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Sevylor Eskimo advice please


Dec 7, 2005
I was referred to this forum by Darren.... I hope that's a good thing:)
We are avid sailors but not kayakers. We would like to learn to paddle kayaks and purchase a second hand one (or two) to take along on our sailboat, use in sheltered bays and one day take in and amongst the local islands. We might also put it on the roof of the truck and go exploring elsewhere. We would only be doing day trips at the most. I saw a Sevylor Eskimo Touring Kayak advertised on a bulletin board at work. It is like new and the company website seems to advocate it as an ocean worthy vessel. The owner has all the gear and is selling it for $600. This is about right for our price range for our first yak. I've been told today that at 12' it's too short and that you need 16' for ocean use. It's inflatible also, which I've heard has it's ups and downs :) Is it possible to get a decent kayak to suit our needs for under $1000?
Thank you!
Helen said:
Is it possible to get a decent kayak to suit our needs for under $1000?
Probably not, unless you find a used rotomolded one. Wilderness Systems has some open cockpit doubles that are OK for sheltered waters in that range, but they are not recommended for open seas.

Among inflatables, Sevylor is of medium quality.
Thanks. I'm not sure I understand 'rotomolded'. Do you mean factory produced? We are thinking we'd like to find a second hand one for under $1000, not new.
Rotomolded refers to plastic boats, as opposed to fiberglass or kevlar.

Inflatable boats are really toys and you would outgrow it quite quickly.
I found a picture of the boat that we're discussing:


And the website (scroll down the page to see this boat):


Helen, I asume that you're looking at inflatables because of a space limitation -- even on a large sailboat, storing a 16 foot kayak is not an easy task, let alone two of them.

As the fellows state above, the inflatable is really not suitable for ocean adventures beyond leisurely paddles when you're anchored in a bay somewhere -- and that's what it sounds like you want to do so it might just be the ticket. I read the description on their website and I think the company may be overstating the seaworthiness of this boat a bit. Make sure you have a PFD on at all times (just in case) and carrying a roll of duct tape wouldn't be a bad idea either. And bear in mind that you won't really be "kayaking" in the same manner as most of us here know it. There's no doubt that a bias will come through. :wink:

I've seen a few of the Sevylor and other brands of inflatables on the water around Vancouver and although they don't look like they'd take a lot of abuse they do look like they'd be fun to splash around in. I have no idea of the prices of these inflatable boats -- and I know nothing about them -- perhaps taking a look in the Buy and Sell will give you an idea of how much they go for used.

If you want to go any distance or be able to paddle in a bit of weather you're much better off with a kayak made for that specific purpose -- rotomolded plastic would be the least expensive route unless you want to build your own kayaks.

If looking for an ocean capable kayak for use on a sailboat with limited space, a folding kayak might be the best route -- they fold up into a backpack size bag.

Feathercraft on Granville Island in Vancouver makes some great ocean-capable folding kayaks but even a used one will be a bit over your stated budget. If you're the handy type or know someone who is, you might want to check out Tom Yost's site at http://yostwerks.com/ where you can find plans for building your own folding boat at a very reasonable price.

I do have to say -- I have a difficult time picturing Nonook of the North in that inflatable kayak.

Helen said:
Thanks. I'm not sure I understand 'rotomolded'. Do you mean factory produced? We are thinking we'd like to find a second hand one for under $1000, not new.
Dan's suggestion of a folding kayak is a good one. I own two single Folbots, currently, and owned their flagship double for five years. Folbots are much cheaper to purchase than Feathercraft (and less durable, also), but we took our double all over and found it very seaworthy on the open ocean. A folder won't pack up as small as that inflatable, but may be worth considering. You might find a pair of used single Folbots for about US$600 - $700 each. Monitor this site: http://www.folbotforum.com/ Another resource, where folks regularly discuss (and sometimes sell) a wide variety of folders, many of them lighter and smaller packed up than Folbots is this site: http://www.foldingkayaks.org/ (sign up for their Forum).

FWIW, my fiance and I plan on hauling our folders along when we take our (in process of being built) powerboat on the briny ... camping out of the boat and using the folders for exactly what you have in mind.
Thank you all for your input, which has of course raised more questions! That picture is the exact boat we are looking at. I can understand your hesitation about inflatibles and I would have to agree that it may not be the best. This one came up for sale at work, so I decided to pursue this exploration more seriously. I have no strong desire for an inflatable kayak, just a good kayak or two for our family. We really don't want to spend a lot, hence we are looking for used boats.

How easy would it be to assemble a folding kayak on the foredeck or cockpit of a 33' sailboat? Would the idea be to unfold and assemble it at the dock before leaving on holiday and then use the folding capability to store and transport it at home?
I think the folding or rotomolded is probably the way to go for our family - we can easily put a rotomolded kayak along the stantions by the shrouds. We have pre-teens who would like to use them as well in lakes (Desolation Sound) and sheltered anchorages so want a stable robust pair of kayaks. I guess if we ever want to do longer trips or go to the Broken Isl. we would have to reconsider our yaks at that time, or rent some which are more suitable.
If you have the deck space I'd lean towards plastic boats - if you get the right boats they'll more than meet your needs, and they'll stand up better to the abuse of being loaded/unloaded (use one of your halyards to make it easy) on deck and the many shore landings you'll make.

P.S. There are some speactacular places in and around Desolation Sound. You should read the book Evergreen Islands - it gives some interesting history on the area.
Dave_Barrie said:
If you have the deck space I'd lean towards plastic boats - if you get the right boats they'll more than meet your needs, and they'll stand up better[snip]
Agree. And, your total investment will be smaller, freeing up cash for PFD's, paddles, and self-rescue gear. Assembling a folding kayak can be tricky on land ... and if a critical part goes overboard while you are assembling, you're really in the soup!
We are going to take some paddling lessons next spring so I'm sure we'll be finding out that our Mustang self-inflating sailing life vests aren't appropriate for kayaks. I'll keep an eye out for some second hand plastic kayaks this winter in the paper, on bulletin boards at the local shops as well as this forum. Thanks.
If your paddling is going to be restricted to sheltered anchorages etc. You may do ok with a couple plastic "recreational" or rec boats. They are easy to find second hand and relatively inexpensive.

One advantage of the rec boat is a large[r] cockpit, which will make it much easier for you to embark to and from the deck of your 33 foot sailboat,and nothing beats plastic for gunkholing along a rocky shore. They are very low maintenance,comparatively stable and easy to drag up and stow on your deck. You may even find a pair of them could take the place of your tender.

Are your life jackets salt water activated? If they have manual actuaters they are probably the best form of PFD you'll find. It is dificult to swim in one when its inflated,but unlike most paddling specific PFDs they will support an unconcious swimmer.
Sounds like either a plastic double or pair of singles would be the way to go for you.
By the way not all plastic boats are rotomolded, however it is by far the most common of the 2 methods. the other is Blow-molding, used by Prijon kayaks and i *think* Eddyline, superior in stiffness to roto.
I'd stay away from getting something too recreational because anything
really wide,short,and flat-bottomed will be just about useless in any open water.
Check out ads in buysell.com and MEC gear exchange.
Very recently i've seen an ad for a Wilderness Systems Northstar ocean touring plastic double ,aparently in mint shape for only a grand. which would be less than half of price of new.
Awesome , Orange Northstar Tandem by WIlderness Systems. Polyethelene Touring Kayak. Short and easy to handle. Used only a couple times, WIlling to trade for a mountain bike. THis kayak is less than half price!!
Price: 1000 cad Region: British Columbia
Name: Mark Contact Info: 604 466 9909
Email: wetkayak@telus.net City: Maple Ridge

That was one way to go, if you can manage a 18 footer on your yacht.
and the other ad i thought would be good is
2004 Necky Zoar Sport kayaks. One lime, one orange. Both with rudder and in great shape. Cockpit covers and hand pumps included. Moving, must sell. MSRP $1449 each. Sacrifice at $750 each.
Price: $750 cad Region: British Columbia
Name: Cleone Contact Info: 604-755-2042
Email: zoarsport4sale@yahoo.ca City: Mission

Both these from MEC gear exchange.
I was just looking on MEC gear swap and found the Tandem Northstar. It looks good, but I think we need singles. I can't find the ad for the Necky Zoars, but I'll use your link and send them a note. I saw some other Necky ones on the MEC site which seem to be kinda funny shapes :). When I googled their images, the Mission, the Rip and the Gliss looked unlike most kayaks I've seen.
Our pfd's are self inflating when submerged with manual back up ripcords. You guys are awesome, thanks!
Boats like the Necky Mission are white water boats. These are not ocean kayaks (although, they can be used in ocean surf). Primarly they are used on fast running rivers -- they are not meant for carrying gear -- they are purely a play boat.

If you have the auto inflating PFDs (the ones that inflate when submersed in water), I wouldn't suggest wearing them in a kayak. I've heard that only the manual models (where you must pull the cord or inflate orally) are recommended for paddling.

Salt water activated life jackets have been known to deploy in heavy rain. For this reason certain government agencies have switched to manual only actated models.
We've sailed in these PFD's for days at a stretch in pouring rain, blowing wind and strong salt spray and never had an accidental inflation. The only time one inflated accidentally was when one of the kids was mucking around with the fascinating little yellow pullcord :)
The Necky Zoars are already sold... :cry: I'm not sure about a double, perhaps we should try one out together before making that sort of a commitment. 8O
Helen said:
I'm not sure about a double, perhaps we should try one out together before making that sort of a commitment. 8O
They don't call them "Divorce Boats" for nothing! FWIW, my ex- and I would fight every time we paddled our monstrous aluminum canoe; my fiance and, on the other hand, have paddled a double sea kayak for many years, in reasonable harmony ... hmmmmm ... maybe the moral in this is "Don't get married to your bow paddler" ???? :lol: :oops:
Helen said:
The Necky Zoars are already sold... :cry: I'm not sure about a double, perhaps we should try one out together before making that sort of a commitment. 8O


Ecomarine has a good selection in their used fleet of poly Necky's that might be worth checking out. Depending on their condition, you may even try and get them to lower their price if you were to purchase two boats.

Likely to get better value by going with two used solos as opposed to a double.