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Old 12-27-2009, 04:00 PM   #23
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 452
Join Date: Oct 1999
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
'06 Lexus GX470
'15 VW Golf TDI


I really don't like the sit on top boats for this type of paddling.

Anyone that says that a sit on top kayak is more maneuverable is completely oversimplifying things. Sit on top kayaks are generally shorter and wider, two things that make it a lot easier to turn, but two things that make a kayak slower, and much more stable than you need it to be. A sit in kayak that is around 14' long and 23-24" will be a good combination of speed and maneuverability. A kayak being sit in or sit on doesn't change anything as far as speed and maneuverability are concerned, it is just that the sit on top boats are made for people who don't paddle much, aren't going to go more than a mile or two (in general) and are very afraid of tipping over. My everyday kayak is 17" wide and I have never fallen out of it, you aren't oing to fall out of a 24" wide kayak.

Also, maneuverability is somewhat important, but don't underestimate speed. If you are going to be paddling around the large boat docks 100% of the time, I wouldn't worry about speed, but those short and wide boats are very very slow, and that gets frustrating really fast. Even a 2" difference in beam makes a big difference in speed.

Again, I would say to go paddle a lot of different kayaks to see what you like. Don't go paddle one for 3-4 minutes, take it out for long enough that you get a good feel for it. If you paddle in circles next to the dock, you are not going to get the feel of what it is like in a straight line, so make sure you go for a paddle that resembles what you will be doing on a standard paddle once you get it.
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