I am looking to purchase my first kayak and am trying to cover a few different uses as best as possible. My uses will include touring lakes for scenery and exercise... some potentially large lakes(Maine) as well as fishing. I would like to have storage to accomodate multiple night camping gear should I want to go. I would like to stay below the $800 range. Based upon research, I have selected two possibilities (although am definitely not set on only these two):
Old Town Adventure XL 139
Perception Carolina 14'6"
I am 6' 170lbs.
I know you can't have it all, and many people have multiple boats to do it all, but I cannot afford to dump $3k all at once! Fishing will be for smallmouth mostly on lakes and slow moving rivers (Penobscot in Maine, etc.). My biggest question I guess is regarding the stability and maneveurability of these 'touring' boats while fishing. While window shopping at local shops I've been recommended over and over again some of the 'angler edition' boats and similar flat bottom stable boats designed for fishing and general recreational paddling. My fear in buying something like that is that I will be dissappointed in it's speed and tracking when I want to take it out for longer distances. I basically don't want to outgrow the boat and wish I had something faster right off the bat... or soon there after once I get more into camping and touring (which I have an interest in). Will fishing these boats be too unstable? Will they be difficult to turn when maneveuring tight spaces/shallower water?
I know that a good way to answer these questions are to just try out some of these boats, but I thought I'd at least get some opinions to narrow down my search, plus if I find a good deal on a used boat I'd like to be able to jump on it. (ie Old Town's factory outlet sale is coming up in a few weekends). Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks!
Old Town Dirigo 12
While you are checking out kayaks, take a look at Old Town's Dirigo 12. From what you described, that boat may fit your bill. There is a Dirigo 14 too that you will find paddles a little faster (easier).
They have become quite popular here in Florida for those looking to fish out of a sit inside kayak. Many of the paddlers who have chosen the Dirigo's 12 and 14 live and paddle-fish part of the year in the North/Northeast and travel with their kayaks.
The cockpit is huge, the kayak is stable with built in floatation, has a space for a rod holder in front as well as room to mount more aft of the cockpit. The fit and finish on this boat is superb and the seat VERY comfortable.
Hope this helps.
I paddle a Loon 138 which is somewhat similar to the Adventure 139. It's an excellent boat for fishing, and rec paddling. Good stability, reasonably fast, tracks well, yet will turn fairly quick as well. It should easily handle an overnighter or weekend camping trips.
Bangor, huh? I'll be moving a bit north of you in just a couple of months.
Might not have enough storage space for extended camping (just one bulkhead) but try paddling one at KTP April 8 -10…and then have someone from NH purchase it or whatever you like for you.
Another option since you mention fishing
We have owned a OT Loon 138 for 5 1/2 years now. Great boat. Since you mentioned fishing as a use I would suggest you test this boat too. The Loon provides a 51 inch cockpit (we have the spray skirt too) for lots of space for your readily accessed fishing gear. I installed the rear hatch and put a bulkhead in it 4 years ago for water tight aft storage and the capacity of this boat lends itself very well for overnighters. The sliding seat in the 138 is great too for adjust the ballast (you) in varying weather conditions. Seat aft for regular paddling or downwind on windy days. Seat forward as needed (brings the bow down) for cross-wind and up-wind paddling in higher wind conditions. Just a good boat.
Good luck. All small boats are just plain fun so you will surely enjoy any you decide on.
Perception Carolina 14’6"
I have a Perception Carolina 14’6". Been fishing out of it for 3 years. We crappie fish alot in lily pads. Use a 3 gal bucket with a spring lid I made up that fits in the back hatch to put the fish in.
The OT Adventure XL 139 and Perception Carolina 14.5 are two really good choices for kayak fishing/camping. They are on my wish list of kayaks. I’m 6’1" 195lbs and use a Perception Acadia 12 for fishing/camping trips. I’ve paddled an OT Loon 111 for day trips and really like the quiet hull design of that boat. The OT polylink material can also help insulate from the cold water. I think you need to stay below 27" in width if you want a kayak with good speed.
I started out kayak fishing in a sea kayak about 23" wide and don’t remember having problems with stability, but for some folks this may be an issue.
I just sold my Adventure XL 139
it was a great fishing boat. Very stable and paddled well. I did not like the width (28") for touring purposes. I feel a narrower boat is on my wish list since I have a 14’ aluminum row boat to fish out of also. I’m looking for a yak that is more tourer than rec now.
I had a clamp-on rod holder that I attached around the cockpit coaming and it worked well to hold my rod while paddling. I would stick my paddle under the front bungee deck rigging, but would recommend adding a paddle holder like the Loon 111’s have so the paddle is on the side of the boat out of the way while casting. My finance has a loon 111 and the speed of the XL139 was comparable to that when we paddled together. Overall, I would say you can’t go wrong with an XL139 for fishing and casual paddling out of a big cockpit boat. I personally wanted a more narrow, more “challenging” boat with thigh braces. Good luck deciding. Paddle both, which should help you decide.
$779.00 composite 17ft. NEW
Composite kayak,17ft., 24in. beam, Greenland style, hard chine with bulkheads and hatches.
Weight 45lb-50lb., Color of your choice, customized to your personal preference.
Good for weeks (not just weekend) camping trips.
Is there a catch......, there is always a catch!
You have to build it, you will have to have the time to build it, and the space.
But don't sell yourself short. Little if any tools or building experience is necessary. CLC has a builders forum B.B. where past and present builders will help with advise with every step of the building process and with any goof-ups.
I am right in your size range, yet with a 10 1/2 shoe. I have the Chesapeake 17, I built it 5 years ago. I added a compass mount and a flush mount trolling port. I use it for fishing fresh and salt water. I also have done a few 20 mile plus day tours and week long camping trips with it. Last year I played around with learning to roll and scull with this kayak with "eventual" success.
The price mentioned above ($779.00) is for a kit with all the parts needed. Building by plans is even cheaper.
I'm now dreaming of a day play boat built by plans.
Beware, building wood kayaks is addictive!
OH...., I forgot to mention regarding the subject of your post - "it's a pleasure!".
Check out the Dirigo 140 from Old Town (LL Bean online offers it in an “Angler Model” with a Scotty Rod Holder and anchor). It is new for 2005 and Paddler Magazine’s Paddler’s Pick. After completing months of research, I purchased it online. It is my first Kayak and I intend to use it for fishing and camping. I took it out for the first time a few days ago (was out for several hours). The air temp was about 60 degrees, winds 10-15 gusting to 25, water temp just above freezing, small 40 acre lake about 12 max depth.
This boat is fast, very stable, and loaded with extras. I had no trouble going straight into the wind. For stability I found that, when leaning, it would tip side to side only so far then stop dead (no risk of rolling this one over). The seat is very comfortable, and the cockpit is huge (20"x60") and includes a cup holder and dry storage for phone/wallet etc. It has a rear sealed bulkhead with a solid hatch cover that latches tight (very nice feature) and has a 6900 cubic inch capacity (more than enough for a couple nights camping). There is space for storage under the front deck, although not sealed. Both the bow and stern decks come outfitted with deck rigging. The fit and finish is first rate, and I really like the material that Old Town uses (it is very boyant reducing the need for extra floatation while increasing storage space). I have only been in a few Yaks in my life so my ability to compare is limited. However, I really like this boat and couldn’t ask for much more. Oh and I had no problem casting, changing lures, or anything else really (except of course there was not a fish to be found).