Which family kayak?

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louis2again
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 9:43 am

Which family kayak?

Post by louis2again »

After looking at what is available I have narrowed down to these 2 types of kayaks both different in their own way and would appeciate any views in best one. Have identified seconhand for each of these with paddles and in good condition. I've added in some commetns for each.

To be used mostly for easy touring paddles along coast, rivers, etc. during good/mild conditions for family (15yrs, 13 yrs, 7 yrs)

Perception Vista - http://www.perception.co.uk/product/ind ... xpedition/
Pros: Comfortable, good packing space for 'stuff', 'drier' than the other. About £50 cheaper. Perhaps more versatile i.e. for rivers, lakes. Max capacity 300kg
Cons: Heavier than the other boat (41kg). Not as good good for 'tougher' conditions e.g. having to bail out water

Malubu Two XL - http://www.oceankayak.com/kayaks/tandem ... wo_xl.html
Pros: Seems could handle 'tougher' conditions, lighter that the other (27kg),
Cons: 'wetter' paddlewise than the other. Max capacity 226 kg

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maryinoxford
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Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland

Re: Which family kayak?

Post by maryinoxford »

If you're going to have to get it on and off a car roof, a 41kg boat would be quite a task. If it was just you and the 7-year-old, how would you handle it?
Not in Oxford any more...

tg
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Location: Pennyhole Bay

Re: Which family kayak?

Post by tg »

Hi,

You may have already discounted it, and I'm surprised maryinoxford didn't mention it, but I'd suggest looking at a folding boat. All doubles are heavy, inc. a traditional type (read Klepper) folding double; but lighter than 41kg. My double folder is about 34kg and breaks down into two bags. Folders, generally, are eminently seaworthy and safe and tend to last a long time. They hold their resale value pretty well. Unfortunatley they are expensive but can be stowed away in their bags for long spells of time. Wayland are at the cheaper end. I have a double that comes out a few times a year for visitors and with the sprogs (19,17 and 20months).

Just a thought.... it might suit...

Tim
"I sink therfore I am".

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maryinoxford
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Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland

Re: Which family kayak?

Post by maryinoxford »

Tim, I realise that an open-cockpit folding double would be the right type of boat. But the original poster was looking for a used boat, and had found his plastic "possibles." Looking for a used folder could involve a wait, while getting a new one is expensive, and also involves a wait as they are usually made to order.

I agree that a Wayland double, or, say a Folbot Greenland 2, would be good boats for the purpose, if available. There are some inflatables that would also do the job, with the usual proviso that you don't take an inflatable on the sea if the wind is blowing off-shore.

Mary
Not in Oxford any more...

tg
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Re: Which family kayak?

Post by tg »

Apologies Mary. I didn't notice the OPs comment on used craft.

Tim
"I sink therfore I am".

JohnGreenview
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Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:28 pm
Location: Whiting Bay Arran

Re: Which family kayak?

Post by JohnGreenview »

I have an Advanced Elements Convertible (an inflatable). I think it is well worth the money. I have two hard kayaks too (a plastic and a fibreglass). The convertible is able to keep up with these and tracks very well. Disadvantages include a) harder to dry b) will let in a little water at zips. c) less range than a hard kayak but only for the diehard Advantages include a) very stable b) carries in boot of car c) can be a one or two person c) can be used on rivers as well

PS It depends how strong the off-shore wind is for the AEC. It sits (unlike many inflatables) low in the water and is relatively unaffected by wind.

http://www.advancedelementskayaks.co.uk ... 1f0f48cd18

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JohnA
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Location: NSW, Australia

Re: Which family kayak?

Post by JohnA »

With respect to the OP it's a very easy choice, IMHO. You're talking about coastal paddling with small children. The Perception is simply not suitable get the SOT.

Why ? The perception has an open double cockpit with only a small watertight enclosure behind the rear seat. If you get caught out by a weather change or one large wave it will swamp or capsize and you won't be able to bail fast enough to empty it. That cockpit will hold at least 350 litres of water, that's a lot of bailing, especially when the boat has lost all it's freeboard (remember it only has that one small compartment at the back so inadequate reserve buoyancy) and the water is coming in over the side as fast as you can chuck it out. This is a boat suited to rivers and lakes where you can drag it a few yards to shore if you get in trouble. It's not suitable for open water. You might get away with it on your own, but once you're trying to manage small kids too.........................

The SOT will be infinitely easier to get yourselves out of the water and underway again with minimal fuss. That particular sit in could be a tragedy waiting to happen. If you're worried about a wet bum, then either wear wet suits (as well as your PFDs), which would be a good idea anyway, or get the perception and just don't take it out on coastal trips.

Whatever you do, have fun, stay safe and get out on the water, there's nothing quite like messing about in boats.

cheers, John

louis2again
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Re: Which family kayak?

Post by louis2again »

All great comments and views, thank you. Seems that the SOT is the way to go considering the the pertinent comments on weight and most importantly safety. Thanks again.

rockhopper
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Re: Which family kayak?

Post by rockhopper »

Don't just restrict yourself to looking at the Malibu 2, there are plenty of other 2 person SOT's that may well be better suited. I have heard that the Malibu is quite wide and cumbersome (bit of a barge) whereas there is the Perception Gemini and Feel Free Gemini Sport (has small wheel on back to aid transport) which may give a more comfortable and drier ride.

Rog.

chriscw
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Re: Which family kayak?

Post by chriscw »

I agree for a family boat mostly used for playing etc a sit on top is going to be much more useful.
Chris Clarke-Williams
Location Basingstoke

Paddling Interests:
Touring, Coaching Beginners (I am an L2K), Surf White water trips, Weir Play (I'm not good enough to put freestyle!)

fenix
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:30 pm

Re: Which family kayak?

Post by fenix »

We have the Malibu and have used it a lot on lakes and rivers. Even that is awkward to handle at that weight and length. It needs two people to load and offload. Plenty of places hire them out so try before you buy ?

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Canoeandkayakstore
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Re: Which family kayak?

Post by Canoeandkayakstore »

For what you are planning a sit-on-top sounds like the best option as they are easy to get on and off and very stable and the water will run straight off. The Feelfree Gemini II is only 31kg and has a wheel in the keel which makes it easy to move. It is a great option for touring and can also be used to play on waves. More info here:
http://www.canoeandkayakstore.co.uk/970 ... ni_II.aspx

Might be worth seeing if you can find one second hand somewhere.

Bex

rec1551
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Re: Which family kayak?

Post by rec1551 »

We have had a malibu xl for 3 years and it is absolutely great. It can fit myself, wife, 6 year old and 4 year old in at once for short trips and two/three of us for longer expeditions. Ours has a big hatch in the centre which opens up to the hull so we can stuff loads of gear, trolley, spare clothes, fishing rods etc etc inside. Decklines mean children can jump off to cool down and climb back in easily. It is very heavy though and difficult to manage off the roof on my own (well with a 6 year old!) but can be done though you might scratch the car. its very seaworthy but you will get a wet arse - we tend to wear wetsuits and of course full lifejackets for the children and BA's for us unless its 100m ofshore on a windless day. Also the hatch being straight into the hull means you have a potential danger scenario - mine has foam bouyancy inside but I add to that with two big inflatable bags and I'd never take the hatch off at sea.

Bottom line - best family purchase we have ever made

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