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Family kayaking setup questions #13130148 04/22/19 02:56 AM
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patriot07 Online Content OP
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Sorry in advance for the long post. So I've made a couple posts on here about kayaking basics. Went to Beavers Bend and had our first trip out this weekend with some good and some bad.

The rigs: one Perception Piscator 12.0 single person kayak, and one Magellan Origin 12 single person kayak - both 375 lbs weight limit, 30"-32" beam, and look identical in layout/design
The family: me (34 years old, 225 lbs) wife (33 years old, 135 lbs), daughter (8 years old, 75 lbs), son (4 years old, 45 lbs)

The good: went out Saturday with just me and my daughter in our own kayaks and had a great time just paddling up and down the river.

The bad: took all 4 of us out on Friday trying to do one parent & one kids on a 1-person kayak (daughter and I had done this at Daingerfield State Park once with no issues), and it didn't go well. My wife & son were in the Magellan and had no problems except that there wasn't a good place for him to sit. My daughter and I were in the Perception, and we flipped almost immediately. Made it the rest of the time without flipping, but the kayak was taking on a good bit of water through the scupper holes, had questionable stability, and it's clear that this isn't a good long-term option for 300 lbs total weight.

So I think we need at least one more kayak...and I'm looking for advice. Almost anytime we'd all be going out, we also have a travel trailer we'd be taking with us, so all of it has to fit either in the bed of a truck with the tailgate closed, or on the roof rack.

Option 1 - Get a tandem kayak for my wife and son (Lifetime Emotion 12T or Pelican Apex 130T), and keep the single for me and my daughter (not sure how to transport three 12'-13' kayaks)
Option 2 - Get a small kids kayak (Lifetime Wave 60) for my daughter and let my wife/son continue to use the single (will only get less spacious as my son grows)
Option 3 - Get 2 small kayaks for my son and daughter, use the singles for me and my wife, and hope my daughter doesn't outgrow the "Wave 60" soon

Whatever I get, what weight limit and beam should I look for in order to know I'll have good stability.

I'm just not seeing a ton of great options...would definitely appreciate the help.

Last edited by patriot07; 04/22/19 02:59 AM.

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Re: Family kayaking setup questions [Re: patriot07] #13130259 04/22/19 10:51 AM
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christian myrick Offline
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This is something ive had to do a bunch. Long ago when i started with my dad we used canoes. They are a great option when kids and camping come into play. I had an old town guide before weight cap was 900 lbs. The boat was also unsinkable. We have completley submerged it and it stays right at the surface. It was stable, very easy to stand. Tandem kayaks are ok but lack the weight cap. Personally id buy something that i could use long term not just when the kiddos are small. We have 5 kids ages 9 to 18 and they all paddle but we have 7 kayaks, that can get pricey.


Re: Family kayaking setup questions [Re: patriot07] #13130269 04/22/19 11:30 AM
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Tallgrass05 Offline
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You don't want to exceed 70% of the stated weight capacity of a kayak, otherwise safety and performance suffer. Get a pair of canoes, they will have the weight capacity you need and can be very comfy with upright backrests.

Re: Family kayaking setup questions [Re: patriot07] #13130521 04/22/19 03:41 PM
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Mike@972 Offline
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Personally, I would not rule out rentals if your whole family outings are limited to Beavers Bend and Daingerfield. Both state parks have kayak and canoe rentals. Also, there are a few private Beaver Bend outfitters that will rent you a couple of kayaks for the entire weekend.

Just a thought...

Re: Family kayaking setup questions [Re: christian myrick] #13130948 04/22/19 10:58 PM
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patriot07 Online Content OP
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Originally Posted by Mike@972
Personally, I would not rule out rentals if your whole family outings are limited to Beavers Bend and Daingerfield. Both state parks have kayak and canoe rentals. Also, there are a few private Beaver Bend outfitters that will rent you a couple of kayaks for the entire weekend.

Just a thought...

If there are no good ways to mount 3 kayaks on a truck, that may be my only option. However, the whole reason we bought those was because we didn't want to be tied to store hours (which prohibit sunrise and sunset), and because renting kayaks for a family of 4 gets expensive quickly. It would've been $100 just for this past trip, and I've only got $650 in my entire setup right now (2 kayaks, wall racks, truck rack, 4 paddles).

We'll probably use them at Tyler State Park, Bob Sandlin, Daingerfield, Beavers Bend, and other places we may go farther away (Great Smoky Mountain NP, Yellowstone NP, etc.)

Originally Posted by Tallgrass05
You don't want to exceed 70% of the stated weight capacity of a kayak, otherwise safety and performance suffer. Get a pair of canoes, they will have the weight capacity you need and can be very comfy with upright backrests.

I kind of caught about the canoe route also. I just really enjoy the kayaks...

But I agree that it seems like 70% is a good number. It was pretty stable with 225 lbs (just me) in the 375 lb kayak. But with 300 lbs (me and my daughter) in the 375 lbs kayak, it was really questionable. And we had just had a huge dinner, had heavy clothes on, paddles, life jackets, etc. Might have been 320-ish. Really pushing it.

Originally Posted by christian myrick
This is something ive had to do a bunch. Long ago when i started with my dad we used canoes. They are a great option when kids and camping come into play. I had an old town guide before weight cap was 900 lbs. The boat was also unsinkable. We have completley submerged it and it stays right at the surface. It was stable, very easy to stand. Tandem kayaks are ok but lack the weight cap. Personally id buy something that i could use long term not just when the kiddos are small. We have 5 kids ages 9 to 18 and they all paddle but we have 7 kayaks, that can get pricey.

Good input. I'm somewhat open to the Wave 60 for my son, but not thrilled about it for my daughter. Thinking maybe with 1 tandem and the Wave 60, we'd be set for at least 4 years. But that would mean selling one of the ones I have now, which I just bought...so I'm not as thrilled about that.


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Re: Family kayaking setup questions [Re: patriot07] #13131293 04/23/19 06:50 AM
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Mike@972 Offline
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There's a good looking tandem in the Yakkers Classifieds section...

https://texasfishingforum.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/12921343/native-fx-15-tandem#Post12921343

Re: Family kayaking setup questions [Re: Mike@972] #13131395 04/23/19 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike@972
There's a good looking tandem in the Yakkers Classifieds section...

https://texasfishingforum.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/12921343/native-fx-15-tandem#Post12921343

Damn nice yak. Ive always liked those.


Re: Family kayaking setup questions [Re: patriot07] #13131405 04/23/19 01:04 PM
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Ocelot Offline
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The Jackson Big Tuna is a top of the line kayak which can be used as either a single or tandem kayak.


Single would provide lots of room for gear.
Tandem has plenty of room for both people.
Sometimes you can find these used.

Re: Family kayaking setup questions [Re: patriot07] #13131434 04/23/19 01:29 PM
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I have a Native Ultimate Tandem 14.5, I love it, it's really stable, I've never flipped in the 7 years I've had it. But it's a tandem for an adult and a kid-teen-small adult. I've tried it with two normal-sized adults, and it's cramped.

[Linked Image]

Re: Family kayaking setup questions [Re: patriot07] #13131698 04/23/19 04:54 PM
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Unfortunately, I don't think I could fit a 15' unit on my roof rack without it hitting my camper when I turn. And even if I could, $1k is completely out of the question. I'm probably going to be scouring craigslist for the best $200-$300 option I can find if I go the tandem route.

If I end up spending $1k+ on this whole setup, you can pay for a bunch of rentals before you spend that much.

Those do look really comfy though, especially in TG's pic. Maybe I just need to bite the bullet...


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Re: Family kayaking setup questions [Re: patriot07] #13132413 04/24/19 03:54 AM
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I would never buy a kayak that I would be at 70% of capacity with normal gear. Just too much a drop off in performance. Less than 50% of capacity is where I like to be.


A good rule of angling philosophy is not to interfere with another fisherman's ways of being happy, unless you want to be hated.
Zane Grey, Tales of Fishes, 1919

https://vimeo.com/73372194
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Re: Family kayaking setup questions [Re: patriot07] #13132950 04/24/19 05:27 PM
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Ocean kayak malibu 2 can be a good option: three seating positions - for tandem, or solo (the center seat)
Large capacity 425lb
Not too long: 12 feet
Not too heavy: 60 lb
super stable: 34 in beam
Craigslists have them available sometimes in the 100-300 $ range.

Hobie Kona is a similarly configured tandem but is a bit more expensive. They are available sometimes for 600$ used.

Re: Family kayaking setup questions [Re: christian myrick] #13133058 04/24/19 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by christian myrick
Originally Posted by Mike@972
There's a good looking tandem in the Yakkers Classifieds section...

https://texasfishingforum.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/12921343/native-fx-15-tandem#Post12921343

Damn nice yak. Ive always liked those.


Hands down the only tandem kayak I would personally consider.

Re: Family kayaking setup questions [Re: patriot07] #13133702 04/25/19 01:50 AM
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Ocelot Offline
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You might be interested in the Mariner Sails Kayak Demo this Sunday.


Would be a good chance to try out several kayaks and see what you like and don't like.

Re: Family kayaking setup questions [Re: timid tiger] #13135188 04/26/19 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Ocelot
You might be interested in the Mariner Sails Kayak Demo this Sunday.


Would be a good chance to try out several kayaks and see what you like and don't like.

Thanks! Didn't know they did stuff like this. Not sure if I'll be able to make it over, but I'm going to try.
Originally Posted by timid tiger
Ocean kayak malibu 2 can be a good option: three seating positions - for tandem, or solo (the center seat)
Large capacity 425lb
Not too long: 12 feet
Not too heavy: 60 lb
super stable: 34 in beam
Craigslists have them available sometimes in the 100-300 $ range.

Hobie Kona is a similarly configured tandem but is a bit more expensive. They are available sometimes for 600$ used.

I'll take a look at those two. Thank you!


Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
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