I’m planning a trip from the head waters of the Yadkin River to the coast in April/May. Roughly 400ish miles which I am allowing 14 days for but would like to be closer to 12.
Having done several 30 mile day trips in a 12 foot recreational I can say that tracking is the most important thing for me followed by comfort (more of a seat thing) and then speed, stability and storage in that order.
The recreational I have used required almost a comical amount of effort to keep it pointed down river which was exhausting.
I’ve been looking on Craigslist for 16ft touring and sea kayaks waiting for a deal but can’t pull the trigger because I really don’t know enough to say if it’s a deal or even if it’s a passable kayak at all.
There is a wilderness Cape Lookout 155 on there now for $500 and they’d probably take less as its been on there for a month. I know it’s an older one and is plastic.
San finding a decent deal to jump on I’ll probably up the budget to $1500 or so and try to find a newer model from a demo fleet or something. I just need some help or advice on how to be more focused on buying something as I’ve been mostly a sun dolphin casual until recently.
Well, you didn’t say anything about your size, but that doesn’t matter. You did say you were willing to go up to $1500 and the good news for you is that you don’t have to go for a used boat, you can get a brand new Current Designs Sirocco for probably a bit less than that price. The Sirocco is a do everything boat that will fit just about anyone and it will do the job you have in mind and then some.
It sounds like you are familiar only with smaller recreation kayaks. If so, you are about to be introduced to a whole new world when you plop yourself into the real thing. I hope your budget has room for a few more items–like a proper paddle, spray skirt and most likely an upgrade on your pfd. Oh yeah, there is more, but you’ve got to do the essentials first.
Just FYI, I just bought a 3 yr old used Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 off Craigslist for $900, which included a nice Werner paddle, NRS PFD, and spray skirt. There are deals if you look daily, have patience, and willing to drive a few hours.
Where are you? Sadly I have not figured out how to see what area of the country anyone is from in the new format. I may not be the only one - you may find some local pnetters sitting on a boat they were planning to hold off selling until spring but would gladly part with now to save the trouble.
… you can get a brand new Current Designs Sirocco for probably a bit less than that price. The Sirocco is a do everything boat that will fit just about anyone and it will do the job you have in mind and then some.
The Sirocco is a good boat. I have one. But tracking is definitely not one of it’s strong suits. They’re fun because they just about spin on axis without the skeg down. Put the skeg down and it’s closer to what you’d expect for many other boats with the skeg UP!
I do give Funktion a gold star for determination - anyone who paddles 30 miles in a Sun Dolphin sure has earned one.
Perhaps a little misleading though, as river paddling was mentioned and no current speed specified. It’s unclear where that 30 miles fits into the picture.
I have somewhat concluded that for what I want, I should be looking for a 16+ with a beam in the mid to upper 20s and a v shaped hull. I could be totally wrong though.
“Mid to upper 20’s” ? So, that’s like 25" to 29" wide… which is way wider than most touring boats. You can expect something more like 21 to 24, or thereabouts if you want to get away from floating pancakes (recreational kayaks).
The Sirocco is a good boat. I have one. But tracking is definitely not one of it’s strong suits. They’re fun because they just about spin on axis without the skeg down. Put the skeg down and it’s closer to what you’d expect for many other boats with the skeg UP.
Well, that’s why the boat has a skeg. And the Sirocco can be spun on its axis–not just about.
30 mile trip…Also most boats will be hard to track if the boat speed is less than the river current.
Most boats will take a rudder kit which can work to stabilize many unruly boats. Boats with lots of rocker turn better but need paddler technique to keep them straight. Long skinny boats with less rocker track better but turn with more difficulty.
I found some photos of that kayak in Google images. None showed the kayak had perimeter lines. That’s something you’ll want to install if you go with it. Naturally you’ll paddle it before buying - or at least sit in it.
Maybe Willowleaf will pop by - she’s a magician when it comes to finding good kayaks on CL, if she knows your location.
if you look at the below listing asking 1700 I would bet 1500 or even 1400 gets it. Not my size boat but a nice composite boat that looks near new. If you spent a bit more now you will be happier with your purchase for a longer time. You buy right you can sell it for the same if taken cars of. I recently bought a super nice Current Designs Extreme 99 or 2000 for 800. Buffed it up new deck lines and bungees and you would be hard pressed a 10’ to not think it is new. Started on ebay at 1800 bucks. There are some real nice boats for under a grand out there. How long do you have to look? I got a tandem 22’ Libra 1999 and with the same items I put on the Extreme it also looks like new. I did fill two spider cracks also but most people would never even see them. That is a 5000 kayak.