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Old 05-02-2012, 10:38 AM   #21
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I've carried a pair of Perception Acadia 12' on my pilothouse roof most summers, but with limited clearance under cover at my moorage I removed them a couple of years ago and haven't got them back aboard.

We have cold (salt) water in the PNW, so a sit inside is more convenient for us and guests. Roto-molded plastic is essentially indestructible, though the weight is a bit higher.

If you have warm water, and particularly if you have children (or guests) who want to "play" in the water, then sit-on-tops would be the way to go.

In addition to use as a dive platform, you might want to look at fishing from a kayak - I've seen a couple that even mount hand operated downriggers!

We also had a double sit inside Ocean at our cabin in the San Juans and only used it a couple of times. IMHO the only reason to have a double is if you have a novice paddler who is uncomfortable being solo - but after about 15 minutes they are over that and ready for their own boat. You might also be able to use a double if you have a small (like under 20 lb) dog that you'd like to accompany you.

One important issue with a sit-inside is actually getting seated. It's one thing to get in and out when held against a kayak float in calm water, and another thing to get in from a rocking narrow swim step in an active moorage. The larger the opening the easier it will be, but then you will end up with a larger spray skirt and possibly compromised capabilities (the OP mentioned surf).

We don't have a swim step, so we enter / exit from our dinghy when anchored.
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:55 PM   #22
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We have a couple of Sterns inflatable single seat kayaks. I like the fact they can be stored in a space about the size of a large suitcase and are very stable. However, I think they are a very poor performer. This is the only kayak I have ever owned or sat in so I don't have direct experience but I do think if I was ever in a race with a hard kayak, they would beat me easily. Anyway, these inflatables work well in a protected anchorage.

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Old 05-02-2012, 02:13 PM   #23
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We too are looking for kayaks. The intent is to have two on board so that we can explore the bays and coves wherever we happen to be anchored, primarily along the BC coast. Due to stowage space limitations we are only looking at 10' models.

The two that we have looked at extensively are the Necky and the Seaward.

The Necky is Polyethylene and therefore a rough and tumble, pull it up on the rocks kind of kayak, which is great for mixing water and land exploration.

The Seaward, at least the model that we are looking at, is Thermoform, which I think is a kind of plastic, but it is somewhat fragile. Meaning that you would have to be careful when beaching the craft. The attraction for the Seaward is that you can get it with a bottom viewing window which would be great for exploring the shallow waters. So this kayak is meant more for just water exploration. Some say that the viewing window is just a gimmick, but it entirely depends on what the user wants.

In my limited kayaking experience, I have found that a 10' kayak seems to track quite straight, which is not what I keep hearing from other, more experienced, kayakers.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:30 PM   #24
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Conrad---- Based on our experience with beaching our dinghy in the islands and up the BC coast I would suggest the tougher of the two models you describe will serve you better in the long run. As I'm sure you know you can't always call the shots in your approach and landing on shore, and if you have a kayak that can suffer damage when it gets pushed into a rock despite your best efforts to avoid it you are out of luck.

The viewing window is a cute idea but how long will it be before it's all scratched up from pulling the kayak up on shore or just from general use of the craft?

One thing on our "to do" list is to make a small portable viewing box out of plexiglass that we can carry in our dinghy on exploration trips. We used to use things like this when mucking about in small boats over the reefs in Hawaii years ago. Four sides and a bottom glued together. Even a viewing "tube" made from a wide-diameter section of PVC pipe with a round plex plate glued onto one end would work and would probably be easier to stow inside a kayak. For all I know someone may make and sell this sort of thing commercially.

So I would not put downward viewing on my list of priorities when determining what sort of kayak to buy. Weight, handling, ease of in and out, stability for the anticipated water conditions, and strength and durability--- particularly with our rocky shores--- would be on my list.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:55 PM   #25
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Quote:
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In my limited kayaking experience, I have found that a 10' kayak seems to track quite straight, which is not what I keep hearing from other, more experienced, kayakers.
Our Santee Sport 116 kayaks are 11 feet 6 inches and they track beautifully!
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:28 PM   #26
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Good comments Marin, and you have highlighted the deliberations we are having. We have a more or less indestructible Portland Pudgy dinghy that we use for exploration and going ashore, which will always be with us, so the debate we are having is whether we would use the kayaks more for strictly on the water exploration; there are generally two - four of us the boat so perhaps the bottom viewing kayaks might be a nice option. The window is made of strong polycarbonate so should withstand a fair bit of abuse, and any scratches would essentially disappear once immersed in water. The bigger concern for the Seaward is that overall it is more prone to scratches. But it is light, only 36 pounds, whereas the Necky is 44 pounds.

Both the Seaward and Necky models are relatively wide for kayaks, approximately 29", so have reasonable stability I think.

Interesting thoughts about the viewing box; might work for photography also.

Actually the biggest challenge for us is stowage.

And thanks Delia Rosa, for confirming my experience!

I should have included links in my first note:

Seaward Kayaks | Thermoform and composite kayaks built to the highest quality for safety and performance.

Necky Kayaks | Kayaks with sleek lines, elegant shapes and a wide variety of uses
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:55 PM   #27
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Weight, handling, ease of in and out, stability for the anticipated water conditions, and strength and durability--- particularly with our rocky shores--- would be on my list.
Ease getting in and out of the kayak is, as Marin suggests, an important point - especially if you are climbing in or out via a high dock or a swim platform... we were able to try out many different kayaks on the water and found that one of us wasn't quite as nimble as expected... so the larger cockpit option of the 'sport' edition made our choice much clearer!
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:18 PM   #28
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My wife has has a single Advanced Elements. She loves it. She also has a hardshell kayak but she doesn't bring it on the boat.

I love the Advanced as it packs away into a suitcase that I can stuff into the Laz so that it is out of sight and not cluttering up deck space.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:24 PM   #29
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Ease getting in and out of the kayak is, as Marin suggests, an important point - especially if you are climbing in or out via a high dock or a swim platform... we were able to try out many different kayaks on the water and found that one of us wasn't quite as nimble as expected... so the larger cockpit option of the 'sport' edition made our choice much clearer!
Our usage will be pretty much exclusively via our stern platform, which is pretty close to the water. Other kayaking experiences have been from this same platform into a Walmart or Canadian Tire kayak, which is probably on about the same stability/cockpit size level as the models as we are looking at. But good point, and I'll check the cockpit sizes. Level of nimbleness is important!

One other point I'll make. Before my first kayaking experience I was really concerned that it would be uncomfortable, and hard on my back. Having now kayaked, and sat in a number of kayaks in the stores, I'm amazed at how comfortable they really are!
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:05 PM   #30
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One other point I'll make. Before my first kayaking experience I was really concerned that it would be uncomfortable, and hard on my back. Having now kayaked, and sat in a number of kayaks in the stores, I'm amazed at how comfortable they really are!
I can paddle for hours in mine... the seat back is adjustable, so no sore backs here.... the worst problem for me is blisters on my thumbs which I hope to solve with special "Flexx-Rapô Tape" from Lee Valley!
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:48 PM   #31
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I'll add my 2 cents here - spent many years in the PNW kayaking whitewater, surf, rivers, & ocean. It is true, there are as many kayaks as there are things to do with them. I now carry a couple of 16 ft. Pygmy Osprey I made about ten years ago. They are incredibly sturdy and light (38 lbs.). Once, one flew off a roof rack at about 60 mph, just scratched up the surface (had loaned it to a friend -- don't ask). Like many things (motorcycles, bikes, boats), if you get into it, you'll find yourself with a whole stable of different kayaks. Fun, but your car will never again see the inside if a garage.

Attached is a picture of one of the Ospreys on a three week trip down the Columbia River & the Oregon Coast.

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Old 05-02-2012, 09:15 PM   #32
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One thing I failed to mention in my original post is to read all you can about kayaking before leaving site of the big boat, and carry a waterproof handheld VHF wherever you go, and make sure someone on the big boat monitors the radio. Wind and current can have their way with a novice. PFD must be worn at all times, unless of course you are swimming out of the kayak. I you do choose a sit inside boat, I can't recommend highly enough that you learn the eskimo roll. It's intimidating when you see it done, and takes a trained instructor to teach it, but it will open up the world of kayaking by removing a lot of fear. For us cold water paddlers, it guarantees you will only get your upper torso wet and cold.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:19 PM   #33
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We too are looking for kayaks. The intent is to have two on board so that we can explore the bays and coves wherever we happen to be anchored, primarily along the BC coast. Due to stowage space limitations we are only looking at 10' models.

The two that we have looked at extensively are the Necky and the Seaward.

The Necky is Polyethylene and therefore a rough and tumble, pull it up on the rocks kind of kayak, which is great for mixing water and land exploration.

The Seaward, at least the model that we are looking at, is Thermoform, which I think is a kind of plastic, but it is somewhat fragile. Meaning that you would have to be careful when beaching the craft. The attraction for the Seaward is that you can get it with a bottom viewing window which would be great for exploring the shallow waters. So this kayak is meant more for just water exploration. Some say that the viewing window is just a gimmick, but it entirely depends on what the user wants.

In my limited kayaking experience, I have found that a 10' kayak seems to track quite straight, which is not what I keep hearing from other, more experienced, kayakers.
Check out Ocean Kayaks for another boat with a plexi viewing window. Necky is also a good boat. I have owned a couple different models over the years. The Necky Tesla was my favorite touring boat.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:29 AM   #34
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Thanks for the recommendations.

Carey, I've checked out the Ocean kayaks, and they look very interesting, although they are just a little bit too long for us to stow. But somewhat indestructible, and yet with the viewing window. Well thought out.

Dwhatty, the Airfusion model by Advanced Elements appears to have taken the concept of inflatable kayaks to a whole new level! Who knew?

And DVD, a 16' kayak that only weighs 38 pounds? That is less than most of the 10' models we're looking at!

Again thanks for these recommendations and other helpful comments. Lots to chew on.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:50 AM   #35
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Good luck! With the variety of kayaks out there I'm sure you'll find something to fit your needs. Mine are so light weight because they are sandwich construction with 3mm plywood core covered by fiberglass. It's like paddling a sports car versus a station wagon!

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