What 16 ft., poly "inland" touring yak?

I’m not ready to buy yet, but I like to keep an eye out for good deals or used craft and have started to question/consider what I’m looking for.

What I’d like to find is a 16 foot(ish) plastic kayak that’s nimble with the skeg/rudder up rather than tracks like a rail without. Speed is a consideration, but not a factor that should override efficient cruising. I’m not looking for flat out speed so much as an efficient, spirited cruise pace with ample sprint speed for those flat-out traffic channel crossings. The boat would see primary time on man made lakes and meandering class 1+ (long pool, drop, long pool, drop) rivers. Capacity to carry several night’s provisions would be nice, but for a real load on a river, I’ll break out one of my canoes. The capability to handle coastal paddling, should I ever drive out that way, would be a bonus. Primary stability isn’t a huge concern, but predictable secondary is a must. I’m 5ft. 10, 160 lbs., 32in. inseam, size 9 shoe (male, svelte). I’ll be moving up from my Dagger Blackwater 10.5 and don’t mind the challenge of a less stable boat. I’m also a DIY type, so I don’t mind performing repairs, upgrades or modifications. Finally, I never have an abundance of cash to spend on a boat; the less than perfect boat I can afford is better than the perfect one I can’t. Besides, all boats have lessons to teach.

In reading reviews, “on paper”, the old Dagger Cortez sounds intreguing. The Prijon Barracuda also sounds interesting too, but I get the impression it may be a bit much of a leap from what I’m used to.

What boats should I keep my eyes open for?


Prijon Seayak
Prijon Seayak with rudder might be good choice.

Its secondary stability is good. Hatches are big and storage space is large (especially compared to the total volume of kayak).

Tracking is ok with rudder down.

It handles “front” and “rear” waves nicely. Maybe its weak point is handling waves coming from left or right but usage of rudder and paddling technique helps a lot.

Its shape and HTP-polyetene material together make the hull stiff and care free.

Its speed is ok. Barracuda might be only plastic kayak which is significantly faster but then you have to give up some secondary stability. :slight_smile:


used tempest 165
got mine for 700. they are out there with a little research. Can’t say enough about it.

e-mail me off line if you wish


I’ve got a Cortez 16.5 and I think it matches exactly what you’re looking for (the 15.5 is a great boat also). Its very efficient, with a great glide, very fast . Very maneuverable (I took it down a class II+ river. It was a hoot). Not a great open ocean, rough water boat. It does ok, but my Sirocco is much better for those conditions.

used Cortez 16.5
I picked one up used for $400 just before Christmas and have only been out once in it on a calm day. It seems a bit faster than my Dagger Magellan of the same length. Should be able to find these used and cheap - budget paddling.


– Last Updated: Jan-11-07 1:57 PM EST –

I have a Tempest 170. It's a 17' poly sea kayak that is very easy to maneuver on flat water and rivers. MUCH room for gear, very stable for 22" width. Also has a day hatch, and the much-lauded "Phase 3" seat. Very easy on the butt.

Also, FWIW, I have attended several outings with Chesapeake Paddlers Assoc. T-165 is the most popular boat by far.

give up some…
…you mean a Barracuda HAS primary stability?

I’ve had one for 3 or 4 years and I haven’t found

any primary stability yet.

Great boat though.

wonderful boats at a wonderful price

perception avatar
These are often over looked so you can pick one up fairly cheap. They are great do everything kayaks. According to youtr size one of them or both will fit you perfectly. Give one a try.


– Last Updated: Jan-11-07 12:22 PM EST –

The Tempest 165 would be a good choice. A VCP Avocet RM would be more manueverable but a bit slower.

CD Squamish?

WS Cape Horns are as described.
The fathers of the Tempset series, I think.

I’d also check out the Necky Elaho with
the skeg.

Seconding Elaho DS
I have an Elaho DS (drop skeg) and it is the best outfitted sea kayak I’ve seen. It came with Bomber Gear backband and postive ww type thigh braces. A very rockered boat it responds to bracing, ruddering and rolling even easier than my Romany. It has lower decks than most any other production sea kayak I’ve paddled.

Intended as a sea kayak ‘playboat’, the original model Elaho fulfills that function well. You can also camp out of it if you pack carefuly.

The ruddered versions are somewhat different boats.

the plastic Avocet is nice…
particularly for someone your size.

one with wheels preferably

I DON’T think!
‘father of the tempest series’???

not even close.


co-designer of the tempest series

What They Said


– Last Updated: Jan-11-07 8:24 PM EST –

Contrary to the warped perceptions of coast dwellers, there's a great deal of land that includes untold hectares of navigable water between the left and right sides of the country. I'm pretty sure there are a few modest lakes and rivers inland from the coasts.


Dog — The Reason they are Cheap
This is the worst kayak I have paddled.

Thanks for the info!
Thanks for the great info. It looks like I’ll have to wait on buying a boat for a while; one of my hearing aids went missing and it’ll cost me $2700 to replace it. Of course insurance doesn’t cover hearing aids…what a scam.