Suggestion on Kayak Purchase, PA water

I think I’ve narrowed my search down to two Necky kayaks, unless someone knows something much better for my situation. I’m posting because I just need some additional advice before I purchase.

The two models I like are the Manitou and the Looksha.

I’m not sure yet about the rudder vs skeg, but we don’t need to discuss that…been reading about both for a bit.

I’m more concerned with length.

I’m 5’10", 185-190 and will be paddling mainly slow moving rivers, lakes, and creeks in the Southwestern Pennsylvania area. I will also be taking this up to Maine where I’ll be paddling mainly lakes.

Most excursions will probably be long straight paddles.

I do like exploring the reeds and grasses on the sides, and pushing into the smaller streams along side a bit.

I would like to start doing a few overnighters…maybe max 3 day 2 night. I pack light.

Should I be looking at a 12 or 14?

Thanks for any help.

You know what you want, but for those
areas, I would hedge my bets and get a Liquid Logic Remix XP 10. There’s just so much easy whitewater river paddling in PA and Maine, and you won’t need much speed on the lakes and larger rivers you’re paddling.

I have an old Looksha Sport, and while it would also do what you want it to do, it is a bit ungraceful the minute one has to manage eddy turns and differential currents.

Of course, if you lived at Jersey Shore (PA), that would be another matter.

I’ll second the
post above and say go with a LiquidLogic Remix XP. I have an XP9 and love it for creeks, streams, rivers, etc.

Depending on when you want to purchase…Blue mountain outfitters, just outside the Harrisburg beltway is haveing 2 demo days in the middle of may.

Just google and click on BMO…ask them if they will have your models there.

I think topher is the man in charge.


The XP10 is cool

I have an XP9 for my family

Jackson All Water
This one looks interesting also - with a skeg too.

If you want to do long straight paddles
You may want to think about the longer boat. The mixed use boats mentioned above are way neat, but I don’t see you indicating any interest in moving water in your post. If I am reading that right, and you do decide to mess around with some later on, you can always pick up a used WW boat. Those boats get turned over a lot because there are more frequently new models.

I see you are in the Pittsburgh area

– Last Updated: Feb-25-10 6:44 PM EST –

You are welcome to come to our home (gibsonia rt8 & 910) I can show you our various boats and their advantages/disadvantages and gear also. Nothing is for sale but you can see a CD breeze which might be an option. It wouldn't be putting us out. You can email me if interested. 13 kayaks although a couple are the same.

Ah…Topher lives in N Cali…

14 footer
and the Manitou 14 is a really nice boat. Hard to go wrong with it or the Looksha. The 10 footers are fine in a current, but out on the lake you want some real tracking. At your size, a 13 or 14 footer will be very nice.


thanks for all the replies. I’m not looking for whitewater…if I was I think I would purchase two boats, one for lake/stream etc and one for whitewater.

Just1more I’d love to come out and look around. I’ll send you an email. The breeze does look nice, but when working with one rear hatch isn’t the boat rear heavy and difficult to maneuver when packed? I would think as soon as you weight down the aft compartment the front would rise and steering would be affected.

Great - come on over!
Look forward to it - re the Breeze, I cannot honestly say about packing it as we havent done overnighters. You can look at it though - unfortunately we cannot take them paddling right now! Another nice option is the slightly longer/narrower Whistler but then again, there are soo many boats out there that would work for you! Well, hope to see you soon!


What lakes in Maine?
If its Sebago or Moosehead a toy length is not appropriate…go longer.

Many of our lakes are huge and kick up huge seas. Picture a 27 mile fetch on Chesuncook or a 40 mile one on Moosehead.

You will appreciate the increased buoyancy of a longer boat.

If its my lake in Maine anything is fine.

I love my Looksha 14
We have 3 and it looks like we will be picking up a Looksha 12si before June for my daughters 12th birthday.

damariscotta lake in maine…it’s pretty long, so 10 footers are out for me. that’s why I was thinking 14, but then the smaller waterways around might support a 12 a little better.

sometimes I paddle small slow rivers
sometimes I paddle narrow, slow rivers around my house and if you have enough water you can still maneuver it with a 17 foot kayak. I mean what’s 3 feet? Not that much. What I’m trying to say is that you will appreciate speed and tracking on long trips and although 14 foot is nice I wouldn’t discount longer boats if the right deal came along.

necky boats
I’m exactly your height and weight and my 3rd kayak was a Manitou 13. I’ve since moved up to 16 and 17 foot sea kayaks, but I always did miss that Manitou for it’s couch-like comfort, it’s maneuverability, and decent tracking / cruising speed. It was like a miniature british style sea kayak that turned when edged, but stayed straight when you wanted it to. I would suggest the 14 foot version with skeg and forward bulkhead. You’d get more speed and it would make a good trainer for learning kayaking skills.

I paddle a 15 foot canoe on the Crooked River between Bethel and Sebago Lake SP. The river is aptly named.

Get a longer kayak that you can edge. That will lead to tight turns when you need it.

You can make a long boat short. You cannot make a short boat long.

I made up my mind and went with the manitou 14’, I’ve used it before and been comfortable.

thanks for everyone’s insight and suggestions.

I don’t think
you can go wrong with that boat. Enjoy it!

If near DamittScotty lake…
you are just so close to the ocean (Muscongous Bay) and lots of launching points… and that lake isn’t huge, but not tiny either. Suggest you go for a little more boat to give some head room for wanting to explore.

One of the last turns we make on our drive to Friendship is around one end of that lake.