Posted by: Bryanc76 on Jun-11-14 6:03 PM (EST) Category: Kayaks
I am looking for advice on the length of my first kayak. I have rented several of varying lengths for lakes and slow moving rivers and found I like a boat that is swift and tracks well. I don't weigh much and have a lot of upper body strength for my size so I am comfortable pushing a longer boat around to turn. I am considering the WS Tsunami, Tempest, or Focus and I think I want a boat that is at least 14 feet in length for the speed and tracking, but I'm torn between a 14-14.5 foot model or 16-16.5 foot model. I'll be mostly day tripping at this point. Thoughts from experienced touring kayakers would be appreciated.
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Which size fits better in the garage?|
Posted by: BearRiver on Jun-11-14 6:34 PM (EST)
All other things considered....
For your interests;|
Posted by: jackL on Jun-11-14 6:44 PM (EST)
Get the longer boat.
Posted by: Peter-CA on Jun-11-14 8:48 PM (EST)
Buy a used kayak first|
Posted by: tsunamichuck1 on Jun-12-14 3:08 AM (EST)
Some of 13.5-14 footers do real well. Longer generally means faster but there are lots of variables to account for. Depending on where you are, you can find older fiberglass kayaks in good shape for less money than the plastic Wilderness lineup.
Why not start with this?|
Posted by: magooch on Jun-12-14 9:14 AM (EST)
You say you want a fast boat that tracks well. So why not go with something like what NC Kayaks is selling right now at a $1000 discount. Take a look at nckayaks.com. Can you believe a 17'-2" beautiful new fiberglass sea kayak for $1599? And they are American made--believe it.
14' is fine|
Posted by: WaterBird on Jun-12-14 2:09 PM (EST)
My philosophy is to get the shortest kayak that will do the job safely, efficiently, and comfortably. If you want to go longer you should have a good reason, because length over 14' comes with drawbacks (weight, maneuverability, storage space). For slow rivers and lakes 12 to 14 feet will work, but if 12' it will need to have a well designed hull and two bulkheads. (Example: Delta 12.5)
nothing beats trying them|
Posted by: JayBabina on Jun-12-14 3:28 PM (EST)
Some glass 15-16 footers will weigh less than a 14 plastic. Generally glass is faster than plastic although only a bit. I never paddled a 16 that didn't feel noticeably faster than any 14. We're not talking about racing speed but the nice easy glide that a faster hull has over a shorter boat. A shorter boat has to go wider to carry the same load as a longer narrow boat which is the built-in governing factor. You have to try some to see how these differences feel to you to make good judgments. Also never negate your comfort in them. If a 14 just feels like more fun to you over a 16, then do that.
I wouldnt |
Posted by: Varmintmist on Jun-13-14 11:27 PM (EST)
say I am experienced, but I made a observation over the last couple days that I spent in my packed for 4 day kayak.
Posted by: poleplant on Jun-14-14 7:56 AM (EST)
What Jackl said.
Posted by: jmyers on Jun-14-14 8:27 AM (EST)
That I once owned was a great, do- everything boat. Had no trouble cruising with a group but if I stopped for a couple of minutes to, say, glass some shore birds it was hard work catching up with the others.
depends on speed|
Posted by: grayhawk on Jun-14-14 10:34 AM (EST)
Some shorter boats are more efficient at slower to moderate speed having less wetted surface area. They are easier to paddle up to a certain speed and then hit a wall. If you have the power to push a longer boat it will be much faster at the higher speeds.
About the strength thing |
Posted by: Celia on Jun-14-14 10:46 AM (EST)