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Old 05-28-2019, 09:36 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 26
Kayak advice

Looking for kayak buying advice. First time buyer. What is a decent kayak for kayak camping and day trips. Camping trips would typically be 3 days or less. Comfort is important, I am 6í 240. Iíve been looking at the Old Town Dirigo and Loon as well as Wilderness Pungo 125. I have used an old town casting which was really comfortable but a little on the long side. I believe it was 14í not easy to get on and off suv alone.
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:02 AM   #2
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You're about my build. I had and Old Town XL139, which was a great boat and did the job for camping and touring, but heavy. Now I have a Swift ADK 136, very similar hull design to the Old Town but obviously lighter (32 pounds) and much more expensive. I would not consider anything smaller for safety reasons.

For camping you want some sealed hatches to keep your gear dry. Overall, and most important, make sure the boat you buy has some cushion on the weight rating (I suggest minimal 20%) that will include yourself and your gear. Don't take chances here, bigger is likely better in terms of your safety. Another option might be a tandem kayak and some dry bags, but they too are heavy.

With kayaks, you get what you pay for.
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:07 AM   #3
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Thanks. I am looking for something in the 1000.00 or less range.
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:00 AM   #4
Bob K
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consider canoe option

You might want to consider a canoe vs kayak, particularly to facilitate loading/unloading camping gear, plus ease of entry & exit for you. Generalizing, you will have a boat that weighs less and costs no more for the same length, greater load capacity & seaworthiness. Unless you will be in rough water, and are prepared to wear a skirt, the canoe has multiple advantages. If you want to portage, kayaks have a real disadvantage (but you can make a customized yoke).

I started out with a $700 Perception Spectrum kayak that was 14 ft long. My fleet expanded to all canoes since then.

Old town makes a few at less than $1000. As with kayaks, lower weight (for comparable hull shape) costs more $ due to more expensive materials & construction.
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:21 AM   #5
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I prefer a kayak over a canoe. Canoeing just isn’t comfortable for me.
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bkgphoto View Post
I prefer a kayak over a canoe. Canoeing just isn’t comfortable for me.
Is that due to something physical, or skill requirements? The advantages and rewards to learning the skill of canoeing are great.
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:59 AM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Rochester NY
Posts: 48
Have you tried a solo or pack canoe? They can be used with a double bladed paddle and you sit low similar to kayak.
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:47 PM   #8
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When you say your trips are 3 days, do you plans call for staying on the same lake? If you are going to be portaging/carrying between lakes, kayak's have a disadvantage. As others have noted, there are numerous "pack"/double paddle canoes where you sit in the same position as a kayak, use a kayak paddle, the difference is the pack canoe is totally open (no deck). Easy to load with gear and easy to carry.

If you are looking for a nice kayak, perhaps a Necky Manitou 13, which is currently listed on the Vermont Craigslist site posted by some guy from Richmond :-)
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:11 PM   #9
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While driving through the Adirondacks you will see that many cars have lightweight pack canoes strapped to their roofs. There is a reason for that!
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:37 PM   #10
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Location: Rochester, NY
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I purchased a Perception Conduit 13.0 from Dick's a few years ago and couldn't be happier with it! I initially purchased a Perception Carolina on Craigslist but felt way too cramped in it (I'm 5' 10" and not skinny). I really wanted something with 2 dry storage areas for kayak camping and a larger cockpit for more comfort and to make getting in/out easier. I have taken it on a few overnight trips and have had plenty of storage for all my gear.

I also wanted something at least 12ft long so it would track straight in the water better and feel less like paddling a bathtub. I've enjoyed it on everything from small ponds to large lakes and windy rivers. The seat is very comfortable even after spending numerous hours in it and I think they've even updated the seat to be more comfortable now. My only complaint is there is no cup holder! But that was fixed with a quick $4 accessory purchase (that was destroyed this past weekend ).

It is still pretty heavy at about 50lbs but I'm able to get it on the roof of my Crosstrek by myself without a problem. If you're looking for something more lightweight, I think you would be better off with a lightweight canoe as others have mentioned as most kayaks are going to be heavier. And I would never take my kayak somewhere where I'd have to carry it more than a couple hundred yards since it is not easy or comfortable to portage.
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Old 06-13-2019, 09:29 PM   #11
Join Date: Jun 2014
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I ended up getting an Old Town Loon and my wife a Wilderness Systems Pungo. Both 12’ We have not done an overnight yet but have spent several hours out on local pocono lakes and ponds. So far so good. Both are very comfortable boats.
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