BEST PLASTIC SEA KAYAKS
Posted by: old_user on Jan-17-11 11:01 AM (EST) Category: Kayaks
Would appreciate opinions on what you suggest in rotomolded/plastic sea kayaks around 17 ft. length for
an "advanced beginner"-225#/5'11"- for multiday kayak camping on large lakes and large rivers(some rough weather)....probably an occasional visit to New England seas.
Considerations: rigidity/speed/glide/stability...and any other that may come to mind.
4-place Boat Trailer
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Eddyline Fathom, Valley Aquanaut RM|
Posted by: moparharn on Jan-17-11 11:15 AM (EST)
Posted by: trout on Jan-17-11 12:18 PM (EST)
Prijon plastics have a reputation for being xtra tuff..the kodiak model would be in line with what your looking for.
Posted by: wavespinner on Jan-17-11 12:47 PM (EST)
Capella or Scorpio should be on your test drive list. Plastic is rigid and light, customer service is first rate and the quality is excellent.
what have you paddled?|
Posted by: LeeG on Jan-17-11 2:53 PM (EST)
Rudder or Skeg?|
Posted by: kelvin1 on Jan-17-11 4:59 PM (EST)
Personally I like the Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 for skeg and Prijon Kodiak for rudder but I'm 50lb lighter than you and there are plenty of other options.
Current Designs Sirocco|
Posted by: capefear on Jan-17-11 6:58 PM (EST)
Exceptional speed/glide for a kayak with its maneuverability. 225#/5'11' is a big person compared to the average 145# Greenland male that used to hunt out of kayaks (I read that statistic somewhere recently I think?), and this kayak has a roomy cockpit that may be a good comfortable fit for someone your size, but try it on. You don't want to be squeezed in on multi-day trips, but you don't want a lot of excess room either.
A couple to look at...|
Posted by: BREI on Jan-17-11 8:47 PM (EST)
- Valley Aquanaut RM
Maybe Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5 . . .|
Posted by: old_user on Jan-17-11 8:51 PM (EST)
. . . I used a Nighthawk 16 down the Mississippi but I am 5'9" 170. It took a lickin' and kept on tickin' plus tracked well, was efficient and carried enough gear for extended trips. You can also probably find one used.
Posted by: kaptynkayak on Jan-18-11 7:25 AM (EST)
I love my Sirocco. I use it all winter and for rec paddling all year. I find it very stable but not every one does for some reason? I am 5'11" 195lbs. We also have a Tsunami 160 roto in the garage, I have only used that once in the last 2 years and hated it compared to the Sirocco. I also paddle a QCC 700 all summer for racing and training but always take the Sirocco for recreational paddles.
Posted by: seadart on Jan-18-11 1:21 AM (EST)
Not my choice for rivers though ....
Posted by: old_user on Jan-18-11 4:17 AM (EST)
The Eddylines arn't rotomolded btw.
Posted by: redrocket on Jan-18-11 6:58 AM (EST)
I took my kodiak on a two week trip down the wabash and had no problems with it.
Who said they were? The OP asked for|
Posted by: moparharn on Jan-19-11 8:20 AM (EST)
" suggest in rotomolded/plastic sea kayaks around 17 ft.". Eddyline is thermalformed plastic. IMO Eddyline makes the finest plastic kayaks money can buy. Rockpool and Valley, I think, agree with me (or me with them). If you do not put them through extreme abuse, they are the better choice for me versus other plastics and rotomolded boats. Lighter, better looking, stiffer, and better performance all hit home with me. I would include it in the search based on the OP. Bill
Posted by: slushpaddler on Jan-19-11 8:43 AM (EST)
As someone who sounds like they've tried them all, thanks. I hadn't thought of it as an alternate to poly, but now thermoform has me intrigued and it seems like more and more manufacturers are moving to this material. I'd like to try a rockpool TF kayak, it might just change my perspective shopping list.
Slush, nothing compares to roto as far|
Posted by: moparharn on Jan-20-11 9:41 AM (EST)
as durability is concerned. My problem with roto is mostly the weight. Roto tends to fuzz up and I also do not care for that. Finally, roto will deflect more and cause a loss of forward movement because of it, they simply are not as efficient. All of this applies, for me, to longer sea kayaks. The failure mode for thermal formed kayaks is different from any other material. Failure "usually" results in a crack or fracture. This crack is easily repaired with commercially available glues and adhesives. A more serious fracture resulting in the loss of a "piece" of the boat is far less likely, and far more difficult to deal with. Coming down hard on a rock in the cockpit area can result in a crack to the hull. Dropping the boat, or hitting something hard, both in cold weather can create a failure of some kind. Thermal formed is not for high abuse types of paddling like white water or rock gardening ( IN MY OPINION). The new Rockpool boats are thicker than the typical Eddyline material and as such may be far more resistant to these issues. Outside of dropping the boat in cold weather, anything that damages a thermal formed boat will likely also damage a composite boat. The repair is almost always easier, but the final cosmetic result will not be as good in the thermal formed boat. You will spend $100's getting the composite boat fixed, versus about $.25 in glue on the thermal formed (provided there are not pieces broken out). The thermal formed boat will take alot of abuse and come out of it looking much better than the composite. I really like the thermal formed boats and am waiting for one of the manufacturers to sponsor me :) If you plan on bouncing down a rock filled river, forget it. Roto is the only way to go for this. I don't fit in the Alaw Bach or I would own one. The newer model Fathom is a fantastic boat and I hope to have one someday. My only gripe on the Fathom is the height of the foredeck, it makes it comfortable, but it is just a tad high in proportion to the rest of the boat. It will be interesting to see if Valley has Eddyline make their new hull in thermal formed, and if Rockpool has them make another design larger than the Alaw Bach. My feeling is that once the higher quality thermal formed boats get a critical mass of momentum in the market, they could become the dominate form of construction. Bill
that's what I dislike about poly also|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Jan-20-11 9:55 AM (EST)
Much of it is aesthetic, but some of it is the weight. It seems that in order to get a rigid enough poly you are looking at a build like Valley has. Which is heavier. I'm not sure if the poly Valley boats are as flexy as, say, a perception kayak.
I love my Aquanaut RM LV, but the|
Posted by: moparharn on Jan-20-11 10:10 AM (EST)
roto construction is a challenge for me as far as weight and efficiency go. Everything else about this boat is absolutley fantastic. I abuse the hell out of it and all it does is treat me like a king in return. I cannot say enough good about the boat. Now, having said this, I could replace it and my Romany S with a new Fathom. The Fathom would have the durability of the Naut along with its roll friendly traits, and the storage and off wind/wave manners of the Romany S, all in a boat that is faster than both of them. Do you like the psychotic manner in which I talk myself into another boat, a good boat whore will do that:) Bill
Posted by: acadia on Jan-20-11 11:37 AM (EST)
I've heard again and again about loss of efficiency in roto boats due to flex/deflection, etc. How much of this is myth? The Valley RM boats that I've "tested" (pushing down hard on the hull) seem to have no more deflection than the composites. I know that a Prijon hull actually deflects less than my 46 lb Mariner.
Probably "snake oil"|
Posted by: kocho on Jan-20-11 11:58 AM (EST)
about the deflection as it relates to tripping speeds. I got no numbers but I just can't imagine anyone being able to tell a difference in *efficiency* due to flex. One can feel flex in certain situation but does that mean the boat is perceptibly or measurably slower for that?
don't forget repairability|
Posted by: NateHanson on Jan-20-11 12:39 PM (EST)
For me one of the reasons to buy composite boats is because they can be repaired more easily. Also, they don't abrade as easily as plastic, so for some uses they're a lot more durable than rotomolded.
It is not snake oil. Of this I am sure.|
Posted by: moparharn on Jan-20-11 3:49 PM (EST)
It is also not about pushing on the deck of a roto boat to see how it moves. Take my carbon/kevlar Nordkapp and pick it up at both ends with two people and jerk it up and down. Now do the same thing with a roto Nordkapp. That flex over the length of the boat is what is robbing you of speed on the waves. If the water is calm, there is likely to be no real difference provided the coefficient of friction is the same. The movement lost in flex is lost in forward travel and it also changes the profile of the wetted surface. You will also see a more noticeable difference in acceleration. During my windsurfing days, the change from plastic hulls to carbon was like night and day in terms of acceleration and speed. The Eddyline made thermal formed boats are highly rigid and thus do not suffer from this issue. If these things matter to you, test the difference, if not, ignore it. Either way it is real.
Makes some sense, but...|
Posted by: acadia on Jan-20-11 11:24 PM (EST)
I'm not sure waggling a boat from both ends on land is the same as loading it on water. Do plastic boats really go banana shaped in the water with the weight of the paddler? I'd like to see some vigorous testing of the claim that plastic boats are less rigid, particularly in respect to the newer plastics. Composite hulls do flex some: that is what all the popular hammer tests show.
What do you think two waves do when|
Posted by: moparharn on Jan-21-11 8:11 AM (EST)
they pick up a boat? I don't think "vigorous testing" is needed to understand that hull flex is detrimental to a hulls efficiency. Again, I suggested that if someone is concerned about this, they need only test a hull that is offered in roto and composite. My Nordkapp example is exactly what I did. I also said that the Eddyline thermal formed boats are highly rigid, thus stating that there are rigid hull alternatives in plastic. Bill
Posted by: acadia on Jan-21-11 10:36 AM (EST)
I guess I would just be curious to know how much deflection? At what weight? Over what hull length? For a total loss of efficiency of what percent?
I would do it, but I am too lazy.|
Posted by: moparharn on Jan-21-11 10:54 AM (EST)
I just go by my life experiences with this sort of stuff. The windsurfing one in particular really reinforced this notion. The flex of roto is not really the big issue for me, it is the weight. The Eddyline is both lighter and stiffer. The only thing it lacks versus roto is impact resistance, and for me this is not a deal breaker as I don't white water paddle, or rock garden. I know that I can feel the flex in my Aquanaut LV RM in certain wave conditions. I would buy this boat again a hundred times over as it does so much else so well. It is not huge issue, but it is an issue. Bill
add to that:|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Jan-21-11 11:08 AM (EST)
The weight of a loaded poly kayak. I'd think this would increase deflection.
Posted by: suiram on Jan-21-11 10:50 AM (EST)
Are you quite sure that the hulls are identical?
I am quite sure they are not identical,|
Posted by: moparharn on Jan-21-11 10:58 AM (EST)
but I don't think this has much bearing on the issue in general, not specifics. They are close enough in design that gauging the level of flex is still relevant. Flex robs efficiency. Bill
Posted by: carldelo on Jan-24-11 1:47 PM (EST)
I wish I had science to offer you, but I|
Posted by: moparharn on Jan-24-11 2:55 PM (EST)
only have experience and theory to give. Let me try this. Why are downhill racing skis stiff? Why are are racing sailboats and racing offshore boats so stiff? I think it is because they are faster when they are stiffer. I think they are faster because they are more efficient. "I think" that when you apply stroke energy to the boat that causes it to flex, the energy lost in flexing could have been applied to forward motion, in that all of your input goes into forward movment and not whatever movement the flex is doing. "I think" your paddling energy is going into the boat for transmission into forward movement. If the hull is flexing from your energy input, it is not using that input to move forward. It may slso be that some part of the flex downward (a axis) from a wave could have been used to move forward (b axis). This is my feeble attempt to theorize what I know from experience. Bill
I agree, for what it's worth ...|
Posted by: nebeginner on Jan-19-11 2:09 PM (EST)
... since I don't know much about plastic. I did get a chance to take good look at a Rockpool, USA model, which is made by Edyline. While the Edyline boats do nothing for me, the Rockpool looks like a sea kayak (to me that is: I like the Brit form boats). If they perform like the "real McCoy", their cousins from accross the pond, they would be very intersting.
No, but they are plastic|
Posted by: nebeginner on Jan-19-11 1:54 PM (EST)
Prijon has the best plastic|
Posted by: dregsfan on Jan-18-11 5:16 PM (EST)
Prijon kayaks are made of a superior plastic and pressure molded, not rotomolded. I have a Kodiak and love it. I've gone through an Aquaterra Chinook, Dagger Magellan, Perception Captiva and a Current Designs Storm. None of them can compare to the Kodiak. I'm keeping this one!
Kodiak is good|
Posted by: acadia on Jan-18-11 9:58 PM (EST)
I like mine: tough, fast, lotsa space. But it is rudder dependent and I'm not the biggest fan of the Prijon rudder gudgeon, which is the weak point on the boat.
Valley and P&H plastic|
Posted by: wilsoj2 on Jan-19-11 12:34 AM (EST)
Both Valley and P&H make very good stiff, strong, plastic boats.
Agreed on Valley|
Posted by: acadia on Jan-19-11 10:59 AM (EST)
Very bomber construction and fun hull shapes. I like the fact that they weld their plastic bulkeads, but since no other manufacturers (that I know of) do so, one wonders whether they are ahead of the game or off on a tangent. I seem to recall that P&H used to weld their plastic bulkeads, but all the recent models I've seen have foam.
Bulk heads - Valley|
Posted by: BREI on Jan-19-11 2:58 PM (EST)
Welded bulkheads are much stronger.....
Posted by: old_user on Jan-19-11 7:22 PM (EST)
Hard welded bulkheads also create hard spots on the hull, bad idea for a plastic boat. Foam bulkheads are actually more expensive than plastic ones, they are not used cause they are cheap, they are used cause they work.
Posted by: BREI on Jan-19-11 8:25 PM (EST)
With Valley's boats being made of triple-layer Polyethylene... you will not have the spotting issues you speak of.
Posted by: wilsoj2 on Jan-19-11 11:54 PM (EST)
While A foam bulkhead can flex with the hull or deck it is not appropriate to brace against. Welded bulkheads can be braced against as you would in a composite boat. I would imagine that the solid welded bulkheads add more stiffness than epoxied foam ones.
If they're poly boats, then they are not|
Posted by: ezwater on Jan-24-11 1:27 PM (EST)
using epoxy. Even West G-flex is too stiff, and requires expensive labor to prepare the inside of the hull by flaming. A urethane glue, maybe.
concave welded bulkheads|
Posted by: NateHanson on Jan-20-11 6:37 AM (EST)
The plastic Valley boat we have has concave welded bulkheads, so no noticeable hard spot.
Posted by: Marshall on Jan-20-11 8:06 AM (EST)
Can't agree that all foam bulkheads eventually leak. My experience recently being P&H. Formerly the system was of welded in plastic bulkheads. Very strong. Actually perhaps too much as wear marks concentrate on the exterior of the hull along the bulkheads. The current Corelite 3 layer material is a tad lighter than the older version. This doesn't put up with the heat of electrical welding as well so the foam is chemically fused to the inner surface. Individual results may vary but from the various P&H/Pyrahna/Venture Scorpios, Capellas and Fusions that have been in the Fleet, no problems to date.
Posted by: NateHanson on Jan-20-11 9:25 AM (EST)
That's good to hear. I hope to add a Delphin to the fleet soon, and while the bulkhead material certainly wasn't going to change my decision, I'm encouraged to hear that the P&H bulkheads are holding up better than their North American counterparts. I've seen so many Necky, LL Bean, Perception, etc kayaks with leaking or completely displaced foam bulkheads over the years.
Respectfully disagree Griffin|
Posted by: salty on Jan-20-11 3:04 PM (EST)
I can't recall one Valley boat cracking at the bulkhead weld. Could be wrong, but just haven't seen or heard of such. Your reply sounds like a competitive marketing line Vs a valid engineering point. Having been an R&D guy in the business I will share my opinion, for what it's worth?: The welding process is very tough when done correctly but involves a special meash wire screen that gets charged electrically so as to melt the poly together. Too much juice and burn-out, too little = poor bond. Done right = great bulkhead! Most manufacturers favor foam because it's easy, fast, works well, and is cost effective = more margin and simplified manufacturing = smart. This does not mean that Valley's approach is weaker. Having messed with all approaches, I'd personally opt for welded bulkheads such as Valley's. If I built and sold 50,000 poly kayaks a year I'd use foam...
Really doesn't matter much...|
Posted by: wilsoj2 on Jan-21-11 12:35 PM (EST)
Posted by: old_user on Jan-24-11 3:40 AM (EST)
The problem with the hard edges of bulkheads really only show up if you just happen to catch one at exactly the right spot at the wrong time. It's not a problem otherwise. Seeing it show up on a forum in a couple years of production would be rare, specially for a boat built as well as Valley does. Having a problem show up in 10 years might happen, has on certain fiberglass boats.
Valley has been welding|
Posted by: salty on Jan-24-11 2:31 PM (EST)
bulkheads for at least a dozen years Griffin. Very early versions had some issues but those were resolved. I used the product in rentals, and guiding with zero issues. Again, no offense, but it's an example of internet "expert" opinion without any real supporting data. Sounds like you have very little or no experience with said product?
Posted by: old_user on Jan-24-11 3:41 AM (EST)
Btw, I don't buy kayaks, not in years and years. I build kayaks. Not paying anyone thousands of dollars for one, sorry.
Posted by: Ayornamut on Jan-20-11 8:39 AM (EST)
At 6'3" 250 lbs I have plenty of room|
Posted by: moparharn on Jan-20-11 9:49 AM (EST)
in the Fathom. I remove the hip pads on the coaming verticals and find it fits really well. With the newer low back deck, this boat is a great performer for various rolls and is easy to re-enter. The Fathom has a ton of cockpit and hatch room and is a very efficient hull form. I wish I owned one, Blue deck/white hull, or white/white. :) Bill
Smaller Nighthawk coming|
Posted by: kayakjak on Jan-20-11 11:09 AM (EST)
I emailed Eddyline a few months ago about the possibility of a high volume boat between the Journey and the Nighthawk. I was written back by the owner (Tom- can't remember his last name) that they're reworking the Nighthawk. As I remember, it's supposed to be smaller. It's supposed to come out sometime this year.
not 17 feet but darned sea worthy|
Posted by: old_user on Jan-21-11 12:30 AM (EST)
Posted by: cd1 on Feb-04-11 6:07 PM (EST)
or Valley Nordkapp
Priority of your considerations?|
Posted by: Celia on Feb-05-11 12:46 AM (EST)
Does speed rank higher than stability, is maneuverability in there anywhere? Are there any boats you've paddled that are sure no gos for you?
Posted by: FrankNC on Feb-05-11 4:51 PM (EST)
I haven't seen this Wilderness Systems boat mentioned in this thread and it should be. You can bring everything you'd want for camping and be very comfortable. The boat has good manners and is very well outfitted and very comfortable like most Wildy boats.