which 10ft- kayak

I am a female 176#; 5’9". I am looking for a kayak I can fit IN my Honda Pilot. Either sit-in or on-top. I have rack on top, but am not getting out on water due to hasstle and inconvenience of loading. I am trying to get into sea kayaking, and need to practice the different strokes, and get more endurance. I can fit a 10 ft. boat in vehicle. Sports place suggested the 10ft ocean venus. When I researched it, It’s weight limit is 175#. Any recommendations that will work? A lot of rec Kayaks are extremely wide, and I was hoping to find one where the transition to the sea kayak will be minimal. Thank You.

Sea as in ocean?
I wouldn’t get a 10 foot SINK if I were doing big water paddling. But SOTs are wider than SINKS. But if you are doing small flat water, it should be fine. But it will be hard to find a 10 footer that is not beamy. Maybe the Perception Sonoma.

Maybe Think About…
…some other options - ten feet seems like a very small kayak for any kind of reasonable performance/safety around salt water.

Lighter sea kayaks - kevlar costs, but it is light - our 16’ Prospector canoe weighs about 45 lbs. Stitch and glue ply kayaks are a lot less expensive to build (or buy used), and weigh right down there with the kevlar boats.

Various rack systems with snazzy loading options - can’t really advise on these, as my S&G VOLKSKAYAK weighs just 40 lbs+ (haven’t scaled it since I did some mods/painting), so I can just chuck it up and tie it down, but they are out there.

Finally, the venerable trailer option - just hitch it up, and lay the kayak aboard. Hope this helps.

Regards, and take care out there.


Consider a folding kayak

There WILL be a big transition
no question about it. Going from 10’ to a sea kayak will be a lot different. But to address your question, the shortest yet narrowest SINK I can think of is the Liquid Logic Sapphire or Tuxedo.



Good luck on your search.

car topping…
…gets easier with practice :slight_smile:

But I bought an old station wagon just for yak hauling. I could fit a Perception Sundance and a Feelfree Gemini SOT inside. But if you have a nice SUV, you’d want to clean and dry the boat before putting it inside the car, which can be as much of a hassle as cartopping. I wouldn’t worry about the weight limitations of the Venus, but I have seen them and they are much beamier than a SINK.

My suggestion would be to make cartopping as easy as possible. A roller-loader, Hullavator, autoloader, loading bar, etc. A used kevlar yak would be affordable and light.

Cobra Escape
10’5" and only 34lbs. I owned one. Very light and easy to lift. It’s a little wide at 31", but is very stable and can handle fairly rough conditions. Weight limit is 250lbs. Good starter boat.

Necky Sky…
I agree with the others that you need to be careful paddling a 10ft kayak in open water. Recovering from a capsize in a small rec boat can be a big problem. It is easier to recover from a capsize with a SOT than a sit-in, if you cannot roll your sit-in. Also recommend you demo any boat you’re interested in.

If you’re still interested in a 10ft kayak, take a look at the Necky Sky. It’s 9.5ft long, 26in wide, weighs 41lbs, and has a 225lb load capacity. It also has a smaller cockpit than most rec boats so you can brace your knees under the coaming. I’ve had one for almost 5 years. I’m 6ft & 175lbs and it’s very comfortable and fun to paddle. It tracks well, has great maneuverability, and handles rough conditions well. With me in it, it has a top speed of about 3.6mph and can sustain 3.2mph for long distances. You can get a good workout in it and it’s multi-chined hull and 26in beam will let you practice lean turns and bracing. I’ve paddled mine in slower sections of the Rio Grande, several lakes in Texas, Lake Powell, and my favorite - coastal areas of the Sea of Cortez (Mexico). I’ve spent time trying to figure out the best way to recover from a capsize and my conclusion is to swim it to shore. Since I love paddling coastal areas in and around rocky areas and sea caves I naturally stay close to shore anyway. While the Sky is just a rec boat, it’s design provides a little more performance and capability compared to most others in the 10ft class.


Bic Yakka 80

– Last Updated: Oct-18-06 5:12 AM EST –

Wide, but great for transport and workouts. Not the fastest steed, but better than one might imagine, and portability is superb.



Here's one on eBay.... if you type in eBay search "Bic Yakka", you will see several in the $399 range, some with less shipping.

Other option is Bic Yakka 120 at 6 feet closed length and might be better depending on your weight and size.

Ask if any questions. And good luck.


– Last Updated: Oct-18-06 5:16 PM EST –

Consider something like a river-running whitewater boat. It'll be fine for stroke practice and rolling, and you can have a great time with it in waves and eddies. A Prijon Athlete comes in right at 10', and most newer ones(Jackson Hero, etc.) are shorter. The Pyranha Master TG is another possibility. An old displacement-hull WW boat would be more like a sea kayak, and you should be able to pick up a used Dagger RPM(9' x 24") or something similar very inexpensively.

No 10' kayak is going to be fast. Given that, a whitewater boat will be far better for skills development than a typical 10' rec boat.

A short sit-on-top can be fun to have in your fleet -- especially for surfing(Cobra Strike) -- but doesn't lend itself to the edging/leaning/rolling skills you'd use in a typical sea kayak.

If your paddling vision is being in a sea kayak, you might not be happy in anything else. But if you understand the compromises inherent in a short boat, it might be a useful tool for you.

Agree with the WW idea

– Last Updated: Oct-19-06 8:20 AM EST –

Having made that transition, I can't figure out for the life of me how you can transist to sea kayaking without really noticing it from a rec boat. And the boats won't be helpful in learning strokes - to high, wide and non-responsive.
But the idea of an older river runner is great. It's what we picked up to increase our skills for sea kayaking in fact. They will give you a gr3at chance to learn strokes and edging, usually scull great - everything you need. And they tend to be dirt cheap.
I would also see if the older Pirouette was within the desired length, maybe the Dagger Animus or Crossfire as well. They'd all do the job and they have enough hull speed for straight paddling as long as you are not training and not distance trips.

maybe re-think loading
If you COULD load on the roof of your Pilot it opens up so many better choices for your kayak purchase. As it is fall and many shops are clearing out summer items I would really check out the Thule Hullavator and see if it’s on sale anywhere. We paid full pop (ouch) for ours but they are simply awesome. Not only does it make loading up on to the roof a snap but we can do the strapping of the boat to the cradles down on the ground with no more climbing up on wheels or doorjams to reach. If the Hullavator is simply not an option for you then at least visit the best paddling shop you can and have them show you the many tricks to loading a kayak on the roof At your height it is for sure do-able! Don’t give up since their are many solutions posted on this site every day. You’ll be way happier in a little longer kayak say 12-13 feet that should do everything you require short of loaded trips.

Agree with lowbrace.
You’d likely be happiest in a kayak 16-17 feet, frankly.

Hard to limit your enjoyment of the sport based on vehicle, and a suboptimal kayak will only cost you the amount of the Thule or other rack in the end anyhow.


– Last Updated: Oct-18-06 1:25 PM EST –

Is the loading issue weight or length?

If it's weight, there are boat options in addition to the rack options mentioned. Skin-on-frame kayaks tend to be very light(25-35 pounds), and are reasonably priced to buy if you don't want to build one yourself. Here's one builder:


If you prefer a hardshell, some of the stitch & glue or strip-built boats can be built to be significantly lighter than a typical factory boat and still have good durability.

Folders can perform well, but replace loading hassle with assembly hassle.

I understand the attraction of being able to just put your boat in your vehicle. I recently saw someone toss his whitewater boat in the back of his Mazda3 hatchback, toss his wet gear in the cockpit, and drive off while the rest of us were strapping down our boats.

consider better roof rack
Thule has an interesting product called the Hullavator (see Paddling.net’s buyer’s guide listing for it at http://tinyurl.com/y99xyc). This system brings the loading point down to you, then lets you easily push it on he roof. I don;t own one, but it does look like it may be good for you. A bit pricey, though.

do not make mistake I made
I thought if I had a short light weight boat I’d find it easier to get out and paddle. Well I was wrong and the specs on the boat I choose were wrong and it was a bad experience all the way around.

So now from all that I’ve read and my limited experiences actually kayaking - my advice is to not opt for a shorter boat when a Sea Kayak is what you wish to have sooner or later.

If someone with my health issues can use a Thule Wet Glide Slide to load a 53 pound 14 foot 30 inch wide kayak on to the top of a Dodge Van by myself then I suspect that most anyone in reasonable health may also be able to do the same. Getting the kayak back down to the ground gently is something I’ve still not mastered to my liking…but I’m working on it.

Your kayak purchase should give you joy while paddling and that joy may be worth the hassle loading and unloading. Talk with a shop you can trust about your situation and weigh the pros and cons.

1. In addition to the vehicle-top racks mentioned already, a small trailer is a very slick method of transport. Mine makes driving to paddling transition very easy.

2. My first boat was a Perception Swifty (9’), then an OT Loon (11’). They were fun and I learned to paddle more or less in a straight line, etc. THEN I got a screeming deal on a Dagger Cortez (16.5’ -22"). Thought I had made one of life’s major errors. Twitchy, tippy, squirrely etc. But after about 4 or 5 days on the water, the fun started to came back. Now after 4 years, the 22" wide rocket feels rock solid. AND I have learned to roll, about 95% success. I can’t imagine paddling a boat with lower expectations of its pilot!

George in Cody

Dumb things not to do
when putting a kayak inside a vehicle.

#1. I put my whitewater boat inside my subaru outback the other day, thinking how much time I was saving by not strapping it on top. I slam the hatch closed on the stern, which pushes the bow forward into the front windshield. Now I’ve got a pretty spider crack in the front windshield larger than my hand.

So, if you opt for the “boat I can load inside my Pilot” route, make sure not to follow my lead.

“Now I’ve got a pretty spider crack in the front windshield larger than my hand.”

You must have been some ticked off!

Haste makes waste kind of thing. lol

I’ve got one. It doesn’t track well and
its not a quiet kayak, lots of water noise when paddling at any speed. Its especially bad at tracking downwind, better upwind. Stil, its not a bad little kayak. I weigh 230 and fished from it until I got my Loon 138.