Your forever boat

I was thinking a couple of weeks ago on my first time out this year as I was paddling, and it came to mind that this year is my CD Caribou’s 21st season. And she’s still my #1 boat.

I’ve had others, including the Anas Acuta that I still have (And really like), but the ‘Bou is the one I take on vacation, and on daytrips away from home waters in CT/RI. She’s also my “questionable marine forecast” ride. I’ve bashed her off rocks, holed her once, and she’s still in great shape considering the amount of use (And abuse) I’ve doled out. Taken her to places like Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and lots of trips to Maine.

I’m not nearly as adventurous as I used to be, but it’s good to know I’m in a boat I know so well when the unexpected comes up. And it has.

Anyone else have a boat that they’ll never sell?

My preferred kayak is my kevlar/carbon (bought used) NDK/SKUK Explorer. For many this is an unexciting boat, but it’s by far my favorite. It is often happy with no skeg.

Wayne, does your Caribou have the skeg? I recall the very early ones did not, but probably needed one.

Mine came with no skeg, but I put one in it 5 or 6 years after I bought it. You could ballast them toward the stern, and that worked 99% of the time, but the skeg is much better.

Sell a boat? We often resemble Jerry Vandiver’s , “No such thing as too many boats” song.

Of course the last boat built always seems to be the favorite, which would be a Cheasapeak 17, sea kayak. But I prefer fishing in the center console. Then there is the most recent refit, a Dagger tandem converted to a solo canoe. I don’t think there is a forever boat. But there are “long time” boats.

Long live the “Bou”

For kayaks it is my QCC-700
For canoes it is my Wenonah 17 -Jensen

Nope. No forever boats for me.

Ignoring that the boats do get some damage and aging which makes me want to replace them, there have also been improvements in boats that I am very glad I moved into new boats to get. Loved the Necky Looksha Sports I had way back when, but am much happier in the Dagger Alchemy or Stratos I have now, or in any of the other similar boats (P&H Delphin, etc.). Hulls perform better, seats are more comfortable, came with the safety aspects (deck lines and the like) that I now think are requirements, etc.

@Peter-CA said:
Nope. No forever boats for me.

Ditto that. Switched through a good dozen seakayaks since I have started paddling. Also, switched out 3 ww boats as well as three surf kayaks. I still have four waveskis but have destroyed three on normal wear and tear of year round surfing. Also have 3 SOTs still along with a solo and a tandem canoe.

I have enjoyed the boats but am not wedded to any of them really (except for the waveskis which seem doomed to relatively short life spans).

Bikes on the other hand… I have and still ride two Shogun road bikes that I bought back in '80 and '82 still. I have my Gary Fisher MTB from 1990. These three are my commuting bikes. As a daily bike commuter, I have to have spare bikes in case one or two goes down (for example, I snapped a spoke this morning on my '80 Shogun and will need to ride one of the other bikes). I bought an AL specialized hard rock pro which is the “snow bike” with studded tires and only goes out during and right after a snow storm.


I don’t believe in forever boats. At least not at this point in my 40-some year paddling journey. I have too much development ahead of me and every boat is a classroom. Another class to take. Another lesson to learn. No boat is perfect. Some more comfortable than others but all are teachers. Until I become the perfect paddler I will continue to take classes.


@Peter-CA said:
Nope. No forever boats for me.

Me neither. Since I paddle probably 48 weeks a year at least one day a week on Ozark streams that translates to a lot of wear and tear, unless you paddle polyethylene tubs. Also, I cannot really afford to own multiple boats as I used to and I like to try different boats. I have several boats I’ve enjoyed, but I am still looking for the “Perfect” canoe and I’m thoroughly enjoying the chase!

I’d love to keep my Assateague forever. It just doesn’t work with my current plans.

It was my first “real” kayak, the one that has taken me the farthest in skill and distance, and no other boat has been a better physical fit.

I hope when I’m ready to sell that it can find a great home. It’s the only boat I’ve owned for which I have an emotional attachment.

evolves over time

  • Aquaterra Chinook - first
  • Nordkapp HM (ocean cockpit) - seaworthy, comfortable
  • Romany (& Explorer on long trips) - very seaworthy, fun (probably still my fav., but those damn brits refuse to build lightweight (under 40lb) boats)
  • Sterling Icekap (Illusion for longer trips) - same as above, but lightweight (don’t like ‘wheels’ and I have a long walk to daily water & don’t like to lift heavy yaks on car for weekend trips)

@raisins said:
evolves over time

  • Sterling Icekap (Illusion for longer trips) - same as above, but lightweight (don’t like ‘wheels’ and I have a long walk to daily water & don’t like to lift heavy yaks on car for weekend trips)

Pretty much need to evolve with this list, as most people couldn’t afford to buy a pair of Sterlings as their first boats… If I won lotto, I’d get just 1, a Reflection.

Built 8 SOFs and this “tape” and glue Arctic Hawk. The Hawk is Forever.
I only see one of those eight sof’s on the water ( first paddle of '19 today)
No skeletons hangin on the shed, cuz I cannibilze the frames. Forever not
so much.

I have had Acuta, Khatsolano, Kahuna, Prijon Seayak. Not Forever
Still have a Folbot Aleut, Notever boat, pretty leaky at 20 yo.

I must be devolving. I’m happy with a few hours in my Tarpon in a quiet , beautiful place.

Solstice GT 2008

The boat I’ll never sell is my Hemlock Nessmuk, bequeathed to me when a dear friend passed away. When my paddling days are over, I will give this beautiful little canoe to someone who will appreciate and enjoy it as I do. Sell it, never.

Jim’s old NDK Romany. It is my safety boat for paddling alone because it is the most forgiving, it’ll handle any condition out there and I can put guests into it and expect they will remain upright.

Placid Boat Works Spitfire 12.