Kayak advice, please?

JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior MemberPosts: 6,133 Senior Member

I'm thinking of buying a kayak, but I don't know much about them.  I would most likely use it on the Brazos River near my home.  Most of the time, the river flows very slowly and is fairly shallow.  There are some small lakes in the area that might be suitable, but I'm not sure.  Also, I would have to carry/drag the kayak about 100 yards from my vehicle to the river, and vice-versa, so weight is a consideration.

I was al Walmart earlier today and they had several kayaks on display.  They ranged in price from about $150 to $400.  It seemed that the price was based mostly on size.  The cheapest of the lot was only 8 ft. long, while the more expensive ones were a bit over 10 ft.

A friend of mine has a couple, and he gave about $1100 a piece for them, so there seems to be a wide discrepancy in price.

What would you look for in buying a kayak, especially if you don't really know if it will be used much?

Thanks,


Jerry

Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
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Replies

  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 7,879 Senior Member
    Your last sentence says what you need to do. The kayaks at most big box stores are usually flat bottomed toys that will drive you crazy in wind or current. Try to find a place that rents kayaks and try it and different sized boats. Your height and weight will come into play if you decide to buy
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 37,968 Senior Member
    The yak purist will disagree with me, but that's ok. We need folks who are wrong to balance out the world. 
    If you're purpose in life for a kayak is to fish, and not just paddle around in the most efficient manner , then the choice is clear. You desire a sit on top type of kayak. They are FAR easier to get in, rather, on, than a sit inside. 
    Are they a wetter ride? Yep. Are they as fast as a sit in? Nope. Are they WAY easier to deal with? Yep. The 
    S In Kayak (SINK) guys won't agree. Say that you can fish out of a sit in. Yep sure can. And when you dump the kayak, it fills with water and you're ****. Not with a sit on top. 
    And all old man jokes aside, getting aboard and especially getting OUT of a sit on top is FAR easier for folks of retirement age. 

    And the Sayers of Nay start in 3,2,1
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 22,990 Senior Member
    edited May 6 #4
    What Cee Pee Jay said is ON THE MONEY! Sit on top kayaks are easier to handle; the wide flat bottom makes balancing a lot easier, too. Fishing from one is easier, too. Getting ON  and OFF a Sit On Top (SOT) is much easier than a Sit In. And depending on which Sit In you might get, there's another thing to consider. If you flip over, some of those sit in kayaks have you trapped like a rat with your legs stuck in the hull. Recovering is possible but not something to practice alone.  My whitewater sit in kayak attempted to murder me on numerous occasions by flipping upside down. If you opt for a sit in, make sure the cockpit is VERY OPEN so it will dump you out instead of trying to drown you.

    Price wise, you can get a sit on top or a sit in for the same money which is around $300-$375 at the big box sporting goods stores. Longer is better, and a 12 foot handles better than a 10 foot. If you're close to over 200# then get the 12 foot.
    If a Liberal throws a hand grenade at you, pick it up, pull the pin, and throw it back at them.



  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 1,463 Senior Member
    I have to ask.
    What's to recommend a sit on top kayak over a small canoe or flat bottom boat?
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 16,569 Senior Member
    I have to ask.
    What's to recommend a sit on top kayak over a small canoe or flat bottom boat?
    Good question as my wife and I were wondering pretty much the same thing.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    My Karma ran over your Dogma!
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 37,968 Senior Member
    To answer the canoe VS sit
    on top, comfort. A SOT yak is far more comfy than a canoe. At least for me. And, kayaks are typically lighter. And not tippy. 
    Far as flat bottomed boats go, sure. If they are powered by something other than elbow grease. Paddling a flat bottom boat sucks. 
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,211 Senior Member
    I've owned both and currently own a few kayaks and I think that a good canoe tracks and glides better than a kayak.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 37,968 Senior Member
    I'm actually pondering selling my canoe and sit in kayak. I don't use either. Hell I don't use my
    sit on, but I wouldn't be able to replace it very cheap, and I'll end up using it again. So it will stay. Believe the others will go however. 
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 22,990 Senior Member
    I have to ask.
    What's to recommend a sit on top kayak over a small canoe or flat bottom boat?
    What CPJ said is the most of it. A SOT is more comfortable and STABLE than a canoe, and paddling a flat bottom boat sucks, and so does a short vee hull boat of 10-12 feet. The sides of canoes, flat bottom, and vee hulls act like a sail in ANY wind and work you to death.
    I've owned both and currently own a few kayaks and I think that a good canoe tracks and glides better than a kayak.
    Only if you have TWO people, one in front and one in back. With one in back the front is sticking up and catching wind making tracking a joke. And IF you can set up a canoe to paddle from slightly behind amidships to keep the front down, it's sides still act like a sail in the wind, and it's still harder to deal with than a SOT kayak. Canoes are WAY more tippy than a SOT kayak, too. I have a 17 foot Lowe's canoe with a 38" beam and that sucker will throw you like a jughead horse if you hit any waves with some wind, even paddling from the middle. With no waves and a good breeze, it won't track for spit, and it has a 1 1/2" deep keel runner down the middle. It's been sitting upside down at the side of my house for years with my whitewater kayak strapped underneath it. I consider them both tippy death traps. My SOT is my go-to for fishing without a gas motor and a electric trolling motor on the boat.

    And transporting from vehicle to water with a kayak is easy.
    Buy or make one of these!
    https://www.amazon.com/ABN-Universal-Kayak-Carrier-Paddleboards/dp/B01KETV7PS/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_468_bs_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=4544E6MEMNJ4JV1EYKMQ

    If a Liberal throws a hand grenade at you, pick it up, pull the pin, and throw it back at them.



  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,969 Senior Member
    edited May 6 #11
    My best advice is to ignore Dicks, Dunhams, Gander Mountain andother general purpose sporting goods stores...first read about  kayaks....heres a good place to start:

    https://www.thoughtco.com/types-of-kayaks-and-kayaking-2555726

    Then find a paddle shop that employs people who know what the hellhell  are talking about and can help you select the right boat for you. Even if you don't buy from them at least you'll know what to look for...


    Basic thoughts...long and skinny is fast with less primary stability but good secondary stability
    The fatter the boat is the more primary stability it has but the slower it will be.

    And to add my personal thoughts -  short AND fat is a bathtub and will paddle like one
    Anything you sit ON ain't a kayak 

    These are our boats...Pygmy kit boats, Mine is 17 feet and the wife's is 16...these are wood with a fiberglass overlay on the hull. These are Sea kayaks that can be used on big water (we do venture out on Lake Michigan from time to time) and between the two we can pack enough gear for week long trips. As a matter of fact, the more you load them the more stable they get

    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 725 Senior Member
    This is the closest thing to a kayak as I am going to get.  The rear paddle is made by Evinrude, the front paddle is made by MinnKota.  giggle emoticon

  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 7,879 Senior Member
    CPJ is pretty much right on
    I we currently have 3 kayaks ranging from 9-12Feet. Different lengths and widths handle differently.  I use a Ocean Kayak Caper for intercoastal and ocean fishing. Used to dive off it also. Wife has a cobra fish n dive, but it is a barge, not fast at all, but stable enough to take out in rough water and not worry.
    A totally flat bottom will give you hell in wind
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,341 Senior Member
    I have a 10 foot fishing kayak (boat) the sit on top models are easier to get in and out of. The longer the more stable I am told.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 22,990 Senior Member
    My kayak now is a Hobie Outback 12 footer I bought several years ago. Pedal power, baby! I can paddle and fish at the same time, have a rudder that is easy to set with one hand, and I don't wear my arms out paddling; your lets are a LOT stronger than your arms. They carry you around all day. Still take the kayak paddle with me, but use it very little. It's nice to have both hands free when fishing.
    If a Liberal throws a hand grenade at you, pick it up, pull the pin, and throw it back at them.



  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 12,644 Senior Member
    I'd get a sit inside kayak, 10' long at the minimum, 12'-14' preferable.  You can then make a scupper dolly to make transport easy.
    Spend the money on a good paddle: fiberglass shaft, plastic paddles, sized to fit YOU.  Best bet is to get one from an actual paddle shop.  
    I'd avoid the ones at Walmart, ones at Sams or Costco are a little better but not hardcore. 
    Or check out Craigslist.

    Overkill is underrated.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,133 Senior Member

      Thanks, guys.

    It's nice to see that you all agree on what's best.  B)

    I've only fished once from a kayak, and that was a friends sit in kayak on a small lake.  It didn't take much wind to move it around, and I discovered that rowing to the opposite bank took a bit of planning if I wanted to stop 20-30 ft. out and cast to the bank.

    It's clear to me I have some more research to do.

    Thanks for all the good advice.

    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,080 Senior Member
    For comfort, multi-purpose utility, a sit on top is unbeatable. Anything shorter than 10 feet will not track well. Sit in yaks are light, but if you're not running fast water, they are pretty much useless for fishing and carrying gear. I have two, both pedal craft. Can't use the pedal system in shallow water, but they paddle as well as any 13 foot sit on top  yak. They are heavy! I don't drag them to the launch site. I roll them on a cart. With the pedal drive, I can  maintain 3 mph almost effortlessly for a long time, and can up it to 5 mph if I need to, but will experience some effort to maintain this for more than 15 minutes. The seats are very comfortable. They come with lots of rails for adding stuff. But they are pricey. The cheapest is 1700 and the more expensive one is 2500. 

    You can get a reasonably price SOT for less than $500.


    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,969 Senior Member
    I paid $1800.00 for both my kayaks.....looking for people who want to get rid of boats can be a good thing.
    Those boats weigh about 35 pounds so carrying them is a breeze.
    What Earl said about paddles is spot on.....you will notice mine is a little out of the ordinary...it's an Inuit paddle made out of Red Cedar....not so good for fooling around on small water, but great for getting you where you want to go in a hurry... When paddle shopping, be sure to pick one up with a carbon fiber shaft just to compare it to a fiberglass shaft.
    Also... you're going to need a good PFD, and a bilge pump.....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 37,968 Senior Member
    No bilge pump
    requred on a SOT. unless it has internal storage like mine 
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,969 Senior Member
    Stands to reason.....since you really don't have a bilge to pump....

    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 12,644 Senior Member
    Oh, once you get it, set it up with an anchor trolley and get a small canoe paddle for subtle position adjustments. 
    Overkill is underrated.
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,080 Senior Member
    I took a very long kayak trip on the Colorado river. They were "Sit In" kayaks. Easy to paddle. Reasonably comfortable while paddling, but getting in and out was easy for me and my wife, but I noticed some more rotund clients struggling with this endeavor. But, I spent nearly the whole trip wishing I had a good sit on top! Having tried several of both, I'll never - ever - take another long ride in a sit-in kayak. To keep water out, you have to have a spray skirt - just another piece of equipment that is a pain in the butt. No spray skirt, and you're gonna be wet. Hell, you're gonna be wet anyway, so enjoy it. Bilge pump? Who the hell wants to pump water out of the area you are sitting in? 

    Kayaks aren't just for getting from point A to point B. They are for enjoying the ride. Fishing, getting out and exploring a gravel bar for arrow heads and one of my favorite pass times, sitting sideways with my feet dangling in the water while I drift along fishing. Can't do that with a sit in. 

    Think of the whole picture. Kayaks evolved. They aren't your eskimo contraption any longer. If fishing is even a small part of what you intend, Run...don't walk away from a sit in. 


    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 37,968 Senior Member
    Dan mentioned hanging your feet over the side. Which brings up something we all kind of skipped over. With a sit in, you have you are very limited on body posistion. Your options for different positions are few. 
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,969 Senior Member
    Flip a sit in far from shore and you will see the need for a bilge pump....if you want to get back in your boat that is...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,080 Senior Member
    Flip a sit on top and you'll see why you didn't buy a sit in. 

    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,969 Senior Member
    edited May 7 #27
    Admittedly, there is a certain skill level and some equipment necessary with a traditional kayak that is not necessary with a SOT....but then it all goes back to what the individual is doing with the boat....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 22,990 Senior Member
    Having fished in both SOT and sit-in kayaks, I MUCH prefer the SOT for that. You're going to get wet with either after a while. Another thing about sit-in kayaks I HATE; if you get a leg cramp most of the sit-ins don't have anywhere near enough room to move to get the kink out. You can move around on a SOT to keep that from happening in the first place. And I can stand on my Hobie and fly fish; try THAT with a sit-in kayak and see how that works out for ya! :D
    If a Liberal throws a hand grenade at you, pick it up, pull the pin, and throw it back at them.



  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,969 Senior Member
    " I am thinking about buying a kayak......" Opens a lot of doors...just like fishing...there are so many different ways to go about it. If you want to fish, you need one kind, if you want to travel and camp, you need another kind, they make a boat for every application...sorta need to decide what you want to do....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 7,879 Senior Member
    On small water i have taken my daughters little OK Frenzy and fished from it. I have also used it for surfing waves on the ocean.
    I purchased th OK Caper for fishing and diving. It is a little tippy and my fat butt cant stand on it, but is fast in the water, large tank well and has internal storage via a hatch. The Cobra fish n dive is a barge. It is almost impossible to flip. I can sit on it, grab a handle and rock it. I can stand on it and fish also. 
    If your going to be out in cold water and weather you may prefer a sit inside, but you will have to be very careful not to tip or get water in it.  A good SIS is much more expensive than any SOT, but with a SOT your going to get wet even with scupper plugs.  
    As you look at boats, ask about  chines. Also use your google fu, there is a lot of info. Design of different chines is a trade off of speed and stability when matched with a length and width of your boat.
    Try whichever you can before buying
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,133 Senior Member
    tennmike said:
    Having fished in both SOT and sit-in kayaks, I MUCH prefer the SOT for that. You're going to get wet with either after a while. Another thing about sit-in kayaks I HATE; if you get a leg cramp most of the sit-ins don't have anywhere near enough room to move to get the kink out. You can move around on a SOT to keep that from happening in the first place. And I can stand on my Hobie and fly fish; try THAT with a sit-in kayak and see how that works out for ya! :D

    The only time I fished from a kayak was fly fishing, from a sit-in.  I didn't find it that difficult.  I was fishing a small lake with a very slight breeze blowing.

    I even caught some fish.

    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
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