I’m curious and I have a question for kayakers who take long self-supported trips. I’m not talking about overnights, long weekends or even a week at a time. I’m talking about 2, 3, 4 weeks or longer. Let’s say that these are trips where you can’t go to the store to resupply. You can fish, though. For the sake of complicating things more let’s assume that this is a salt water trip and you can’t drink what you paddle in. Deck loading is not allowed though you can carry a spare paddle, chart case, float bag, pump and helmet. All drybags and kayak carts must be below deck. For the sake of this discussion deck bags are not allowed.
The sort of deck loading I’m looking for.
image by Dave Resler
What I would like to know is what kayaks have you chosen for those trips and specifically why you did you choose them. What was really good about them and where did they suck. If your choice sucked and you could buy a different boat for the next trip what would it be?
This is not a discussion of rudders VS skegs, whether carts or drybags on decks are OK or can I substitute a bag for a helmet or “Why can’t I bring my deck bag”? For this discussion you just can’t, OK? No judgement. You just can’t.
I’ll go first:
I chose a Tempest 170 Pro 13 years ago because my Chatham 18 was unsuitable for my purposes and I could get a deal on the Tempest. I liked the way it paddled and it was an improvement over the C18. The secondary is broad and comfy. I can pack myself plus 130 pounds of gear below deck. I can go 3 kts all day long and it is very comfortable in sketchy water when loaded. It is a solidly built boat and takes a beating without breaking or getting cranky. The hatches are dry.
Compared to many other boats it feels kind of doggy to me, especially when loaded. It is a Heavy Mother. Don’t ask me to go much over 3 kts. I can do it but it hurts. The looseness in the bow that enhances turning disengages in following seas and can lead to a broach. Just something that I have to know about and stay ahead of. I wish that it tracked in following seas more like an Explorer but it doesn’t. IMO it turns more easily than an Explorer. A trade-off. It is a very good tool but I never choose to paddle it unless I’m going long
What about you? Please stick to the requirements in the first paragraph. Image attached for example of acceptable deck loading for this exercise.