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Kayaks...

J

joeaguilar

Messages
39
Hi
Can anyone recommend a kayak mainly for relatively calmish sea use.
I am a relative newbie although I have been in numerous kayaks and noticed that they can be very different in the way they handle. I would like something that is easy to keep in a 'straight line' and preferably for two peeps. Not planning on doing touring in it, just couple of hours up and down the coastline... I understand that the less manouverable kayaks have more of 'sculpted' hull which cuts through water better, thus keeping it in a straighter line?
Many thanks
Joe
 
GrahamBland

GrahamBland

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50
Location
New Forest
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T5 SE 174 4Motion
Hi Joe
I am not going to recommend a particular kayak - not sure what sort of experience you have, but just point out two basic choices and what to look for.
There are a few basic articles here http://www.kayarchy.co.uk/html/01equipment/002seakayaks.htm and http://www.kayarchy.co.uk/html/01equipment/010otherkayaks.htm and http://www.kayarchy.co.uk/html/01equipment/011otherkayaks.htm that might help

The boat types most suited to gentle coastal / estuary touring are Sea Kayaks, Crossover/ touring kayaks and Sit-on-tops. Sea kayaks are sleek, fast, built for the job - but to get the most out of them you need to learn how to use them :) - and they are not cheap. Crossover / tourers are basically long general purpose kayaks with one or two storage hatches. Not as fast as a sea kayak but usually more stable. Sit on Tops don't have a 'closed deck and cockpit. i.e. you sit on them rather than in them. Easy to just hop on and go. They are usually very stable, very popular and cheap. Purist kayakers tend to 'poo poo' them but they are great for easy day tripping in fine weather and good sea conditions. They also appeal to those that hate the 'trapped' feeling of a closed cockpit kayak.

I will leave you to choose what type of craft might suit you best
To keep in a straight line - that will come with practice, anyway - but generally the longer the boat the faster and straighter it will go. Boats with minimum 'rocker' and long water lines will go fastest / straightest too. The features that you are not looking for i.e. Maximum manoeuvrability (i.e. turns easily) = short with lots of rocker - the ideal whitewater boat.

Sea Kayaks usually come with either a 'skeg' or 'rudder' to help them keep in a straight line when conditions (wind and tide) make that difficult. For example My wife, who doesn't really enjoy the technical bits of kayaking, has a Prijon Seayak - this is very stable for a Sea kayak and has a rudder that allows her to keep it straight or turn it without having to rely on edging her boat on the side and using advanced techniques. Rudders are very popular in Europe but less so amongst British sea kayakers (there is a lot of purist snobbery amongst kayakers in the UK. Shhh don't tell anyone I said that :)

Just one last thing - before you venture too far away from the shore or a decent landing spot, make sure you get some basic understanding of tides and wind etc. You know - the normal H&S caveat :)

Hope this helps. Message me if you want to chat more about it
Graham
 
jamie

jamie

Messages
47
Location
Kent
Hi Joe

Wher abouts are you? your local shop should be able to give you loads of help on choseing the right kayak and most have demo boats.
I'd recomend http://www.kentcanoes.co.uk are local to me and couldnt be more helpful.
 
Martin

Martin

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Hi Joe, I was in the same position as you last year with no idea of what to buy so what I did was purchased a secondhand two seater sit-on with all the kit thrown in ( trolley, paddles etc.. )for just under £300, I did this to see how much I would actually use it which was quite alot, we are quite lucky that we live just 5 mins from the sea so as soon as there is a nice day we go down to the beach with it. I now plan to buy something a bit more expensive that suits my needs ... as for my secondhand one I will sell it and should get at least get my money back on.

Moderator John is planning on holding a watersports meet in the summer, possibly at Wimberball Lake in Exmoor where you can hire a kayak or launch your own. There is also a campsite right on the lake

http://www.swlakestrust.org.uk/leisure-activities/camping/wimbleball-lake
 
sebking

sebking

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374
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West Dorset
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T5 SE 140
whatever you buy... join the BCU - third party insurance and allows use on canals and rivers.

But more importantly most canoe shops give you 10% which will save you more than the membership.
 
MKRW

MKRW

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377
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
I agree with all of the posts above. Kayaking is great fun.

Most beaches now hire sit on top style canoes, which are great to take out for an hour and see what works for you.

I've now got a Sea Kayak for me, but to encourage our boys out onto the water I also have an inflatable Stand up paddle board and an inflatable Canoe which fits 3 of us, and is very robust, and due to the build quality surfs really well, but equally is not great in strong wind as it gets blown about.

Speak to your local Canoe shop, and I must really re-join the BCU for the insurance if nothing else.......
 
Graham

Graham

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180
Martin, let me know if you are going to sell the 2 seat sit on as I would be interested and don't live far away.
 
Martin

Martin

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Will do Graham, i have just sent you a PM.
 
Bellers

Bellers

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16
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Market Harborough
Joe

I purchased a Perception Gemini Beach Comfort last year ,which is a 2/3 seater sit on top, very stable but also good enough for rivers, coastal touring and surfing. I took it to France last year on the Cali and often had two adults and two kids on board. There are many similar boats around such as the Ocean Kayak Malibu 2, which is actually famed as being the worlds top selling kayak. If you are going to use on the sea i would go sit on top every time so much less hasle and no need for spray decks and emptying.

Chris
 
Martin

Martin

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Hi Chris, mine is a Malibu 2 and I am very pleased with it, like you say they sit-ons are great on both the sea and on lakes, only downside is the weight but I now have the knack of getting on on the roof on my own.
 
nezzler

nezzler

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43
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West Yorkshire
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The seaeagle range is great;

http://www.seaeagle.com

Very rigid inflatable made in US - you can even stand up and be stable. Also various sails/kite styles are available the simply hook on (and fold to virtually nothing) which are great fun (used one off the Cornish coast).

Also stable enough to fish from if desired.

Not cheap but as they come in their own rucksack no need to buy additional roof bars and easy to carry to remote beaches and do not increase wind resistance on top of the van.

Cheers!
 
John

John

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West Sussex
nezzler said:
The seaeagle range is great;

http://www.seaeagle.com

Very rigid inflatable made in US - you can even stand up and be stable. Also various sails/kite styles are available the simply hook on (and fold to virtually nothing) which are great fun (used one off the Cornish coast).

Also stable enough to fish from if desired.

Not cheap but as they come in their own rucksack no need to buy additional roof bars and easy to carry to remote beaches and do not increase wind resistance on top of the van.

Cheers!
Of all the inflatable Kayaks I have seen, on line, this one looks the best. I like the skeg and fin that keeps it straight and the fact that it folds down so small would be great for carrying it in the Cali and storing it at home.

The only downside I can see is as you pointed out the effect that a strong wind would have on control and drift. I would imagine that a strong off shore breeze may cause a big problem as you could find yourself quickly drifting out to sea. :crazy

However, on the right day it looks great fun. :thumb :grin:
 

KernowLad

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We have a very long way to go when we want to go kayaking...
(taken from our bedroom window):



I highly recommend it here for kayaking. Easy parking at our house if needed, miles of safe, stunning AonB stuff to explore, a few pubs on the way.
 
J

joeaguilar

Messages
39
Hi Everyone who has contributed to this topic: Some excellent advice all round and given me something to think about.
The main reason I ask about 'straight lines / stability' is because I am taking my 10 year old son out on this. We hired a kayak on numerous occasions in the North of Spain last Summer. Our experience ranged from a quiet lake to calm sea and an estuary where the current was stronger and we were given some good advice on control of the kayak and the stronger sea currents. Although I am not an expert, I did harbor sufficient experience to realise there was a difference between the kayaks - most notably the kayak we hired on the calm lake was the hardest to control. Control is key when you are trying to synchronise with a 10-year old although I guess this will come with experience.
I think the way I am going to go with this is something simple and relatively inexpensive such that both my son and I can gain confidence and enjoy the kayak. If we continue to enjoy it then we will look to upgrade to something better.
Excellent advice all round - understanding the technicalities certainly helps to choose the right kayak. Thanks once again!
Joe
 
vwanorak

vwanorak

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My son and I took our Sevylor Colorado out for its maiden voyage yesteday in the Sandbanks part of Poole Harbour.

Great fun. Not the easiest to keep in a straight line, but I am going to put that down to me as much as the kayak. All in all, very impressed.

Andy
 
N

nickstjt

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91
Location
Surrey, UK
We camped last week in Little Haven (Pembrokeshire) and used our Colorado in the sea there. I think as long you are careful near the shore where the breakers are then they are very easy to handle. We have very little kayaking experience but I felt perfectly happy with my 9 and 10 year old. We also used it a few years ago on the west coast of Scotland just down from Mallaig. Perfect place for beginners as there are loads of interesting little beaches/coves and it was very sheltered.

I think I read that inflatables are slower as they tend to flex more and that loses power, but they do have the benefit of packing a bit smaller, and probably being lighter to carry.

--Nick
 
vwanorak

vwanorak

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nickstjt said:
We camped last week in Little Haven (Pembrokeshire) and used our Colorado in the sea there. I think as long you are careful near the shore where the breakers are then they are very easy to handle. We have very little kayaking experience but I felt perfectly happy with my 9 and 10 year old. We also used it a few years ago on the west coast of Scotland just down from Mallaig. Perfect place for beginners as there are loads of interesting little beaches/coves and it was very sheltered.

I think I read that inflatables are slower as they tend to flex more and that loses power, but they do have the benefit of packing a bit smaller, and probably being lighter to carry.

--Nick
Hi Nick

Yep, I was also very happy that we were safe - my son is only just seven so was very much just a passenger.

I have just bought a skeg to fit on the Colorado from Ebay so will fit that and see if it helps it track a little more straight.

Mallaig is on our list of places to visit - almost went in May this year with a view to carrying on up to Applecross but had to change our plans. will definately take the kayak if we go.

Andy
 
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