a whole lot more than a quality rotomold boat. I have poly kayaks and a SOF (wood frame with urethane coated ballistic nylon skin) and the SOF is just as tough but half the weight. My SOF is 18' long x 22" wide and weighs less than 32 lbs. A 12' of similar construction would be under 25 lbs.

And I paddle primarily in western PA streams, rivers and lakes. I see we are in the same area (I live in Pittsburgh). If you'd like to take a look at my SOF and see how amazingly light and strong these are, it might give you a different perspective and a plausible option.

Brian Schulz, one of the premiere builders of them has a great website with background on SOF's and lots of photos.

Brian will custom-build one for you to your exact body dimensions for $2,250 including shipping. Or you can go out to Oregon or any of the places around the country where he does workshops, and in a weeklong shop course for $1300, he will help you build your own.

dagger alchemy
The alchemy comes in a regular and low volume version. It’s 14’ and plastic but I have a couple of small female paddler friends who can load them solo. They use them for coastal rock gardening and surfing but I hear they do well in small rivers as well and turn on a dime.

Pygmy,plywood, boats has some small models that are 35 lbs but are 24-25" wide.

The difficulty in make a short boats very narrow is the buoyancy is so low that the max paddler weight will be barely over 100lbs and the average american female is 165 lbs.

what is the limit?
What is the weight that you would be comfortable with?

I tried one and was highly impressed with how nimble it was. It feels very slim, highly “fitted” to the body, which is why I imagine it’s a favorite of the rock garden folks who also like their whitewater boats. It’s fast too. Can’t speak to the paddler weight issue, though.

I’m 6’, 180 lbs. with a 11.5 shoe size. It was tight, but manageable for me.

It’s not a heavy boat, either.

I was hoping in the 40 ish lb limit
I am short but not skinny…(over 150) and this type of kayak I am looking for is definitely a compromise for paddling but it is for here and there easy padddles. I have 2 in University and cannot spend the money for another long kayak which i dont need as i love my tempest and sometimes use a CD squamish which is still on the heavy side for what i am looking for.

The dagger alchemy s is an awesome kayak but not in the category of what i am looking for. I have a few short sit on tops which are not great for paddling but I would like a more all season kayak with cockpit.

I have the rollerloader and thule bars that pull out but I just dont want the hassle with the weight for some simple relaxing but on the water paddles.

I sold my Sparkys as they were soo wide but if they had been narrower, i would have kept them!

building light kayaks
here’s a video of how the ultra-light skin on frames are built (this was a week-long group class). Gives you a good look at their construction. Those finished boats would all be around 30 lbs.

Willowleaf, I saw your sof
once a few years ago as you were leaving the Regatta at Lake Arthur. Haven’t run into you since though - do you ever paddle with WPPSA on mondays at McDanels? We are there most mondays.

If Sparkys had been narrower,

– Last Updated: Jan-12-12 1:30 PM EST –

you would have kept them? Then take a look at the Eddyline Sky 10.
Thirty five pounds, 26" wide--same as the Eddyline Skylark only 2 ft shorter. Tracks well.

I am very familiar with the Sparky, as I've had a Swifty (same thing) for 11 years now, and still use it some when I don't want to risk my "nice" boats.

Compared to the Sparky, the Sky 10 is 6 inches longer, 4 inches narrower, 5 pounds lighter and the thermoform is much stiffer than the rotomolded plastic.

Well its thermoformed plastic a Eddyline Merlin LT. its 23 inches wide and 42 pounds max load of 325 lbs. Maybe you can look for a used one. I doubt you will find a 12 foot yak at 23 inch wide. The Merline is 13.5.

The Merlin LT is dee V bottomed,
doesn’t turn very quick for a 13’ boat when edged hard and may be a bit too roomy for the O.P. but only she would know for sure.

It’s not a good shallow water boat because of the deep V bottom…

Walrus Griffin
At 13’11" the Walrus Griffin is a bit longer than your target length, but depending on layup weighs in at as little as 31 lbs. and has a 21.75 inch beam.

I’ll be test paddling the Griffin on Monday. Write me if you want a report!

Do you know if the Eddyline Samba have a deep-v hull like the Merlin, or is the Samba more maneuverable?

Walrus Griffin looks very nice
but not in my price range - I need a tupperware boat price.

Haven’t paddled the Samba, but
I tried the Fathom LV and liked it. I don’t remember the hull shape of the Fathom LV.

Samba maneuverability
The Samba is more maneuverable than the Merlin LT. The V is not as deep and there’s more rocker. Plus there’s a skeg, so you also have the option of tracking strongly if you want it. 13’ 10" long, 22.5" wide, 43 lbs. More expensive than a poly boat, but very high quality.