Sun Dolphin Aruba 8'

is this boat ok? I assume its similar to the pelican line…

but I can no longer lift my nicer touring boat so if I want to get back on the water I need something small I can lift and transport.

but if this is an awful boat, I don’t want to waste my money either

Go for quality and safety
If you must get a tiny kayak, consider an Eddyline Sky 10:

It has the safety of two sealed bulkheads. The Aruba has none.

How small & How Light?
Is 12’ small? Is 28lbs (w/fore-aft bullheads) light enough?

Lincoln Quoddy Light would be my suggestion.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

its 28lbs, but only 8’
ill look at the others mentioned as well

do you need a kayak
that cute little egg shaped thing is mostly canoe anyway…

Why not go for the real thing. Lose 10 more pounds

Hornbeck boats have been mentioned in posts here, but I’d never seen a picture of one.

That Blackjack line sure looks sweet. Only 12-13 pounds? If I ever take up canoeing, that’s what I’d want.

Lets see

do I want a $200 boat or a $2000 boat.

The only thing in common is that both may float.

Aruba 10?
Why not the Aruba 10? $199 at Kmart, if cost is an issue. We just picked up two Potomac (Pelican) Vortex 80 DLX’s super cheap with paddles and PDFs. My Dh usually paddles an Aruba 10 and he prefers it to the Vortex-more stable. The Vortex is lighter and quicker but way easier to swamp or tip. I usually paddle an old fiberglass downriver and the vortex…is lighter and more like riding a bobber in rolling waves. Fun, but I’d prefer my downriver to it. We took them out twice now, once in reasonable rollers of at least 2’ and tonight they were less, 1’ or so. More fun in the bigger rollers, but for an easy to load/unload, carry and forget, it’s ok. We tested an Old Town Vapor and while that tracked WAY better, the Vortex is lighter and easier on my arm (tendonitis). You really have to paddle it light because if you dip the paddle in hard, you’re turning side to side. If you’re used to a high end yak, you’re not going to fall in love with it, for sure.

Sundolphin is fine.
You’ll probably be happier with the 10’ than the 8’, though. It has foot pegs and more capacity. Weight is 40 lbs.

I like mine a lot.

light does not have to be short
Look into skin on frame kayaks, many of which are under 30 pounds and will perform much more like what you are accustomed to. Like the Feathercraft Kurrent, the Orukayak, the Pakboat Puffins and Quests or hand built skin on frames that many people build and then sell (I have an 18’ skin on frame that weighs 32 lbs.). I doubt the performance of one of those short wide little bathtub boats like the Sun Dolphins will please someone who is used to paddling a nice touring kayak.

No foot braces in the Sun Dolphin 8
We bought two of the Sun Dolphin 8s (weight capacity 260 lbs) last year. I love them for the fact that they only weigh 27 lbs, so they are easy to lift and load, but the lack of foot braces caused my sciatica to flare up and after about 40 minutes of paddling I would be hurting. We added two Pelican Trailblazer 100s (made exclusivley for Dick’s Sporting Goods, weight capacity 275 lbs.) this spring and like them better. The seat is MUCH more comfortable, they have foot braces and weigh 37 lbs, so still fairly easy to lift and load and are also much more stable than the Sun Dolphins. The Trailblazers have a lower cockpit, so easier to get in and out of, as well. I can comfortably paddle the Trailblazer for three hours or more- could not do that in the Sun Dolphin.

You didn’t mention where you would be paddling, or your height and weight, and that does make a difference. I would never take the Sun Dolphins out on any big or moving water, or any place there is a lot of motor boat/jet ski traffic. They work fine when we need a couple of extra boats for visitors for short, quiet paddles.

Is your choice based strictly on the weight of the boat, or is budget a big factor as well? If you are on a tight budget like us, spend a little more and get the Pelican.