Touring Kayak options

I’m fairly new to kayaking. My current kayak is a 10 foot fishing model and was a recent birthday gift . I’ve quickly learned that I want a boat that will allow more speed and paddling efficiency, along with the safety and reliability to paddle my local lakes and reservoirs
no matter the water conditions.

I was raised to appreciate and enjoy the woods and water, exploring, boating, canoeing, fishing and scuba diving etc. Kayaking provides another means by which to explore with the added challenge and health benefits of paddling.

I’m most interested in the WS Tempest 165. I can’t seem to find similar plastic boats with specs that compare to the Tempest. The fiberglass boats are really nice, but more than I want to spend right now. What other touring kayaks might I have overlooked?

I’m 5’9" 145 lbs.

There are many touring/sea kayaks that compare the the Tempest 165, no reason to limit yourself right away to one model. The kayak should fit your body, and different boats feel good to different people.

Personally I always advise to buy a used boat. It will be much cheaper, and then if you decide you want a different boat, which seems to happen very often, you can usually easily resell it for what you paid, so long as you got a decent deal. And if you’re ruling out fiberglass just on the basis of cost, I can tell you from personal observation that, oddly enough, fiberglass boats aren’t always more expensive than plastic boats when purchasing used.

If you add your height and weight, and also your shoe size, then people can recommend good boats that might fit your size well.

Also, it’s good to try out a lot of different boats if you can, and get a sense of what you like, rather than deciding on a boat by reading about it.

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Many great kayaks available used for under 1,000 even 750.

All from 650-900 dollars.

Kayaks unlike a used car people can look and see what’s wrong with a kayak. Post pictures here and many here can tell you condition and value with good pictures.


Yes, PaddleDog52 and I are on the same page regarding this. I’ve bought and sold a number of boats, ranging in price from $300 - $700, and two of them are nice composite sea kayaks. I never even got close to the $1000 mark! Granted, I do live in an area where we are blessed with many good used boats…. and many wealthy people who buy toys they end up not having much use for.

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I will join the chorus of urging you to seek a used kayak. I just bought an older 18’ very fast hulled composite kayak for $300 (would have been over $3000 new) in excellent shape from a Craigslist ad posted by someone who bought it in a barn auction. Did the same last summer, finding a slightly damaged (cosmetic, not functional) 16’ composite also for $300. The recent one was an even better deal since the buy included a Werner fiberglass paddle in my size that is worth $150 itself. You just have to be persistent in watching what comes up for sale in your area, then check on line user reviews (there are many on this site) to get an idea of how models you find for sale might fit you and perform.


I will keep an eye out for used. Not expecting many used listings here in Oklahoma.

Whereabouts in Oklahoma are you? I’m up in Kansas. Can confirm there’s not a lot of used composite boats around, mostly shorter poly stuff. Though the odd 14 or 17 foot boat does pop up.

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There has been a nice P&H Scorpio MV for sale on FB Marketplace in the middle of Missouri for a couple months. I should drive the 12 hours to get it, but I haven’t yet.

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I’m your height but a bit heavier and I like my T165. Some years back I also bought a used Dagger Alchemy S (S for Small) and I’ve really enjoyed it. I pulled out some of the ‘whitewater’ hardware and moved the seat back to make it really comfortable. The price was so reasonable that I had no qualms about making changes.

If you can find a Dagger Alchemy S, by all means check it out. That name has been discontinued and I understand it was replaced by something called the Dagger Stratos 14.5 S.

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One never knows how and why high end kayaks turn up in unexpected places remote from the seacoasts and in the hands of people who have no clue what they are.

The two I snagged during the past year started out in southern California and Washington State and ended up forlorn in the back of sheds in rural Pennsylvania. Estate sales and pickers/hoarders can be a great resource for finding boat deals in the strangest places.


if the Tempest 165 is really attractive to you for some reason related to its designs, there are other boats that are similar. The T165 is generally considered a “British style boat”, with a bit of rocker, relatively low back deck, skeg, and a day hatch. Pretty playful, not a speed racer (though would be heaps faster than a 10 foot boat).

Necky Chatham 16 seems to be almost an exact copy of the T165. When my partner was buying her first boat back about 2005, she couldn’t tell the difference between the two (she bought the C16).

NDK Romany is what the T165 and C16 were probably modeled after. Classic kayak.

Valley Avocet (which is now out of production) or the Valley Sirona. Probably Valley Gemini also.

Many of the P&H brand boats.

Many of these have different sized versions of each model. You would be in the small/ or medium one - definitely not the large or high volume one.

In general, as said above, used is he way to go for a first (and often beyond) boat.

Also be good if you can find lessons. I usually recommend newer folks take a day-long intro to sea kayaking lesson before buying, as there should be info that comes out of it that will help you figure out what kayak would be right for you, along with info on the strokes and (very importantly) what to do when you flip over.


I live near Norman, but paddle Lake Tenkiller near Tahlequah. I’ve noticed the same. Lots of short boats. Occasional 14’+.

Got my CD Expedition from a builder who the customer gave him as partial payment. Builder had no clue about kayaks but sent decent pictures. Ended a probably 5 year search. Only saw two others in that time. One in CA I’m in NY. One in NJ but I was just beaten out on sale. Looked at 5 sites at least 6 days a week.


Speaking of P &H kayaks, the company has a more moderately priced line of plastic touring kayaks under the Venture brand. You might want to add the Venture Easky 15 and Easky 15LV to your short list of model searches. No longer sold in the US but made in the UK, nicely outfitted and fairly nimble and fast. They were widely sold in the US for a while and sometimes turn up for sale. At your size the LV (low volume) version would be a better fit and more fun. I have had one for 12 years and always enjoy it, as do friends to whom I have loaned it.

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Sea kayaks can and do show up in the strangest places. My 19’, Australian built Mirage 580, which I found on consignment here in Florida, was purchased in New Mexico, of all places, by its previous owner. There is still a sticker in the boat from 2002, from the importer in Texas. Who knows where else it has gone between Australia, Texas and NM. The boat is better traveled than a lot of people I know!


There is one on FB marketplace pensacola florida list around $1500. For sale from a fellow member “SuwanneeJoe” he also has a Necky Looksha IV that I was looking at advertised on classified

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Thanks. The Scorpio for sale in P’cola is very overpriced @ $1500 … especially since it is the older version. Someone will probably buy it, however it won’t be me anywhere near the advertised price. The seller wouldn’t budge when contacted.

The Looksha is reasonably priced … I enjoyed my older Looksha.

I agree about the price, it must be nearly new condition. Im gonna look at a CD extreme HV tomorrow asking $900 I’ll negotiate when I get there, is only 1-1/2 hour drive


I’ve never thought of looking for used kayaks here, but you might find some used rentals.
I run the North Canadian River from north of Yukon to Lake O and both Lake O and Lake Hefner in a 9.5 foot fishing kayak. It’s not good for rough water (I tried) but it runs the class 2 conditions of the North Canadian just fine.
I had it on Richland Chamber Reservoir last year, it worked well out there. My wife makes the same trip in an 8 foot kayak. It’s all I can do sometimes to keep up!

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I currently have the Bass Pro shops Ascend FS10. I like the seat, color, build quality, and features. It tracks good for a 10 ft. It does not glide across the water…not at all! It plows the water like a cruise ship, and the bow wake only grows with speed. Good kayak for fishing, not paddling.