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Kayak help
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Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Kayak help on 06/02/2013 09:09:00 MDT Print View

Hi folks,

A totally non backpacking question but I think many folk on here have kayaks.

I am looking to purchase a 2 person "sit in" Kayak, it will be mainly for use on lakes and rivers (no rapids running) I would like to be able to use it on open water (Lake Superior, Huron, Michigan) and on coastal waters.

Having the option to carry camping kit in sealablel storage would be nice also, as it will be using it with my wife I don't think there will be a need to portage it very far.

It seems a decent one goes from 800-1600$, is it worth spending a bit more or will the cheaper one do.

Would I be better off getting a small trailer for towing it, or mount it on roof bars (I have a Toyota 4 runner)

Cheers,

Stephen

Edited by stephenm on 06/02/2013 09:15:48 MDT.

Nathan V
(Junk) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lake State
Re: Kayak help on 06/02/2013 14:24:07 MDT Print View

Hi Stephen, I'll start with the hauling question first. I've used both, and they both have advantages.

Roof racks are cheaper and easier to drive/park with ( no trailer to worry about ). But lifting a kayak up that high, especially by yourself isn't all that easy. If your wife will usually be with you to help lift, they might be the way to go though.

Trailers cost more, and are sometimes harder to find somewhere to park them, but it is much easier to load your boat on one.

I currently have a trailer that I attached my roof rack boat cradles to, because the small car I have now couldn't fit my sea kayak on the roof like my old SUV could.

As for the boat question, you usually get what you pay for. If you're planning on paddling on open water like Lake Superior, I'd go for the best boat you can afford. One with seal-able storage and spray skirts would be my choice. And don't forget safety equipment (PFD's, bilge pump, paddle float, etc)

Lake Superior's conditions can change fast, calm one minute and 8 to 10 foot waves the next. I've had it happen on a Grand Island trip a few years ago.

Kayaking is a lot of fun, I'm sure you'll have a great time.

Here is a picture of the boat I made from plans from CLC Boats. It was a bit of work but well worth it, to paddle a boat you built yourself.

kayak

And here is me paddling through the arch on the north end of Grand Island in Lake superior.

Arch


-Nathan-

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Kayak help on 06/02/2013 15:07:07 MDT Print View

Cheers Nathan for the reply.

My internet just went out so replying on a phone which is a pain to type on.

My wife now decided she wants her own one rather than a double.

I have had a look on some kayak forums and I think our best course of action to get sit on tops for small lakes and rivers and rent a touring kayak if going out on big water (this might only be once a year).

I have pondered trailer vs roofrack and came across the Point 65 models which breakdown in half for transport, they could then go in the back of my 4runner, they also allow a mid section to be added for tandem use.

Cheers,

Stephen

Nathan V
(Junk) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lake State
Re: Re: Re: Kayak help on 06/02/2013 15:37:27 MDT Print View

Those Point 65 boats look like an interesting option, I had not seen them before.

That sounds like a good plan, buy what you will use the most and then rent a bigger boat for an occasional big water trip.

I have a 12 foot plastic boat for rivers and my sea kayak for lakes. I haven't used them a lot the last couple of years, I might have to get them out this year.

-Nathan-

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Kayak help on 06/02/2013 16:12:59 MDT Print View

I read some reviews and they dont track as well as models with skegs.

If I bought from Rei I could return them if they where crap.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Kayak help on 06/02/2013 16:41:10 MDT Print View

As the owner of five sit-in kayaks I guess I'm somewhat biased. All are 1-person but we are looking for a tandem. The best advice I heard about a tandem is to only get one if you KNOW you want one. They aren't called "divorce boats" for nothing!

In my opinion sit-in kayaks have better storage options, they keep stuff dry better and are generally faster. I consider sit-on-top kayaks mostly for good weather, whereas you can paddle a sit-in all year long (although I do have friends that use sit-on-top kayaks for three seasons).

As for type, all my kayaks are plastic and nearly indestructible (except on razor-sharp oyster beds!). They are cheaper than composite and require minimal maintenance. I hear composite kayaks are faster but there is some controversy over that. Plastic is heavier, though, but it's not a big deal to me. But my friends with composite kayaks are very careful where they take them, in order not to damage them, whereas I'll go just about anywhere.

I started with a roof rack. It wasn't terribley convenient, particularly when it was just my wife and me. I knew we would purchase a trailer one day. Then one day it occurred to me...why wait? So I got a Malone 4-kayak trailer and have been happy with it ever since. My advice...if you are fairly certain you will stick with kayaking for a long time then get a trailer; if you are not sure, go with foam blocks on your roof, they work reasonably well.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: RE: Kayak help on 06/02/2013 17:16:50 MDT Print View

Thanks Elliot.



The reason we are looking at sit on tops vs sit ins comes down to the fact that sit ins can be hard to get out of in the event of a capsize and wife is not too pushed about learning Eskimo rolls, I have used sit on a lot in my youth.

My 4 runner has a standard roof rack so I probaly would have to upgrade it to carry kayaks.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: RE: Kayak help on 06/02/2013 17:25:45 MDT Print View

You can get a sit in kayak with a larger cockpit opening so it's easy to get out of without using a skirt. Even with a skirt, you can do a wet exit. No eskimo role involved. That would only be for kayaking near the shore.

For a sit in kayak with a large opening, take a look at the Prijon Capri Tour.

Edited by jshann on 06/02/2013 17:26:50 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: RE: Kayak help on 06/02/2013 17:27:06 MDT Print View

That great to know John,

If the model capsizes is it hard to bail them out when righted.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Kayak help on 06/02/2013 17:30:06 MDT Print View

That is why you would need to be near the shore, to bail it out or get back in, which can be a challenge. There is nothing wrong with sit on tops either. I have the Capri Tour and an Innova Safari (inflatable sit on top).

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Kayak help on 06/02/2013 17:38:09 MDT Print View

I suppose it could be righted and emptied using the deck of another canoe but thats a faff.

How's the handling of the inflatable?

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 06/02/2013 18:32:00 MDT Print View

deleted

Edited by rOg_w on 06/17/2013 20:25:39 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Perception Carolina 12.0 on 06/02/2013 18:35:26 MDT Print View

Cheers Rog,

Are you putting them on the same trailer that you use for your trail bike?

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 06/02/2013 19:28:16 MDT Print View

deleted

Edited by rOg_w on 06/17/2013 20:25:04 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Kayak help on 06/02/2013 19:29:58 MDT Print View

Will check out those bars, I did see or Thule ones also that looked good.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Kayak help on 06/02/2013 22:04:47 MDT Print View

Stephen, I use the "Thule® 835 Hull-a-Port Pro Kayak Carrier". I fits my 4 runner rack w/o bars and works great for me. If you have someone else to help load its a no brainer and they fold down when not in use (I use it too often to take off the roof).

As for Kayak, I have used both sit on and sit it. I now only own a sit in. If you are out on your own getting back in should be an issue (just a training thing) and if your wife is out you will be there for help.

I would rent each type and try them out before you purchase.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Kayak help on 06/02/2013 23:51:32 MDT Print View

I prefer top mounted. A small step ladder is handy to get one end up and manage lines.

Get a short stack of books on sea kayaking and read up. Sea Kayaker magazine is a good read as well. I just got "The Sea Kayaker's Handbook" by Shelley Johnson. It is a good all-round book on the subject. Anything by John Dowd will get you off in the right direction.

Buy the best boat you can afford. Like any other gear, you're buying good design as part of the package. I would definitely rent before buying.

Sea kayaking is the water version of hiking and is an awesome way to travel. Cold water, wind and waves deserve caution and respect, so study up and know your stuff.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: RE: Kayak help on 06/03/2013 04:53:23 MDT Print View

Stephen,
Here in the ADK's I don't use a traditional Kayak. For the St Lawrence, Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain, I use canoyak. A 13'8" version with a small kayak like seat. It has spray decks instead of a spray skirt, enclosing the bow and stern. I simply drop my pack in the back when I go paddling. Just use dry bags in the pack. I built it in my shop and it weighs about 19 pounds, making it very easy to transport. I use Yakima round racks. I have found the Thule square bars dig up the gunnels (the sharp edge) when loading or unloading it. I have used this across many of the streams, rivers and lakes of the ADK's as well as some larger waters, like the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain. The origonal boat was a 12' version and is better suited to smaller lakes and streams, but handled Lake Champlain on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Either version handles as easy as a kayak in the water since it is only 26" wide, and has a flared hull that turns most water, though, it can get a little "bouncy" on larger waves.

Anyway, a kayak is better for a lot of open water paddling. The little 13' boats do not track as neatly as an 16' boat. For most rivers and streams, though the manueverability of the smaller boat offsets the tracking. A straight line keel as opposed to rockered keel tracks better, but you loose the maneuverability. These two facter are at odds with eachother, manueverability and tracking.

Stability is another one. There are two forms: primary and secondary. Primary stability is how stable the boat feels as you get into it. Usually these are wider boats with flatter bottoms. These are usually poor performers since they "stick" to the water and can be dangerous in big waves. Secondary stability is how well the boat will handle wave action. The bottom of these are usually rounded, giving good bouancy in relation to wave action, but do not give a beginner good comfort, since they can be "tippy" to get into. Usually these are good performers. "V" hulled designs, "Oval" hulled designs, and others are compromises for good comfort and good performance. Most sit-on kayaks are quite flat. They do not have enough depth to the hull to provide rounding.

Raising your center of gravity will effect the stability of narrow boats. Sitting within an inch or two of the bottom will give you high stability. Sitting 6 to 8 inches up will tend to make the boat tippy. Sit-in kayaks are generally more stable than sit-on kayaks, though intial stability may seem higher with the sit-on due to hull design.

Solo boats will "bottom out" with performance at around 16-17'. Hull friction (with water) increases with length even though they cut through water more efficiently with added length. So, do not exceede these numbers for a good boat. Longer boats are used for better glides on touring boats, not higher speeds.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: RE: Kayak help on 06/03/2013 08:47:24 MDT Print View

Guys,

All great repsonses, I have a lot of sailing experince from back in Ireland have spent a bit of of time kayaking but only at a begineer level.

I would like to have the option to go on weekend trips with it.

Edited by stephenm on 06/03/2013 16:38:25 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Kayak help on 06/03/2013 16:41:09 MDT Print View

The Innova Safari is squirrely without the fin and that makes it not good for shallow rivers.