Suggestions for kayak on TN river

Hey guys, I’m new around here! Just getting into kayaking in TN. I’m living in Chattanooga, and mostly get to play in the tennessee river. Later on perhaps I’ll try the ocoee.

I’m looking for advice on what kind of kayak to use for extended day trips, and maybe multi day weekend trips on the river?

Being a complete newb, I first went with a tarpon 100 and used it all last summer for 15+ mile trips but it’s just not quite cutting it.

How is it not quite
cutting it? Problem areas?

Clubs, outfitter
The Tennessee River in your area is essentially lakes created by the damming with slow current. The Blueway designates/creates camping opportunities on the river over a route of about 50 miles, including a scenic gorge. This suggests a sea kayak. You have clubs and a major outfitter who can provide you with input about what the locals favor.

day trips where you need to pack your trash with you pretty much require a touring/sea kayak. I have seen smaller boats do it, but you had better be a small bodied minimalist backpacker who shuns any comfort if you are planning to go on a 5 day trip. Packing light, you can get away with what you have for a weekend.

Look for a used 14-17’ touring kayak.

Hey Frisbee
In Chattanooga too. You’re in a great place for flat water and WW paddling for sure.

For kayaks, I personally prefer shorter plastic boats with dual bulkheads and sit inside cockpits. These boats are not only good for the river, but also the variety of smaller creeks such as North and South Chick and Lookout. They are jack of all trades. I’d be happy to answer in more details if you’d like to hit me up on email.

Also, check in to the local community meetup group. Feel free to post a trip or attend one.

and to be clear
By “short” I’m referring to 13.5-15.5