What would be a good boat?

I am looking for a kayak to fish out of and exercise. I really want to go fishing around the Marin Headlands, but folks here have warned me against it. I am looking for a boat less than $700. I have checked out Pamlico 140s and thought about a Necky Swallow but can not find any information on it. In the classified ads here there is a Folbot Sporty for $150, A Tarpon 140 Angler for $650 and a Cobra Expedition for $600. A local dealer has Pamlico 140s for $300. What would be the best deal for me?

The Tarpon 140 .They were originally
designed for fishing.

Next steps?.
Is this about getting a boat now then working out the rest? I just caught the bit about the Necky Swallow in your other post - it may be a discontinued model that you’ll not find much about online. But if tsumanichuck as in the guy who regularly posts here says it’d fit you, you can rely on that being correct.

However, he also said to get lessons. And he is a very skilled paddler - what he can do with that or any other boat in terms of handling rough water is no measure of what you (or I) could do. It is possible that what he was saying is not only a general recommendation to take lessons, but that it is a good enough boat in its performance that it’ll require you take some lessons to handle it well.

This post sounds like you have isolated to fishing as a primary purpose, and will leave speed for its own sake and messing around in conditions to another day. Do I have that right? In that case the above post is right on - there are boats out there that were developed primarily for fishing and will make your life a lot easier.

But please still get those lessons. And don’t take for granted that, should a good price come by on a sit-on-top (SOT), that you can get back onto the boat in the case of a capsize without lessons or handle a change in wind should a storm come in. We have seen some extremely red-faced paddlers towed or otherwise rescued from offshore of the place we rent for our vacation in Maine each year who arrived with their SOT, put it into the water and found themselves swimming and unable to get back onto the boat themselves. Luckily no one has been lost among the annual vacationers to the cove, but I should probably say yet. All big, hearty and healthy guys - no strength problems - just skill and practice.

That tsumanichuck guy did talk alot about turning over the boat and practicing getting back in it alot. He seemed to be pretty knowledgable but but rider604 said $600 for that kayak was way too expensive and Pamlico140 seems to be rather clueless. I will go over to REI after work and talk with those guys.

(where are the humor police. REI?)

What is wrong with REI?

not the deepest pool of expertise
Last time I was there, an angry customer was talking to a sales person wondering how the hell to get his new kayak home when they didn’t stock anything to get it home with. No foam blocks, no roofrack fittings, nothing.

yeah, I was just kiddin around
I am knowlegable of kayaks. Serious this time. I’m sorry I got off topic. I will seriously try to help you in the purchase of a new kayak.

okay, seriously, the Tarpon 140 and cobra expedition is probally going to be your best bets. I am actually not going to recomend the pamlico 140, I am seriously trying to help you out this time. See, the pamlico 140 kayak has a large cockpit, and is kinda wide, so if you tip, the boat fills up quickly and can flood. then you have a problem. But SOTs (sit on tops), cannot flood in the event of a capsize because they have no entrance for water to enter the inside of the boat. That can be easly taken care of with a bilge pump.

The cobra expidition is probally the best boat for you. The narrower hull provides more efficient performance, and better stability in the rough. Also, like I mentioned, It cant flood. Sit on tops cant flood because they do not have entrances to the inside of the boat.

Now you think I’m still so clueless?? I’ve got alot of Paddling Knowledge people dont think I have.

Look for credentials
REI may be better than Dick’s, but it is likely to vary by store what you encounter in terms of on-site expertise in kayaking. You may encounter a store where they are stronger in skiing, that kind of thing.

If you have the time to drive to different retail stores, you should check out the web for kayak outfitters in your area. That shouldn’t be hard to find around San Francisco. Look for outfitters that offer classes and have ACA (American Canoe Association whihc also does kayaks) or BCU (British Canoe Union) credentialed staff/instructors. The worst you’ll get is some useful advice that you can apply to your purposes, and you may find a source for winter classes as well.

Kayak outfitters and specialty retailers also provide a much better opportunity to actually try out boats than retail sports stores, though it’s a bit cold for that right now. These folks are likely to have some demos or boats that they use for guided expeditions sitting around.

This is not expertise
This is crap. Cobra Expedition is not going to be a good open-water fishing boat, especially for a beginner, and its narrower hull doesn’t make it more stable in big water. Tarpon, OK Prowler, or the good old Scupper Pro are good places to start in the SOT world.

I would add the Tarpon Angler in 16’… You have to get to the fish in order to fish, and the 14’ one is a slug compared to the 16’er…

For sure, you need a Pungo!

I sense a new poster

$300 pamilico 14’s
I want one. I think that whould be a deal for anybody.

I went to REI
The kayaks were pretty expensive but the salesman suggested I try airbags on the sides of the Pamlico 140. He said it would make the boat more stable for fishing. The salesman suggested I jump on the Pamlico 140 but he said I should stick to calmer waters. So I guess I am going to be paddling a Pamlico.

Aargh. One last try - please go to a real kayak place. Yes - airbags (he means sponsons probably) would make the boat feel more initially stable for leaning around fishing than not. But it also means that should you flip over you will find it very difficult to right the boat. So you risk hypothermia. And nothing will absolutely guarantee against a capsize.

If you are going to continue working on buying a boat before making an attempt to learn something about paddling them, then that’s what you’ll do. Tho’ I don’t know why you feel a burning need to purchase now, since none of the boats you are considering are at all hard to find.

demo these boats, then you will know what is the perfect kayak for you.

just chill.

– Last Updated: Jan-03-07 11:02 PM EST –

That's my suggestion. chill out and look around your local craigslist,etc. And take some lessons in the pool from someone that knows their stuff. weather is shit anyway for paddling in most places.
over here, small sit on tops seem to come up for sale for dirt cheap.i remember a 400$ Tarpon 100, 200$ Azul something or other,now 250$ for a brand new hydra aquanaut. 2 out of these 3 would be perfectly suitable for fishing.
Even full size sit on tops come up cheap. like a 150$ scupper pro in good shape, or a 500$ Necky Dolphin in very good shape.
chill,learn and then buy. or you'll end up going through a lot of boats-like i did, but i don't really mind buying and selling as i am a jew and i hardly lose money on it or at least get my $ worth of use and lose minimal $ on resale....I remember once i bought a 90$ Scrambler sit on top, used it till it developed a hole from being previously beat up, fixed hole and sold for 120.

Oh and DEMOing a boat on a duck pond will tell you shit all about how it's gonna behave in the ocean. Honestly a flat water demo is good for 3 things-fit,flatwater stability and flatwater speed, in real(ocean) conditions the same boat may become a whole other animal.

You are making a big mistake
if you want to use the boat to fish in the ocean or other big water. If you want stability and room to move around, what you’re after is a sit-on-top. It won’t swamp going through the surf, and it will be recoverable if you capsize offshore. If you really want a closed-cockpit boat, then you need a touring kayak and a bunch of lessons. But what’s the huge rush? Go rent some boats and try them out.

Sit on top
I would definitely be looking at a sit on top if I was primarily going to use a kayak for fishing on the Pacific coast. I have owned a bunch of different sot’s. Ocean Kayak, Wilderness System and Heritage all make good one’s. I use a Heritage Expedition when I fish the coast of Maine. The longer the better if you plan on paddling any distance to the fishing grounds. Self rescue is quite easy in a sit on top and they are quite stable, even the “skinny” ones.