touring lake kayak


I want to buy a touring kayak that is ideally suited to large open Irish lakes.

Can anyone recommend a make/model ?

Poeple have told me that P&H Orca and Perception Arcadia are good options.


If I were you I would go demo
as many boats as I could. If you’re going to paddle flat-water only, you would be well suited to find a long, narrow sea kayak with little rocker (curvature on the hull from bow to stern). Length and width would depend on what you are comfortable with.

My Perception Shadow (discontinued)does very well on North American lakes. I’m not sure how it would handle Irish lakes.

You might try a Romany. A fun boat that can handle any sudden storms.

Also it is built in Wales, so you don’t risk the ‘issues’ of paddling an English boat (Valley or P&H)in Ireland :wink:

Hobie Craft
Paddle with your legs while you hold a Guiness or two with the hands. :wink:

Seriously, don’t you get big winds coming through the area? Or is the “Lochs” in Scottland? Lake or not, may be some rough waters there.


lake kayak
Never heard of the Romany kayak but will google it and take a look

The lake in question (Lough Corrib) is about 10 miles at it’s widest point so it can get choppy but we dont get sudden storms too often and I wouldn’t go out in bad weather. I just want a stable, comfortable kayak for recreational touring and island hopping. I dont intend doing any high speed marathon expeditions.

Some people are telling me to buy a 14+ foot sea kayak but I think that might be overkill.

I use my Romany on Lake Tahoe
and it can get rough. I would not call it overkill… some lakes can be as rough as the ocean… even rougher because there is a very short interval between waves and they can get steep. Look under Nigel Dennis Kayaks… Here are some pics of Tahoe…


– Last Updated: Apr-08-05 5:11 PM EST –

Fast and it will take any water you can throw at it.
I'll bet Phil would love to get one over there.


I Am Sure He Would!
As long as Jedi is willing to pay for the boat and the shipping cost. :wink:

I Agree With Chuck …

– Last Updated: Apr-08-05 5:26 PM EST –

though not necessarily about the Romany... ;)

Big lakes can get tough. Short period chops can be tougher than ocean swells to deal with. You can, of course, just not paddle during these times. But, if you have the right boat, you can grow into it skill wise to handle tougher conditions if you so choose in the future.

I think short of paddling a windy stream or a pond, I would likely go with a boat that is at least 14' for lake that size. The only time I would like a shorter boat is when I'm out to "play" and not out to cover distance.

If you decide to lean more towards a touring kayak, it would probably help to give your physical size, weight, etc. for folks to suggest boats. The suggestions are just that. It's up to you find and try these boats since every one is somewhat different in what s/he like in a boat.


PS. Don't get intimidated by all this talk about getting just upper end, glass boats as being necessary. You can get good seaworthy boats in plastic. Across the "Pond", you got the Avocet, Capella and Easky that are more affordable plastic. Plastic is great for a first boat.

If it can take any water you throw at it, maybe you could paddle the Atlantic and deliver it in person ?!

Thanks. I am 5’10" - 12.5 stone (no idea what that is in KG).

I did river kayaking before including a few decent whitewater runs but it was in college so I dont know what make the boats were. Pyranhas I think. Anyway they were pretty short so when people start telling me minimum 14 foot lake/sea kayaks I am surprised.

I boat a lot on the lake and it can get messy but I intend to play/tour in a pretty narrow section that has loads of islands but yeah, better to be safe than sorry. I have never heard of those kayak models so will check them out.

Big problem is that there is nowhere around that you can demo a kayak - most of the outdoor shops have to order them in.

OK, if you only want to mess around

– Last Updated: Apr-08-05 7:22 PM EST –

occasionally, how about Wilderness Systems Pungo or Pamlico series? They are in the 10-14 range and are mean't for 'recreational' paddling.

I grew tired of paddling my recreational 'barge' after one year and wanted a faster, easier-to-paddle boat. If you are going to be paddling 10-mile wide lakes, you may get very tired paddling a shorter, wider rec. boat.

In your origional post, you specified you were looking for a "touring" kayak. The term "touring kayak" is understood to mean a seaworthy boat in the 14'+ range. I think you may be looking for a "recreational kayak" (9-13' range), which is the category that the Perc. Acadia falls into. Or maybe a "day-touring kayak" which is a category between the touring and rec. categories.

P&H/Pyranha Link

I don’t know the conversion of your “stones”. Check the “touring” or “light touring” categories for the Easky and Orca. I think the “light touring” is a little too short and would prefer the longer boats listed in the “touring” category myself. But, whatever you think suits you. I would think you could more easily find these boats to try, rather than some of the American brands.


Yeah, you’re right - not used to the jargon yet - I am looking for a recreational kayak (or day touring kayak). 9-13 feet sounds about right to me. Its a big lake but I dont intend to paddle more than a few miles at a go.

Had a look at the Nigel Dennis Romany kayaks. Very nice as touring kayaks go.

So for a recreational kayak, is the Perception Arcadia a good kayak ? What about P&H Orca ?

1 stone is 14 pounds. So I am 175 pounds. Isn’t it pounds that you use over there ?

The range of models in the local shops is poor alright. Dagger/Perception/P&H/Pyranha are about all I have seen so far.

12.5 stone = 175 pound
12.5 stone = 175 pound

Try this site:


The Easky 13 and 15 looks to have more tracking that the orca with the straighter keels. The Orca has more rocker and will turn more easily. It’s also narrower and may encourage you to develop leaning/edging skills.

The rudder option you may or may not want depending how well the boats perform in the wind for you on a demo test, without the rudder.

Good luck,


I have not seen or paddled Acadia
But I have two Perception boats. The outfitting is excellent on both and I’m very happy with them.

Orca good for larger paddlers
I have an Orca 16. It’s stable, quick, and has a large, roomy cockpit well suited for larger paddlers.

It’s also fairly light at around 53 pounds and fairly easy to cartop.

I was looking at the kayak reviews and the P&H Orca gets a hammering by one of the members ;

“its the worst boat I’ve ever paddled. Initial stability is okay, but it feels very ‘rolly’ and ‘tippy’. There is little or no secondary stability. In fact before I took mine back I managed to take a swim 3 times. The only 3 times I’ve ever accidently tipped over in 4 years of extensive paddling in many different boats.”

Maybe the bouyancy wasn’t positioned correctly. Not a good sign though.