Hi, I’ve done a lot of canoeing in the past and have recently discovered kayaking. My question is, I am a kinda big guy, 6" 230#,in decent shape. I am interested in getting a touring kayak for extended river and Lake trips. What should I be looking for in terms of kayak size? Thanks
I don’t think there’d be any problem getting a kayak that would fit you, but more importantly what style and what features are you looking for?
North American touring style with a rudder and a seat back? British touring style with a back band and a skeg, or even Greenland style with hard chines?
Poly? Fiberglass? Graphite? Fish form or Swede form?
And what price range?
Take a look at the Current Designs website to get an idea of what’s available - http://www.cdkayak.com
They also grade their kayaks by paddler size.
Then go look at Necky, Valley Sea Kayaks, Boreal Design, Wilderness Systems, NDK, P&H, Jackson, etc. (just to name a few).
You obviously need a larger kayak but there are tons available in the 17’ long 22"-24" wide range that you could chose from.
same size as me. Solstice by Current Designs is great. Like stated above you need to pick type. I would say 16.5 or over 17’. Budget is? Composite or roto molded. How serious do you think you will get or how often will you use it? Bargains out there used with some patience when shopping. I bought two year old Solstice for 1800 probably used 4 times for real. Like new with a bunch of accessories. Total value if all purchased new at time just over 4 grand not counting sales tax.
Lake and river?
How long do you mean by extended trips? I assume you mean slow, deep rivers? I find I like a shorter more maneuverable boat in the river than I would pick for a large lake. I bought a Dagger Stratos L for this earlier this year but I’d have to pack a little leaner to camp out of it since it’s only 14.5 feet long. Very very maneuverable but not the best tracker without a little skeg. Would make a great first kayak for a guy your size, still has a decent waterline at 275lbs. Plastic hull can take some shots in the river.
I did a 2 week river trip last summer in a Delta 18.5. Hard to beat the storage capacity and the huge hatches. Sometimes though fighting the length of a loaded touring boat in the river is tough. I sure appreciated the rudder by the end of that trip. If you’re looking for a longer boat you might want to add the Delta 17 to the list of boats to get a look at. It’s one I would consider if I didn’t already own the 18.5.
At your size, I would suggest that you look at a CD Sirocco, or Gulf Stream and nothing smaller. If you’re interested in more speed, go for the CD Isle. If you want to go for more sporty 18’ Stellar Intrepid. Or for the ultimate–NC Expedition, 18’ Valley Nordkapp, or Etain, or P&H Cetus. If price doesn’t matter, check out the Sterling Grand Illusion.