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aquageek
January 25th, 2011, 10:53 AM
I am looking to buy a kayak for my wife to paddle as I swim in a calm lake. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to size, features, etc as I know nothing on this topic. I don't need anything fancy or for rough(er) water, just fairly simple.

Thanks in advance.

evmo
January 25th, 2011, 11:44 AM
Also, if anyone has experience with the folding/collapsible models (Folbot, Pakboat, Klepper, etc.), I'd be interested to hear your impressions. Does one sacrifice quality for convenience?

pendaluft
January 25th, 2011, 01:41 PM
I have the advanced elements inflatable double kayak-- We love it. It really handles like a regular boat and sets up in 15 - 20 minutes. Good for NYC living in limited space.

They have a lot of different models. The things are still kind of heavy when in the "suitcase" (ours is about 65 pounds) but if you have bikes on the roof of the car -- where would you put a rigid kayak?

I have looked at the Foldboats -- they look good too but are pretty expensive.

We had a test drive of the advanced elements before buying -- I'd recommend that to be sure it works for you (I insisted we see it inflated from the case, due to a traumatic experience in my childhood with an inflatable boat, but that's another story.)


http://www.advancedelements.com/

Lump
January 25th, 2011, 05:56 PM
I have a Wilderness Systems Pungo 14 (14'). Its really a good go between an everyday and touring the lake we have a cabin on. I can paddle in it all day and it has a ton of storage. However, its long and a bit cumbersome to carry and turn on the water. For a beginner I'd recommend a 10-12'.

I got mine here. They have a decent site you can look through
http://www.theoutsideworld.net/outside/

Munatones
January 25th, 2011, 07:15 PM
Here are some alternatives and additional information on kayaking for open water swimmers:
http://www.openwatersource.com/kayaking-and-escorting.html and
http://www.dailynewsofopenwaterswimming.com/2010/06/pakboat-just-right-for-serious-open.html

hnatkin
January 25th, 2011, 08:21 PM
Make sure you buy a lightweight paddle. It makes a significant difference. Also make sure you buy one with a good, well adjustable seat.

Lump
January 25th, 2011, 11:01 PM
Make sure you buy a lightweight paddle. It makes a significant difference. Also make sure you buy one with a good, well adjustable seat.

+1. Its an investment, but worth it.

lapswimmr
January 25th, 2011, 11:32 PM
Perception 300 dollar kayak/Good paddle. Had a lot of sugestions. Site is not workin

Speedo
January 26th, 2011, 01:42 PM
Like Lump mentioned, the Pungo is nice. A buddy of mine has the Pungo 120 (12'). The longer boats will track a little straighter in general, but they are heavier. Sit-on-top versions are even heavier than that. My friend says the Pungo has a decent V-hull so the shorter ones track well for a short boat.

If you have an REI around, it may be worth it to rent a boat or two- they do that at some stores. But be warned: that same friend of mine rented two at once and bought both :)

Chicken of the Sea
January 26th, 2011, 04:40 PM
Also, if anyone has experience with the folding/collapsible models (Folbot, Pakboat, Klepper, etc.), I'd be interested to hear your impressions. Does one sacrifice quality for convenience?

I sacrificed quality for convenience :)
Actually I bought a really cheapo inflatable last year. Now all I need is an inflatable person to paddle it for me!

lapswimmr
January 26th, 2011, 07:10 PM
Sit on top kayaks are easier to get in and out and wetter. I see them used for lots of escourts. Remember if you ever need her help dont grab the center of the kayak from the side as you can turn it over. Grab the front or back. Google Catalina channel swim and you will see their site with some sit on top escorts over the years. The Ocean Kayak is a good one. They paddle these things all the way across the Catalina Channel 26 miles! Of couse thats nothing to swimming it. As I said a 300 dollar Perception 9-10 ft will work and be fun A good life jacket is a must. Light strong paddles make them easier to go..A used kayaks will save a lot of money if you can find one.

swimthegoodfight
January 26th, 2011, 08:58 PM
Look for a nearby / local kayak rental, and test paddle - if she is uncomforatble at 10 minutes, try another style.

best of luck

Lump
January 26th, 2011, 09:51 PM
Like Lump mentioned, the Pungo is nice. A buddy of mine has the Pungo 120 (12'). The longer boats will track a little straighter in general, but they are heavier. Sit-on-top versions are even heavier than that. My friend says the Pungo has a decent V-hull so the shorter ones track well for a short boat.

If you have an REI around, it may be worth it to rent a boat or two- they do that at some stores. But be warned: that same friend of mine rented two at once and bought both :)

Yeah, I kinda wish I had the 12', but oh well. I have a roof rack and J-hooks too that fit on top of my truck (Ford Sport Trac) and I can haul it anywhere. I can get it up and down myself, but it would be difficult from someone smaller (I'm 6'1 and about 220).

Plus my kids are small enough that I can fit them one at a time in the back cargo area for a little ride! :D

aquageek
January 27th, 2011, 08:51 AM
Thank you for the responses. They are very helpful. I went over to Dick's Sporting Goods the other night and they have an Old Town Vapor (10') for about $300. It looks decent enough. Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on this model?

lapswimmr
January 27th, 2011, 01:34 PM
That will work fine but be advised some people we talked to had a Perception with a similur seat with the hinge like thing on the seat and it broke and they had trouble getting a new seat, I dont know if they got it fixed yet, I dont like the look of the Vapours seat. The 9.5 Perception Swifty has a simpler seat that is cheap to replace when it breaks and if you get out of the kayack and sit on the seat it will break in time. (the sit in kayaks are harder to get out of). Look up kayak seats breaking on google. Look for seat replacements and cost. The sit on tops have a molded in seat and also a generic seat of fabric that fits a lot of them.

Lump
January 27th, 2011, 02:06 PM
Thank you for the responses. They are very helpful. I went over to Dick's Sporting Goods the other night and they have an Old Town Vapor (10') for about $300. It looks decent enough. Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on this model?

In Kayaks, you will get what you pay for. I'd look on Craigslist for a used one or a specialty shop (some also sell used) before going to a Big Box retailer. You can always turn them around and sell it and do well on the back end of things too.

Here is the view on mine:

Speedo
January 28th, 2011, 11:18 AM
Thank you for the responses. They are very helpful. I went over to Dick's Sporting Goods the other night and they have an Old Town Vapor (10') for about $300. It looks decent enough. Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on this model?I don't know this model, but if price is the main consideration, that sounds good. You can always resell and not lose much money. In the event that she doesn't like it (for comfort, too wobbly, etc), she'll know what she wants in another boat. I don't think you can go too wrong with a $300 boat, in other words.

Oh good, Lump posted his boat. This was mine a few years back- sold it because I was a bit too heavy for it and am still dreaming of another some day.

JimRude
January 28th, 2011, 05:20 PM
Thank you for the responses. They are very helpful. I went over to Dick's Sporting Goods the other night and they have an Old Town Vapor (10') for about $300. It looks decent enough. Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on this model?

Geeky - my experience is that there is a direct correlation between the length of the boat and the speed at which you can paddle.

We have three sit on top kayaks, which we take to Lake Tahoe (among other places) every summer. The big two are Wilderness Systems Tarpon 140s (14'). The little one is a Wilderness System Ripper (8').

Our kids learned to paddle at age 5 in the big boats. They found them tough to turn at first, but liked the straight-ahead speed. The little boat turns on a dime, but is very squirrelly to paddle straight and fast.

The Ripper cost us about $300 (season end sale) and the Tarpons about $650 each (ditto on the sale). They are all indestructible, and as long as you care for the hull a bit each year (we use Aerospace 303 spray).

I don't know about Old Town boats, but Wilderness are fantastic.

Mallory Mead
April 15th, 2011, 08:42 PM
I love my Folbot Citibot! It assembles like a tent........frame then cover, and for someone who lives in a 2 bedroom Hollywood apartment with a husband, roommate, and two cats and drives a Nissan Versa, the portability can't be beat! I keep it in the trunk of my car for the most part, always on call should I find myself at the beach with someone to paddle it.

There is a bit of a learning curve on the assembly, but after awhile it takes about 10 minutes to assemble and less to take it apart.

Its small enough to pack on a plane and weighs 24 lbs, which means I can take it with me no matter where I'm swimming. Seeing as how you can spend a couple hundred dollars on kayak rental for a long swim, I think its well worth the money.

I blogged about my kayak last week, complete with pictures for the curious.

http://mallorymead.com/2011/04/760/

aquageek
April 18th, 2011, 09:01 AM
Update - I ended up buying the Old Town Vapor. It was in the right price range, but most importantly, it was free shipping and no tax on Amazon. I had it delivered directly to the lake house, which is pretty much in the middle of no where.

It took all of 10 seconds to master it. It was also extremely easily mastered by children from ages 8 to 12. In fact, my 12 year old escorted me for an hour after a 10 minute lesson. The handles are robust. The seat is probably the weak part so I fully anticipate it will suffer some from all the kid use. But, the hull is obviously indestructible and it has a cup holder. You can easily hang on the back of it on the handle and not disrupt the person inside when you take a break.

I don't know how good this would be for the ocean as it isn't a sit on top and has a relatively flat bottom. But, it is perfect for lake use.