Solo paddling an OT Discovery 174?

That is a sign!!
Don’t buy a pelican from Dicks. Haha Brian

I agree
It is a sign not to buy from dicks. you are secure with permission from the admiral to go and by a kayak. now the signs require that you upgrade. get yourself over to the nearest paddle shop and get a nicer boat. it will last for decades and soon the girls will be fighting over it. maybe you should go ahead and get two…

Pelicans have Dicks?
Wow never thought about it. Oh Dicks has Pelicans. Now I understand.Hehe

that was the problem
dick is out of pelicans

Okay, okay, okay…
Before this sinks any further into the gutter, I ended up getting a Pelican from Dick after all. I went to a different location and picked up the angler edition of the Trailblazer 100. Got a 230cm Quest Force fiberglass paddle, too. Yeah, I know. I picked up cheap, entry-level equipment. However, I’m a beginner, and it’s my first kayak. I don’t have any experience to know or tell the difference between cheap gear and high-quality stuff. It’s only for occasional solo kayaking anyway, as I hope to be out in my canoe with my family more often than solo in the kayak.

I figure the cheap stuff will get me started, and I can learn with it without fear of breaking or damaging high-end gear. By the time I get enough paddling under my belt to realize that my gear is inferior, one or both of my daughters may be big/old enough to “inherit” it. Then I can upgrade to respectable gear.

For now, I just want to get out on the water and have fun and learn!

You’ll be fine
… wear a pfd and something bright colored, as that beige-y color is going to be hard to see if you are in a high- traffic boating area. ( I paddle a lake with a lot of yahoo, not sober, screaming music boom box water skiers sometimes, which is why I really go for the colors, and I tend to stick to areas where it is shallower and rocky, when soloing, so if they come in too close, too fast, they’ll ground out and wreck. ). If you didn’t get a hand pump, bring along a large automotive type washing sponge and a cut- off half plastic pop bottle to sop and bail water out of it, incase you get splashed or swamped. If you are going to be out in a low- light condition, clip a small waterproof flashlight to your pfd, just in case. Also a whistle. It gets dark really fast now after sunset instead of having all that lingering dusk light.

The only difference between that boat and something like my boat, is that one may require more or less effort to actually move in the direction you want to go, under certain conditions of wind, waves, and weather. Mine handles water ski wake easily, and requires much more effort to tie down gently but securely in the truck. You can probably pick yours up with one hand. It’s all good !

Anything you really do not want to have sink to the bottom, if it does not float naturally, fasten to the boat w/ bungees or clip to your pfd or zip in a pocket. Or put a piece of pool noodle on it. Sometime you may want to get a waterproof dry bag. In this, at this time of year, you can stash a lightweight, warm jacket, a dry pair of lightweight technical pants, and a hat in case you need it. Where I live, the air temps can be very warm yet, but the mountain drainage water can be cold enough soon, that if you had to go into shore after getting wet, aka swim, you’d want that change of clothes, very much. Especially if the air temps drop dramatically after sunset.

Tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be expected back.

And this may sound funny, but don’t forget to look back at where you PARKED on the shore, after you leave in the kayak, so you know where to return to, if your vehicle is not really obvious, but tucked up into some features. Try to remember what time you left, so you know roughly how long it should take you to get back. I’ve even gone out with my spouse, had a nice scenic time, and yet we have BOTH sometimes misplaced the launching site somewhat, and there is nothing more romantic like going back and forth along the shores and peninsulas and tule reeds in the moonlight, muttering to yourself “it has to be here, SOMEWHERE,” as the other person says “maybe we should try the next inlet.” Alone, off season, this is worse. Don’t assume you will always be able to get a cell signal and be able to use the mapping thing. It’s not just us, I’ve had other people a few times ask me if they were close to “xxxx takeout” and had to break it to them gently that it was several miles “that a way.” ---->

Thank you, BearRiver…
For all the great advice! I shall definitely take all of it to heart. I want to get out on the water, have fun, and enjoy nature and the great outdoors, but I want to do it the safest way possible.

…From the bow end…My god I thought
I was alone in the world!. Guess I can now come out of the closet!! What a difference in efficiency…you think anyone at OT will admit to that…with all the stock marketing photos of the solo paddler in the traditional position…LOL.