Builders' Forum Archives
Re: boat choice
Posted by Robert N Pruden on Oct 1, 2007
Mike, the question to ask yourself first is: what will I do with the boat? Will you paddle oceans with it, lakes, rivers, ponds??? Once considered and answered, the the next question becomes: what kind of paddling will I do - expedition, day trips, weekend jaunts??? The next question becomes: what kind of stability and speed do I want in this boat: excellent stability, lower speed, less stability, faster speed?? Generally speaking, the shorter the kayak, the slower it will go but will turn on a dime. The longer and skinnier the kayak, the faster it will go but will be less stable. Beam width controls stability to a point. The wider the kayak, the more stable it will be but that also depends on hull design. Single hard chined kayaks have little primary stability but lots of secondary stability (feels tippy but really isn't). Multi-chined kayaks have excellent primary and secondary stability and feel very stable, meaning you can lean quite a lot before it tips.
Your body dimensions are similar to mine, 'cept I'm 5'10" with shoe size 10D. If you want this kayak for day tripping/weekendering/possible expeditions (longer than a week), then you want a kayak that is at least 17' (turns well), is multi-chined (excellent primary/secondary stability) and has lots of storage space for trips. You can get low-deck versions that have less storage space but allow for easier rolling (a skill you should learn) and are affected by wind less than a higher volume kayak. Bear in mind that kayaks which are very stable are tougher to roll (comment based on intermediate rolling skills). If you need more info, just email me.
Robert N Pruden
In Response to: boat choice by Mike Coughlin on Sep 30, 2007