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Living just minutes away from the water means that I constantly want to be there. Whether it be eating waterside, taking a walk along the waterfront, or being out on a boat. A and I were not in the market to purchase a boat. I mean, they are super expensive, and the upkeep is too much for us. So we opted for a cheaper version - the kayak.
I've maneuvered kayaks a couple of times and understand the difference between sit-on and sit-in, but I had no idea which one I wanted. I started researching for which was best and guess what, it's all personal preference. I wanted to make sure that whichever kayak we purchase, it would work well for both the rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Because there are so many types and brands of kayaks, I wanted to share with you my thoughts and tips for purchasing a kayak.
Second, determine the dimensions of your kayak. Length - shorter kayaks will be easier to maneuver and turn, while longer might hold a straight line for longer allowing you to go the distance. Any Hercules fans? Width - wider kayaks will be more stable in calmer waters and narrower kayaks can allow you to go faster. Weight restrictions - verify that the kayak can hold yourself plus everything you want to take with you for the ride.
Third, consider hull, rocker, chines, symmetry, and all that other stuff that is completely over my head. You will need to look elsewhere if you are really interested in that information.
Fourth, understand the accessories that you will need. Does your location require a launching permit or does the kayak have to be licensed? A PFD is something you will need to purchase as well. Don't forget about a paddle, and maybe even some dry bags. Lastly, how will you transport the kayak to your destination?
Most importantly, purchase what you want. We had so many people tell us that we needed to purchase a particular brand because x-y-z. Just get what you feel comfortable with. If all else fails, get an inexpensive one that you can upgrade in the future. This will give you some more guidelines towards your second purchase.
Have you ever gone kayaking?