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  Just ordered a zephyr 160
  Posted by: bartc on Nov-28-12 8:55 AM (EST)

Similar reasoning. I got the 160 as I'm also on that same border, but felt the little extra room would help me with comfort getting into the boat in particular, since I had hip surgery recently. The cockpit size is the same, but the deck height is slightly higher and the extra volume keeps it a bit higher still in the water.

Take out any padding before you try a boat, BTW. With all the padding in at a dealership, I had trouble getting in easily; with it out, no trouble at all. So building padding back up from zero seems to me to be the way to fit into a boat over time.

Tried the alchemy (before surgery) and found it thrillingly agile and quick, but a very very tight fit, even with the L size. People here on the Pacific seem to love it for rock gardening for obvious reasons. It's a sweet boat, but not really much lighter than the zephyr from what I can tell.

We'll see if I made the right choice for my attempt to upgrade my skills in wide open SF Bay and ocean. So far all reviews, including that of a paddling buddy who has the exact same model, suggest that I will.

I'm nervous about having bought a boat without being able to try the same boat on the water in real conditions. But the opportunity for a deal and the lack of the same model at most dealers made me jump. Not the way I usually buy and not the advice I would give anyone! But then, do we ever take our own advice???? LOL

 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:


Touring Kayak Paddles

Paddling Gloves

Kayak Seats


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