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New yak for a buddy


jude
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A freshly retired friend called for advice on fishing kayaks. I'm biased towards the WS Tarpon, but with my buddy's bad back, I suggested the Coosa for it's awesome seat. I suggested that he go to Canoecopia in Madison, which happened to be the next weekend. He did, and ended up buying a Cuda. At 14' long and 75 pounds, I though OMG...he just bought a barge.

 

I took him on the Kish last week to test it out. I wanted to see if I could get it on my Subaru the same way that I do my Tarpon. It's not easy with the Tarpon (64 lbs), but I have a system figured out. I put the boat perpendicular to the car, with it's nose aimed at a back wheel. I then grab the center handles and, while driving the nose into the tire and twisting it so the bottom faces the car, walk the boat up so it is near vertical. Then I back up while letting the yak balance on top of my head. Then muscle it onto the car. OK...maybe you have to see it to understand, but it works.

 

I tried my technique with his boat, and I was right. It is a barge. I managed to do it, but dang it was tough. The extra width and obviously the extra weight made it brutal. His technique is to slide it up the spoiler on the back of his car. Probably not so good for his paint job. Now he's considering a trailer. Whatever he ends up as his final solution, I just know it would have been a lot easier with a lighter boat. I have a feeling it will keep him from floating as much.

 

I guess the moral of the story is to think through all the aspects before you buy a kayak.

 

P.S. It may be a barge, but the things comfy! Like floating down the river on a LazyBoy.

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If your going to look into the heavier style kayaks such as the Coosa, which I have and love, you really need to consider the rollers or other style carriers to help load them, unless you have a trailer. Look at Erics past post in "Gear and Techniques" for what he is using. That is a great, but not cheap option.

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I believe the Coosa is about as heavy as my Tarpon, and it's not too bad getting it on my car. That extra 10 pounds for the Cuda put it over my limit. I mentioned a trailer for him, but he said he has no room for one. Like I said: think before you buy.

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Anybody ever hear of Kevlar.

 

When I used to do a lot of portaging, we paid attention to weight. That 75# kayak weighs about the same as the old 16-17 ft Grumman Standard canoes. That weight was easy to move to racks on top of a car. But the extra height of an SUV makes it a challenge.

 

Enter Kevlar. My 15 ft Wenonah UL canoe weighs 35#. There are 14 ft Kevlar Kayaks that weigh the same. Kevlar might not be as rugged as plastic but sure is easier on you. Agreed the Kevlar models cost about twice as much as the Cudas at $1200. That is hard to swallow until you consider that the 70-75# craft may force you into purchasing custom loading or trailering equipment. Now on a good day, I can carry the 35# Wenonah with one hand. It is simple to load on the Blazer's standard roof racks with two hands. Even in Kevlar, canoes and Kayaks are way less expensive that a small boat, motor and trailer outfit. So consider spending a little more to get a craft that is easy to transport. You will use it more.

 

Also, there is Mikes rule,"Once you pass 50 years, never consider a kayak or canoe over 50 pounds." That is, if you want a true "lifetime" craft.

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Kevlar does have a reputation for being light weight and expensive. It's also typically used on crafts meant to be "slippery" -- i.e., fast. I have seen Kevlar solo kayaks for whitewater where maneuverability is crucial. I have not seen or read about Kevlar fishing kayaks.

 

The allure of the Coosa and Cuda for many anglers is the ability to stand and fish. Also these kayaks are loaded with storage and features designed specifically for the angler. They are very popular boats and strong sellers. In some paddlesport shops the Jackson line is THE strongest selling line of fishing kayaks.

 

I like to think of my Cuda as the "Swiss Army knife" of fishing kayaks. I am really enjoying it. Sure it's 74 pounds, but it is working out just fine. My other kayak that I've paddled for a decade is also 74 pounds and a bit longer -- a sit-in tandem at 16'. I guess you could say I'm used to the weight and it never bothered me. I'm not taking it on long portages. When I need to transport it from the car to the water a longer distance than I'm comfortable carrying it, I use a kayak cart and wheel it.

 

Everyone's situation is different. Budget, strength, age, vehicle type, willingness...

 

It's important to talk to a salesperson at your local paddlesport shop and consider all of the above and what will be the best fit for your situation. Some may find that a fishing kayak is not for them and a canoe or pontoon better suits their requirements.

 

Just because fishing kayaks are enjoyed by some, it's in no way a "dis" on other types of crafts, brands or materials.

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I have recently purchased the Yakima Rack and Roll trailer for my Coosa.....

 

http://www.yakima.com/shop/trailers/trailer

 

Before you say it....yes, I know. It is expensive (but it does give me a reason for another kayak). I have very limited storage space (and wife would never let me leave a trailer in the yard). This thing is very slick. Folds up and takes up about a foot of space on the side of the garage.

 

No more lifting boats up on top of the car. I was not fond of doing that anyway due to the noise factor, car scratching, etc. I also did not care for long hauls with the boat on top of the car. In addition, if you happen to be going on a trip with a friend....two Coosas on top of a van / SUV is very difficult.

 

The trailer is very light weight. It doubles as a very durable double kayak cart in certain situations (would not work well on a beach but a certain gravel paths work great).

 

It is also very nice to be able to rig up the boat and leave it sit in the garage overnight. No need to take your wife out to dinner with the kayak on top of the car the night before a early morning fishing trip.

 

This trailer is not for everyone but it might work for some. Paddle and Trail in Aurora ordered mine and put it together for me (some assembly required plus I got some of the accessories). I will be dragging it around the suburbs this summer. Feel free to stop me if you see me.

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Fishing out of a 12' native ultima tegris weighs 30 lbs without the seat but an expensive boat. Figured if it was too heavy I'd never go. Also working out of a 16' Wenonah Anrondack 54lbs. Nice boats.

Phil F

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I have recently purchased the Yakima Rack and Roll trailer for my Coosa.....

 

http://www.yakima.co...railers/trailer

 

Before you say it....yes, I know. It is expensive (but it does give me a reason for another kayak). I have very limited storage space (and wife would never let me leave a trailer in the yard). This thing is very slick. Folds up and takes up about a foot of space on the side of the garage.

 

No more lifting boats up on top of the car. I was not fond of doing that anyway due to the noise factor, car scratching, etc. I also did not care for long hauls with the boat on top of the car. In addition, if you happen to be going on a trip with a friend....two Coosas on top of a van / SUV is very difficult.

 

The trailer is very light weight. It doubles as a very durable double kayak cart in certain situations (would not work well on a beach but a certain gravel paths work great).

 

It is also very nice to be able to rig up the boat and leave it sit in the garage overnight. No need to take your wife out to dinner with the kayak on top of the car the night before a early morning fishing trip.

 

This trailer is not for everyone but it might work for some. Paddle and Trail in Aurora ordered mine and put it together for me (some assembly required plus I got some of the accessories). I will be dragging it around the suburbs this summer. Feel free to stop me if you see me.

 

Am I right to assume that you have to have tail lights, stop lights, and turn Signals for this trailer? Then, in IL do you have to have plates on it?

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Yes. I got plates for the trailer. Mild pain in the rear due to the State's inefficiencies.

 

As with anything new, there were some unplanned items (like plates) but I would do it again.

 

You are also correct that the Malone trailers are less expensive. The issue is storage space which I have none. That is why I ruled out the Malone. Malone does look like a very nice trailer.

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