Melba Kayak April 07th, 2018 - 12:07:20
2. Size Matters... not so much Kayaks come in different lengths for a reason. Generally, the shorter the kayak, the easier it is to turn and maneuver. The longer the kayak, the better it tracks in a straight line. It is important to know what types of water you will be paddling in before you make a purchase. Recreational kayaks are generally between 10 and 12. There isnt going to be a huge amount difference between a 10 and 12 kayak. Both sizes work great in several types of water, so dont sweat too much over this choice. Dont forget that a larger kayak will weigh more, so make sure you can pick it up by yourself. 3. Storage Space and Deck Rigging Anytime you are looking at recreational kayaks, you want to pay attention to the available amount of dry storage space built into the kayak. Trust me, you will want to take things out with you that you dont want to get wet, so this space will be extremely valuable. Look at the outside of the kayak. Does it have a paddle holder and other bungee type rigging around the deck for storing items you want to keep within reach? You may think these things are not important, but they soon will be. You need to have places on your boat where you can stow things and attach items that you may want to use during your paddle. You also need to know that deck rigging, paddle holders and other attachments can be added to almost any kayak after you purchase it. However, you this may require professional installation.
Inflatable kayaks are another option. They have some advantages on their own over both the sit in kayak and the sit on top kayak- namely that they can be deflated and easily stored and carried. This might be necessary if storage is limited or if you would like to hike in to a remote fishing spot. These are essentially a bit of a hybrid between the sit on top and the sit in kayak as they are often open to the elements but have side panels that surround you. They have great stability but generally dont track quite as well as the SOT or the SIK. These can have the tendency to collect water and a bailing pump or one with a drainage system is best for this reason. Bic Yakkair Fishing 2Hp Inflatable Kayak is a favorite for its light weight, carrying pack and built in water run offs.
Lift Assist Accessories: Companies now make accessories to help you get your kayak unto your roof. One such product is the Hullavator by Thule, this hydraulic assist rack folds down the side of the vehicle where the kayak is loaded at waist height and the whole thing folds back onto the roof with the aid of mechanical assistance - Nice! Weve had many customers tell us that without this system they wouldnt have been able to continue kayaking because of physical limitations brought on by age or injury. Sure its expensive, but worth every penny. Roller Loader: This little device works to help you get your kayak up on your vehicle. It basically is a dolly that suctions on to the back of your vehicle and you just roll the kayak on or off. A very low-tech option that works particularly well with mini-vans, SUVs and station wagons is a rubber backed bathmat. Just to place the mat (with rubber backing down - so it wont slide) on the rear of the vehicle and place one end of the kayak on the mat and slide onto the rack. Here is a video clip of a kayak being loaded using a bathroom mat.
Cons: Pads usually dont have a lot of cushion and can dent some kayaks if transported with the hull down or if you over tighten the tie-down straps. Cradles and Saddles: A very popular way to carry a kayak designed to carry the kayak right side up (just like it is on the water). Some examples of these are the Thule Set-To-Go and the Malone Seawing. Pros: These tend to keep kayak in place and protect the hull from damage. These systems usually work well with other pieces of equipment that aid in getting your kayak on your vehicle like rollers and glide pads (we will discuss these later). Cons: These set-ups are designed to transport your kayak right side up, not the ideal way to avoid distortion, but with care this will not be an issue. Also, if you are going to transport 2 kayaks, cradles do limit the usable space on your rack bars. J-Carriers: These work by carrying your kayak(s) on their side in J-shaped racks.