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Thread: Decent beginners kayak for a big guy

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    Default Decent beginners kayak for a big guy

    Good day. I thought I had my mind made up on a Jon boat or canoe but one of my coworkers has gone and planted a kayak bug in my head.
    My original plan was to get a canoe with a motor for moose hunting. Then I realized from feedback here that a canoe might not be best for crossing the yukon to get to hunting territory. Then my plan shifted to a Jon boat and find a inexpensive canoe to leave at moose camp. However now I'm thinking a kayak thrown in my Jon boat to paddle the sloughs or even paddle along the banks on the yukon.
    Is this doable? No whitewater kayaking. If it is doable what would be a good option that won't break the bank. I may try get two so wife can join me.
    Btw there are zero kayaks in my village. My coworkers are upriver from me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    Btw there are zero kayaks in my village.
    I think that statement, in and of itself, should speak volumes to you. Your question should have been "Why is it that no one in my village uses a kayak?" I'll bet money it's not a cost issue.

    The single biggest issue you're going to have using a kayak for hunting is you can't load them up with much. Suppose you shoot a moose while out kayaking? Now what? You can't put the moose in the kayak with you. Are you going to make 100 trips to carry the moose back one roast at a time? You can stuff a very little bit of gear in the bow and stern, if you have the right kayak, but nothing like a canoe. However, they are exceedingly easy to transport,as you described, on the deck of another boat.

    We own two Pelican brand kayaks, one for me and one for my son. His is an 8' model river kayak. Throw it over your shoulder carry it everywhere. Very maneuverable and easy fear him to paddle. He can do the entire process with it solo without my help . The one bought for for me is a 10' model. Similar to his but holds more weight.....cuz I'm fat. LOL.

    I really can't tell you which brand and model kayak to buy, but there are a few features you should look for.

    First off, carrying capacity. Make sure you get one rated to carry your weight at a minimum. If it's rated for less than that, you'll have a difficult time paddling and maneuvering it. Don't forget the weight of any gear you might carry. Don't ask me how you're going to get yourself, your gear, and your moose into your new kayak.

    Second is construction material. The one's I bought are RAM-X, which is pretty popular in AK because it's thought and durable. (It's also cheap.) If your budget allows it, look for a Royalex boat, if you can find one, they stopped making them last year. It's a god trade off between weight and durability, Skip the Kevlar, it's super pricey and not as durable as Kevlar. (Construction material is like everything else with regards to weight: heavy and durable, light and not as durable. In my time in Alaska, I've dumped a lot of light weight gear in favor of heavier, more durable gear.)

    Third, look at storage capacity. How and where are you going to put your stuff?

    Fourth, seating and comfort.

    You can prioritize these in what ever order you want. I listed them as they came to mind.

    If this is your first kayak and you're looking for a good learning kayak, I can tell you the local Scout Camp uses Old Town Predators for teaching Kayaking Merit Badge. I can also tell you my son is extremely pleased with his Pelican, which was half the cost.mIn the end, I tank you're totally barking up the wrong tree. If I were going to go teach in an Interior bush community, I believe a kayak would be the last thing on my list to bring with me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    I think that statement, in and of itself, should speak volumes to you. Your question should have been "Why is it that no one in my village uses a kayak?" I'll bet money it's not a cost issue.

    The single biggest issue you're going to have using a kayak for hunting is you can't load them up with much. Suppose you shoot a moose while out kayaking? Now what? You can't put the moose in the kayak with you. Are you going to make 100 trips to carry the moose back one roast at a time? You can stuff a very little bit of gear in the bow and stern, if you have the right kayak, but nothing like a canoe. However, they are exceedingly easy to transport,as you described, on the deck of another boat.

    We own two Pelican brand kayaks, one for me and one for my son. His is an 8' model river kayak. Throw it over your shoulder carry it everywhere. Very maneuverable and easy fear him to paddle. He can do the entire process with it solo without my help . The one bought for for me is a 10' model. Similar to his but holds more weight.....cuz I'm fat. LOL.

    I really can't tell you which brand and model kayak to buy, but there are a few features you should look for.

    First off, carrying capacity. Make sure you get one rated to carry your weight at a minimum. If it's rated for less than that, you'll have a difficult time paddling and maneuvering it. Don't forget the weight of any gear you might carry. Don't ask me how you're going to get yourself, your gear, and your moose into your new kayak.

    Second is construction material. The one's I bought are RAM-X, which is pretty popular in AK because it's thought and durable. (It's also cheap.) If your budget allows it, look for a Royalex boat, if you can find one, they stopped making them last year. It's a god trade off between weight and durability, Skip the Kevlar, it's super pricey and not as durable as Kevlar. (Construction material is like everything else with regards to weight: heavy and durable, light and not as durable. In my time in Alaska, I've dumped a lot of light weight gear in favor of heavier, more durable gear.)

    Third, look at storage capacity. How and where are you going to put your stuff?

    Fourth, seating and comfort.

    You can prioritize these in what ever order you want. I listed them as they came to mind.

    If this is your first kayak and you're looking for a good learning kayak, I can tell you the local Scout Camp uses Old Town Predators for teaching Kayaking Merit Badge. I can also tell you my son is extremely pleased with his Pelican, which was half the cost.mIn the end, I tank you're totally barking up the wrong tree. If I were going to go teach in an Interior bush community, I believe a kayak would be the last thing on my list to bring with me.
    i should have have clarified hunting purposes. Basically the kayak idea is to use to save money on gas. If I happened to A&E moose and shot it, I'd make sure dead and ten paddle back to Jon boat for the transport of the moose. I just know riding around using gas gets expensive. So Jon boats main purpose is to get me out there. Kayak or canoe would be to save has and provide me the opportunity to spend more time out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    i should have have clarified hunting purposes. Basically the kayak idea is to use to save money on gas. If I happened to A&E moose and shot it, I'd make sure dead and ten paddle back to Jon boat for the transport of the moose. I just know riding around using gas gets expensive. So Jon boats main purpose is to get me out there. Kayak or canoe would be to save has and provide me the opportunity to spend more time out.
    I would just buy a canoe and call it good. But you're talking to a guy whose son, when he learned his dad had bought two kayaks, said "but you hate kayaks, Dad." Yup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    I would just buy a canoe and call it good. But you're talking to a guy whose son, when he learned his dad had bought two kayaks, said "but you hate kayaks, Dad." Yup.
    yeah...I'm not sure if I would actually like a kayak...something about the limited capacity. However I think it would be easier to paddle by myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    yeah...I'm not sure if I would actually like a kayak...something about the limited capacity. However I think it would be easier to paddle by myself.
    Not really. I've found d the trick to solo paddling a tandem canoe is to sit in the bow seat, facing aft, and paddle it backwards so the stern is parting the water. This puts you just aft of the midships of the canoe and makes maneuvering a bit easier. If you know the. J stroke, then you don't have to worry much about swapping the paddle back and forth. Depending on the canoe, you may have to stretch a little to reach the water with your paddle. ( Note, I haven't tried this on anything larger thana 17 foot double ender-and it obviously only works with a double ended-so I can't speak to those 19 foot and larger canoes.

    At the end of the day, the only way you'll know if you like a kayaks to go out and paddle one.

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    I have one of the Old Town, Vapor 12 Anglers and really like it. This is my first kayak and I had certain things in mind when I got one. I wanted something that I could get out of easy in case it flipped, the vapor has a very open cockpit, the downside to that is water drips on you a lot unless you have a skirt. The open cockpit also made it easier for me to get in and out of (not as little or limber as I used to be, 55 yoa, 6'2", 250). It is not an overly expensive boat and a good name brand in case you don't like it and and want to sell it later. My wife has the 10 ft version and it is really a little short for me, it seemed like it was always going back and forth when I would try to paddle it. If you get a vapor make sure you get a long paddle, you need this because of the vapor's width. If you look at the vapor angler on Old Town's web site mine is last years model and it came with a hatch cover on the back, which you now have to buy separate ($75).

    http://www.oldtowncanoe.com/kayaks/vapor_family/
    Last edited by bbstacker1; 03-04-2014 at 16:09. Reason: Added link

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbstacker1 View Post
    I have one of the Old Town, Vapor 12 Anglers and really like it. This is my first kayak and I had certain things in mind when I got one. I wanted something that I could get out of easy in case it flipped, the vapor has a very open cockpit, the downside to that is water drips on you a lot unless you have a skirt. The open cockpit also made it easier for me to get in and out of (not as little or limber as I used to be, 55 yoa, 6'2", 250). It is not an overly expensive boat and a good name brand in case you don't like it and and want to sell it later. My wife has the 10 ft version and it is really a little short for me, it seemed like it was always going back and forth when I would try to paddle it. If you get a vapor make sure you get a long paddle, you need this because of the vapor's width. If you look at the vapor angler on Old Town's web site mine is last years model and it came with a hatch cover on the back, which you now have to buy separate ($75).

    http://www.oldtowncanoe.com/kayaks/vapor_family/
    Ok. I will look into it. Once I get one (If I decide to) I will be keeping b/c I'll have to ship it to myself and I will not be able to resell and recoup the extra shipping costs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    Ok. I will look into it. Once I get one (If I decide to) I will be keeping b/c I'll have to ship it to myself and I will not be able to resell and recoup the extra shipping costs.
    Speaking of shipping, I would strongly urge you to, if possible, buy something from REI's website and do the free ship to store to the Anchorage store. Then, all you pay for is shipping out to your village. In fact, if you do go that route, I'll pick the kayak up for you at the store and carry it over to the Lyndon or NAC terminal for you.

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    There is another possibility, a canoe/kayak hybrid but it depends on your budget. I kayak a lot. I fish from my Native ultimate 14.5 it is light about 60lbs and roomy. The stability is amazing as well. I can stand and move around in it. try that in just about any other yak and you will go swimming. I have had about 500lbs including myself (6'5" and 280lbs) in it at different times and it handled just fine. The down fall is the price. they are not cheap. I picked mine up on clearance for $800 i think retail is somewhere around $1400. Here is a link to the company if your interested. They same company that owns liquid logic also owns Native watercraft. If you want a fun river runner the Liquid logic remix 10 is great. it is my go to rec kayak and will accommodate a bigger guy very nicely. If you want to stay cheap a old canoe is probably the best bet though.

    http://nativewatercraft.com/boat.cfm?id=6

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    Another good option instead of a Kayak is a solo canoe. I paddle an Old Town Discovery, it's 11'9" long and has the seat in the center, I paddle it with a kayak paddle. It handles well and is fairly fast for it's width. It has a weight capacity of around 500lbs. I bought mine new from Sportsmen's for $599. It's also light enough I can easily load it on the roof of the SUV, or carry it by myself between portages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul72 View Post
    Another good option instead of a Kayak is a solo canoe. I paddle an Old Town Discovery, it's 11'9" long and has the seat in the center, I paddle it with a kayak paddle. It handles well and is fairly fast for it's width. It has a weight capacity of around 500lbs. I bought mine new from Sportsmen's for $599. It's also light enough I can easily load it on the roof of the SUV, or carry it by myself between portages.
    Yeah those things are great! ANother plus is, if yo have two of them and go with a partner, you have the ability to do a "T" rescue if on of you capsizes, whereas, with two in a tandem canoe, you can't do a T rescue if you capsize.

    Unfortunately, with a 500 lb carry capacity (and many of is pushing close to 250, plus your geat (even if only at 50-60 lbs) that leaves you at less then 200 lbs of gear or moose meat you can carry, and it's hard to paddle back upriver to make a second trip. But for a solo camping adventure, yeah they're awesome.

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    My wife and I owned a small mom and pop canoe/kayak resort in the northern Arkansas Ozark mountains. There are a few kayaks designed to handle big men. I'm 6' 5' and 300 lbs. Depending of where you want to hunt and what time of year you need to decide on a sit in side or a sit on top. Old Town makes a good one of both types, Ocean makes a great sit on top for big men, as does Wilderness Systems. If you choose a sit on top during winter you are going to have to invest in a "dry suit" it will keep you dry even if you go in the water. Look it up. You can lash a lot to the large sit on tops. If you have the budget look at Hobie Mirage Kayaks their new double can be set up as a single and it then has a huge area for storage.

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    Kayaks will haul more than some here suggest. You would want one over 12 feet I think, but not over 16. Large cock pit is easier to get in and out. They are very maneuverable.
    You might try a canoe while using a kayak paddle and sitting in the middle, or kneeling on the floor. I wouldn't hesitate to put half a moose in my 19' Grumman. I could probably haul 100 pounds per trip in my kayak in calm water. I have a fishing kayak also that has a portable storage container I can load up and then toss into the water behind the kayak.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul72 View Post
    Another good option instead of a Kayak is a solo canoe. I paddle an Old Town Discovery, it's 11'9" long and has the seat in the center, I paddle it with a kayak paddle. It handles well and is fairly fast for it's width. It has a weight capacity of around 500lbs. I bought mine new from Sportsmen's for $599. It's also light enough I can easily load it on the roof of the SUV, or carry it by myself between portages.
    I have one of those, as well, and absolutely love the thing. Carries enough for one person for a couple of days, handles great, and it's cheap enough so that I don't worry that much about banging it up.
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    The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 17T can be used as a tandem or set up as a single paddle kayak. It is 17 ft. long and has a 900 lbs capacity.




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