touring sea kayak for small woman

Working on it…

– Last Updated: Feb-08-05 9:40 PM EST – then please scroll down to Mermaid.

Specifically for smaller folks..... NOT just a chopped down redo.

My wife…
is 5’ (yeah, right… in her dreams, more like 4’11") around 115-120. She has done well with a SeaYak. Reasonably priced, HTP - so close to indestructble, and “Elephant sized hatches” for multi-day trips.

It is heavy, though and hard for her to lift over her head.

Seems as though a lot of people on this board really dislike Prijon, but she’s been really happy with her’s.


Epic Cruiser 16
You might want to check out the Epic Touring Cruiser 16. In carbon construction it weighs less than 40 lbs. It’s also a relatively fast kayak. You might find a used (its no longer in production) Wilderness Systems Sparrow Hawk. The Sparrow Hawk is just a bit heavier. Packing might be a bit tougher with the smaller hatches though. You might also consider a Wilderness Systems Tempest 16.5 in kevlar. It’s a bit heavier still, but is a very versatile boat.

Good Luck!


Epic sale
Epic is selling off ‘blem’ boats. It is noted on their web site and Charles River (outsdide Boston) now has the discounted Epic boats on their web site.

The 16 should be pretty fast. We all know the 18 dominated the Blackburn this past year.

A very nice small kayak is

– Last Updated: Feb-10-05 1:53 AM EST –

the "Solander" by West Side Boat Shop, Lockport, NY. You can even talk to the builder. See it at

Pintail details
All keyhole cockpit Pintails are the newer version. Older (pre '95) Pintails had flat aft decks and rounder hulls than the newer boats. The new boats have curved arched aft decks and squarer, fuller bilges. These changes were made without any announcement from VCP. I prefer the older boats, as do most of the other Pintail owners I paddle with. Unfortunately, they’re getting harder to find in the used boat market. It’s a good thing for us that fiberglass boats are easy to patch up and keep going.

The Pintail NEEDS its skeg. Even with good paddling technique, its nose tends to hunt around like a curious puppy. A little skeg corrects that, without adversely affecting maneuverability. I’m not surprised that you weren’t impressed with the handling of the skegless Pintail.

The Pintail is a relatively slow boat, due to it’s short waterline. A light person such as yourself just exacerbates the situation. My girlfriend is about your size and she gives up around a foot in waterline length compared to me, at 50# heavier. This is true of the Anas Acuta, too. Her fastest boat is her skin boat, which is more than a foot shorter than her Pintail, but has a longer waterline and 3" narrower beam.

I’d have to see that on a scale…

– Last Updated: Feb-10-05 9:41 AM EST – order to believe it. NDK consistently publishes weights that are WAY below the actual weight of the boat, so if you're going by that, you're probably in for a surprise. Part of the reason is that they weigh them without hatch covers or deck rigging. I'd like to see Nigel paddle his boats that way!

Look at the bright side, you're apparently stronger than you thought you were! ;-)

fast boats for average sized people
like the QCC600 the Epic 16 is optimum for average sized people. Once you put a lighter/shorter person in one of these round bottom fast hulls they’re sitting high in the water and will get moved around easily in high winds. I’m not a fan of moving freeboard up and down to accomodate different weight of paddlers but it’s a good way to accomodate different height paddlers and in some hull shapes is an ok lazy designers way to accomodate lighter paddlers.

When the wind picks up a lighter/smaller person will be much happier in a hull that has more boat deeper in the water.

I own a solander
From west side in it is a treat in many ways. Possible wider of beam and thus slower than a fove foot tall 120 pound paddler needs. 23 inch beam if I recall correctly

Also hard to roll compared even to my foster shadow

My 5’ wife has been very happy with her WS Tchaika Pro, but uses it as a day boat – we’ve never tried seriously loading it up. It doesn’t have a front bulkhead, so there’s a lot of room up front for light bulky things. Since my wife has her footpegs all the way back, I added a moveable non-watertight bulhead on a second set of footpegs to hold float bags and/or gear bags in place.

That sounds interesting. Care to elaborate on how you did that exactly. My foot pegs are all the way up on nearly all my boats and I often stash things between my feet and the forward bulkhead when on trips.

I was just recently in San Diego and got a chance to see Pat’s new Tideline Mermaid. Beautiful boat designed for smaller people. It looked like its performance should be awesome, which is nice for a smaller boat. Check out Scroll down.

My wife is 5’2" and 115. She paddled the Vela at the last symposium and loved it. If I ever get her boat sold we will get one for her. She is currently is paddling a KS Viking and it is too big for her. I managed to get in and it really handles nicely. I would not need the footpegs but I am 5’10" and 165. I probably maxed it out. Another boat that looks good is the Sparrow Hawk but the hatches are terrible. I have seen one that had the hatches changed and it really looked good. She paddled one a long time ago and liked it but the cockpit was a bit tight for easy entry and exit. We are older paddlers and dont bend that well anymore. For some reason, she never liked the feel of the Slipstream although it is a good size for her.

I bought an extra pair of footpegs and drilled the pedal part to accept a 1/4-20 bolt. I added a counterbore a bit smaller than the point-to-point diameter of the hex head so it’d jam and act as a stud. For the bulkhead I used a piece of fiberglass sheet cut to just fit at the farthest-forward position, and cut slots to accept the studs – the footpeg spacing gets wider as they come aft, and the slots allow you to adjust the bulkhead position.

Not elegant, but it seems to work.

Maybe believe it…
My wife’s Explorer LV in Elite layup is noticably lighter than my Aquanaut in ProLite layup.

Tom Bergh spoke directly with Nigel Dennis in working out the layup for my wife’s boat. Tom wanted 40lbs. Nigel would not agree to less than 45.

Her boat might be a bit more than 45lbs, but I’m pretty sure it is under 50.

HD layup is only 53#

– Last Updated: Feb-11-05 5:59 PM EST –

My first Explorer was 53# when new. I have never weighed another boat since.

I have no diffuculty believing the LV comes in at 45#. BTW, this is a great boat for men looking for a full length boat with less windage for day paddle / light kit days.

I paddled a friends LV last year with stock seat. I'd get one with a foam seat for personal use but I was amazed at how lively the boat felt with my 200#+ flipping it from edge to edge.

Awsome boat for rolling & balance braces, no deck to get in the way . . now where is that LV Greenlander Pro ???



Consistantly ??

Please tell us where you are getting your information. I have some experience with NDK boats (having owned 4, currently have 3) and have never felt like I was mislead with regard to NDK’s published data versus actual weights.

But more importantly, does NDK even publish the weights of their boats? I was just looking on their site and can only find a reference to the Elite lay-up being 8-10# lighter than the standard (HD) lay-up.



A sweet boat just the same

Is this Larry B’s former boat? I wanted to buy that boat. It’s a great easy paddling boat for friends.



Let’s just say…
…I know a 60# boat when I carry one. :wink:

As for published weights, IIRC the old GRO site had them. I may have seen them elsewhere, too, but I’m not sure where. If you do a bit of snooping around on the web, I’ll bet you’ll find them.

See if Greyak still has
The 14’ Pygmy S&G for sale (Classifieds). Aside from that a fellow paddler bought an Eddyline merlin (used…got a great deal) and she’s about your size and loves it.