Yet another boat recommendation request.

I need to find a lightweight kayak less than 11’ long to take on camping trips (has to fit in the truck bed without hitting the camper when I turn. Not interested in lifting it onto any racks). This will be a very occasionally-used boat and only on flat and slow-moving or not-moving water. Nonetheless, price is not a huge concern. My problem is that all the short boats I can find are all a whopping 30" wide and I prefer 24" or at most 25". I do not want an inflatable and I do not want a folding kayak. All I have come up with is the Hurricane Santee 100 but it is bathtub-wide. I saw a small Necky but it weighs 45 lbs and I would like to go lighter if possible. I am a 2-hour drive from the nearest outfitter and so demo-ing boats has always been a problem and shipping is most likely going to be necessary. Any thoughts??? Thanks in advance.

Pungo 100
Sounds like you want a Wilderness Systems Pungo 100


10’ (305 cm)


30" (76 cm)


13" (33 cm)


48 lbs (22 kg)


47.5" x 22" (121 x 56 cm)

Stern Hatch:

18.5" x 12.5" (47 x 32 cm)

Max Capacity:

300 lbs (136 kg)

If it’s to narrow and short it won’t float very well. How much do you or the intended paddler weigh?

I really think that the Wilderness Systems Pungo is your best bet. Here are the specs and everything at Rock Creek


I know what you mean about not wanting to paddle a bath tub. Have you thought about a pack canoe like the Hemlock Nessmuk? It’s not quite as narrow as you specified, but it’s only 16 pounds and 10 1/2 feet long.


you could look around for a used “old school” whitewater kayak. There were many designs from the early 1990s in the 10 to 11 foot long range and about 24 to 25 inches in width weighing around 45 lbs or less. Some of these boats, like the Perception Pirouette, have pretty decent hull speed for a whitewater boat and good stability. Granted, they are not as efficient as dedicated flatwater boats, but I bet they are going to be about as good as many current boats that fall within your limited parameters.

If you are looking for a new boat I would seriously consider one of the “cross-over” designs around 10’ 3" in length, such as the Pyranha Fusion or the Liquid Logic Remix XP 10. These have a retractable skeg which enhances their flat water capability.

I appreciate the responses. The Pungo is too heavy–if I have to go 30" wide, I would be better with the Santee 100 at 33 lbs versus the Pungo 48 lbs. I don’t want the pack canoe because I want a seat with a back as well as a deck (basically, kayak only). The Liquid Logic Remix 10 weighs 49 lbs–again, too heavy. I suppose what I am looking for is the Santee 100 but no more than 25" wide… Maybe such a thing just doesn’t exist–seems yaks are either short and wide or long and narrow… My everyday boat is a Necky Manitou 13, though I also like my heavy Prijon Motion. But these are special circumstances. I guess I could learn to paddle a bath tub… Thanks again for taking the time to offer suggestions.

Liquid Logic XP9

9’ 3" x 26" x 46 lbs

feel like building something?

– Last Updated: Sep-08-09 8:17 PM EST –

The CLC Little Auk 11 is eleven feet long, 28 inches wide, 31 lbs, will take a paddler up to 200 lbs with up to size 14 feet.

No good? Look for a used Perception Pirouette S. Eleven feet long, 23 inches wide, 39 lbs. Just make sure you can fit in it before you buy it.

Recovery Kayak
If you want something really different, you can make yourself a recovery kayak. Here are 2 sites, but if you google “recovery kayak” you will find more.

(note: copy and past url for the second link)

Hornbeck boats
Check out Hornbeck Boats - they have a decked canoe 10’5" long - still wide at 30", but very light at 23 pounds.

Pack Canoe vs Kayak, and Other Stuff

– Last Updated: Sep-09-09 11:36 AM EST –

The only reason that's apparent in your posts for using a kayak instead of a pack canoe might be your method of transport. Most pack canoes are fairly well-made from good, lightweight materials, and people don't like to just carry them around in the back of a pickup truck. Plastic kayaks on the other hand, are frequently treated like junk (dragged between the car and the launch site, thrown into the back of a truck like firewood, etc.) but don't suffer serious damage from that kind of abuse, at least in the short term. However, there is one so-called "pack canoe" that you really should consider: The Old Town Pack. It's only 33 pounds, and yes it's wide (see comment below about width), but people who use them for "what the boat is made for" usually love them. Plus, it's every bit as tough as a plastic kayak, but lighter and roomier.

Why are you so sure you want a deck for a boat which will only be used on very calm water? The deck will only keep the paddle drips off of you if you ALSO use a spray skirt. Do you plan to use a spray skirt, and if not, just why DO you want a deck? Wanting a deck AND fairly light weight are mutually exclusive unless you go with an expensive composite boat.

Any boat can be fitted with a seatback, or a replacement seat having a back. That goes for pack canoes too.

Don't be so sure that being 30 inches wide in the case of a boat of the length you are considering is such a bad thing. Also, remember that a 10-foot boat that's only 25 inches wide will be quite tender, as far as on-center balance goes, much more so than a boat of the same width but having a length of 13 or 14 feet. Anyway, there are lots of short, wide boats which move through the water with amazing ease at typical cruising speeds. Keep in mind that the efficient cruising speed of ANY short boat will be fairly slow simply because they ARE short, and you won't find one that's so sleek that approaching hull speed doesn't feel just like "hitting a wall" (ALL of them of a given length will hit the same top speed and not go any faster than that). These short boats move so easily (when at typical speed) because they have relatively little wetted surface area compared to a longer, sleeker boat, and their width contributes to that (a "rounder" shape has less surface area for a given amount of displacement). That said, something in the 10-foot range is just terribly short on space and really not very versatile. Choosing a "child's boat" just to avoid the need for roof racks will really limit not just your boat choices, but the boat's capabilities. You speak of roof racks as if they represent a huge amount of effort. Have you used them? They actually make life easier, not harder (if you don't know some of the common ways to make loading your boat on the roof easy, ask).

Liquid Logic Tryon

– Last Updated: Sep-09-09 11:47 AM EST –

No longer made but some stores still have it on their shelves at discounted prices too ($400-is, last time I checked). Definitely not a bath tub (unless you are a shorty, that is) and I think may provide a lively ride for the larger paddler -;)

Not too light, but manageable I think...

Actually, the shape is swede form, so at your feet the width is probably comparable to a slim sea kayak! And that is where it matters for efficient paddling. The overall width is also not too wide (going narrower in such a short boat I think it will need to sink too deep and create other issues). I am 6'4" and fit in it very comfortably (never paddled it though - just test fit). You can hook your knees on the side (some foam will make it quete comfy) and can probably fairly easily roll it if needed or you can paddle with knees together to eat distances in a more efficient manner, as much as an 11 footer would allow...

Native Watercraft
Ultimate 9.5 is 28" wide and 39 lbs but its billed for children and small paddlers with no max weight specified.

the 30" seems to be the biggest issue here in a quick look at websites. Recreational boats of shorter length seem to be mostly around 30" wide.

A current designs kestral is around 28" but its also 12’

One paddled with us on an open saltwater river and did fine both in managing to keep up and handling tide and wind.

Hi guideboatguy,

Thanks for your thoughtful response.

I want a deck because I carry a very expensive camera in the boat and when I get caught in one of Florida’s out-of-nowhere rain showers, I like to be able to just tuck it under the deck until the shower is over (easier than a dry bag). I don’t use a sprayskirt because the camera is there to take wildlife photos and birds are so uncooperative about sitting still while I work the camera out from under the skirt. In addition, I like a deck because it protects at least a portion of my legs from the sun. As you may know, sunscreen doesn’t protect against all damaging elements, and when it’s 98 degrees out, it’s bad enough wearing long sleeves, at least I can have a portion of my legs uncovered but protected by the deck.

I don’t want a rack because this truck is my husband’s vehicle and he does not want a rack mounted on his truck–I will only be using his truck on camping trips (perhaps 2-3 times a month) and I respect his preference when it comes to his personal vehicle. As for using racks, I have a Rack-n-Roll trailer that I use to carry my boat on my non-camping paddling trips.

Again, thanks for your comments and questions about my priorities and knowledge. I started paddling in 1972 when my husband and I bought a canoe–we still have a canoe (not the same one!) and I have 5 kayaks of assorted lengths and widths, so my question doesn’t come from an inexperienced newbie. Just looking for feedback in case there is a boat out there that I am not aware of and would want to consider!

Canoes for Photography
Okay, that helps, so I won’t try “too hard” to talk you out of the deck. Also, you are correct that a drybag for a camera really IS awkward and slow, but a dry BOX is super-quick and easy (so easy that storage for all times except when actually shooting becomes second nature). Just be sure to try the latches before you buying a dry box (I have a medium-sized Pelican box on which the latches are almost effortless to operate, but also a small Pelican box on which the latches are really incredibly difficult).

What follows is not related to your original post, but is something I think about when it comes to photography by boat. Someday you MIGHT want to try a traditional solo canoe for photography. Some people, myself included, find kneeling to be much better for long-term comfort than sitting low and relying on a seatback for support, because the more-upright position when kneeling eliminates the need for back support. Also, kneeling increases your range of comfortable camera-aiming angles by three or four times as compared to sitting, so the boat need not be so precisely aligned for you to get a good shot, which in turn means that getting mis-aligned by the wind while waiting to shoot is no problem, and unexpected quick shots are a lot easier. Also, the higher perspective often helps, and if you want a lower perspective, that’s still available. Finally, there are no paddle blades waving in the air with every stroke, and you can paddle long distances without even removing the paddle blade from the water. Once ready to shoot, minor boat adjustments can be made with just one hand on the paddle while you keep the camera at the ready in the other. This is why a single-blade paddle often allows me to get a lot closer to wildlife (I figured this out because before I learned to handle a single-blade, I used a double-blade, and the critters didn’t care for that so much).

Something to consider
Thanks, guideboatguy, I will consider a solo canoe sometime for photography. You could probably actually fit a compact tripod on the bottom.