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  Best Kayak Length
  Posted by: climbnride58 on Sep-04-12 4:30 PM (EST)
   Category: Kayaks 

just wondering what most people here think is the ideal length for a one person touring Kayak

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Messages in this Topic


  best to read the other related threads
  Posted by: jcbikeski on Sep-04-12 4:41 PM (EST)
some key things to consider though are how far you hope to paddle, whether and how much you need to pack for multi-day trips and what conditions you paddle (moving water, calm lakes, rough open waters, etc.) and finally your own size (there are often scaled down version of larger boats that are ideal for those shorter than average).
  One other thing
  Posted by: kelvin1 on Sep-04-12 6:44 PM (EST)
If you are paddling with other people don't get something too different to what they have.
  yeah, I discovered that
  Posted by: climbnride58 on Sep-05-12 5:41 PM (EST)
I was kayaking in my nine foot, and friends had fourteeners. It wore me out trying to keep up.
As I mentioned, I am looking for a touring kayak. something relatively lightweight, but has decent storage capabilities. Hoping for something in the twelve foot range.
  in general, shorter kayaks
  Posted by: tetonjohn on Sep-05-12 6:12 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Sep-05-12 6:14 PM EST --

don't have both front and rear sealed bulkheads which is a safety feature (beyond the "dry" storage function of these compartments with hatches) -- keeps the boat floating and horizontal if swamped.
I suppose in shallow ponds that might not matter. If you paddle with companions in 14 footers, why not that? I think a 14 can be lifted onto the roof of a car -- I guess you don't want to go so heavy that it is difficult to transport.

What's ideal for me? I have a 14 and a 16.5; I guess neither one is ideal!

  Try a Conduit 13.
  Posted by: adnelson on Sep-06-12 3:42 PM (EST)
From Dick's. Do some research. I have found it to be the best kayak for me. It may not be the best kayak out there, but for the price it can't be beat.
  Question on the Conduit 13...
  Posted by: old_user on Sep-06-12 4:46 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Sep-06-12 4:48 PM EST --

I could see this being a good 'second boat/loaner boat' for me when I have non-kayaking friends come along and paddle with me.

How's the paddling position on the Conduit? From the pics, it looks like the deck is raised considerably near the front of the cockpit, so that you might be able to paddle with a bit of a 'knees high and close together' position (i.e. somewhat of a 'surf-ski-like' position).

If true, that would be great. I think subjecting ppl to the 'frog-legged/yoga' splayed-out position is tough on newbies' backs (a la boats such as the Tsunami).

If not true, oh well. The Conduit's still the most inexpensive front & rear bulkhead boat out there. =]

  Oh, yes!
  Posted by: adnelson on Sep-07-12 9:42 PM (EST)
It has a pretty large cockpit, and the (I don't know if they are knee or thigh) pads extend down into the inside so that if you want they can be used as thigh braces, but if you get cramped, you can bring you knees up.
  Posted by: old_user on Sep-07-12 9:55 PM (EST)
Thanks, Nelson. =]

In general, do you think it's a semi-capable boat for a little bay/gentle-ocean-conditions action? At what point would you say, "Uh, I'm not going out in that with this"?

  I have
  Posted by: ADNelson on Sep-08-12 9:27 AM (EST)
no experience on the ocean or a large lake, so I shouldn't say anything, but it has very good secondary and initial stability, and I would be comfortable trying it in 1-2 foot swell. Not sure about the open ocean, but I don't think so.
  Posted by: old_user on Sep-04-12 8:08 PM (EST)
The OP's question can't be answered *well* without more info.

Though I suspect many ppl's default answer will always be 'seventeen feet'.

  13 ft 6 inches
  Posted by: tsunamichuck1 on Sep-04-12 6:25 PM (EST)
  well, second choice
  Posted by: Peter-CA on Sep-04-12 7:54 PM (EST)
The Pamlico comes in both a 13' 6" and 14' 6" model, and both are just awesome for any use, whether as a single or a double.
  Posted by: tsunamichuck1 on Sep-04-12 8:32 PM (EST)
  if serious, something to read
  Posted by: tetonjohn on Sep-04-12 6:50 PM (EST)
  seems like good advice
  Posted by: jcbikeski on Sep-04-12 6:59 PM (EST)
I often echo the advice of getting the car rack first so you can easily rent from other than just the waterfront places. And if on a budget buying used is a way better idea than buying cheap new.
  Parameters, Constraints, Boundaries
  Posted by: willi_h2o on Sep-04-12 7:50 PM (EST)
Same questions applies to bikes concerning :
- panniers
- jumping ramps
- velodrome

Going to need some guidelines to frame the
kayak question to understand the basic
where, what, why, who and how.
  Under 16 feet.
  Posted by: Cliffjrs on Sep-04-12 7:57 PM (EST)
Our kayak shed is 16 feet long. ;-)
  Posted by: Waterbird on Sep-05-12 6:50 PM (EST)
This is a personal choice. I don't like to store, load, or transport long or heavy kayaks. It also depends on the conditions, whether flat or rough.

The minimum would be 12' with two hatches. Most people would consider that too short for touring, but I know of at least one or two twelve footers that would work for touring. Example: Delta 12.10 (Okay, that's more than twelve feet.)

14'-15' is a nice middle ground. 14' is certainly sufficient.

How much you can store in the hatches is a function of the length, but may depend even more on the depth of the kayak, especially at the ends.
  Posted by: LeeG on Sep-05-12 7:28 PM (EST)
  Posted by: jcbikeski on Sep-05-12 9:26 PM (EST)
a kayak that inclues a piece of pi
  18' 3"
  Posted by: Andy_Szymczak on Sep-05-12 7:38 PM (EST)
  Gotta love that
  Posted by: jcamry98 on Sep-06-12 11:01 PM (EST)
Kajaksport Artissan Millenium, don'tcha? I know that I DO!!
  kayak length
  Posted by: old_user on Sep-06-12 2:10 PM (EST)
Some of that depends on the seas/conditions you paddle, your size/weight, etc.

In general, I find 14' a little short other than for training and day trips. I prefer about 16', high profile for more seas.

24" width is standard for beginners/intermediates; 22" is faster of course.

The more I am doing lakes/slow rivers I go a little shorter........14' to 15'.

  Posted by: PHILIPJEDLICKA on Sep-06-12 4:53 PM (EST)
17 to 19ft and no wider than 22.5".

With these dimensions, you get storage capacity and speed.

If you plan on doing no touring and just playing around I'd say 15 to 16ft is a good length.
  two thumbs up! (nm)
  Posted by: tvcrider on Sep-07-12 12:58 PM (EST)
  Longer than it is wide.
  Posted by: ezwater on Sep-06-12 5:34 PM (EST)
  Curves are nice
  Posted by: LeeG on Sep-06-12 9:15 PM (EST)
  For me it's 19'-2"
  Posted by: magooch on Sep-07-12 10:29 AM (EST)
When I first got into kayaking, I could never have imagined me having such a boat, but now I can't imagine ever being without it. NC Expedition.
  mostly inland waterways
  Posted by: climbnride58 on Sep-07-12 3:21 PM (EST)
99% of what I do/would be doing is on lakes.
  Ideal for what?
  Posted by: jimyaker on Sep-07-12 4:13 PM (EST)
You said Touring Kayak, but you didn't really say what you want from the kayak. Do you want to cover a lot of distance? Camp from it? Fish from it? Take photos from it? Race it? Take it out on open seas?

"Best" needs a qualifier of some sort.
  Posted by: climbnride58 on Sep-17-12 1:24 AM (EST)
camping or long day trips
  re: ideally
  Posted by: old_user on Sep-17-12 1:44 AM (EST)
Sounds like you want an expedition boat then.

Those are generally 16 to 18 feet long, unless you're a petite female, in which case you can go likely a bit shorter (Necky Eliza, Impex Mystic, etc).

  The Great Lakes?
  Posted by: PHILIPJEDLICKA on Sep-07-12 5:44 PM (EST)
The Great Lakes, where i do 99% of my kayaking have sunk a lot of big ships and can be just as challenging as the ocean ( minus tides and dangerous sea creatures).

Most kayaks 17ft+ can handle just about everything except narrow waterways and hard core white water.
  my own preference
  Posted by: willowleaf on Sep-16-12 1:32 AM (EST)
Having owned 10 solo kayaks from 9' to 18' (and every length in between) I can state that the two I use and like the best (and find most versatile) are both around 15' long and 22" wide. Nice balance of speed and maneuverability in everything from rough lake and coastal waters to flat rivers and lakes and even up to mild Class II streams. I can keep up with any of my paddling buddies in longer boats and have a lot of fun on my own.
  Correct kayak length
  Posted by: rnsparky on Sep-17-12 12:53 PM (EST)
corresponds to the weight one person can car load or carry to water by themself.
  wrong question
  Posted by: slushpaddler on Sep-17-12 1:02 PM (EST)
You should be asking yourself that question.
  That's easy
  Posted by: roanguy on Sep-17-12 3:40 PM (EST)
17 or 18 feet long unless you are a short person. then 15 or 16 feet long.

  Posted by: ppine on Sep-17-12 5:00 PM (EST)
Somewhere between 15 and 18 feet.
  14 feet is the best for races
  Posted by: FrankNC on Sep-17-12 11:29 PM (EST)
I recently got first place in a race. I think they made a special category for me, because I was the only one to do the 20 miler in a 14 sit on top.

I'm pretty certain most of the 20 mile competitors past me last Saturday, so if you want to win races bring a 14 foot rec boat!
  What boat were you paddling ?
  Posted by: roanguy on Sep-18-12 7:04 AM (EST)
  currently paddling an 8 footer
  Posted by: climbnride58 on Sep-22-12 6:50 PM (EST)
but, I can't keep up with my friends who are paddling 14 footers, duh!

I will probably end up getting something between 12 and 14 feet with a skeg.
  ok then...
  Posted by: old_user on Sep-22-12 8:51 PM (EST)
"I will probably end up getting something between 12 and 14 feet with a skeg."

Alrighty then, given that and your previously stated desire for more of a touring/camping boat, perhaps look at stuff like the Venture Easky 15, North Shore Aspect, Necky Manitou 14, and Perception Expression.

Some might also add the Dagger Alchemy and P&H Delphin, and they'd probably do the trick, but they are more playboat-oriented than touring-oriented.

  great source in Oakland
  Posted by: willowleaf on Sep-23-12 2:53 PM (EST)
I realize Oakland, CA, could be right next door or 500 miles from you, but if you can reasonably get there , CCK Paddlesports is having an incredible sale with dozens of new and used yaks in stock, including my favorite mid-sized kayak, the Venture Easky 15. They have some used ones under $800. Good opportunity to compare several of the models mentioned in this thread.
  Posted by: climbnride58 on Sep-25-12 5:41 PM (EST)
for the advice, and suggestions.
I wish Oakland was closer, but I am near Pasadena
  Roanguy - CD Kestrel 140 sit on top
  Posted by: FrankNC on Sep-26-12 10:21 AM (EST)
the Current Designs Kestrel 140 sit on top is my boat of choice for most paddles these days unless it is a long trip. For trips over two days, my Cobra Expedition hold more, but it is not as fun to paddle as it is a very straight tracking boat.


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