which kayak

  I am tring to decide on a kayak and have narrowed it to three. The clc chesapeke 18, pygmy queen charlotte 19, and shearwater merganser 18xl. Are all of these boats good choices for a beginner? 

 Bill


14 replies:

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RE: which kayak

My first sit inside was a ches. 18.  I am basically happy with it.  What are your dimensions.  Foot size?  Inseam?  Weight?  Your choices kinda indicate you are a big person?

 

Kim

RE: which kayak

  My foot size is 11 , my weight 270#, I am 6'4" tall.  I live near dallas texas and these boats are rare around here so i cannot test one out before buying.

   I am hoping to use this for camping , arriving at camp site by water on calm lakes with all gear inside boat.  Also for exercise during the week. I think the ches 18 would work fine for what I need but would rather have a greenland style boat because it looks better to me.  The pygmy queen charlotte xl looks like it would also be a good choice but the only pictures I have found make the boat look ugly. The pygmy qc19 looks good to me but I am uncertain if it would be a good choice for a beginner. 

 Bill

RE: which kayak

  My foot size is 11 , my weight 270#, I am 6'4" tall.  I live near dallas texas and these boats are rare around here so i cannot test one out before buying.

   I am hoping to use this for camping , arriving at camp site by water on calm lakes with all gear inside boat.  Also for exercise during the week. I think the ches 18 would work fine for what I need but would rather have a greenland style boat because it looks better to me.  The pygmy queen charlotte xl looks like it would also be a good choice but the only pictures I have found make the boat look ugly. The pygmy qc19 looks good to me but I am uncertain if it would be a good choice for a beginner. 

 Bill

RE: which kayak

I am 6'4" with a 36" inseam.  The Ches. 18 cockpit is a hair too small for me.  I can't get my legs out to aid in getting out.  This is fixable and will be done when my Duck is completed.  I can raise myself out with just my arms on land but in water I can't do it.  I fall over often on exiting.  It is also just wide enough to fit my behind.  I weigh 260. 

You better try the Ches 18 out if you go that route. 

 Kim

RE: which kayak

Shearwater are not beginner boats. Not nearly as stable as the Chesapeake would be.

But not having a super stable beginner boat does not mean you wouldn't grow into it. Sometimes the beginner boat is not the best choice for a beginner who will paddle a lot becuase that paddler may grow out of it and be looking to trade up in a short period of time.

My Shearwater is my second kayak and the first trip out it nearly tossed me in a 20 knot wind. You have to pay attention and maintain your balance in a kayak that is not super stable.

I know this does not help you decide on which boat to choose. Keep going back and forth between the boats until one boat starts to appeal to you more and more, narrow 3 boats down to 2 and then finally make the choice for the one you will build and go for it.

 

 

RE: which kayak

   Its between the chesapeke 18 and the pygmy qcxl for now.  They seem to be equal for a beginner and the width of both of these would allow fishing from them.   

I would like to see more pictures of the pygmy qcxl boat but have not had much luck so far. I contacted pygmy and they dont have any other photos in digital format.  Do any of these companies run specails on there kayaks at a certain time of year.

Bill

RE: which kayak

Try going here and posting a question looking for others who have built that boat....

 http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/community/viewforum.php?f=7

RE: which kayak

Take a look at the Pygmy Arctic Tern High Volume.  I'm 6.5, 220 with size 14 feet and the boat fits me well.  It is not as clunky as the QCXL.  Current project is the Sea Wolf stripper from Newfound which should be a fast second and fits also.  Next winter's project will be the True North 19' stripper (Noah's).  This summer is being reserved for the Pocketship!!!  Jerry 

RE: which kayak

Well, interested party and all that, but let me commend the Chesapeake 18 to you.  Many hundreds have been built, it handles well and isn't boxy, it's roomy and demonstrably good for fishing.

The reviews are excellent.

 

This is also a very complete kit, which includes a 60-minute how-to DVD and a 170-page manual, further expanded with a McGraw-Hill book if you like.  All this documentation and support will matter to a kit builder.

 

Hope that helps and let us know if you have any questions at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RE: which kayak

John

You seem to be completely ignoring what your customers say.  This guy appears to be my size.  I stated above that the 18 will not fit people of my size.  I don't see how you can say it is roomy.  Cockpit too small.  Beam barely adequate.  I need special shoes for feet room.

 Kim

RE: which kayak

  Thank You all for the help and info. I found pics of the qc-xl that  I was looking for . I still need to do more research but I think this is the boat I will build.

    Bill

RE: which kayak

It is so hard to buy a kit online without having the means by which to try out a boat, and then you don't know when you'll outgrow it. 

Having learned my lesson, I'd try to fly out to where I can demo a boat, because your time is so valuable.  Where might include an owner of a boat which holds your interest or Port Townsend for Pygmy, or Maryland for CLC.  maybe you can call Pygmy or CLC to find owners who might let you sit in or paddle a boat.  You could even offer to lay down a Jackson for the opportunity.

I enjoy my Pygmy Coho immensely, though I don't measure up to your height/weight.  I have paddled my Coho 4 years before something finally broke and I use my kayaks hard.  Every kayak I've had has had something break.  

I have a greenland boat from a small Canadian kitmaker, but cannot recommend it.      

If you don't have much kayaking experience, I'd think about a plastic boat as a starter, of which you'd find plenty on the used market, maybe even cheap too.  you can also find plenty of reviews online, at paddling.net if I recall rightly.  I did have a plastic boat,which I liked, but wanted to own a woody for the lighter weight.  Sadly, I didn't adhere to all the tips that go into making a lighter boat and ended with a boat just a few pounds lighter than plastic, though it WAS two feet longer and faster.

Good luck 

RE: which kayak

I have a 16' plastic sot, the 18 and almost done with the Duck 12'.  The 18 would be my last choice to fish from.  Maybe it is because I am 54 soon and my sense of balance could be waning.  I certainly would use the sot for fishing.  The Duck seems a good choice too.  Have you thought of getting a Duck?

 Kim

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