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Posted: 3/29/2009 3:14:10 PM EDT
Wife wants to get either a 2 person kayak or 1 for each of us. We live on a large lake so thats covered. I know nothing about them and have never used one but have canoed a good bit when I was younger. What can you tell me about them: cost, brands, gear, should we get a canoe instead, ?
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:16:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 3:17:18 PM EDT by avenj]
2-person kayaks suck. Get one each. I don't know about brands, I only kayak on a very amateur basis (and on still water), but they're much more fun (and safer) than a canoe.

...I don't even know what brand mine is without digging it out of the garage. It was the narrowest (therefore speediest) one they had at EMS that day...

Helpful ain't I?
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:22:01 PM EDT
IMHO; lake= canoe (especially if used by a couple) great for cruising/ fishing/ stopping for a picnic and a kayak is for river fun. Either way take a course with your wife. Supposedly kayaking/ canoeing represent more than 15% of all recreational boating fatalities in the U.S.

And wear a life vest!!
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:25:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By avenj:
2-person kayaks suck. Get one each. I don't know about brands, I only kayak on a very amateur basis (and on still water), but they're much more fun (and safer) than a canoe.

...I don't even know what brand mine is without digging it out of the garage. It was the narrowest (therefore speediest) one they had at EMS that day...

Helpful ain't I?


This. I have an old town loon 13.8' so you don't have to license them since they are under 14' ( in Iowa anyway). I like it, but a little heavy for the wife to carry
@ 45lbs.
Two person kayak sucks. Hope this helps.

Brad
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:26:05 PM EDT
If you are just going to be kayaking on the lake look into some of the sit on top 12 foot range boats from Wilderness Systems or Current Designs. Its fun! I cant wait to get out on Puget Sound!
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:28:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 3:31:10 PM EDT by Plumbata]
Two person kayaks are a guaranteed divorce.

If just for recreational paddling get two sit on tops. (Learning curve is much easier.) The longer and narrower the kayak hull the easier the paddling effort . Look at the weight ratings. Try and land your kayaking weight at about 2/3rds of the rated weight capacity. (If you plus gear equals 200lbs, look for a kayak rated at or about 300lbs or more. Makes for a much more comfortable and drier ride)

Stay away from Pelican products and the various inflatables in the lower price ranges. Good brands would be Ocean, Wilderness, Malibu, Perception and similar styles. Take a look at Craigslist, The place is crammed with good used kayaks.

I have four, all range from 12 to 17 feet in length. I mainly use them for touring and fly fishing. All in all much more flexible than a canoe.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:29:38 PM EDT

You are probably closer to what I am...an occasional user (I fish from them mostly, and have 2 for the kids to use)...mostly for fun paddling.

Skip the 2 person....unless you actually WANT a divorce (winds up being like having 2 steering wheels in one car).

There are a couple of basic kinds....my models are a bit older, but the newer ones generally follow the same lines.

Whitewater (which I have no experience with)....short, wide, and tight. They are to keep you in place when you roll, fall off a waterfall, hit a rock, etc.

Casual/Occasional paddling....I have one that is called a Keowee...fairly wide (stable), short (easy to handle out of the water), relatively slow in the H2O. Mine is about 29" wide and 9' (or 10', I forget) long.

Day Tripping....I have one by Wilderness System called the Manteo...about 24" wide, and 13' long. Faster than the Keowee, but a bit more awkward (not bad, only about 45 lbs) out of the water.

Sea Kayaks...long, skinny things (24" x 18' or longer)...FAST in the H2O. Don't have one of these, but they are the "Cover the Miles" kayaks.

Sit On Top....I have one of these (Ocean Kayak)...about the same size overall as the Keowee, with a bit of a keel molded in). Designed for the same type use, but you can swim out of it...much easier to get back into in the water. Instead of having a cockpit, you have a molded in area where you sit.

Materials:
Rotomolded plastic...cheapest (all of mine are made of that), then Fiberglass (much lighter, but $$), and I think they make them from kevlar now also (even more $$$).


A kayak is less "tippy" than a canoe. Your ass is down close to or below the waterline, making for a low center of gravity.

They are fun to have and use. Depending on what you want, I'd say to look at the occasional type or the sit on top type (unless you need a more specialized kayak).

Here's a place to start....if you look at the Under 12' kayaks, and look at the ones for $400ish, that should be a good starter boat.

Rutabaga

AFARR
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:29:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 3:32:33 PM EDT by axl]
Wife and I both have Old town Loons. Mine is 13'8", Hers is 12'8". A kayak to a canoe is what a motorcycle is to a truck. We go backwaters and on rivers regularly. They are comfortable, stable, draw about 4"of water so you can go damn near anywhere. Best of all you can get into areas where larger boats with motors can't. Friend and his wife had a two-seater. Called it the divorce kayak because if they had to get into together again there would be one. Also have two canoes we use for camping.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:30:14 PM EDT
I have a wilderness systems Pungo (I think). And a dagger...The pungo is 14 feet and I can put enough gear on it to camp for 6 or seven days comfortably.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:31:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 3:33:04 PM EDT by stickboy27]
Originally Posted By avenj:
2-person kayaks suck. Get one each.


+1
My wife and I have sea kayaks and white water kayaks (we used to live on the Greats Lakes). Two kayaks are better than one tandem kayak if your leaning that way.

We also have a canoe, and for most things canoeing works out better. Easier to fish from, easier to move around and shift paddling styles (you can sit on the seat with feet in front, or feet under you, or even kneel) Kaysk don't offer as many options, however, they are faster and are much more fun to play in the waves. I find fishing out of a canoe easier as well. So it really depends on what you looking for: a playful solo boat you can take out by yourself (kayak), or a slower boat that generally offers more comfort (canoe). Kayaks will catch wind less than canoes, and will handle waves better. How big a body of water are you on? Good luck.

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:37:59 PM EDT
I have 2 Heritage FeatherLites. I think they are great. lightweight. easy to manuever and stable. If you like to fish get an angler



Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:39:48 PM EDT
I grew up in Canada and spent summers on a lake, so by law I had plenty of experience with canoes. It is nice to be able to throw 10 cases of beer and half a cow in coolers and just go. But going from a canoe to a GOOD touring kayak is like going from that old ballon tire, bannana seat schwin to a state of the art Lance Armstrong custom road bike.
All those times you either had to bag it or fight just to keep going forward in a canoe become just a little bit wetter in a kayak.
I have a 16ft wilderness Systems cape lookout and I've had it out in 3ft rollers on flat water without a problem and taken class 4 rapids on the Deschutse river during 4 day trips. You just need to get some deck bags and learn to pack light. I do sometimes miss a cooler with fresh meat, but not enough to go back to a canoe.
Word to the wise, go take lessons at a kayak store, then go out on several trips with rentals. The first time your scared that you'll tip over if you sneaze, after a bit you get comfortable and figure out just how much it actually takes to tip one over. A lot of people make the mistake of buying a wider boat because they are uncomfortable and never realize they are missing out on the preformance of a narrow boat.
The best thing I ever got to do is go to a demos day after I'd been paddling for a bit and try out 20-30 boats in one day. Ypu will quickly find there are dramatic differences which may relate to your body type. My wife's kayak is 6inches narrower and is supper fast for her, I can barely keep upright in it because my upper body is twice the size of hers.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:39:58 PM EDT
I forgot to say they are pretty fast and a lot of fun, But the paddles are a little spendy.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:42:19 PM EDT
I've owned several. Here's my take:

Kayaks fall into several categories.

Whitewater - short, small, lots of rocker (bottom curve bow to stern). Very little internal volume, so they are tight and confining. VERY nimble, and a reall pain in the ass to paddle on flat water since they do not want to track straight

Sit on top - virtually all I've seen have been short and WIDE. They are very broad for their width, meaning they need LOTS of energy to paddle. Very inefficient.

Open water kayaks - sit inside. In plastic or fiberglass. Plastic are quite a bit cheapera and quite durable. Usually come with a rudder system, and it's great for paddling straight. How efficient are they? Depends. Long skinng kayaks are typically much easier to paddle than short wide ones.

Two kayaks mean more independence. Big two person boats are quite long and heavy. You also need to coordinate. I would NOT want one. I used one once and found it considerably more tiring since you could not paddle naturally, but rather had to interrupt paddle rythim or modify paddle rythim to pace the partner.

My take: If you only want to putz around for 45 minutes, a small cheap roto-molded plast 'yak is fine. If you intend to travel much distance, you'll want a long, narrow boat with a decent rudder system.



Other considerations: Kayaks are quite a bit more efficient than canoes, mostly beacuse of the double paddle (every movement is a power stroker, with no wasted return movement like with a canoe paddle). The 'yaks are also quite a bit lower in water, so the wind does not push them around much with is good. However, low in water also means they are 'wet". Waves wash over, and you get wet, even with a paddle skirt. A canoe is drier, but wind pushes em around.

I like to do light day trips on adirondack ponds. The usual trip is a combination of a half dozen little ponds and lakes with portages between them. I like a light boat that is VERY efficient to paddle. For my uses nothing beats a small kevlar canoe . I paddle a Bell Northstar. Its 16'6" and only 31" wide. Its not big but VERY efficient. I use a kayak paddle and find that I am able to cover a LOT more water a lot less energy.

If you only want to putz around on the local pond, a plastic $400 sit inside 'yak will do fine. Choose long/narrow over short/wide. Buy a paddle jacket (more shoulder freedom) and a sponge...

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:44:14 PM EDT
OK, so since I cannot afford a divorce, it looks like 2 kayaks is the way to go. we will just be paddling around for fun and to look at the back side of houses we cant see from the road. yes we are nosey bastards The lake is only about 1000 yards wide but it is probably 2 miles long. It is dammed and we live near the dam. Iwould have thought a kayak would have been less stable then a canoe but no, huh? thats a good thing. the wife isnt particularly well coordinated. If she cant get the hang of it real quick, the kayaks will be for sale in no time.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:58:13 PM EDT
Have several Old Town's and have a lot of fun with them. I work there and get a generous employee discount
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:03:03 PM EDT
I have been kayaking for more than 25 years and have had both, Do not get the 2 man if you use it for basic recreation. The 2 man does work great for extended trips that have 2 equal type of people paddling. In the NW there are hundreds of places to go kayaking so to make it easier for travel I bought a Folbot folding kayak.

On a lake just get something simple and wider for stability. Also, always carry an extra set of paddles!
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:05:39 PM EDT
I'm totally buying one this summer. I've put it off for too long.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:09:01 PM EDT
Google "Hobie Mirage" ... Take a double paddle but this sucker has "penguin-type" flippers on the bottom that are actuated by foot pedaling. Push either pedal ALL the way forward and the flippers move to horizontal and don't need much more depth than a bare kayak. The whole mechanism pulls right out in a few seconds if you don't want it for that particular trip. I've tried both and ... despite usually being a purist ... I would get one of these if I ended up buying a sea kayak. My 2c.

Stay safe
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:10:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Mach:
I have 2 Heritage FeatherLites. I think they are great. lightweight. easy to manuever and stable. If you like to fish get an angler

http://www.heritagekayaks.com/images/featherlite9.5product.jpg

http://www.heritagekayaks.com/images/2007_featherlt_12.jpg


+1

Have a Featherweight 12 Angler, a couple years old. Nice subdued color, large cockpit and easy to handle.

For 2+ people, I'd go with a canoe. Just make sure you know how to J-stroke

And always wear a PFD!
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:13:16 PM EDT
As others have stated. 2 person yaks suck.

I fish out of an Native Ultimate 12. It is a great compromise between stability and comfort.
It will be the most comfortable choice you will find out there.



http://www.nativewatercraft.com/ult_12.cfm


Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:14:36 PM EDT
Also anything under 24 in width is gonna get real sporty real quick! Im pretty sure all the shorter length lake cruisers have a pretty wide beam but just wanted to throw that out there!
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:19:18 PM EDT
If you are set on two person go with a canoe. Otherwise, get separate kayaks. If you only plan to stay on the lake go with a 14' or bigger and get a rudder installed.
Some models of kayak have a Sailing rig you can mount on your kayak.

Depending on other plans you may want to consider a Folbot. They're pricey but collapsible.

Old Town kayaks are on the low end of price and decent for what you get. Good starter boat.

The plastic boats will be on the heavy side while fiberglass or carbon fiber will be lighter. Less weight = more $$

The longer kayaks are not very good in river and streams with a flowing current. Shorter kayaks do not track well on flat water.

If you do plan to travel with your boat, be sure to use a roof rack so you don't scuff up your paint on the roof of your car. Trust me on this one.



Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:19:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 4:20:28 PM EDT by 03PSD]
looking at these. maybe 146 for me and 130 for her. thoughts?

Old Towne Cayuga


Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:22:30 PM EDT
Those are both pretty popular, they may have even been made by me.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:23:28 PM EDT
As far north as you live, you might want a sit inside kayak. Down here in TX I'm definitely a sit-on-top kayak fan. Several companies make good kayaks; Cobra, Ocean, Hobie (expensive), Malibu and Wilderness systems. I have two; a Wilderness system Ride 135 with a rudder and a Malibu Mini-X. The shorter you kayak the slower it will be, the wider, the more stable. If you want fast, look at the Wilderness systems 160. If you want pure stability, look at the Cobra Fish and Dive. A got a good middle ground with the Ride 135. Very stable yet decent speed. I fish out of mine so I got it with rod holders. There are lots of websites dedicated to kayak fishing if thats your thing. http://texaskayakfisherman.com/, http://www.kayakfishing.com/, http://www.kayakfishingstuff.com/store/merchant.mvc (very good site with lots of info). I'm with everyone else though, chunk the tandem idea and get two.
Get one...you'll love it.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3170/2940106279_e87c481f18_o.jpg
Jason
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:34:21 PM EDT
Ok got to post some motivational yak pics. hope you don't mind.







Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:38:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 4:40:42 PM EDT by BangStick1]
If you are set on two person go with a canoe. Otherwise, get separate kayaks. If you only plan to stay on the lake go with a 14' or bigger and get a rudder installed.
Some models of kayak have a Sailing rig you can mount on your kayak.

Depending on other plans you may want to consider a Folbot. They're pricey but collapsible.

Old Town kayaks are on the low end of price and decent for what you get. Good starter boat.

The plastic boats will be on the heavy side while fiberglass or carbon fiber will be lighter. Less weight = more $$

The longer kayaks are not very good in river and streams with a flowing current. Shorter kayaks do not track well on flat water.

If you do plan to travel with your boat, be sure to use a roof rack so you don't scuff up your paint on the roof of your car. Trust me on this one.


Check your area for kayaking club, they may offer classes on how to roll your boat.

BoaterTalk is another place for info and you can buy used gear there.



Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:45:55 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:47:49 PM EDT
check out mokai.com its totally awsome , i have 3 wilderness system kayaks i'd recomend a 12' sit in in a bright color like yellow the wilderness boats are extremely staibil and seats are extremely comfortable and fully adjustable,also buy the lightest paddle you can afford
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:59:12 PM EDT
Buy used. The kayaking fad has been going on a few years and there's a lot of old bones stiffening up in even the 31'' cockpits. Recreational boats are nothing but decked canoes anyway with 30'' + wide beams. They are starting to go up for sale all over. Paddling.net has good classifieds.

There's some really great kayaks out there (I've been building my own for specific needs for about 20 years) but try to get a kayak or canoe that will suit the largest array of your needs. I've found over the years that from trips 2 days to 3.5 months, and small creeks to ponds to huge great lakes, not one boat will do it all for all of the variables out there. You may even find a canoe works better for you.

That being said, asses your realistic needs and look for a deal on the widley popular "tupper boats". Buy used, but get a decent lightweight paddle if that's the route you go.

Explore little used creeks and ponds, you'll love it.
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