A former member
Post #: 1
Hi All ! Though new to this group, I have flat water canoed, mostly for pleasure, fishing & photography for many years. I have a 13ft fibreglass canoe, w/wooden paddles. this past summer bought a double ended kayak paddle: much easier & less wasted effort using this. vs old, single end old-style paddles. Am looking now @ sit-in kayaks & want to know what to look for? What makes a "quality kayak"? Intended uses include: fishing; group kayak trips; & photography of fresh & salt water marsh flora & fauna.
Norman M.
user 8087840
Tewksbury, MA
Post #: 13
Hi Steve,
I also used canoes for years before getting into kayaking. Like you I discovered using a kayak paddle in my canoe was much more efficient.
No easy answer to your question of what kayak to buy. There are kayaks made fishing that would be ideal for photography and fishing but may not be acceptable if you want to get into 'big water' paddling with a group. I would certainly recommend that you rent a few different styles before buying. You may even want to buy used so you won't too much invested if you find you should have gotten something different.
I have a sea kayak for touring but will fish from one of my canoes. They are just roomier for fishing and photography.
Nancy H
user 7962459
Group Organizer
Worcester, MA
Post #: 20
"Try before you buy" is a good idea, but even doing that, you may find that you eventually "outgrow" your first kayak or just come to realize it is not the perfect kayak for you. If you buy used, like Norm suggests, you save a ton of money and can probably sell it if you find you want something else. Going to "demo days" and places like Charles River Canoe and Kayak (they'll let you try what they have in stock) is a good place to start. Places like REI, EMS and others have demo days early in the season at local ponds. There is quite a range in quality of kayaks from real junk to beautiful, light-weight kevlar kayaks. The prices are usually a pretty good indication of quality. I would also look at safety features, like full perimeter deck lines and bulkheads fore and aft. Shopping at a store with knowledgeable people is much better than hitting one of the big box stores. Ultimately, you may end up with more than one kayak (one for fishing, one for touring). Keep an open mind, ask questions and try as many kayaks as you can. For keeping up with a meetup group, I would recommend something in the 14'-15' range. It's long enough for some speed and short enough to meander through marshes and lots of models in that size come with the safety features mentioned above.
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