Asking for a relative who wants a kayak for their camp. They are in their 50's and arthritic knee so easy to get in and out of cockpit is a must. On fit they like the Old Town Adventure 139, but I do know about a Swift Caspian Sea goldenglass for a competetive price. Question is does the 15" depth add enough to the 31" length to give the Caspian Sea's cockpit the same ease of getting in and out of that boat as the 43" opening on the Old Town's Adventure. I'm sure the Caspian is a better paddling craft plus lighter, but the realative and it aren't close enough to each other for a demo so didn't know if there was anyone who owns or knows about the Caspian Sea that is able to chime in.
As I remember
I used a Caspian Sea for a full day tour about 2 yrs ago. As I remember it, the cockpit seemed big - the depth was significant, and the cockpit was comfortable. I was a newbie at the time and liked the boat quite a bit. I currently use a CD Pachena, which has an even bigger cockpit (17.25 x 35.5) and I would recommend it as well if cockpit access is a big issue. It has been used by a large number of newbies with good results. It’s a little sea kayak with bulkheads and a rudder, and would be more versatile than a straight rec kayak. But I think the Caspian/QCC400 is probably a more refined hull design.
I owned a Caspian
and paddled it about 8 months before I moved on to the Bering Sea. The Caspian has the same cockpit opening as many of the Swift boats, 16.5" x 31". The Caspian has a relatively high foredeck compared to the Bering Sea which should make entry somewhat easier. It is a boat you likely can sit your butt in and then pull in each leg one at a time using your arms and hands if need be. I’m sure it would be a little harder to enter than a 43" opening, but then again it’s much easier to close off the smaller cockpit with a skirt which will make the boat more seaworthy.
The Caspian has very good speed for a 15’ kayak and can easily keep up with longer boats due to its long waterline. It’s pretty hard tracking and takes a good edge to turn. It will feel much more stable (initial) than the Bering Sea, which may be another benefit for arthritic folks. I felt the Bering was too tippy when I was starting out, but 8 months later - no problem.
The Swift seats are pretty comfortable as well.
Hope this helps.
'Xactly what is the problem?
Is it that your relative can’t bend that knee, or take weight on the leg or that the knee itself hurts when it is against something? Might help to know.