/ Sea Kayak

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Toby_W on 15 Mar 2013
So I've moved near the sea and am desperate to get out on the water, explore the local rivers and coast. Local club seems good.

I've raced a sea kayak a few times, done a few day trips down rivers and done a white water course but aside from this am an utter novice.

1. I need something cheap to get out on so I can get a feel for what I want to paddle in.
2. There are a few plastic boats around about that look nice, stable etc and a P&H sirius HF that's a bit battered but obviously glass and not really for a novice but it would be more fun and put me on a steeper learning curve (more expensive but still cheap being 2nd hand). I'm going to go and sit in it today. I'm just shy of 6'3 and 76kgs.

I'm tempted by the sirius as it may prove a good fit and I'm one of these sickening people who learns things very quickly and easily.

Anyone got any pearls of wisdom they can share?


Cameron94 on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Toby_W: Have you spoken to your local club about it?

Join a paddle forum and ask them, you will more than likely get a better idea from them than ukc.
Toby_W on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Cameron94: I know, just generally fishing a bit and don't want ot go on a paddle forum and ask the ukc equivilant question of how many nuts do I need so I'm weeding out the more numpty of my assumptions about this.... small steps ;0


TobyA on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Toby_W: I don't have much to add beyond cockpit fits can vary widely. I'm pretty medium sized, but tried one Valley boat that actually rubbed raw patches at the top of hips/waist area from a shortish paddle. Lovely boat if you fitted, but a torture instrument if you don't! And I don't think it was classified as 'small' or anything.
ring ouzel on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Toby_W: Why is a 'glass boat not for a novice? My boat was a 'glass NDK Explorer and it concentrated the mind wonderfully when landing on rocky shores!!

Plastic boats are good as they are less fragile than 'glass boats but they are slower in the water. If you are paddling any distance (the whole point of sea kayaking) then this mounts up over time. And they may be stable but that will probably be primary stability and you need to look at secondary stability too. Can you sit your boat on its side and carve a turn? If you've raced sea kayaks before you'll probably understand stability better than I do though.

'Glass is also lighter than plastic. At the end of a long paddling day this becomes a real issue when you are trying to get the boat back onto your car roof, but then again maybe I'm just really puny!

And cheap? Sea kayaking is ridiculously expensive what with boat, paddle pfd etc etc etc. Mind you none of that matters a toss when you get 5 days of perfect paddling weather in North Uist. Just magic!
Mike C on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Toby_W:

Like Toby A I found a Valley Aquanaut a tad uncomfortable and ended up getting a P&H Scorpio which has been fine to learn in & should be good enough for when I get better & braver. Their Dolphin seems to get good reviews too. Best thing is to find a supplier within reach who does demo days when you can try out different boats to see which fits best.
Good luck!
Toby_W on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to ring ouzel:

Cheers guys, I was talking about this P & H sirius specifically not being a novice boat due to its lively handling.

I was just looking at an NDK explorer on Ebay, very lovely they are beautiful things.

Right I'm off to sit in this boat, best leave credit card in the office.


ring ouzel on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Toby_W: Do not, under any circumstances, look at this website: http://www.rockpoolkayaks.com/index.php

especially the matt black colour scheme. Matt black shows up scratches this is true but it looks the mutts nuts!
Rigid Raider - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Toby_W:

The sea kayak is one of the most lethal hunting weapons employed by Man. Kayaks have ensured the survival of humans in the most inhospitable parts of the world for centuries. So says Jared Diamond.
OwenM - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Toby_W: The P&H Sirius is now a very old design and quite frankly a real dog, there are much better kayaks out there.

Plastic is cheaper and can bounce off rocks but wont last as long as a glass boat. Fibre glass is lighter and as has been said faster but I doubt you'll notice the difference on an average days paddle.

Don't rush, try as many kayaks as you can. Comfort is the most important thing, if you get cramp after an hour it's not the one for you.
Toby_W on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to OwenM:

I'm trying very hard to follow your advice, looking for a cheap boat to start just to get out and spend time on the water (hence the older 2nd hand options), decide what I like most and try some different makes and styles.

They are beautiful things though and I may have a big birthday this year and I'm soo excited about new adventures.

Thanks for the comments, it's keeping me grounded.

Loughan - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Toby_W: I did a Gordon Brown paddle course in Skye, he has/had a range of boats to try although i think they were Avocets. That was a few years ago.

Anyway, it might be worth signing up for a couple of days with someone where you can revisit your self-rescue techniques and try a few different boats.

Wish i had the time & money for kayaking myself.
TobyA on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Mike C: The one I used might have been called a "Skerry"? It was a plastic version of their classic shape.

I did my first multiday tours in Seayaks and always rather liked them, they seemed very easy to handle for a relative beginner in big-ish swells at sea and steep choppy small waves on a big lake here after very windy weather. Loads of space for beer and barbeques too! But last time I used a locally designed glassfibre boat and it really does feel light and faster.
ian Ll-J - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Toby_W:
I'm North Wales based and have a 2nd Hand NDK Romany for sale for £400 was going to pop it on e-bay....
Sealwife - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Toby_W: There is no substitute for spending some time in a boat before deciding if it's for you. Some you'll be able to rule out the minute you get into them.

A couple of my paddling friends use P&H Sirius's and, having helped carry them up the beach, they aren't significantly lighter than a plastic boat. That might have something to do with the amount of kit some people carry with them though. They are heavier than some more modern boats of similar construction.

Yes, step away from the Rockpool website
iselliott on 15 Mar 2013 - whois?
Hi Toby, in answer to your question - the same as everyone else try lots before you buy, dont buy a boat just because its a nice cheap option. There are alot of multi purpose boats out there and really you need to decide where and what you will be paddling, how much you anticipate you will improve.
Your height and weight are obviously important in the decision process but again not the be all and end all of the decision process, I would suggest that you talk to someone who could really help you and ask the sort of questions needed to then give you some serious options - that being said I would seriously recommend that you speak to a friend of mine who works for North East Kayaks his name is John Robertson tel 01665 714039 apart from him being an exceptionally good paddler and knowing his stuff he is also a registered coach so he will be able to point you in the right direction and help you not only with your boat but also style of paddle (important if you intend to do alot of sea work / touring).
Oh and happy paddling
ian Ll-J - on 15 Mar 2013
> (In reply to Toby_W)
> I'm North Wales based and have a 2nd Hand NDK Romany for sale for £400 was going to pop it on e-bay....

Just looked on e bay myself and a Romany for £400 is pretty cheap...I will honour the price on here if anyone wants it before I put it on ebay.
coldfell - on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Toby_W: My glass Valley Pintail is heavier then my plastic Capella - (I think it depends how many layers of glass in construction thats what I was told when i had it built for me)it is however a joy to paddle!
Denni on 15 Mar 2013
In reply to Toby_W:

I live down on the sarf coast and am regularly in the sea in my kayak.

We have a sit on top for playing around in but I also have a Dagger Charleston 15 that I have used extensively round the coast here on the Solent (in summer, regularly paddle from where we live near Lee on the Solent to Southampton and across to the Isle of Wight) in Cornwall, Scotland sea/lochs for multi day trips with tent etc inside, took it to Lofoten about 8 years ago and toured there and it was excellent.

I am 6ft 3 and my about 105 kilos at the mo and it is very comfortable and roomy for me. Bought mine second hand on ukriversguide for about £300 which is an absolute bargain. Been hammered and had the odd, ahem, crash into rocks but apart from the usual scrapes, it has no damage at all. Only things I have modified was the skeg. Changed it for a more sturdier model and I also added a deck compass.

It really is a fantastic bit of kit and I can't wait for summer :0) enjoy

Toby_W on 16 Mar 2013
In reply to Toby_W:

Thank you all for your well considered thoughts and wisdom and the links. I shall hold off buying anything for now and borrow club boats and friends until I have a better idea of what sort of stuff I can get out and do mos.t often.
Thanks for that link, lee mill is fairly local to me so I think I'll pop in.

I knew I'd get some measured and sensible advice.



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