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Old 04-04-2014, 01:59 AM   #1
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What sort of kayak

The admiral and I are intending to buy a pair of kayaks for this upcoming and future seasons. We have very little experience kayaking and are both retired. We are not looking to go in rough water, or even very far. A simple plastic one or two should do the trick.

My question is- sit on or sit in. Are sit on ones easier to get into, do they get you wetter, do they have specific advantages or disadvantages compared to sit in.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Konataffy.
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:23 AM   #2
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It can get cold in your part of the world ,so you may want to try to stay dry. For that I think the sit in style is more effective than the sit on.

Assuming you are going to store the boats on board, you will need to work out a system that allows you to launch and retrieve the kayaks easily.Where you store them may limit the length.

The pic's shows what works for us. Note, our units are sit ons, which is fine for us as we live in a warm climate, and we are usually in swimmers so getting wet is not an issue.

These boats are made from Polyethylene, very tough and quite lite.They are 10' long and fairly broad, which makes for good stability.They point reasonably well, good for small adventures not really up to long trips though.

All things considered they are a lot of fun, and importantly, easy for single handed launch and retrieval.
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:03 AM   #3
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We're contemplating kayaks as well , and are still researching. The major deliberation for us is how are we going to use it. If it will be used to go ashore then our rocky barnacle covered beaches will dictate a rough and tumble almost indestructible kayak. But if we are looking more for something that will be used for exploring the shoreline and wandering around coves and bays our choice would be something like the 10' Seaward that has a bottom viewing window. We're leaning toward the latter, knowing that we would use our dinghy for shoreside excursions.
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:03 AM   #4
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We went through a similar process and ended up with two Airfusion Elites. Another cruiser we met in the Octopus Islands spoke very highly of them so we gave them a try too.
Inflatable Kayaks | Kayaks made for recreational, high performance, sit-on-top self bailing and multi-use.
Very happy so far, but like the previous post noted, it depends on what you want to do with them.
What we like is they can be deflated and stored in a large gym-like bag for the winter, inclement weather on long hauls, and are light (~35 lbs) so lifting up onto the boat is easy. They are good even as the water gets a bit rougher, but I want to be mindful of oyster shells in desolation sound! Same material as an inflatable dingy so will take some abuse though I don't want to push it. We have a good swim grid so getting in and out is easy. They do take a bit to set them up but some of the more negative comments online must be from mechanically challenged people! Think of a slightly complex tent and you have a sense of the task.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:53 AM   #5
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we have been kayaking for 10 years and love it. Last season I even taught kayak discovery courses.

Anyhow, it depends on what you want to do. First, you definably want a recreational kayak. Next do you want singles or a double. just as a tip...we used to call the doubles 'divorce boats'. length. Just like trawlers the longer they are the faster they are. Pay attention to the manufactures' weight rating...most average build people go with a 12' it is long enough to handle weight yet short enough to handle in tight spaces.

as for sit ins or sit on tops...among kayaks that is like asking trawler owners which is better a displacement hull or semidisplacement.

the correct answer is it depends...the sit on is easier to get in and out of, you can't swamp one (ok you can but you have to try).

the sit in, will give a dryer ride...unless you swamp it. They also tend to be more stable and the hull helps shelter you from a wind.

I own both and ALL of this being said, if i were starting i would likely go with a sit ON. That is my wife's primary kayak she loves it. To keep dry in the winter she puts foam practice golf balls in the scuppers. they have special scupper plugs but they leak, the golf balls never have. she ends up staying mostly as dry in it as i do in my sit in.

Most paddle sport shops will have several demos of both styles...ask to use them.

If there is a dealer near you check out a Wilderness Systems, Tarpon. I have 2 of these. They are built like a tank, good tracking in wind, all around good boat. mine are 8 years old and have out lived newer boats that bought to replace them with.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:12 AM   #6
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We have also been looking for small kayaks. Have looked at the Seaward Intrigue, with the window in the bottom. Reviews are good, price is a little high. Currently have a Delta 10, in transit, should be here in a few days. It is a little wider than most 10 footers, but is a Cat style hull, has a window in bottom, and gets good reviews. They are available at REI for about $900. Also at REI is a cool looking 10 footer called an Elie, nice features but no window in bottom. Price about $600. I think there is an Intrigue available on Seattle Craigs list currently. Good luck. Dan
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:17 AM   #7
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Two kinds of stability

Sit on's tend to have more primary stability. This makes them more stable to get on and off, more usable to swim from, fish from and learn to use. they are usually heavier than a sit in or inflatable. They are also usually slower than the sit in's. Rigid sit ins offer a grater variety of hull shapes and stability, most of the performance kayaks have less primary stability but greater secondary stability making them more suitable in waves. They are much harder to board from a boat than the sit ins. Inflatables range in performance and cost, are usually slower than a rigid sit on or sit in. They can be more sea worthy and some are very heavily built and white water capable. There also expensive fabric boats like the Feather craft that combine the qualities of both kind of boats. These take little space stored paddle like a rigid and some have inflated flotation rings that provide primary stability and a hull shape that has great secondary stability as well. Lots of choices.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:35 AM   #8
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I would recommend THIS kayak.

Very light. Easy to get in-out. Fast for it's size. Durable. Attractive. Very maneuverable. Even comfortable.
And most importantly FUN to paddle.

I've had considerable kayaking experience and have paddled the Sandpiper. It's 28" wide and very stable.

And the factory is very near you at the Bayview airport. Eddyline Sandpiper Kayak at REI.com
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:42 AM   #9
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I'll pass on a little tip which was given to me some time ago in a similar thread here. Put an attachment on the upper side of the kayak (I just used rivets to attach one) so that you can put a cord through it and attach that side to the swim platform. That way, when you get into it (or on it, depending on the type of kayak) it will remain relatively steady. Makes it a lot easier to get on and off.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:55 PM   #10
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I am a big fan of the Hobie Revolution kayaks. They are pedal instead of paddle. You can paddle them if you want to, but peddling is the way to go. You can drink a cup of coffee while you are peddling around. We can spend hours on ours. We tried out sit in and sit on kayaks. The sit on variety is easier for us to get in and out of from the swim step.

Hobie dealers will let you try them out for free. We chose the 11 foot model. We didn't have room for anything bigger.

Here's a link to a short video of my wife and her kayak.

Hobie Mirage Revolution 11 Test Drive - YouTube
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:32 PM   #11
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Jill and I have both sit on and sit in as well as a tandem. Boarding a sit in from the swim step is tricky but not difficult, getting out is both tricky and difficult. A poly sit on is much more boat friendly as well as much easier to board and disembark. We use our poly sit on almost all of the time.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:36 PM   #12
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If you are interested in the Seaward Intrigue, which I agree is fairly costly, you can approach the factory directly and inquire about their factory seconds. Dock mates in Campbell River went that route and realized significant savings. You may have to wait a while of course. They love the kayak, and at 35 pounds they find that if they go ashore they just get out and carry it up on the shore with one hand.
(The factory is located in Chemainus BC.)
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:27 PM   #13
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I'm just going to throw this out there as a point of discussion, I realize you want a kayak.

But we really like our stand up paddle boards. They are fast, easy to store and to me anyway, more fun to paddle than a kayak. Not as hard as they look as long as you are in smooth water.

They give you a nice core workout and to me are more comfortable, my back always kills me after an hour or two in a yak.

Another thing that I like about them is that you are higher above the water's surface and you see a lot more, especially in clear water.

More expensive though.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:05 PM   #14
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I have two 15' sit ons, and I will tell you why. Getting into and out of a hole in a kayak off the transom of a boat, especially if there is any water motion, is difficult at best. Standing on it and sitting down is much easier and quicker, and a pair of rain pants will take care of dry unless you tip it over. Then everybody gets wet! Short boats sit too deep in the water, waves can run up over the bow and the faster you paddle the worse it gets. If they have drain holes (like mine) the holes let water in if you weigh too much. I have a friend my weight with the 13' version of my boat, he has to plug the drain holes. Funny thing is... the company that makes the boat also sells the drain plugs, fancy that! All plastic boats paddle poorly compared to fiberglass or kevlar, but usually you motor close enough to paddle before you drop the hook (where I live). They do not glide after a stroke like a "nice" kayak. They are all compromises.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:30 PM   #15
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Another vote for a Hobie. we have a double and it is sit on with both paddle and pedal can be used single or double. Only real drawback is cost size and weight. We use it in the PNW all year round. IN the summer we take it cruising and winter I use it for exercise. They are very tough little boats.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:21 PM   #16
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We started out in an Advanced Frame double and quickly realized we wanted singles so we could paddle side by side and easier to maneuver. So we sold the double and bought two Advanced Frame singles. They are sit in models. We like the sit ins because they offer protection from spray, rain and dripping paddles. Wh often kayak in light rain as it is a different feeling than other weather conditions.These are inflatables that work very well. We also have two plastic sit in Aquaterra kayaks that are faster, lighter and very stable. We take all four with us when we have company and love them. You would be welcome to try the ones we have when we are back at the boat. I should be there the middle of the month. One of the advantages of the plastic ones we have is they are short, wide and stable. They are not a Sea kayak more designed to explore comes and bays. They do not take up as much space as the longer sea models. I also have a sit in Fishing kayak, an Advanced Frame model. Wow, what fun it is when hooked up with a salmon!
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Old 04-05-2014, 01:27 AM   #17
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Please have brightly colored paddles and kayak. You need to be highly visible as you're so small.



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Old 04-05-2014, 02:56 AM   #18
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Or a whip antenna with one of those bright orange flags on top...
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrad View Post
Or a whip antenna with one of those bright orange flags on top...
That doesn't work very well, blows you all over the place.
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Old 04-05-2014, 03:07 AM   #20
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And from a nautical aesthetics perspective it would look really dumb!
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