Touring and recreational kayaks: high-performance touring boats for serious paddlers, and recreational boats for wildlife watchers and anglers.
By John Neporadny Jr.
Kayaks can be great for cabin owners who reside next to large or small bodies of water. When looking to buy one for your family’s cabin, pay attention to how it will be most used and get the best kayak for your needs. If you enjoy paddling on the wide-open waters of large lakes, then the touring kayak is your choice for travelling fast and tracking straight in a wide range of conditions. If you would rather take a slow ride and fish or take in the scenery around a lake or slow river, then you’d opt for the stability and maneuverability of a recreational kayak. The following touring and recreational kayaks are great for cabin owners. Try one on your favorite lake or river.
Wilderness Systems Focus 145
The Focus delivers high performance versatility for paddlers seeking stability, speed and efficiency. The unparalleled tracking and speed of the Focus makes this kayak an excellent choice for day touring and for paddlers wanting a fitness training option for a fun cabin workout. Best Feature
Adjustable, padded thigh braces, hip pads and a Phase 3 AirPro XP seating system with backband keep paddlers comfortable for long excursions. The performance-inspired stern and bow shapes create a longer water line for better speed and glide. Accessories & Amenities
An easily accessible front hatch and smaller stern hatch on the Focus provide ample storage space for dry bags and extra gear. A molded rudder pin insert is available for easy installation of a rudder for tracking. Boat Specs
Length: 14 feet, 5 inches Width: 22.5 inches Capacity: 275 pounds Weight: 50 pounds MSRP: $1,489 Website: www.wildernesssystems.com
Perception Expression 11.5
Length: 11 feet, 7 inches Width: 25.75 inches Capacity: 250 pounds Weight: 44 pounds MSRP: $829 Website: www.perceptionkayaks.com For Cabins
This kayak is both a touring and recreational kayak. The hull design is easily maneuverable and made so that you can use this boat on a multitude of water bodies. Beginner to intermediate paddlers at your cabin will build their confidence and skill level on this kayak as they take the next step into the domain of touring. Best Feature
The large cockpit gives paddlers room to move freely, and the ergonomically engi-neered Zone DLX seating system allows adjustments to be made for efficient, comfortable paddling. Accessories & Amenities
Additional features include a TruTrak Skeg System, adjustable foot braces and padded thigh braces, and a stern hatch.
Hobie Mirage Sport
The lightweight hull provides easy tracking and beaching to make this kayak ideal for exploring islands in the middle of a lake. An adjustable high-back padded seat with an inflatable lumbar support allows you to ride in comfort for hours on a lazy cabin afternoon. Best Feature
Hobie’s MirageDrive pedal propulsion system keeps hands virtually free for fishing, taking photos, holding binoculars, or munching on a snack. A retractable rudder system can be engaged and disengaged with a pull of the control handles. Accessories & Amenities
Two built-in rod holders and the Lowrance Ready System (which allows users to install electronics) are available for anglers. Twist-and-seal hatches and a rear cargo area provide ample storage space. Boat Specs
Length: 9 feet, 7 inches Width: 29.5 inches Capacity: 225 pounds Weight: 54.5 pounds MSRP: $1,799 Website: www.hobiecat.com
Hurricane Skimmer 116
The Skimmer is light enough for most paddlers to carry solo and small enough to fit just about anywhere. Constructed with lightweight, stiff thermofoam, this sit-on-top kayak is surprisingly fast and accommodates a wide range of paddling experience levels.
The Aire-Stream seat features a contoured skeletonized support covered with a soft mesh fabric to maximize airflow through the seat. It adjusts from low to high by pulling a spring-loaded pin.
Accessories & Amenities
The Skimmer has storage galore with a deep well in the rear, an 8-inch bow hatch, and a 5.5-inch day hatch with a bucket in the center for keeping keys, a cell phone or a handheld GPS. The kayak can be purchased rudder ready or with a rudder installed. Boat Specs
Length: 11 feet, 6 inches Width: 30.5 inches Capacity: 300 pounds Weight: 42 pounds MSRP: $999 Website: www.hurricaneaquasports.com
Pelican Matrix 100X
Constructed with a shallow v-hull, this kayak has great maneuverability for tracking and turning. Its compact size makes it easy to store at the cabin and transport to and from home. Best Feature
Made of durable RAM-X material, the Matrix 100X has a lifetime warranty on the hull and deck. An adjustable padded backrest, an Ergolite seat cushion and kneepads make time on the water more comfortable and enjoyable. Accessories & Amenities
A bow quick-lock hatch gives paddlers easy access to store personal items in a dry area. The stern has bungee cords for storing a cooler or dry bag. Boat Specs
Length: 10 feet Width: 28 inches Capacity: 275 pounds Weight: 36 pounds MSRP: $350 Website: www.pelicansport.com
Old Town Camden 120
The sporty Camden 120 has a three-layer design for a lighter weight, stiffer polymer kayak, making for a fast, nimble ride. The smooth planing hull produces the ideal glide for beginner and intermediate paddlers. Best Feature
An Active Comfort System seat features a multi-laminate construction to give you good support. The seating system adjusts four-ways to accommodate different backrest heights, give you thigh and lumbar support, and provide different backrest angles. Accessories & Amenities
A water-resistant Click Seal Hatch with bulkhead keeps gear secure and dry. The Support Track foot brace system with contoured rubber and extra padding offers a secure grip and added control. Boat Specs
Length: 12 feet, 6 inches Width: 28.5 inches Capacity: 350–400 pounds Weight: 51 pounds MSRP: $800 Website: www.oldtowncanoe.com Although he spends most of his time on the water in a fishing boat, outdoor writer John Neporadny has kayaking experience on his home waters of Lake of the Ozarks and the intercoastal waters of Florida.