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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8149
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:05 am Reply with quote Back to top

I know there are a number of people that have either recently purchased or are planning to purchase a kayak for Christmas. I was hoping that this thread could serve the same purpose as the snowshoe thread did last year where many people provided insight, pricing, features, etc.

So it's wide open for discussion, but please keep it related to kayaks only (snowshoes / canoes / etc. will need to get their own thread wink )
 
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CodeJunkie
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-21
Posts: 8149
Location: Berlin, WI

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:15 am Reply with quote Back to top

I'll start out by seeding the discussion because I'm interested in buying.

I've noticed Fleet Farm has the Pelican 100 for $229. Dicks Sporting Goods has the same kayak for $228. This seems very reasonable and from the reviews I've read it seems like a reasonable entry level kayak.

I'm looking for a single person kayak because I already own a 17.5' canoe. The canoe works great but is too big / heavy for me to use when I want to go alone. I've read many of the reviews on the higher end kayaks as well, but don't plan to do any whitewater or anything more than single day excursions.
 
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huffinpuffin2
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-07-17
Posts: 2610
Location: Puffindoofer

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:57 am Reply with quote Back to top

Aside from new, also recommend craiglist and other means to look for used. Might be able to score a good deal that will include accessories that you'll end up needing, such as paddles. Good time of year for that, plus you won't have any anguish over the initial scratches, as it will be ready for the rough use you'll put it through, and you know you won't be dainty with it, now will you? Twisted Evil
 
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Trekkin and Birdin
WGA Member



Joined: 2007-02-08
Posts: 5751
Location: West Salem WI

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:29 pm Reply with quote Back to top

If you can hold off till spring, many outfitters will have demo days, where you can get out on the water and try them out for yourself. I was surprised at how they seemed pretty similar, but just one felt right for me. I ended up with a Kestral by Current Designs, which is Wenonah canoes. It is not the cheapest out there, but it is probably the only one I'll ever buy, so I wanted to be sure to get what I wanted. Composite ones are really light, but you have to take more care with them to keep them from getting wrecked, so I went with the heavy plastic or whatever it is.

Another option would be to look at the websites for all the companies that outfit people for trips...there are usually deals at the end of the season on used ones they don't want, and you know if they were rentals and still good for sale, you should be safe.

A two person kayak is also called a divorce boat, so your decision is a wise one!

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Trekkin' and Birdin'
Let's just go out and find caches and be done with it! 
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labrat_wr
WGA Vice-President
WGA Vice-President



Joined: 2007-05-19
Posts: 6002
Location: The Wildside

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:45 pm Reply with quote Back to top

CJ, I have a pelican 100 that you can come try out before you buy.
I think there may still be some open water on the Wild Rose millpond.

I only had it out once this year and twice last year. My skills are not really all that good so I would like to get in a couple group excursions so I have rescuers nearby wink

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All forum posts are the thoughts and opinions of the poster and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of the WGA Board of Directors 
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RSplash40
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-12-23
Posts: 6219

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:25 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I'd go for one that floats... good place to start... Razz

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Accosting pine tree\'s and rendering caches harmless since 2005.... 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3188
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:43 pm Reply with quote Back to top

At 10 feet long you may be frustrated by it's slowness and inability to keep a straight line...I would recommend going a bit longer (12 feet at minimum)...basically the rule of thumb is the longer the craft the faster it is. The shorter boats are for fooling around in small lakes and slow rivers.

*Long boats are fast but do not turn as easily.
*Short boats are slow but turn quickly.
*Very short boats are for whitewater activities and turn almost instantly...but do not track a straight line for crap.

That said, if you spend some extra money even the long boats can turn more quickly if you have a rudder installed on it.

If you are planning on spending a day in a kayak you will want a longer craft with sealed bulkheads. You will also want an extra paddle, dry bags and a nice paddling specific PFD.

Trekkin' and Birdin' wrote:


A two person kayak is also called a divorce boat, so your decision is a wise one!

I have three kayaks and the double is usually just me and one of the kids...
 
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Walkingadventure
WGA President
WGA President



Joined: 2009-05-06
Posts: 2373
Location: Neenah

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:07 pm Reply with quote Back to top

If you go Gander Mountain, don't forget that there are Coupon cards out there for $10 off over $50 purchase. (I found mine in Merc's hides) and have a couple spares.
 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3188
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:22 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Old Town has a nice short guide to picking a Kayak.
http://www.oldtowncanoe.com/kayaks/choosing.html
 
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Jstajlr
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-09-11
Posts: 159

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:06 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I am by no means well versed on kayaks. I just bought my first one (maybe only one) this year. I got the Old Town Dirigo XT120 in Sept. My dad has the Pelican 100 and I found it a bit tippy. Of course it was my first time in a kayak when I tried his so that may be why. I only had mine out once and found it more stable and easier to keep on line. It has one fairly large dry storage compartment and a small dry compartment right in front of you. Great for storing your gps. I was going to post a link to some of the material I read but Lostby7 beat me to the one I was thinking about. If you want to give mine a try feel free to borrow it any time.
 
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Captain and Mate
WGA Member



Joined: 2006-09-25
Posts: 293
Location: Burlington, WI

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:11 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Trekkin' and Birdin' wrote:

A two person kayak is also called a divorce boat, so your decision is a wise one!


That's what we have! We're going strong after all these years (and we're still crazy, too). Captain always sits in the back-it's great for breaks-the one in the front usually takes a while to notice only one is paddling. Anyway, our recommendation would be to look for comfort in a seat configuration if you plan to be in the boat for any length of time.

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\"Once in awhile you get shown the light, in the strangest places if you look at it right.\"
-Grateful Dead 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3188
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:26 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Captain and Mate wrote:
Trekkin' and Birdin' wrote:

A two person kayak is also called a divorce boat, so your decision is a wise one!


Captain always sits in the back-it's great for breaks-the one in the front usually takes a while to notice only one is paddling.

My daughter and I raced our tandem this past April and I took the rear as well....little does she know she worked way harder than I did (getting old I need to rest now and again).
Image
 
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Gram and Gramps
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-01-02
Posts: 341
Location: Waupaca, WI USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:32 pm Reply with quote Back to top

A "recreation" catagory of kayak is usually wider for stability, and the cockpit entry is long and wide for ease of getting in and out. A "touring" kayak is usually a bit thinner and perhaps less stable initially. These also tend to have a smaller entry.

As the price goes up, generally the weight of the boat goes down due to more exotic materials being used. Also the quality of the seats, deck bungees, and hatches gets better.

We have a 12' Wilderness Systems Pungo, a rec boat with a terrific seat, very good stability, huge cockpit entry, and storage hatches that stay fairly dry. Chris loves it. These sell for ~ $700.00. Our other boat is a 14.5' Mainstream Biscayne, a typical big-box kayak. It has a lousy seat that I've tried to upgrad twice with various add-ons. It has minimal rigging, small cockpit entry, and the hatches leak. But it only cost $350.00. I like it for about an hour at a time, any longer than that it is just too uncomfortable.

I just sold one of our canoes, so I'm looking to upgrade to a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 12.5'. This is a touring boat with good seat, hatches, and a small cockpit that will accept a spray skirt. I'll use it on rivers and it will go along on some of our longer trips as well.

Whatever you get, paddling will open up a whole new word of recreation if you get bit by the bug! And it certainly is a good addition to geocaching.

cYa, Jim
 
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Jstajlr
WGA Member



Joined: 2009-09-11
Posts: 159

PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:19 pm Reply with quote Back to top

How about equipment to add to this discussion. I bought a paddle from Dicks just because I was itching to get out on the water. Does anyone have good recommendation on paddles. Name brand, length, single piece, two piece etc. Some of the paddles I saw were half of what I paid for the kayak.

According to an article I read it recommended a 240 cm paddle for my height (6'3") but another said because of my height I should have no trouble reaching the water and recommended a 210 cm. I went with the 225.
 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3188
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:21 am Reply with quote Back to top

Jstajlr wrote:
How about equipment to add to this discussion. I bought a paddle from Dicks just because I was itching to get out on the water. Does anyone have good recommendation on paddles. Name brand, length, single piece, two piece etc. Some of the paddles I saw were half of what I paid for the kayak.

According to an article I read it recommended a 240 cm paddle for my height (6'3") but another said because of my height I should have no trouble reaching the water and recommended a 210 cm. I went with the 225.

How to choose a paddle:
http://www.carlislepaddles.com/about/choosing_a_paddle.aspx
 
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