Touring Kayak Advice Request

I’m looking for a lighter/faster composite day touring kayak - especially lighter. I’m 55, 6’2", 195 lbs, been flatwater paddling 4 years with an Old Town Nantucket, but its 60+ pounds is too much - especially at the end of the day. Been looking via web sites at Swift Bering Sea and Labrador Sea, and Prijon Eski and Sea Gull. Looking for something around 45-48 lbs with good stability. Got any recommendations?


Lots of possibles

– Last Updated: Feb-01-04 4:04 PM EST –

QCC 600 or 700, CD caribou or extreme, Foster legend fron Seaward, Seaward quest, Mirage 580(really hard to demo).

My personal favorites for ocean kayaking from the above list are the Caribou and the Legend.

All of these things are imperfect and incomplete. and asking another person to pick you boat is like asking them to pick you wife.

Do you lean in order to turn? This is a question you might want to answer here and now. Do you want to surf one day. What about back surfing?

These and another dozen questions would be part of the plan.

Let me add mariner 2 and wolderness systems t180 and....

dont rule out…
…the “airlite/carbonlite” boats, like Eddylines, Hurricanes, etc. If weight is your prime consideration, you can get a lot for your money here & love the lightness. My Perception Sonoma 13.5 weighs only 37 lbs, would probably fit you (I’m about the same size) & save you a grand or more (than buying a composite). Hurricane’s Tampico (sp?) is a similar boat/price. If you want to go longer, check out Eddyline’s lineup (I lust after the Nighthawks).

can you define what “faster” is for you?
Light is the easy part.

Being in a 26" beam rec kayak now, how much of a leap are you interested in taking with this next boat?

Lenght is part of the equation, but narrower beam is what really ups the performance to me. I went from a 28" wide SOT to a 21" SINK. Worked well for me - but I wouldn’t recommend that sort of jump universally. There is a learning curve, and I’m still on the low end of it!

All narrower boats are not created equal - I like Peter_Ks list, but without knowing what you really want to do with this nexty kayak - and where - the recommendations will only be our personal favorites in the conditions we paddle, which may not be the best recommendations for you.

For speed and stability - and at your size - I have to second the QCC Q700 (and Caribou if speeds less an issue).

I would suggest
trying a series of progressively narrower kayaks. The other posters comments about how much faster you’re really talking about is important. Are you looking for speed, or effeciency? One can be more effecient in any kayak.

The boats suggested are all fine and worth trying as touring kayaks go. CD Caribou is an interesting suggestion.

If you are looking for light cartopping weight. Have you thought about an Eddyline Falcon 16, 49 Lbs, very nice hull. 22 in beam. And it isn’t at the top of the speed list, but it is a very effecient sea kayak.

I you are looking at the creme de la creme of speed AND weight savings though betsie bay kayaks has the recluse, the aral, and the valkyrie all weighing in at less than 35 lbs. They are expensive and a little less durable than your average brit boat. But these boats all average about 20" in beam and have a deck height of 10".

What is your skill level and experience with kayaking, are you paddling all flatwater?

I’ll Add
a fine all around boat-the Impex Currituck. Reasonable weight, not fast, but certainly competent, and very well behaved. It has a higher degree of initial stability than some others at this beam. Slider skeg, two oval hatches, day hatch, comfortable seat and IR back band at a decent price. Would like to see Yakima footpegs, or something of this ilk, but a good choice for someone ‘moving up.’ Rolls easily too.

currituck is
very nice. I think impex makes a really nice boat. And they do a terrific job on the layup. It is pretty narrow relative to the posters current kayak too, but it is closer to sixty lbs than it is to 45 lbs if I remember correctly.

A Lincoln Chebeague would certainly satisfy the “lighter” requirement. I have not paddled one but have spoken to a couple of folks who liked their Lincolns.

If you’re interested in building, a Pygmy Osprey Standard might work well for you.

CD Gulfstream
the Current Design Gulfstream should fit you. It’s stable, in your weight range, edges if you want it, and very nice to paddle. It’s not the fastest but definitely not the slowest! A great all around kayak.

Uh, do you mean the Night Hawk?
The Falcon 16 is no longer made (I wanted to demo one), and its beam was 20.5", I think.

The currently-available Night Hawk 16 has 22" beam and weighs 49 lbs. There IS a Falcon 18 still being made, 18’ x 21" I think, that is supposed to be a fast boat.

yeah sorry
I meant falcon and I know it isn’t made anymore, the new one could be good. The s18 is a fast boat relatively speaking and it is fun to paddle. But it isn’t very light at almost 60lbs.

Falcon 18
Agree - a decent and pretty fast paddle. Initial stability somwhere in between the very stable Q700 & Caribou - and the more spirited Foster Legend. Didn’t have it out long enough for more details on secondary or other handling. Speed felt similar to the the Legend, faster than the Caribou, not as fast as Q700. Felt ligher than 60#.

Check SEDA
I would urge you to check out and browse through their models. I suggest taking a very close look at the Swift, it sounds what you are looking for. It is available in 4 different lay-ups from fiberglass to Kevlar to Carbon, the only limit is your pocket book. Overall, Seda kayaks are very resonable priced and quite well made, I know many people who are very happy with theirs.