I bought a Current Design 120 SP last fall after trying the 130 and feeling convinced that I needed the lightest weight I could get into (I did not trial the 120 before buying it). I found the 120 to not have as much secondary stability as I would like after 2x out, once in pretty calm water and the other with boat wakes. I am looking for advice in a kayak that is stable but does not weigh over 42-43#. We had Tsunami’s previously and loved them except that they were 53#.
Lincoln Kayak Chebeague. If you tip it over you likely deserved it - stable. 32lbs in carbon. 37lbs in fiberglass/kevlar blend.
See you on the water,
The Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
Stellar 14LV runs 31 to 36 pounds depending on the material. IF you prefer a shorter boat their S12 recreational kayak is 3" wider and about a pound lighter in each version…
When you transitioned from the 130 to the 120 you experienced a reduction in beam (24" to 23") and a reduction in length (13 ft to 12 ft) Each of these reductions separately would ensure a reduction in stability. Taken together you have experienced a “double whammy”. All other things remaining constant, the reduction in beam particularly reduces “initial stability” by reducing the leverage of the newly immersed hull volume at small angles of heel, Again, all other things staying constant, the reduction in length reduces the total volume of extra immersed underwater hull volume at any given angle of heel. (This is a crude analysis of a complex subject, but mathematicians will here recognize elements of the theoretical basis for partial differentiation and integral calculus)
If you wish to keep the 120 while trying to find a more reassuring kayak you could add some ballast weight on near the seat (try 10 pounds for starters), and/or make a “kayak balance stool”, and train your automatic reflexes.
Just googling about the boats specs I found this reveiw …
" Its primary stability is a little tender at first and may discourage novice kayakers. Like many kayaks, if a paddler spends time familiarizing themselves with the feel of the kayak on the water, that initial tenderness will diminish over time. On the other hand, the 120 SP’s secondary stability is much more confident. When bringing this kayak on edge, it locks-in nicely and gives the paddler some breathing room for lean turns. There is a strange transition between the primary and secondary stability. At first, it was challenging to get a feel for the Vision’s stability, but once I got a feel for its threshold between primary and final stability, I was able to take advantage of the Vision’s exceptional edging ability.
Current Designs lists the Vision 120 SP’s gross weight capacity at 200lbs. This weight capacity is rather low for most kayaks in this class, forcing it into a category for smaller to medium-sized paddlers. I weigh just under 150lbs, so for me, the Vision 120 SP handles my weight perfectly with plenty of room for a weekend’s worth of storage.
So the questions I would have are “how much do you weigh?” and do you think the boat just feels twitchy or can you not lean it on edge on a brace and stay upright. The hull looks like it should have quite good secondary stability for a small boat. It sounds like you need more practice letting your hips loose and letting your paddle and boat keep you upright in small waves. Before you go looking for a new boat, learn how to paddle the boat you have and you will probably be much happier after you develop the ability to utilize a small sporty boat.
Thank you all for your help!
I would also advise you to try the 120 out much more than twice before you decide that its secondary stability is lacking.
My wife and I are intermediate paddlers having been kayaking for about 5 years. She has a Vision 130 and I have a 140. We go out on anything from flat calm lakes to fairly rough ocean and within their design parameters the Visions perform very well for us as day trippers.
I have a composite Vision 130 and it is a very stable, wind tolerant and chop tolerant boat. Vision 130 don’t care!