I’m 5’ 8" and weigh 140lbs with a 30" inseam. What would be a better fit, the Islay 14 or the 14LV?
I’m also looking for cargo space enough for a few nights out, but the cargo weight would likely not exceed 30 or 40lbs.
Thank you for your input and help!
LV should fit you better.
I agree on the LV. I’m 5’ 5" and 155 pounds with a 30" inseam and I paddle a Venture Easky 15LV, which the Islay replaced in their US line of day touring kayaks. It’s a good fit for me both just out for the day and loaded with some cargo. Should work best for you too.
I was able to try out the low volume, and while I’m super impressed with the handling (really, really impressed with handling), the 14LV was in fact too small. For my weight it was great, but my legs and feet were cramped…not simply low on room but actually hitting each other after I was fitted properly. I tried the regular Islay 14 and it was just right. Unfortunately, a bit higher than I’m looking to spend right now.
Thanks for your feedback. Even the guy at the shop said he knew my weight would be good but wasn’t sure about my legs, which turned out to be true.
Interesting. The Islay must have a smaller cockpit leg area than the Easky. Keep your eye out for a used Venture Easky 15LV. Both my ex boyfriend, who was 5’ 7", about 175 pounds with 36" waist and size 10 feet, and my brother, 5’ 11", 34" waist, 170 pounds and size 9 feet, loved my LV Easky on the frequent outings when I loaned it to them (I have always had a “fleet” of kayaks). The boyfriend bought a regular Easky after liking mine and did not like that as much as the LV.
Honestly, I don’t know why Venture stopped selling the Easky outside of Britain. It’s a wonderfully versatile boat and is lighter than the Islays. Also apparently fits a wider range of people.
spotted used Islay for sale, see below:
Where do you live? I just saw a guy in Gregory, Michigan, posted a rarely used Islay (which he lists as 16’) for $650. I’m not aware that they ever made a 16’ one so I suspect that is an Islay 14. It’s listed on Facebook in the “Paddlers’ Gear Market” group. Seller’s name is Wesley Perry.
Update: heard back from Wesley and it is an Islay 14 he has for sale.
I’m in New York, unfortunately. For 650 I’d grab it in a heartbeat. Everything within 2 or 3 hours of me is selling really fast.
Thank you for checking and letting me know though!
What part of NY? Maybe I could help if you are genuinely interested in the boat.
I’m in Pittsburgh and will actually be going to Michigan sometime in the next few weeks to visit cousins less than 20 miles from where the Islay owner lives - in fact it really would not be out of my way to see it since it is en route between Toledo and Williamston (two of my stops on that trip).
After that trip I will be heading to upstate NY in late August or early September (Albany area and the Dacks, usually driving via I-90 all the way across the state). I travel with a camper that is a converted Penske box truck with room inside to carry kayaks. I have a garage/boat house where I could store it for a couple of weeks in the interim.
I noted that the seller was even willing to let it go for $600 per another ad he posted. That’s a really good deal.
Update: he still has it and is even throwing in a neoprene sprayskirt. Looks like he would take $600. I can look at it and send you pics of condition, but it sounds barely used. Let me know if this sounds feasible.
Don’t know where in NY you are, but if you feel like a jaunt up north there’s this:
A Venture Easky LV for $550. Take a paddle in the Adirondacks or Lake Champlain on your way back.
Thank you so much for the offer! I know this might sound crazy, and I don’t mean it in any way rudely, but I’m no comfortable enough yet to put $600 down on an item I haven’t personally seen. I mean, I know I like the boat, but I still have a compulsion to see it myself before putting that kind of money on it.
I really do appreciate your offer to pick it up…it’s an incredibly generous gesture.
No problem, everyone has their own comfort level. I’m at the other end of the spectrum on that: I actually paid $2200 (for a used folding kayak that was worth $4000 new) sight unseen by sending a check to someone I did not know, who delivered it to my uncle in Scotia NY and I did not see it until a month later. Turned out to be in perfect condition, even better than I expected, and I still have it and love it 10 years later.
I also drove 500 miles each way and took a ferry across Lake Michigan to buy a kayak I had never seen in person from a guy in Milwaukee. That also turned out great.
I’ve learned over the years that if you see a good deal for a kayak you want it’s best to jump on it. I goofed once and got a couple of matching folding kayaks with problems I had to fix, but they didn’t cost me that much. Overall I have had good luck over my 18 years of buying (and selling) boats.
Did you see the post about the Easky LV for sale in upstate NY? But since you haven’t said where you are (it’s a big state) that is probably no more handy.
I will probably stop and see the Islay guy anyway, since he is on the way and I want to see the replica bark canoe he built. I’ll ask my friends if any of them are interested in the Islay.
That’s funny, I also sent a stranger a check (though it was “only” for $500) and then waited a month before picking up the kayak. Still have the kayak and the seller was great. I’ve bought a number of boats off Craigslist at this point (and sold several, too!) and have never traveled less than 2 hours each way for one. But the ferry across Lake Michigan wins.
Anyway, OP, hope you find a boat you love.
I’m in the Finger Lakes area. I used to sell on eBay, and have had bad experiences. Again, I’m not saying I have an issue with you guys here, but I’m sort of once burned twice shy. I did see the Easky, yep. I’m thinking I’d have similar issues with foot room in Venture’s low volume ones?
It was very kind of you to offer, and I agree it is a really good boat.
Well, I own an Easky LV and neither my spouse nor I have any issues at all with lack of room. In fact we both find it too roomy. For reference the larger of us is 5’9” and weighs 155-60. I don’t live that close to you (Hudson River Valley) but you’d be welcome to try it out.
One other thing to note: when I bought sight-unseen on Craigslist it was after having a fairly extensive phone conversation with the seller about the boat. She was completely normal-sounding, obviously had spent a lot of time in the boat, and after our chat I felt comfortable trusting her. On eBay you don’t get that chance. Of course no interpersonal transaction is without risk, especially these days.
Tell you what, if I do stop and visit him and he still has the Islay and it looks good, I will send you detailed photos of the whole boat and you can weigh your options. Though you could contact the seller yourself and request that.
Most of us with long experience in seeking boats that meet our particular desires know that it can be really difficult to locate what you want, especially if you live in an inland region with a lack of retail outlets and a low percentage of paddlers in the population. People are always amazed at my fleet and the low prices I paid for each boat, but I had to do a lot of work to locate them and travel or make costly arrangements to acquire each one.
You were more fortunate than most of us in that you found a dealer who had the boat you want and were able to try on — but you say you can’t afford it new. We have all been there. The reality is that the chance of that exact boat (which is not a widely distributed model) showing up used for sale nearer by in that price range would be miraculous.
In fact, that one being ONLY about 6 or 7 hours drive away from you is close to miraculous. Last Summer I drove 6 hours each way from Pittsburgh to south of Rochester NY to buy a canoe I had only seen two small photos of. In that case I did work it into another trip (continuing on to visit a friend in Maine) but had I not had that planned I would have made the drive just for the canoe, a rare discontinued model at a fair price in great condition. If you want good deals you need to be flexible and willing to travel. Yes, I have driven for hours and then declined to buy, but that was only two instances in 18 years.
Not trying to hector you, just sharing some old pro experience in buying used boats. Maybe I should start another thread to invite others’ feedback on their experiences, good or bad, in collecting the boats of their dreams. I’ve been helped by and have, myself, helped others on this forum in boat acquisition. We tend to be quite good at enabling our mutual addiction!
I do hope you find what you want — so far this year I have noticed a significant uptick in used kayak posts, which I ascribe to people being home more than usual due to the pandemic shutdowns and finally cleaning out garages or perhaps paddling more often and desiring to upgrade.
Enabling each other’s addictions = yes! I love the idea of a thread asking everyone how far they traveled or what weird arrangements they made to get a kayak.
There was a recent thread about a person wanting to upgrade to a sea kayak. I found a CL ad for a peachy-looking P&H Vela for $900. It was Wisconsin, I think it was an 11-hour drive from me, and I hate driving, but there was a moment when I considered it!
Remember that I drove from Pittsburgh to Muskegon (on the western edge of Michigan) and paid $90 to take the 3 hour high speed ferry across Lake Michigan to Wisconsin to meet a guy at the ferry dock with the kayak he had posted on Craigslist, gave him $900 cash and carried the boat onto the ferry to ride back to my car at the dock parking lot back in Muskegon. Wasn’t so bad for me since I have a bunch of cousins in Muskegon and was able to stay overnight with a couple who even live on a small lake so I could play with my new boat before I drove the 500 miles back home.
I am going to post that new thread because I am sure there are some great stories among the forum members.
So I have to give you a quick update: I just came home with a 14’ Carolina I literally lucked out on and snatched up off Craigslist…I picked it up for $350 and the guy gave me a Prijon composite paddle, bilge pump, two dry bags, an inflatable paddle pillow, nice quality spray skirt, new bilge sponge, etc…he was offloading his whole setup and had never used it. The only used item was the kayak itself he bought form the original owner. The boat has very, very minor rock rash is all. I had to drive only :45 mins to get it.
Literally, lucked out on it. I was I the right place at the right time, and it’s a model I’ve used a few times (my friend has the exact one) so I’m pretty comfortable with the handling. Like the Islay, it’s one of just a few kayaks that feels comfortable for me. If it weren’t for this coming along just hours ago, honestly, you were successfully talking me into the Islay.
Again, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help, your feedback, and @willowleaf especially your generous offer to actually stop and pick it up for me. That’s amazingly good of you; thank you so much.