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Which Kayak to Buy

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  • Which Kayak to Buy

    First off, terrible time of the year to be considering this I know, but thought it might be a good time to find deals on Kayaks on Craigslist.

    I am looking to buy two to keep on the boat, I have seen the cheap ones that are molded open units, looks like you can get quite wet maybe? I am leaning towards shorter length just for stowing on the boat, probably going to be a rail mount holder.

    So the questions is which kind of kaya? We are not pros, just want to have a little fun and exercise. thinking lake union, and now and again in the sound when we anchor. are there good reasons why it's worth paying more than the cheapo $200 units you can buy. Totally uneducated on kayak pros and cons. So are the cheap ones just fine, can you get waterproof skirts (or whatever they are called) for those cheap versions? or do I need to look at something a little bigger, or better?

    5788 Man 610's- Love Her !
    Sold:Bayliner 3587 | Extended Hull

  • #2
    Don't buy the plastic ones that are cheap they fill with water and become next to impossible to empty while using them and over the years we have rescued three users of these because you can't do anything but swim once they fill up. My personal opinion on these is that they are very dangerous and should only be used close to shore. My preference for a kayak is the shorter inflatable type as they are very stable and easy to store and lift off and on the boat. Hope this helps.
    1985 3870 explore


    • #3
      after having a sit-on-top kayak and a stand up paddle board, I would recommend the paddle board.

      the kayaks we had were the roto molded type and we didnt have any issues with them for what they were... but then came the SUP boards.... again, we had no trouble with the quality of the kayaks, so we went with the roto molded type of paddle boards. and in general, they are more affordable than the other types.

      the SUP boards are more stable and more functional in every way, and they are easier to get on from the boat because of their stability...

      there are attachments that are becoming available and can be added, such as a seat, it becomes almost identical to a sit-on-top kayak. or fitted with a stand up seat to lean against, you can go for hours without the back ache that we got from setting too long in the kayaks.... or you can kneel on them and paddle along as fast as you can twirl a double ended paddle (we have both types of paddles so that we can choose what paddle we want to use depending on where we are going to be using the boards)

      we are in our mid 50's, and have taken the paddle boards down rivers, played in the surf with them, used them on lakes and backwater sloughs, and because you have the freedom to sit, stand, kneel, lay down, or sit sideways with your feet dangling in the water, if they arent being used in real white water, I recommend a SUP board over any type of kayak....

      in addition to the rigid type of board, which ranges in price from a couple hundred dollars, to those that cost thousands, there is also the inflatable SUP. when aired up properly, it is VERY rigid, with some models being difficult to tell from a fully rigid type. but the only benefit to these are they can be stowed in a smaller space, and the downside being the major reason to consider carefully before purchasing one, which is, if they arent aired up and ready to go, they dont get used much... and when aired up, they take up slightly more space than a rigid type.... we like the rigid type.

      Salem, OR

      1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
      5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
      N2K equipped throughout..
      2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
      2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
      '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
      Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding (RETIRED)


      • #4
        I've used all three rigid types with a modicum of success.

        The short molded style are typically used in whitewater rapids. They also don't have a lot of room for other gear and food, but they do have a skirt.

        Ocean kayaks typically have steering, are built long and slender for speed greater speed and are easier to steer, a second hatch for storage, and they also come with a skirt.

        Personally, the sit-on-top type are the scariest. I paddled one around a marina, then out a short ways into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, then very quickly back into the marina when the first big wave threatened to dump overboard, then a boat passed.

        I have never used an inflated one, ...though they do look comfortable and relatively stable.

        Before you get one, look for one with a molded seat that fits you really well. I'd also get a padded seat. Some initially feel good ....until you spend an hour in it. One sea kayak I rented, after two hours, my legs went to sleep from the point of my butt down. I had to bail into 42 degree water, then wait for the feeling to return to climb the ladder.
        "B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
        MMSI: 367637220
        HAM: KE7TTR
        TDI tech diver
        BoD Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula Chapter


        • #5
          Good input. We have 2 SUPs. Agree we love them but in the PNW you gotta be brave to use then this time of year though we did just last weekend.

          Good to know on the kayaks. Maybe i'll Go rent one first to see what we think. But definitely will rethink the cheap ones.
          BLOG ABOUT MY BOAT...
          5788 Man 610's- Love Her !
          Sold:Bayliner 3587 | Extended Hull


          • #6
            I have a Wally World cheapy, it fits in my cockpit with about a 1/4 hanging out the back, can also be tied to my swim platform while underway. It's light enough to remove from the water and stow myself. I only use it in calm protected anchorage areas, would never consider going across the sound in it.

            Here's another thread regarding kayaks, may be helpful.

            Edmonds, WA
            "THE FIX" '93 2556
            Carbureted 383 Vortec-Bravo II
            The Rebuild Of My 2556
            My Misc. Projects


            • #7
              My suggestion would be to find somewhere to rent and take a class. That way you could ask questions and find the best fit. Also it would give you a chance to see if you really liked kayaking before purchasing. Just my two cents.


              • #8
                I usually carry two of these when I take the family out. My 10 and 7 year olds can paddle them around the beach when we anchor. What's nice about these is in the front and back is filled with foam. I can fully submerge these and still be able to paddle around.

                Dagger produces the highest quality and performance whitewater, recreational, and touring kayaks in the industry at a great value. Wherever there's water.

                Attached files

                79 25' Catalina sail boat.
                Saving up for a VR6
                Lake Erie Sandusky area


                • #9
                  I bought two of the less then 8 foot plastic ones off of craigslist. Being so short when windy its hard to stay on course and its like they say a guy with one leg shorter than the other keeps walking in circles.
                  Frostbite Falls, Minnesota
                  Claudia V. III
                  1988 - 3218
                  Gas Drives


                  • #10
                    I do most of my kayaking in Michigan in the winter. For that reason stability and a dry ride is important. If you purchase anything shorter then 12' it will have a strong tendency to swing side to side as you paddle. 12ft seems to be the minimum length to give good tracking. The money spent on a higher quality boat will come back to you on resale. The next most important aspect is the seat.

                    If you spend a bit of time in a kayak you will appreciate a good high quality seat with a lot of adjustability so it fits any size paddler. I have had extremely good success with

                    Pungo kayaks made by Wilderness systems. They can be found used on Craigslist or you can look for a distributor in your area. These are recreational boats that are stable, easy to get in and out of and are available with a large skirt so you don't need to be an olympic gymnast to get in or out. The seating system in these kayaks are the best I have found. It would be worth your while to check these out. You can hang them from the bow rails on a boat your size.

                    Good luck
                    Gibraltar, Mi.
                    1986- 3870- Hino 175's
                    1988 26' Shamrock/ Diesel
                    14' Zodiac Bay Runner


                    • #11
                      Here's what an article this month in Latitude 38 had to say about it:

                      Read the Magazine  Subscribe Subscribe to Latitude38 and have the print magazine delivered direct to your doorstep. Get a new subscription, Renew an existing subscription, buy a gift subscription, or order a single issue all online. Get a SubscriptionHave you Moved? Back Issues View All Back Issues » Join the sisterhood of the travelling Magazines…

                      1994 2859 in Tacoma, WA
                      7.4 Mercruiser
                      Still learning about other systems
                      and specs.


                      • #12
                        Up here in the PNW I had the 10 foot kayaks from Costco, the ones that are normally $350 that can often be found on sale for 300. They work great! Very durable very comfy a couple of watertight compartments to stow stuff, and they keep you dry. I would not recommend an SUP up here, as the water year around is 45┬░ or so. Unless you don't mind spending another $800 or so on a dry suit and putting that on every time you want to go out. Those are fine and dandy if you're in water where you don't risk hypothermia have you fall in. As for the sit on top kayaks, I just bought those for my house in Florida, you don't want those up here because your ass will get wet. Skirts on normal sit in kayaks are not necessary unless you're in some really choppy water. Go with the cheap Costco ones, that way it won't kill you if they get stolen off of a Beach or off the side of your boat somewhere.
                        Huntington Beach, California
                        2018 Element 16
                        Currently looking for 32xx in South Florida
                        Former Bayliners: 3218, 2859, 2252, 1952


                        • #13
                          And you're right there on Lake Union. Go rent some

                          at Tell Dan that

                          the guy that just bought 2 i9s sent ya.

                          I got 2 of these:

                          Check out the adjustable seat.
                          1994 2859 in Tacoma, WA
                          7.4 Mercruiser
                          Still learning about other systems
                          and specs.


                          • #14
                            We have two Old Town brand kayaks from Cabela's. We chose them because their cockpits are large enough to carry our dog - a 45 lb Aussie: We got them in yellow/green so they are more visible to boaters. The Kayaks have a watertight storage compartment, as well as some foam flotation. They are tough enough to beach on rocky shores. We also got paddles with carbon fiber shafts. Their light weight makes it less fatiguing on the arms.

                            We use our kayaks to go exploring around anchorages in the Puget Sound and Salish sea. I always carry a waterproof VHF radio strapped to my PFD. Based on k2duck4's comments I'll start carrying a handheld bilge pump as well.

                            Attached files

                            1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
                            2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
                            Anacortes, WA
                            Isla Verde, PR


                            • #15
                              We have a pair of Seyvelor K2 inflatable kayaks and have owned them for about 8 years. They fold up into a hockey-bag sized bag and we carry them on the bow when headed long distances. They blow up in about 10 mins with a foot pump. Amazing how well they have lasted.

                              One thing I will say is that they are absolutely as stable as they get!!! They simply flex over any waves and aren't tippy by any means. The units we have are 1 or 2 man and very comfortable for 2 adults to paddle. Lots of storage in them as well. The floor inflates in a crown shape so if water does get inside you're not left sitting in a puddle.