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 Post subject: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:58 am 
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I'm (basically) a newbie, but hopefully won't be one for long. Am doing the classes and sea kayak club thing.

I'm 6'0", 225 lbs, and want a great rough-water partner in crime. Which boats are the usual suspects? Doesn't have to be cheap.

After all, in fair-sized wind and waves, a newbie who's still learning the ropes needs all the help he can get... :yikes:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:53 am 
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Sterling Reflection is a great rough water boat and very stable. It also fits bigger guys very well.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:25 am 
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Tough question. Different people like different things, so different boats will be preferred by different people.

Plus, depends on what type of rough water you plan to do. Will you be rock gardening - if so a shorter, plastic boat is often preferred. Surfing - still usually short, but a bit more bow volume. Composites are Ok (and preferred by some). Expeditions on open coast - then a longer boat would be preferred.

Perhaps worth getting a decent, used all around boat for now to learn in and use the time you buy to figure out what is important to you and what bots you like, before dropping larger money on the be all end all boat you want.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:43 pm 
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Peter-CKM wrote:
Plus, depends on what type of rough water you plan to do. Will you be rock gardening - if so a shorter, plastic boat is often preferred. Surfing - still usually short, but a bit more bow volume. Composites are Ok (and preferred by some). Expeditions on open coast - then a longer boat would be preferred.

Perhaps worth getting a decent, used all around boat for now to learn in


Your "all-around boat" term sounds good to me.

Something that can do a bit of everything, and something's that easy to learn in, like you say.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:36 pm 
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NewbTastic wrote:
Your "all-around boat" term sounds good to me.

Something that can do a bit of everything, and something's that easy to learn in, like you say.


Well, the skies just about the limit. I'd look for a used plastic touring or day touring kayak that is no more than 24" wide. I'd probably go for one with a skeg over a rudder. Take a look at what your local shop is using for the advanced intermediate or beyond classes (those after the first day long sea kayak class), and consider something like that.

Here are some I have seen that would likely work (I am about the same size as you, so ones I know I fit in) - Dagger Alchemy 14.0L, P&H Delphin 155, Necky Looksha IV, Looksha Sport, Elaho, & Chatham 17, Wilderness Systems Tempest 170/175, Valley Aquanaut HV & Nordkapp, ... But there are many many boats that could fit the bill, so this is not by any means a complete list.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:45 pm 
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Appreciated, Pete. Forgot to emphasize too, if it helps: A boat with a premium put on rough-water performance for lower-skill ppl.

Can't be an overly difficult boat in difficult conditions... as I may soil myself. :yikes: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:22 pm 
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NewbTastic wrote:
A boat with a premium put on rough-water performance for lower-skill ppl.


I believe that was the thinking behind the NDK Romany and Explorer: capable boats for student kayakers. You probably wouldn't go wrong with either of those.

If I was going to suggest one boat for someone who was starting out but had ambition, I'd pick the appropriately sized P&H Scorpio.

Good luck with your search. Sounds like fun!

Andrew


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:13 pm 
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As a Scorpio owner I would second the suggestion of the Scorpio.

If I had unlimited $$ to buy a rough water boat, the Tiderace Xcite would be at the top of my list to try. I also liked the Maelstrom Vaag when I demo'd it. I have a friend who paddles a Point 65 Whisky 16 and likes it's playfulness - I think it may have a bit more stability than some more advanced playboats, but I've never actual tried it myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:16 pm 
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I'd suggest a poly Nordkapp if you fit, or a Current Designs Sirocco or a Chatham 17. Maybe a Tempest or a Zephyr but i don't know enough about them to recommend, other than find one with a Kajak Sport rear hatch.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:26 pm 
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rider wrote:
I'd suggest a poly Nordkapp if you fit, or a Current Designs Sirocco or a Chatham 17.


I hear Nordkapps are pretty tippy, both initially and when on-edge.

Is it a boat that a newb could ever relax in?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:13 pm 
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Quote:
NewbTastic: I hear Nordkapps are pretty tippy, both initially and when on-edge.

Is it a boat that a newb could ever relax in?



I infer from your earlier posts that you're planning on agressively pursuing a fairly steep learning curve. If you follow the advice from some in this community you will quite possibly ...
* end up with a boat that feels tippy
* that a newb could never relax in
But you won't be a newb for long if you pursue that steep learning curve and you'll find your boat no longer feels tippy.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:09 am 
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drahcir wrote:
I infer from your earlier posts that you're planning on agressively pursuing a fairly steep learning curve. If you follow the advice from some in this community you will quite possibly ...
* end up with a boat that feels tippy
* that a newb could never relax in
But you won't be a newb for long if you pursue that steep learning curve and you'll find your boat no longer feels tippy.

I don't know about a steep learning curve, drahcir... like I said earlier, I think job #1 will be not to soil myself in rough conditions. Yes, that will be a good start. After that, I'll see what I can do. :D

Also, silly side question: How the heck do you pronounce 'Romany'? (aka the Nigel Dennis boat)

Apparently, the main possibilities are

A) Say it like the name of a country ('Romania') - so, Roh-muh-nee or Roh-may-nee?
B) Say it like the name of that guy running for President who seems to be on both sides of every issue (Romney)- so, Raw-muh-nee?
C) Say it like the true name of the gypsy people ('Romani')- so, Roh-maw-nee? Something else?
I actually saw two guys in a kayak shop get into an argument over this. It was... humorous. :popcorn:


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:19 am 
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'Row-mun-ee

Apostrophe denotes emphasis on first syllable.

Brit boat. Brit poster. But this is also how all the Canadians up here in the Comox Valley and Campbell River say it.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:56 pm 
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I have owned a sirroco, zepher and Romany. Paddled Nordkapp, scorpio, chathem 17 and Explorer. My current boat is a Sterling reflection. It is super stable comparison while still being more maneuverable than any of the aforementioned boats. It is the only kayak i have tried that is maneuverable, fits a big guy well and feels as stable as an entry level boat. I am not a beginner but have tried my fair share of boats. The only downside to the reflection is the price tag. I have also packed it for week long trips without trouble.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:18 pm 
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NewbTastic wrote:
I'm (basically) a newbie, but hopefully won't be one for long. Am doing the classes and sea kayak club thing.

I'm 6'0", 225 lbs, and want a great rough-water
partner in crime. Which boats are the usual suspects? Doesn't have to be cheap.

After all, in fair-sized wind and waves, a newbie who's still learning the ropes needs all the help he can get... :yikes:

Lots of boats being recommended here...
Let's back it up and review the most critical criteria (IMO):
- Newbie
- 225lbs
- Rough Conditions

I am 5'10", and was 225lbs, (now 215lbs).
A lot of the kayaks being recommended are mostly in the 20" to 22" beam variety and/or are performance driven hull designs...too narrow and/or twitchy for a Newbie-225lb'er. trying to learn in rough waters in my opinion.

IMHO...you should be looking for a wider beamed kayak (like 24") to give you the stability.

I started with a used Nimbus Telkwa HV...a veritable 'Barge'...it gave me a safe stable platform so I could work on my seamanship and paddling skills. After a couple of years I moved into a performance boat (NDK Explorer HV).

It is my opinion that you try as many kayaks as possible...but consider seeking a reasonably 'Stable' boat that will give you confidence while you work on your skills and boatmanship...then you will move naturally and more seamless up into a more 'Performance' kayak later.

My two-bits, for what its worth.

Good Luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:46 pm 
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Ken B wrote:
Lots of boats being recommended here...
Let's back it up and review the most critical criteria (IMO):
- Newbie
- 225lbs
- Rough Conditions

I am 5'10", and was 225lbs, (now 215lbs).
A lot of the kayaks being recommended are mostly in the 20" to 22" beam variety and/or are performance driven hull designs...too narrow and/or twitchy for a Newbie-225lb'er. trying to learn in rough waters in my opinion.

IMHO...you should be looking for a wider beamed kayak (like 24") to give you the stability.


Hmm, maybe 'near-newbie' might be a better term for me then. :)

I've been in several 24-25" beam boats, such as the Tsunami and various Necky day-tourers, and found them to be pleasant enough, but also kinda 'boring' (but I haven't taken them into any truly 'big stuff' either, of course).

I get the feeling I could give up a little bit of stability compared to those in exchange for performance. But if the boat's so twitchy that I could never relax for a moment, then I think that would then tire me out pretty quickly (both physically and mentally).


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:16 pm 
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Comoxpaddler wrote:
'Row-mun-ee

Apostrophe denotes emphasis on first syllable.

Brit boat. Brit poster. But this is also how all the Canadians up here in the Comox Valley and Campbell River say it.

Given that Nigel Dennis is a Brit (yes?), I trust a Brit to be correct on this.

Row-mun-ee it is. Thanx. :big_thumb


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:01 pm 
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If you were a bit lighter,I'd say get a Chatham 16. I own one and it's brutally stable in flat and rough water. But I think it's a boat for someone 160-200 lbs or so.
Despite of what I have read about the Nordkapp, the plastic version I have tried a couple times felt very user-friendly to me. Sure,like pretty much all Valley boats it's equally happy at any given angle of tilt without much warning before tipping over,but it's not what I would call twitchy.
Tsunami is what I would best describe as a "touring boat for non-kayakers". It'll haul stuff, travel distance and keep you upright. It's also ungodly stable to the point that it WILL hinder your skill development.IMHO it is meant for people who just wanna get on the water with minimal investment into skill. I would guess similar applies to the current Necky Looksha 14/Looksha 17(Not the Looksha Elite,that one's actually fun)
NDK Explorer HV would be a decent boat for you, I think, but test paddle it first. NDK boats are what I'd classify as 'lean-happy' but basically stable and good in rough water.
P&H Delphin is good in rough water,very stable, slow like any of the coastal playboats and excellent at surfing. Should fit you fine.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:34 pm 
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rider wrote:
If you were a bit lighter,I'd say get a Chatham 16. I own one and it's brutally stable in flat and rough water. But I think it's a boat for someone 160-200 lbs or so.


I agree. I kept the Chatham 16 off my it because I suspected he may not it. I am 220ish pounds and my butt just is not able to drop into the seat. Even though it is a wider boat than the Chatham 17, the Chatham 16 has a narrower cockpit and narrower seat than the 17. I fit in the 17 but not the 16. But if he fits, it would be an excellent choice.

Not sure it is any faster than the "slow" playboats mentioned, though. The Chatham 16 is known for being a slow boat. I'd venture a guess that a Delphin would be faster than a Chatham 16.

Not sure about your willingness to travel in 2 weeks, but there is a big demo event in Northern California on April 21-22. Most every boat mentioned should be there. http://www.thebayareapaddlefest.org


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:52 pm 
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Thanks Peter for the heads-up on the Chatham. Yes, I think you're entirely right about me not fitting in it... because you mentioned it, I checked out the specs on the cockpit. 14.25" wide? I'm sure that's great for some, but it makes me giggle. Who's gonna fit in or easily re-enter that, Michael Cera? :shock:

Far as the Bay Area Paddlefest goes, there's actually an outside chance I might be there. I have some friends in the Bay Area, so anything's possible. Does look like a really big event, with lots of great kayaks on-hand.

What's the etiquette on trying boats out at something like that, btw?

Is it tough to get 'butt time' in the nicer boats?
Are there huge lines to try boats out? Is more than 5 minutes in a boat considered rude?
And is there a high degree of 'buy it there and then' sales pressure from the reps? Hope not. :doh:

Just wonderin'.


Last edited by NewbTastic on Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:06 pm 
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NewbTastic wrote:
Doesn't have to be cheap.


If you really mean that, Take Friendly's advice and test drive a Sterling boat, I did a year and a half ago and have not been able to shake it, I'm still tossing around selling the NDK Romany, NDK Posidon ( Romany Surf hull ), and one white water boat to get me closer to the Sterling price tag.
I don't think I could let the Explorer go, it's been a good friend on a lot of trips.

Dave R


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:18 pm 
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rider wrote:
If you were a bit lighter,I'd say get a Chatham 16. I own one and it's brutally stable in flat and rough water. But I think it's a boat for someone 160-200 lbs or so.
Despite of what I have read about the Nordkapp, the plastic version I have tried a couple times felt very user-friendly to me. Sure,like pretty much all Valley boats it's equally happy at any given angle of tilt without much warning before tipping over,but it's not what I would call twitchy.
Tsunami is what I would best describe as a "touring boat for non-kayakers". It'll haul stuff, travel distance and keep you upright. It's also ungodly stable to the point that it WILL hinder your skill development.IMHO it is meant for people who just wanna get on the water with minimal investment into skill. I would guess similar applies to the current Necky Looksha 14/Looksha 17(Not the Looksha Elite,that one's actually fun)
NDK Explorer HV would be a decent boat for you, I think, but test paddle it first. NDK boats are what I'd classify as 'lean-happy' but basically stable and good in rough water.
P&H Delphin is good in rough water,very stable, slow like any of the coastal playboats and excellent at surfing. Should fit you fine.

Thanks for the recommendations, Rider. I think I want stable but not 'brutally stable'. And even from my limited experience I agree that the Tsunami "just ain't all that". Really pudgy boat ('specially the 145), and I didn't even like trying to self-rescue in one, it just felt so fat/high-volume and had a tall rear deck, so it was kinda hard to push or pull down and clamber back on.

(Now I know what Ryan Seacrest would feel like if he was trying to make love to Kirstie Alley. :shock: )

The NDK boats sound really interesting and they keep coming up in my conversations with ppl on what to buy. Everyone I've talked to seems to love 'em, the only alleged drawback is the quality control, or lack thereof. I'd sure hate to get a bad one. :(

Are most dealers helpful in fixing matters when the boat-maker messes up? Anyone get stuck with a 'lemon'?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:50 pm 
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NewbTastic wrote:
Thanks Peter for the heads-up on the Chatham. Yes, I think you're entirely right about me not fitting in it... because you mentioned it, I checked out the specs on the cockpit. 14.25" wide? I'm sure that's great for some, but it makes me giggle. Who's gonna fit in or easily re-enter that, Michael Cera? :shock:

And is there a high degree of 'buy it there and then' sales pressure from the reps? Hope not. :doh:

Just wonderin'.

I am 6ft1 and 190, and I re-entered and rolled my plastic Chatham 16 in about 15-20 seconds when I swam out of it at Skookumchuck. I also have outfitted it with more aggressive thigh hooks/braces and foam hip pads. But having paddled it a few times loaded for 3-4 days self-supported, the boat is really much happier empty.
Where are you from? There's a sea kayak symposium in Port Angeles this coming weekend(Apr 13th-15th)
As to the 'buy it here and now' sales pressure, having been to a few demo days/paddlefests, I can't say I have ever felt pressured. Inevitably, some dealers ARE biased towards their boats,but I haven't ever felt pressured to buy something.
Speed wise, I think the Delphin,Chatham 16 and the Romany Surf are all similar in their slowness, and all can do moderate distances,loaded and empty. All depends on the motor.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Rider, it's impressive to me that you can fit so easily in something like that. I've measured myself across the hips/seat, and I'm close to 15". But I guess I have a somewhat 'Hulk-like' lower body too. I could also stand to drop a few pounds.

Far as the Port Angeles p-fest goes, I'm booked this weekend. Too bad, sounds interesting. But it's a-ways for me too.

Am glad to hear that the reps at p-fests are not generally high-pressure. I hate that crap. While I've been able to jiu-jitsu the car buying process extremely effectively, that was with a lot of prep going in and knowing exactly what to expect.

With anything else, I'm that 'nice guy' who has a hard time being rude and stiff-arming the pushy sales guy. I also assume that with (new) kayaks, you generally DON'T haggle on price too much.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Rough-Water Sea Kayak for Newbies?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:44 am 
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The only advice I can give is this. If you get your new boat home and it doesn't say Romany or Explorer on the side, you bought the wrong one. :wink:


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