-- Last Updated: Sep-20-12 10:02 AM EST --
I think you are proabably posting this as a hypothetical informational challenge rather than actually planning to plop newbies in Force 5 winds so I will treat it as such (and avoid lectures on the dangers of big water and novices.)
You are likely looking in the $1000 to $1500 range with high sales volume RM boats like the WS Tsunami family or the similarly priced Venture Easky or Perception Carolina lines(exact model/length for each would depend on the approximate size range of your projected paddling buddies) .
Personally, I'm a fan of the Easkys' sort of hybrid Brit/Greenland styling for "bang for the buck" and for confident handling in rough water, though I admit I have never had mine in conditions as severe as you describe. But I have heard feedback from others who own an Easky and report using the model in challenging Pacific coastal conditions. The only drawback I would see to the Ventures in conditions is the vulnerable rubber hatch covers. I would add a deck mounted security strap across each one if I was going to take it in conditions where a cover could possibly be wrenched off. Lack of a day hatch is annoying but you are talking about a basic good value, not all bells and whistles.
Most of our local dealers have these models on sale this time of year for 10% to 20% off (I scored mine 2 years ago for 30% off).
Of course the absolute cheapest would be to build your own Yost boat or traditional wood and nylon/urethane skin on frame. But if you did that you would probably love it too much to loan it.
First Need Purifier
Paddler's Truck Rack
Kayak Carrier Kits
Cartop Kayak Carriers
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