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10 footer v.s. 12 footer kayak pros/cons

Am about to place an order for a kayak, but really have one final question regarding the "main" difference kayakers would feel paddling a 10 ft. kayak versus a 12 ft. The difference in weight of the kayak I'm thinking about is 10 lbs. (41 lbs. v.s. 51 lbs.) and this could make loading & lifting it more difficult for my height at 5'6". BUT IF the 10 ft. is less useful in say mild lake wind and I would feel a VAST difference paddling a 12 ft. kayak in the same lake wind conditions, I could learn to hoist 51 lbs. onto my car somehow if needed. Thanks for the help of all you kayakers helping me make the wisest choice so I can enjoy my beginning kayaking experiences.

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Comment by Steve Powell on January 20, 2014 at 12:41pm

I took 2013 off from paddling, but am re-energized to start paddling again. Just another thought on the longer boat. Longer boats will track better, and are faster.

Comment by Steve Powell on October 2, 2012 at 1:32pm

I would recommend the longer kayak

Comment by TJ & Lava on May 4, 2010 at 9:16pm
I ended up getting the 10 foot Manatee from LL Bean. It's not fancy, but I LOVE it and so does my dog. We are paddling up a storm now that the weather is getting more "spring like" here in the Pac NW. It's been beautiful. Last weekend I paddled one of our lakes for 5 hours and was able to explore some of the little creek arms that slowly meander into the lake. The size of the kayak is perfect for that kind of thing, plus it's easy to lift and haul around for me. We also just bought one for my husband, but it hasn't arrived yet. He's used mine and really enjoyed it too. So kayak number two is en route. LOL.
Comment by TJ & Lava on September 17, 2009 at 4:14pm
Thank you. All input is helping me weigh my options before I purchase. I'm chomping at the bit to order my kayak, but I'm making myself wait while I collect pro/con data on this issue of 10 ft. v.s. 12 ft. Today while cruising the internet I saw another model of kayak called "Jackson Day Tripper 10 & 12" that has a large cockpit (perfect for myself and my dog or fishing gear), and what looks to be a better keel for tracking. (See at http://www.jacksonrec.com/kayaks/daytripper360.cfm) Does anyone have any hands-on info about this brand of kayak?
Comment by FreeWine on September 17, 2009 at 3:20pm
I've paddled a 9.5 foot Percpetion Swifty for years now. My wife just upgraded her 9.5 foot Heritage Featherlite for an Old Town Vapor 12. After paddling it a few times, I personally don't find the added speed worth the extra hassles in storing and hauling the kayak. I carry them both in the back of my Chevy pickup, but I have to counter weight the front of the Vapor. The Swifty is much easier to haul around.
As for me, the seat is more important than the length and the Vapor has a MUCH better seat.
Comment by TJ & Lava on September 16, 2009 at 12:06pm
Thanks again. I sure appreciate you taking the time to respond to my question and for the knowledgeable input.
Comment by Stroking-da-yak on September 16, 2009 at 11:24am
Ok, the answer to your question is YES. The extra weight is well worth it. You will get better glide and a little better tracking.
Comment by TJ & Lava on September 16, 2009 at 11:08am
Thank you for the input. I won't be going to such a large kayak at this point, but that's good information to consider for future purchases. As things go, I probably won't stop with just one kayak once the ball is rolling. Ha ha.
Comment by Lance Pillsbury on September 16, 2009 at 10:16am
I went from a 13ft Prowler to a 16ft Tarpon and found that to be a huge difference. Pretty much everything Rick said. I found the Prowler to be a little bit more stable when just sitting there, but once moving the 16ft was much better. Especially in the wind. But the 16ft is heavier.
Comment by TJ & Lava on September 16, 2009 at 10:06am
I'm looking a the basic entry model really just to test the kayaking waters (so to speak). It's the Perception Prodigy 10 ft or 12 ft. angler model package, relabeled "Manatee" through LL Bean. My husband & I are only going to be paddling (and fishing) local area lakes for the most part. Will not venture much onto rivers for that to be of any factor. I don't anticipate targeting windy days, but as lakes go some wind can kick up whenever it wants to. My question is whether there is a significant difference between paddling a 10 ft. kayak and a 12 ft. kayak (mild wind included) to warrant the larger kayak & extra cost (about $200 extra)? That is what I am having a hard time determining and really my last question before I make my decision to purchase the kayak.



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