Boat buying advice sought

colin42

New Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2012
Messages
6
Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum and to BC paddling (I moved to Victoria six months ago). I'm looking to buy a boat, so seek advice/ideas/secret boat buying leads here from the many wise folk around....

My info: in skill level terms, I have BCU 2* award (not sure how that translates to Canadian - basically flat water paddling, braces, some rescues) plus maybe 6 or 10 days sea kayaking experience and a little bit of moving water experience (messing about at the local weir). I look forward to learning to paddle better! I'm a smaller guy (66kg/145lb, 172cm/5'8").

What I'm looking for: a boat for day trips and non-excessive camping trips. Looking for a skeg boat rather than a rudder. Something that is maneuverable, rather than a whale, but forgiving towards a relatively inexperienced paddler who wants to get out and explore the BC coast.

Plastic or fibreglass? Ultimately, fibreglass seems to be the way (faster etc) - but advice so far leads me to plastic for a first boat (cheaper, harder to break whilst inexperienced).

What I've looked at so far: paddled a current designs sirocco down at ocean river sports yesterday. Seemed to work okay for me, but (or perhaps even though) it was pretty windy/choppy at the time.

So - thoughts/views/recommendations requested - be they general or specific!

Thanks,
Colin
 

KayDubbya

Paddler
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
339
NDK Explorer all the way.

Dan, close this thread now. We're done. :lol:



P.S. Welcome aboard Colin.
 

nootka

Paddler
Joined
May 26, 2007
Messages
1,713
Location
Campbell River
Ha!
An NDK Pilgrim Expedition will be faster. I think the skeg could be larger for offshore west coast use. The Explorer is bigger if you are self contained for a month; but the Pilgrim will do for 2 weeks.
 

WaterMark

Paddler
Joined
Nov 18, 2010
Messages
280
Location
Vancouver
I paddle a P&H Scorpio. I think it's a great plastic skeg kayak. The plastic is stiff, the outfitting the best I've seen on a plastic boat, it edges easily, handles well. It's helping me push and improve my skills.

I think there's a thread on it on the board.
 

lance_randy

Paddler
Joined
May 17, 2006
Messages
568
Location
Victoria
colin42 said:
What I'm looking for: a boat for day trips and non-excessive camping trips. Looking for a skeg boat rather than a rudder. Something that is maneuverable, rather than a whale, but forgiving towards a relatively inexperienced paddler who wants to get out and explore the BC coast.
You are describing the Tiderace Xcite, the latest, greatest and most evolved skeg boat design in production, IMO. Equally awesome for beginners and experts alike. It's also the best build kayak I've ever seen, hands down.

It's basically the new Explorer, and it will kick the Explorers ass in every single category, any day of the week. There, I said it. :mrgreen: The only downside, is they are not cheap, and you will have to go to the States to get one. If you try one, you'll buy one. :cool

I'm selling off my fleet to finance the purchase of another one. Why would somebody want two of the same boat? They are really that good. Besides, I'm getting tired of all the wheedling and begging, from the girlfriend, family, and friends to switch boats with them every time we go paddling. With two Xcites, I can have my cake, and so can they. :hug
 

RoyN

Paddler
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
421
Location
Burien, WA
At 145 lbs, you may want to take a look at the Xcite-S if you decide to go with a Tiderace.
 

colin42

New Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2012
Messages
6
Thanks for the tips so far... :D

Right now, I'm not looking for a super-expensive boat - that is, I want to give myself the chance to buy the wrong thing and not be bankrupt for ever! So at $4k, I won't be buying an TideRace now, and I couldn't even find prices for NDK boats on the web!

Who knows about cheaper boats?!?! ;)
 

KayDubbya

Paddler
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
339
If you are not to restricting yourself to new boats only there are a lot of potential choices. Given that hull designs and features change very slowly, you could save quite a bit of money by being patient and searching/waiting for a used boat to come up for sale. Maybe even on this forum...

Given your experience level there's a wide range of boats that fit the bill. If you don't restrict yourself to a single model or manufacturer there are a lot of possibilities to choose from.

You could probably find a used NDK Romany or Explorer for under $2000 if you're patient. Like this one

Here's another possibility from Craiglist that I would consider
Kevlar Kayak- Capella 16'9" - $1850

If you're trying to get under $1000 a lesser know F/G boat could be found or a wide range of quality plastic boats as well. As you note, they might be somewhat slower, but tougher to break/scratch.

For example, this Necky Chatham 17
 

rider

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Jul 12, 2005
Messages
1,837
Location
Coquitlam,BC
As a something of a self-proclaimed plastic Necky Chatham 16&17expert :lol: i think they are a great boat. In plastic, they are both brutally heavy but tough, once hatch rims are sorted,they are bone dry inside,once thigh braces are sorted,they are a rolling machine. Great rough water hulls if you like stability. 16 is obnoxiously stable, despite it's 22 inch beam, 17 is a bit less so. They are not nearly as lean-happy(very stable on the flat) as a Romany or an Avocet, and the secondary stability runs out a bit sooner than the others as well. At the same time you CAN edge them and they will do what you want. Except carry themselves to the water, I wish they could do that as I would guess my 16 is about 65 lbs and the 17 probably pushed 70.
Be aware that ANY used boat with VCP hatches( Necky Chathams, Valley boats,Impex boats), the hatch lids are suspect and if they have dry rot( flex them while looking at underside,check for visible cracks), you'll be looking at a $250$ bill for replacing the set.
Kajak Sport hatches (P&H boats,many CD Siroccos/Gulfstreams) tend to be much,much more rot resistant.
 

RoyN

Paddler
Joined
Apr 15, 2006
Messages
421
Location
Burien, WA
Body, Boat, Blade in the San Juans has a few used LV sea kayaks for sale. Greenland Pro or Romany LV. These are both good fiberglass boats.

The way I paddle, I've come to the conclusion I need two boats. One fiberglass for paddling distance and one rotomolded plastic for playing around where you are bumping into other kayaks or rocks.
 

Peter-CKM

Paddler
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Messages
658
Location
San Francisco, CA
changing subject - sealing Chatham hatches

rider said:
In plastic, they are both brutally heavy but tough, once hatch rims are sorted,they are bone dry inside,once thigh braces are sorted,they are a rolling machine.
What is the trick on making the hatch rims waterproof? My girlfriend has a plastic 16 and the water comes right through the hatch rim parts. If there is water sitting in the recess around the hatch area, I can see it dripping into the hatch (going between the hatch rim and boat).

Do I just disassembled the hatch rim and smear a lot of silicone around where the hatch rim parts sit and around the bolt holes and then put it back together?

Thanks.
Peter
 

ken_vandeburgt

Paddler
Joined
Nov 13, 2007
Messages
1,154
Who knows about cheaper boats?!?!
I don't know about cheaper boats.

I do know about cheaper gear. There is nothing worse than being reliant on a piece of gear that fails when you need it most.

Buying the cheap gear is the expensive way to go. You pay for the cheap gear and then you pay for the gear you should have bought in the first instance.

I also know that the sea can be a cruel mistress. The sea is a place where the gear must not fail.

My advice is: get a good boat.

One good way to determine a good boat is to rent several different types and take them for sea trials including practice of seamanship skills such as self rescue. Yah, expensive to rent but not as committing as $4k.

The only boat I have ever driven is a Current Designs Solstice Gt with fiberglass lay up. I was introduced to the Solstice during my first kayak course. I've had it for about 17 years and I am willing to recommend it even if it is made by a different manufacturer now. I'm not saying its better than any other boat. I am saying its a reliable stable seaworthy kayak. With it I've done day trips and I've done trips that are two weeks and more.
 

rider

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Jul 12, 2005
Messages
1,837
Location
Coquitlam,BC
Re: changing subject - sealing Chatham hatches

Peter-CKM said:
rider said:
In plastic, they are both brutally heavy but tough, once hatch rims are sorted,they are bone dry inside,once thigh braces are sorted,they are a rolling machine.
What is the trick on making the hatch rims waterproof? My girlfriend has a plastic 16 and the water comes right through the hatch rim parts. If there is water sitting in the recess around the hatch area, I can see it dripping into the hatch (going between the hatch rim and boat).

Do I just disassembled the hatch rim and smear a lot of silicone around where the hatch rim parts sit and around the bolt holes and then put it back together?

Thanks.
Peter
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3689 Here's my how-to from some time ago,after doing the second boat. Results are still good,i still have it and it's still dry.
 
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