Kayaks

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by levain, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Not particularly shiny, but hey where else do I post this?

    I'm looking at getting a kayak. A little background info: we (me, wife, 2 kids-8&3) bought a house on the water. A kayak sounds like a GREAT time, and we (me and the wife-kids, not so much-yet!) want to get some kayaks to explore the bay. Now, I'd like to believe that my kids are going to be into this, and what we need are 2 x 2 person kayaks, but I took my oldest last summer, and she hated it. Well, hated is a strong word, but you know how 8 yr. olds can be:eek1 She's more of a bookworm than an explorer unfortunately..

    Clearly, this is new to us. We need gear. We don't want to spend a lot of money because, well, who knows. I think we'll like this, but maybe not. I'm thinking Craigslist etc. to pick up the stuff. There are 4 of us, but that doesn't mean 4 of us will actually use the kayaks. Seems like a 2 person kayak will kinda suck if I'm the only one that ends up using it. I'm thinking of splitting the difference and getting 1 2 person and 1 1person kayak. Or, should I just get the 2x2person and hope for the best? Then again, the 2 person kayak will leave me room for a fishing pole and beer:freaky

    As for the basics, I think all I need is a kayak, paddle and life vests?? I don't want/need to overthink this thing. Put the boat in the water. Get in. Paddle off. Seems simple enough.

    Recommendations on kayaks/gear that can be had used?

    Thanks.
    #1
  2. straightrod

    straightrod Long timer

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    Wife and I are almost 60 and we kayak offshore pacific ocean at least 30 times a year up to four miles out. We tandem in a Hobie adventure mirage drive. Outfitted with six rods food and drink for seven hours, fish finder, net, gaff, tackle, marine radio. We target inshore fish around kelp beds and occasional thresher shark. It is the most adventurous thing I have ever done with my wife.

    At first I could not even approach the harbor outlet without her freaking out. So, little by little we ventured further out. Now, no problem out there even in large seas with big swells. She is addicted to hunting fish and spotting dolphins, bait balls, whales and dorsal fins of some sharks and all the other sea life one encounters.

    Lakes are a piece of cake, but one should never forget safety, not even for a moment. Things can happen fast even on a lake. We always wear life vests. Boats are the biggest concern for the wake they throw and their ability to run you over. Wind can push you faster than you realize so watch out for distance and ability to paddle back. Shoreline can disappear fast with weather so attach small compass to life vest.

    Start out with some less costly used kayaks. Plan short adventures in and around visual things of interest. Gradually introduce kayaks as a truly sublime experience.

    Hobie Mirage drive kayaks require no paddling. Check out their mirage drive system. Their kayaks are hands free and stable. Not the fastest but we have no problem putting in 10-15 mile days using our legs.
    #2
  3. plains ranger

    plains ranger Been here awhile

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    First question: where do you plan on paddling? Lakes, ponds, rivers, or the ocean? That will make a little bit of a differance in the boat and gear. Just a little not much.

    Craigslist is a good spot to look for used boats. I got mine off of ebay a few years ago. But also try a local kayak shop. Many sell off their demo and rental fleets at the end of the summer.

    As far as safety gear is concerned you don't need a ton of stuff, but you will need more than just a life jacket.

    Lets talk about life jackets first since thats a biggie. Everyone on board the boat will need their own wearable life jacktet. Get something comfortable that you'll actually wear. There are several classifications of life jackets, what you will likely get is a Type III. This is your normal looking water ski jacket. couple of pockets make them easy and useful to wear, plus they are generally pretty comfy. Depending on the length of your boat you may need a Type IV cushion. Generally this applies to any boat longer than 16 feet, but check your state boating regulations.

    You'll also need a whistle or airhorn. I just use a Fox 40 tied to my lifejacket. Incredibly loud and doesn't have a pea to rot and fall out. Then if you plan on being out after dark a flashlight capable of signalling a boat intime to prevent collision.

    Thats pretty much it as far as safety gear goes for inshore paddling. But you can go wild getting more gear as well. I carry a bilge pump, sponge, paddle float, and paddle leash as well. All self rescue stuff since I usually paddle alone. Depending on your boat I would suggest a small bucket or tub incase you take on a lot of water. A spong is great for picking up that last bit of water from the bottom of the boat.

    Then just go out and paddle!

    If youre really interested in it talk to a local paddle shop they may do leasons for kayak, including self rescue stuff. That could be part of whats freaking your daughter out. She's afraid she'll fall out. Every spring I'll go to a local pond and do self rescue stuff for a few hours. Turn the boat over, get out underwater, get back in the boat on the water. Its amazing what a little practice and confidence can do. Plus its always fun to play in the water. :D
    #3
  4. Shuffler

    Shuffler Hommes Grande

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    For $500 on Amazon, I got a Lifetime "Manta" sit-on-top kayak. We really like it ... we can paddle around 2-up, or I can reconfigure the seating to make it a pretty slick fishing rig (they make a motor mount so you can mount an elec. motor & battery, which I might do sometime). It's wider for better stability, so it doesn't track as well as a narrower boat...but it's a non-issue for us since we just use it on a lake.

    Another great place to look at kayaks is DirectBoats:

    http://directboats.com/kayak.html

    They have some pretty attractive prices on combos ... the part that kills some of those deals is the shipping cost...
    #4
  5. Bun-bun

    Bun-bun Been here awhile

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    Just like our bikes, there are different types of kayaks for different purposes.
    You'll want to decide what your main usage will be, that will be the determining factor in what type of 'yaks you want.
    First, there are two classes of kayak, sit-in and sit-on. Sit-in provide a lower center of gravity, hence more stability, but are harder to get out of in a spill.
    Whitewater kayaks are short and wide, usually 6'- 10' in length, and are almost all sit-in type. They are designed to be stable and maneuverable but take finesse to paddle straight in slow water and can't be paddled as fast as a longer kayak

    River kayaks are longer, usually 10'- 16' and can be sit-in or sit-on. They track well, and are the KLR of kayaks.:lol3

    Ocean kayaks are long and comparatively thin, usually 16'- 20', usually sit-in, and are designed to deal with waves and ocean swell. They are the fastest and most stable, but least maneuverable.

    Hope this will at least define your parameters.


    I think you'll be happier with 2 kayaks, one being a 2 person.
    #5
  6. HardCase

    HardCase winter is coming

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    I'd suggest a couple of things. They are in a "do your homework" category, which, obviously, your query here consists of to a degree. I'd get a subscription to Sea Kayaker Magazine, and maybe pick up some back issues. I'd also go to some demonstrations, often put on by shops or groups of shops. Often you can try out different boats and talk to people who know their stuff. Back in the '80s when I got into the sport they had sea kayaking symposiums or gatherings on both coasts and the Great Lakes every year. I don't know whether they still do, but suspect so. Go to one of those if you get the chance. But I'd tend to suggest getting something inexpensive for starters, then if you really get into it and want something 'nice' and '$', you can probably sell the inexpensive boats for not too much of a loss and go from there.
    #6
  7. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    :roflAlright, thanks for the advice so far. This is great.

    Just to answer a few questions.
    -our house is on narragansett bay. To the North leads into Providence. South leads into the Atlantic. I plan on staying to the North:lol3 Well, at first, and with the family at least! I wouldn't go out in anything radical. stay close to shore etc. However, it would be nice to be able to go further solo, so I guess a kayak that can do both would be optimal.
    https://maps.google.com/maps?q=narr...r=Cranston,+Providence,+Rhode+Island&t=m&z=13

    View from where my pizza oven will be located
    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, it looks like this right now:rofl
    [​IMG]

    Lots of great info here. I appreciate it. Thanks for giving me another obsession to geek out on:clap I'm going to be one of those retirees that wondered how he had time to work. Can't wait:wink:
    #7
  8. Bun-bun

    Bun-bun Been here awhile

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    For your purposes, I would suggest something in the 14-16' range. Wilderness systems is a brand I have fhe with and can recommend. I had one of their Tarpon 140 kayaks and used it in both the local rivers and the Chesapeake Bay for recreation and fishing.
    www.wildernesssystems.com
    #8
  9. jbcaddy

    jbcaddy Long timer

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    do some demo's, take a class. don't teach yourself bad habits, learn them from someone else:rofl
    really, taking a begining class is often deducted from the purchase price and will help you in deciding if/what you need to buy.
    #9
  10. dirtconnector

    dirtconnector erythematic nucha

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    Respectfully, you own that lot on the Narragansett, are building an outdoor pizza oven and you're looking for used equipment?:huh Just go to your local paddle store and get the good new stuff + lessons, vests, paddles. The thread is called Shinny things.:evil

    I'm a Necky man myself. I bought an Amaruk plastic tandem 15 years ago. It's still a sturdy, fast, fun boat. Go w/ the plastics instead of the composites to save money. Store it out of the sun. Better yet build yourself a boat house to go w/ the pizza oven. Sorry had to throw that one in. I'm just a little jealous, that all. Good Luck w/ paddling. It's the best way to see wild life and sneak up on nude sunbathers.
    #10
  11. pilot

    pilot Slacker Moderator Super Moderator

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    #11
  12. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Who has time on their hands? Quite the opposite these days! That's why I want you guys to just tell me what to get:lol3
    #12
  13. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Yeah. Well, I'm hardly wealthy. The yard is impressive. The house is falling down:rofl FWIW, all I'm getting is an oven and a used boat. My wife is getting the house:lol3
    #13
  14. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    You answered your own question. I have a very fast, very light weight single person sea kayak that never leaves the garage. I always end up alone in our two person Wilderness Systems boat. I slide the front seat back, stick my pfd and other crap behind the seat then add one large Golden Retriever, one small cooler and my light tackle. That is my favorite way to kayak. Just messing around with the dog, beer and maybe some fishing.

    This is fun and easy:

    [​IMG]
    The original Grreatdog modeling a Pamlico 14.5

    This is fast and not so easy:

    [​IMG]
    That is the original Chesapeake Light Craft design Patuxent 17.5 that I build many, many years ago. These guys are awesome: www.clcboats.com
    #14
  15. DarrenVS

    DarrenVS Adventurer

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    I've got an Ocean Kayak Gemini. It's a 2 seater plastic sit on top with a central seat for a child ( or small dog) you can also use it solo from the centre seat. We live about 10 minute drive from Poole Harbour (2nd largest natural harbour in the world) and its great fun after work for a couple of hours to de stress or a longer trip around the coast.
    We love packing a picnic and just finding an empty spot and watching the world go by. Sometimes we fish, but mostly it's just great paddling and talking
    The Gemini is about 12 feet and takes a load of around 400lbs. They can be hard work for long distance, but if it's just for fun they are great
    Darren
    #15
  16. Whalerman

    Whalerman Amateur Gynecologist

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    Hi,
    I have a Seaward Intrigue which falls into the recreational kayak category.

    http://www.seawardkayaks.com/products_tx_intrigue.php

    I carry it on my boat so the wife can go kayaking while I fish. I chose this model because it has a clear plastic section in the floor so you can see into the water while paddling. I thought the kids would enjoy this feature. It also has a large cockpit so getting into it off my boat is easier.
    Here is a picture of the wife and granddaughter enjoying a paddle around an ocean bay near our home in B.C.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers.
    #16
  17. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    I don't kayak on the Kaipara, although I could. I just go to a couple of local lakes, mostly to an old open cast coal mine, now a 200 metre deep lake.
    #17
  18. Ko

    Ko Observant as never

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    +1 on this Wilderness (although I think it's a 13'6")- my wife wasn't quite sure she'll like being in a kayak, so instead of buying 2 singles I bought this double, which can be used as a single as well. Got it from an outfitter who was selling his one year old equipment, $300 with 2 paddles.
    Now, it's not the fastest, most maneuvreable boat out there, but it's surprisingly easy to handle, and you can decide how to use it. These days it's usually my wife and one of our dogs

    [​IMG]

    Ko
    #18
  19. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer

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    Ours is 14.5'. But we bought the thing many years ago so WS may have changed the specs. I love how easy it is to slide that front seat back to the middle to convert it from a two person to a one person boat. It is hard to beat the versatility of that sliding front seat, huge cockpit and ridiculous load carrying ability. We have had 400 pounds of people, dog and other crap in the boat without any trouble.
    #19
  20. MrBob

    MrBob Certified Geezer

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    When I was starting out this magazine was a huge help to me:

    http://www.seakayakermag.com/

    Why not read a few issues and go from there?
    You undoubtedly have local paddling clubs and there can be real deals on equipment there. That's where I found my first touring kayak and tons of information on local conditions.
    I bought used boats cheap so I wouldn't feel reluctant to buy and sell as I learned more about what worked for me. I did, though, spend money on a good jacket and paddles. The Werner Camano remains the best all-round paddle in my experience and I found one used. Paddles come in a few different lengths so watch out for that.
    Most of my paddling was on Lake Superior and Minnesota's inland waters and for this 15' was about the ideal compromise length. This is my current boat, a Bell Canoe Rob Roy.

    [​IMG]
    #20