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Old 01-07-2011
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Sit on Kayak

Im thinking of buying a sit on kayak to use as a tender and for general messing around. Any advice on a good one welcome.
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Old 01-07-2011
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I like the Ocean Kayak brand and own several. A sit-on-top kayak is fun for general messing around but it doesn't function well for a tender. You are limited to one or two people depending on model, they lack space and capacity for carrying supplies, and they can be tough to use in wind or chop. Of course, it depends on your needs as a tender.

We use a two person sit in kayak as a tender and it works for us--at this time. Once we start cruising, we plan on something else.

It is fun to take kayaks because they give you plenty of options for exploring where a more traditional dink doesn't work.
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Old 01-07-2011
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We have a Hobie Odyssey tandem we like a lot for kayaking. As Allanbc mentioned, a kayak does not serve all that well as a tended. However, we do use a blow-up kayak occasionally for that purpose.

I urge you to try the kayak before buying. The Odyssey is our second kayak, because the Old Town Wilderness we first bought did not track well for us even with a rudder.
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Old 01-07-2011
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Ocean Kayak Malibu II was our first

we've trailed it behind our boat for years, 2 adults easy, 3-6 kids easy depending on size, family of 3 fits, if the child is small
easy to maintain, get back on, our daughter would ride on it with a friend as we towed them in nice wind
other models out there i'm sure as well, we paddle Perceptions when we go seakayaking

it's a blast
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Old 01-07-2011
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one thing you may want to consider is how cold your local waters get and if you want to use it in frigid conditions, if they get cold and you want to be out a 'sit in' model with a spray skirt would probably be safer. hate to see you fall off a 'sit on' type in cold water...
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Old 01-07-2011
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Last year I asked the same question.

We ended up getting the Pelican Apex100:

As has been previously pointed out: the kayak doesn't make a great tender i.e. not very useful for ferrying people, supplies (unless in small amounts), fuel etc.

We felt that the sit-on-top model would be easier to get in and out of - I think we were right.

On the plus side: the biggest mistake we made was only getting one. My wife and I both love to putter about in the kayak and can only go one at a time (my boat isn't big enough for a tandem.

I think of all of the toys we have got for the boat, the kayak is the most enjoyable.

I use it to explore. I take it ashore as well, but realize that I won't be dry when I get there.

I have a waterproof camera (video and still) and the kayak makes a great platform from which to sneak up on wildlife.

I find the kayak to be surprisingly stable in a bit of a chop. I prefer to paddle downwind, but it seems to track alright going into a moderate wind.

I don't think I would use the kayak for any serious trekking, but, for what we use it for, we are very satisfied.

I did spend some time at one anchorage trying to flip the kayak and get back onto it from the water. It was surprisingly resistant to flipping. Getting back on wasn't pretty, but it was relatively easy to do.
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Old 01-07-2011
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I know it is not a sit-on-top but my Old Town Otter has been great for a single handed tender. Fairly stable, the trick is to get one foot on the rung below the water line to get in and out. Can carry several bags of groceries and even a 5 gal jug of fuel. Fits well on deck and I store my inflatable dingy inside the kayak. Not as kid or after 5 friendly as the sit-on-top, we have tried them also. Using a dry bag would at least keep the groceries dry. Dan S/V Marian Claire
Edit: When we looked at the sit-on-tops we decided to spend a little more $$ and get a higher load capacity. I have been very pleased and surprised with how dry the ride can be.

Last edited by marianclaire; 01-07-2011 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 01-07-2011
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Sit on tops

I would avoid a kayak for a tender especially a sit on top. They are great fun and I enjoy mine. But to use it has a tender would be tough. Carrying anything other than dry bag is hard, getting from a kayak to a boat is difficult also. I have known folks who use their kayak as tenders but I sure don't recommend it. If you young, nimble and don't mind getting wet every once in a while go for it
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Old 01-07-2011
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We have two Hobie kayaks and do not expect to use either of them as a tender when we buy a large sailboat to use as a base of operations. They're great for exploring, but not for toting cargo.
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Old 01-07-2011
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We have two sit-in kayaks from Perception that we do use as tenders unless we have company aboard. We tried the sit-ons but having a constantly wet butt even in summer (certain areas our water never really warms up) was a problem.

Our two 9.5 footers sit nicely on deck, being plastic there's no damage to either boat, quick to deploy and good exercise to boot. They are great for spuddling around and exploring the various islands and bays (in sheltered waters) too. We do have spray skirts but really only use them in chop.

We put very little time on our Zodiac each year.
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