Melba Kayak April 25th, 2018 - 13:56:06
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.
Speed: Generally, the longer and narrower a kayak the faster it is. SIKs are usually faster, however there are fast SOTs too. Speed is only important if you need it. If the majority of your fishing is close to shore or in small, protected areas, than you probably wont need a long fast kayak. However, if youre fishing a big reservoir, bay, sound, or in the open ocean the ability to cover distance may be very important to you. An equally sized SIK will usually be faster because it is narrower than a SOT of the same length. Maneuverability: If youre going to fish in small creeks or narrow estuaries, youll probably want a kayak that is easy to maneuver. A long fast touring kayak will be more difficult to use in these situations and might take away from your overall fishing experience. A shorter SOT or SIK will suit you better if these types of environments. On big waters making a sharp turn usually isnt crucial so a longer kayak is not a problem. Accessory Friendly: one of the joys of kayak fishing is converting a simple recreational kayak into a very effective and compact fishing vessel. This is done by adding fishing accessories. How much you add depends largely on your fishing style and your philosophy on gear. Some fishermen just take a rod and a few lures along and others like to bring lots of gear along. No matter what your preference, simply adding one rod holder will greatly increases the fishability of your kayak. Lots of flat surfaces are nice for mounting accessories.
Many recreational kayaks have tremendous initial stability but have a very abrupt secondary. When they reach their secondary limit youre literally dumped. Conversely there are kayaks that wobble like mad but are very forgiving when they come to the dump point. Most recreational fishing kayaks have a good compromise of both initial and secondary stability. Since you sit on or near the floor of a SIK they tend to seem more stable. In SOTs you sit on the kayak and since it has a double hull you also sit higher. This higher sitting position can initially make a SOT seem less stable. If you have a SOT and a SIK that are the same length and width the SIK will probably be more stable. Because of this SOT designers tend to make their kayaks wider. So no matter which style you choose there will be a model that you will feel comfortable in. Initial stability can seem more important to beginners and secondary stability more important to seasoned kayakers. It makes sense. The beginner hasnt developed a sense of balance yet. Its a lot like learning how to ride a bicycle. When you start out its new so you think about it more. After a short while it becomes second nature and you dont think about it at all.
The rigid (hard shell) kayak is what most people think of when they hear the word kayak. Of the various Hard Shell models, a plastic kayak is usually the least expensive but also can be the heaviest. They are usually tough and can take the abuse, but if they get damaged, they are very difficult to repair if at all. A fiberglass Kayak will be a much more expensive model than a plastic model, but is significantly lighter. Fiberglass can be easier to damage, but can also be easier to repair (can be expensive) compare to the plastic version. Composite types such as Kevlar, graphite and carbon fiber kayaks will be even more expensive and lighter still and more costly to repair once damaged then the other two mentioned already.