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2-6 Day Kayaking Trips
San Juan Islands
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  Get the Z 15.5
  Posted by: Kocho on Feb-27-13 9:46 AM (EST)
 

This is the most versatile of the bunch with play as a high priority and by far the cheapest, along with the T165. The Zephyr is also lighter than the rest, even the plastic Z is lighter than the fiberglass Romany and probably more durable where hard banging against rocks is involved. The Delphin handles better for bigger wave surfing and for currents, the Tempest is nicer to cover some distance in. All good choices, including the Romany, but for $600-$900 used a Z or a T makes a lot of sense to me as a firs boat for what you want. They are a bit lively but actually quite stable once you get used to them. The Delphin (and I think the Romany too) have stronger initial stability since they are flatter and more square bottomed, so they will be easier to get in and just paddle coming from a rec boat. The Delphin is unfortunately quite heavy at over 60lb and the T165 is low in the cockpit, which some don't like for long days on the water. The hatches on the D are watertight and very solid; the ones on the Z may or may not bewatertight (more variation there) and are not as solid, but still fine and safe. So try them all - as long as the skeg works, the hatches close well, and the foam bulkheads are sealed (you can do that yourself easily if they aren't) - there is very little that can be wrong with a used plastic boat, so IMO the risk of buying used plastic Z or T is low, if they look good overall - fiberglass you have to see in person carefully as there might be hidden damage/soft spots/repairs/cracks etc. that are not easily evident from photos.

 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:

Women's PFD's

Fishing PFD's

Touring Sprayskirts

Electric Kayak Motor

EZ-Dock modular docks

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