STABLE kayak suggestions for my wife
Posted by: kingtermite on May-08-14 2:19 PM (EST) Category: unassigned
If any of you remember me...I started a thread a month or two ago asking about a kayak for me. Some people started asking me about wet exit, and self rescue and I had no idea what they were talking about.
Thankfully they did, though, as it gave me more to research and I found out there was a lot more I needed to know.
Since then, my wife and I have taken a 4-part Sea Kayaking class that did plenty of self and assisted rescues and we know 'the basics'.
We are going to the NW paddle fest this weekend to try out some boats. One of the people helping with the class has a kayak for sale that felt great to me, and I may get it from him if I don't 'fall in love' with any this weekend.
Anyway, we are still looking for one that my wife feels better in. She hasn't found any that feel comfortably stable yet.
She's about 5'6" and 210 lbs.
We are definitely leaning toward sit-in sea kayaks (17' range).
Can you recommend some good kayaks that are very stable? At this beginner level, we've learned that we aren't horribly concerned with speed and handling as much.
Main requirements: STABLE and tracks decently well.
We'll probably stick mostly to lakes this first year, but plan to get into salt water soon enough.
Suggestions please? What are some good well known very stable kayaks that are good for beginners of larger size?
Thanks in advance. :)
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Posted by: Marshall on May-08-14 3:04 PM (EST)
If there's some leeway in that parameter I would recommend the new Venture Jura as a poly option.
Posted by: kingtermite on May-08-14 3:09 PM (EST)
Dumping out the vendors that aren't really what we want, this is my list of vendors to check out.
Posted by: kingtermite on May-08-14 3:21 PM (EST)
Thanks for suggestions....not 'strict' on the 17', no.
Current Designs older Solstice series|
Posted by: Celia on May-08-14 4:31 PM (EST)
You'd probably be looking at the boats for bigger folks in that series to accommodate cockpit fit for your wife - but aside from the Solstice GT these boats just do not like to capsize. Of course all boats can, but they will do so much less easily. In fact, I found out with my first boat (a Squall) that they are a PITA to roll. They have so much of an interest in that secondary stability point that they hate to pass it in either direction, going down or coming back up. The boat for your wife in the Solstice series is probably the Storm. Comes in plastic too, which makes it less expensive.
Posted by: nickjc on May-08-14 4:44 PM (EST)
find boats you fit in. good contact with feet,thighs and hips makes a world of difference.
Stability is in the eye of the beholder|
Posted by: bignate on May-08-14 5:07 PM (EST)
It would help a lot to know what boats your wife tried and found to be uncomfortably unstable.
Posted by: kingtermite on May-08-14 5:14 PM (EST)
The answer for both of us is little or not. I agree somewhat....I think I'm convincing her that she doesn't need to be perfectly rock solid because that's unlikely.
At the risk of bleeding into |
Posted by: rpg51 on May-08-14 6:01 PM (EST)
the realm of marriage counseling - it might be best to step out of the decision making and let her take charge. She has essentially the same experience as you - meaning none - so she can seek advice from people she trusts and then make her own decision. That way in the end it will be a decision that she made and she will be motivated to make the decision work. Just a thought.
Letting her make decision|
Posted by: kingtermite on May-08-14 10:08 PM (EST)
Thanks for the advice. I understand where you are coming from.
Posted by: Waterbird on May-08-14 10:31 PM (EST)
On your list there are at least two brands that won't fit your wife because the cockpits are small: Delta and QCC. She should be looking for a cockpit that's about 18" x 35".
The QCC 400X cockpit is deep, which|
Posted by: Yanoer on May-09-14 12:51 AM (EST)
makes the 16"x30" inner cockpit dimensions less of an issue than on the shallower QCC models (600 & 700).
Posted by: Waterbird on May-09-14 11:02 PM (EST)
5'6" 210 lbs
Longer doesn't always = easy entry.|
Posted by: Yanoer on May-10-14 4:48 AM (EST)
The OP's wife may not fit in the 400X, but also may not fit in a kayak with a 34" long cockpit, unless there is enough depth to go with the length.
Too many assumptions|
Posted by: Celia on May-10-14 8:16 AM (EST)
You are assuming that the configurations given mean that the OPer's wife is carrying much of her weight in her hips and thighs.
Doesn't really matter in this case|
Posted by: Waterbird on May-11-14 11:07 PM (EST)
A person who is 5'6" and 210 lbs isn't going to fit into a QCC comfortably no matter where her weight is, and I think this is probably true for Deltas also. Those are just the wrong brands for those body types. Eddyline would fit the person in question better because Eddyline has made an attempt to cater to larger people.
Posted by: Celia on May-11-14 11:21 PM (EST)
I know quite large people who fit into one boat rather than another BECAUSE one is deeper. In one case, a well over 6 ft tall guy, the cockpit opening is exactly the same between the boat he can't get into and the one he paddles. The difference is in the depth.
Of course depth matters|
Posted by: Waterbird on May-12-14 10:34 PM (EST)
have you heard of ocean cockpits?|
Posted by: slushpaddler on May-12-14 1:17 PM (EST)
Feel free to give your definition|
Posted by: Waterbird on May-12-14 10:35 PM (EST)
of an ocean cockpit so we can have a free for all.
Posted by: slushpaddler on May-13-14 9:09 AM (EST)
Look at used kayaks and do not limit|
Posted by: tsunamichuck1 on May-09-14 12:43 AM (EST)
yourself. I frequently use a 13.5 ft Northwest Kayaks Sportee. Paddled 25 miles around Resurrection Bay yesterday and did a trip down and up a class 2 section of The Kenai River the day before. If you can find an Eddyline Falcon, the 16ft fiberglass model, A Mariner Coaster or Express. Demo it.
More on deck height/ Solstice|
Posted by: Celia on May-09-14 7:44 AM (EST)
From your list|
Posted by: Marshall on May-09-14 11:19 AM (EST)
The only mfg. I carry and have direct experience (recently. I'll let others weight in on CD, Eddyline, etc. as my seat time is dusty with those brands) is P&H, Valley & North Shore.
"V hull tips over in the driveway"|
Posted by: Waterbird on May-11-14 11:01 PM (EST)
That was true of the previous generation of Eddylines, like the Merlin XT, which had a deep V hull. The newer design (e.g. Journey) has a moderate V hull and is more stable.
Not the point|
Posted by: Celia on May-11-14 11:13 PM (EST)
You misinterpreted my meaning|
Posted by: Waterbird on May-12-14 10:07 PM (EST)
Eddyline discontinued the Merlin XT in part because of low stability for beginning and intermediate kayakers. The problem, according to Eddyline, was the deep V hull.
Posted by: RubricOfRuin on May-09-14 9:34 AM (EST)
Xplore, Xtra and Vortex - bombproof and stable (Vortex is a plastic version of Xtra pretty much, easier on the pocket)
Posted by: willowleaf on May-09-14 10:41 AM (EST)
Occassionally a vintage Dagger Magellan turns up for sale in good shape, made in the 80's, 17' touring kayak. I had one for years as my loaner for friends and dates, wish i had held on to it. it was very stable but easy to paddle to decent speed and tracked well, with or without the rudder. i had countless folks of all sizes, mostly novices in it and all felt very secure in it. Paddled it a few times myself and enjoyed the feel and performance. The stock seat is a little funky but the back can be replaced with a backband. It is a little heavy (62 #) but a durable and reliable craft. I bought it for $400 and sold it 8 years later for $450 (actually had buyers bidding me for it when i posted it on Craigslist).
Here's one for ya.|
Posted by: magooch on May-09-14 11:37 AM (EST)
The Next Adventure Paddle store in Portland Oregon has two brand new Maelstrom Vaags on clearance for $2600. It might be well worth a drive down to Portland to have a look and see if the fit is right. Check out their paddles and other gear while you're there. I've made some purchases there that are unbelievable.
Posted by: vk1nf on May-12-14 10:56 AM (EST)
...is an incredible boat - spent a couple of hours in a friend's, and it felt like I could trust it to go anywhere, do anything. Real solid in the water, turns readily, tracks well, beautifully built and finished. If I was looking, the Vaag would be No. 2 on the list - Eastern Island Makkovik would be No. 1.
Try the Eddyline Carribean sit on top |
Posted by: BearRiver on May-12-14 7:49 PM (EST)
I am not quite that weight, but am not a lightweight, and have the long legs which I don't want to have to work to get in and out of a cockpit in the really hot summers we have. I have had the Carribean s.o.t. by Eddyline in the 14' length (it also comes in a 12') and it is stable. We've had it on the lakes/reservoirs, the American River, and down in the Delta with mild rapids, breezes, currents, and powerboat wash, and in spite of not having a rudder, if you weight the front AND the back with a little bit of gear (because you're in the middle as a heavy pivot point) the thing tracks and steers amazingly well. It is easy to get in and out of, and if you somehow manage to go over, you just flip it back over and it drains itself, none of this having to pump it out. The only time I've done this was by leaning too far over towards upstream side while turned sideways in a heavy current, which one shouldn't do anyway. (insert "embarrassed" icon here) I was very impressed that the inverted kayak did not take off without me, but waited patiently for me to come back up.... smaller one might have.
Most of the suggestions |
Posted by: rpg51 on May-12-14 10:20 PM (EST)
made in this thread are for quite expensive composite sea kayaks. Is there any merit to giving consideration to a plastic kayak? The OP's wife is a beginner after all. Why not get into something less expensive and then later after you have a few years experience and you have a better idea what you want move into a composite - if you feel the need at all.
Posted by: slushpaddler on May-13-14 10:57 AM (EST)
Posted by: kingtermite on May-12-14 11:08 PM (EST)
I thought since you good people were kind enough to give so much advice, I'd tell you the results of what we liked.
Before you buy.|
Posted by: magooch on May-13-14 8:39 AM (EST)
Do some poking around on that Chinook. The ones I have had experience with have been quite squishy. Compare it with the Eddyline ABS. If you do that comparison, take a good hard look at the Eddyline Raven. That is a great boat.
Posted by: carldelo on May-13-14 10:40 AM (EST)
One thing to remember, if you buy a QCC new and don't like it, they'll take it back, which takes out some of the risk.
Posted by: bignate on May-13-14 11:19 AM (EST)
makes some great boats. I had the chance to paddle an Illusion a couple years ago and came away very impressed.
did you all get boats yet?|
Posted by: starlaurenj on Aug-20-14 2:36 AM (EST)