I am a recent kayak owner after many, many years of power boating and fishing.
I purchased a Perceptionsport Conduit 13', 26.5" wide. My goal for this purchase was to get a decent all around kayak, that would be a good introductory boat at a decent bang for the buck entry expense, at least until I knew whether or not I really liked the sport. I love this kayaking so far!
Secondly, I felt that if and when I "upgraded", this would be a good kayak to use as a spare, for a "beater" for rocky creeks and fishing, and to allow my friends to use who do not own boats. So far I am very happy with this purchase but am already looking ahead towards my next toy purchase.
My home water is the Ohio river and the tributaries that feed it. None of the creeks have any whitewater and are basically slowly meandering but they can neck down fairly narrow as one proceeds upstream.
As an example I went out Saturday morning, paddled 4 miles up the river, back into a creek, fished a bit,then paddled back the 4 miles. There are some trips on the river I would like to take that are 2O miles or so one way but of course that is in the future and would not be the norm.
Here is my question. If and when I upgrade to buy something that would be better for longer paddles, how much does one gain per extra foot of length and inches narrower, vs how much does one lose in stability and fishing ability?
As an example, Perception makes a 14' Carolina that is 24.5" wide and them some sea kayaks go several feet longer. I am probably wrong but it would seem to me that going from my current boat to a boat one foot longer and 2.5" narrower would not be a major step but my thinking may be totally off.
I am totally new but am trying to learn as much as I can.
In my opinion, my next boat would be better for longer distance paddling but I would still like to be able to take a fishing rod and a small amount of tackle and still have the stability to fish.
Thanks for your input and opinions.
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What you are describing:|
Posted by: jackl on Jul-01-13 12:07 PM (EST)
Will probably feel a little tippy the first day you get into it, and then gradually you'll get used to it.
do some demos|
Posted by: willowleaf on Jul-01-13 12:20 PM (EST)
Check with outfitters around the area for demo days where you will be able to test paddle a variety of boats. That is really the best way to get a feel for what they all do. You can certainly fish from longer boats. A good friend of mine in New England is a fishing guide who teaches people to spin cast from a standard cockpit sea kayak.
Be careful of|
Posted by: wavespinner on Jul-01-13 12:53 PM (EST)
those rocky creeks with no whitewater after a heavy rain. Some of them run class III or IV.
Actually, this isn't a concern|
Posted by: Basstar on Jul-01-13 1:27 PM (EST)
since when we get enough rain for this to become an issue, the river itself gets rolling with extremely strong current, but even worse is the debris such as logs, entire trees, tires, etc.
All depends on "priorities"|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Jul-01-13 1:08 PM (EST)
Some see kayaks as transportation to get somewhere
Posted by: Basstar on Jul-01-13 1:33 PM (EST)
This is exactly the type of info I am attempting to glean from this wonderful site. For a sit in kayak, paddling in a creek situation, the current model I have seems a very good choice. Perhaps not perfect to someone more experienced, but fine so far as I can tell. My next boat, based on my thinking at this time, would probably lean about 80%-85% transportation, 15%-20% fishability. I am an ex tournament bass guy and actually have a boat for when I am more serious about fishing and catching fish.
Length and width|
Posted by: WaterBird on Jul-01-13 3:31 PM (EST)
QUOTE: "As an example, Perception makes a 14' Carolina that is 24.5" wide and then some sea kayaks go several feet longer. I am probably wrong but it would seem to me that going from my current boat to a boat one foot longer and 2.5" narrower would not be a major step but my thinking may be totally off."
weight doesn't automatically go up|
Posted by: willowleaf on Jul-01-13 5:44 PM (EST)
A shorter wider kayak will tend to have similar volume so going somewhat longer and narrower does not much effect weight. In fact it can go down. My 15' x 21" Easky 15 weighs 5 pounds LESS than his Conduit. And I've loaned it to several novices who did not find it scarey so that is really not an extreme design. And it is a much faster and more fun boat from the first stroke than my older wider yak.
Thanks So Much|
Posted by: Basstar on Jul-01-13 6:19 PM (EST)
For this info. I will definitely try some others before I pull the trigger on a new boat but this info is definitely helpful.
Posted by: george4908 on Jul-01-13 9:54 PM (EST)
My own experiece is similar to yours. My first kayak was 12' long and 26" wide. Good starter boat, but by the time the next season rolled around, I was ready for something sleeker. My current kayak is 13' 10" long and 22.5" wide. So, not much longer, but a lot slimmer. I was comfortable on it right away, and the difference was immediate in terms of higher speed, greater maneuverability and less effort required to move the hull through the water. I recently test paddles a kayak that is 16' 9" long and 22" wide. Again, a noticeable difference -- but probably not as great as the difference between my first and second kayak.
Posted by: WaterBird on Jul-01-13 10:23 PM (EST)
There's crazy long and narrow and there's crazy short and wide. You have to find your own sweet spot somewhere in the middle.
This is true|
Posted by: WaterBird on Jul-01-13 10:03 PM (EST)
I guess I meant "all other things being equal." For example, 12', 14', and 16' kayaks in the same series by the same manufacturer get progressively heavier.
I occasionaly fish|
Posted by: Andy_Szymczak on Jul-01-13 10:55 PM (EST)
in my 18' X 21.25" kayak, and to me it's stable enough and yes it's a fast boat. Then again, I also paddle a 19" wide surf ski and I don't ever fish from it.
good point, WB|
Posted by: willowleaf on Jul-02-13 1:53 AM (EST)
Once manufacturers get above 12' long they tend to go to a narrower width and stay close to that width as the boats get longer so weights do go up. Other than specialized craft like hypernarrow surf skis, you pretty quickly reach a width that is the smallest the average adult can slip their butt into. So the weight curve tends to go up as the wide rec boat category increases in length, then drops off slightly in the first couple of jumps to narrower boats, then begins to rise again as width stays the same and length increases.
This has been extremely helpful|
Posted by: Basstar on Jul-02-13 9:37 PM (EST)
and I plan to put some seat time into mine and as I learn more about the boat, my interests, and my style, I will use this info and my experiences to make a good choice. At this point I do not think I would want a boat that was extremely long and skinny, although it might be faster. I think I still want a boat that is reasonably stable for fishing and somewhat maneuverable for some twisting and winding creeks, or paddling around some mangrove areas in Florida. That thinking of course may change over time. Again thanks everyone and I am sure I will have questions as I learn more about this sport.
Bear in mind....|
Posted by: Andy_Szymczak on Jul-02-13 11:37 PM (EST)
that there are as many "styles" of paddling as there are models of boats. We tend to drift into those styles and obtain boat(s) appropriate to our purpose. You've defined well what your intent is. But there is nothing like like a long skinny boat dancing across the water....;-)
twisty streams and mangroves|
Posted by: willowleaf on Jul-03-13 10:00 AM (EST)
My boyfriend and I kayak and canoe a lot, and our boat of choice for twisty streams and mangroves is a Mad River Adventure 16 poly canoe, propelled with kayak paddles. We took one into the Everglades last year on vacation and it was perfect. It would be a great fishing platform too. The smaller Adventure 14 would be good for a solo paddler. It has a center seat or you could stern paddle with some ballast in front. Tons of room for fishing gear and low gunwales so it doesn't catch wind. Stable but paddles easier and faster than our other canoe. We have even used it on Class I to II rapids. Best part is you can often find them used for under $400. Only drawback is it is heavy for one person to wrangle but a two wheeled cart takes care of that.
Keep an open mind.|
Posted by: magooch on Jul-03-13 10:19 AM (EST)
Do not assume anything about boat length and width will necessarily determine whether a boat turns more easily, or not and whether it will be fast, or stable. In general some of those assumptions are applicable, but many other factors come into play.
Theoretical top end hull speed|
Posted by: kayamedic on Jul-03-13 11:05 AM (EST)
=1.55 x waterline length in mph. Do the math for two different waterline lengths and your how faster question is answered. In theory.. The problem is that people cannot go longer infinitely; their personal limit on longer is better depends on how much horsepower they can develop.
kayak vs canoe paddles|
Posted by: willowleaf on Jul-03-13 11:23 AM (EST)
I agree there is an obvious drawback to a double paddle in tight mangrove swamps (catching it on overhead vegetation). But on the other hand, using one at a high angle means the bow paddler knocks a lot of the spiders out of the path ahead of the paddlers. :-)
There is no drawback to a double|
Posted by: JackL on Jul-03-13 1:06 PM (EST)
bladed paddle in little narrow mangrove tunnels.
NANCI TAUGHT'M THAT ONE!|
Posted by: scupperfrank on Jul-03-13 3:20 PM (EST)
But it's true -the rest of us will break our paddles down, but Jack finds a way to keep his in one piece... ...even if it's KILLING him, LOL!