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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, with the closing of school coming in the near future(college). I will now be able to fish instead of hitting the books and the practice field. Since the only other boat I hace a available is a 21ft Aqua sport and a 14 ft Randall craft i figure it is time to get myself a Yak to run the local bayous and bays. Ive been searching craigslist aswell as the for sale forums here. found acouple of good offers on craigs list my biggest question is whats best Sit on top or once that you can actually sit in? Also I've done alot of kayaking on blackwater and such and those seats are killer on the back and i can only imagine what its like paddling and fishing. Ive got alot of questions especially once i actually purchase my first Kayak. But along with the first quetion. whats the best kayak to buy as a beginner?
 

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Hey I'm new to the yak club myself. I have done alot of research and talked to alot of people and as a beginner and the price you can beat the pelican castaway 116. I just bought one on Thursday. I went out for the first time yesterday evening and it is very sturdy and comfortable. But if you have a lol deeper pockets than myself I would say the redfish made by heritage or a hobie of course. Good luck and hope to see you out.
 

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if your going to go cheep at least go cheap not cheapest. Ocean kayak prowler trident 13 or 15, wilderness system tarpon 140, malibu xfactor, and hobie quest are the ones i would look at first and pick from those if you dont want to be upgrading soon. All of those kayaks range from 600 to 1000 depending on where you buy at whether a shop or personal listing aka craigslist. I would go demo those kayaks if your just getting into the sport. All can handle just about everything mother nature can throw out. But if you want to spend some money on the best out there ($1200 to $1800) go look at the hobie mirage series. I have the outback and its the best in my opinion. The hobie revolution is 2nd best in my mind. Slimmer width = speed and sacrificed stability and longer kayaks are faster. I would not buy a yak over 15ft though. 12.5 - 15ft would be the ideal range for a fishing yak. Ocean kayak, i think malibu, and wilderness systems have accessory mounts that help when not wanting to drill holes to mount rod holders, gps, and etc. I'm sure some people will post a few good demo locations. A pensacola kayak and sail i think demos and so does fairhope boating company. But DEMO EVERYTHING BEFORE YOU DECIDE. Its an expensive sport to get into so do your research and avoid impulsive buying of a yak or buying on purely on recommendations. Each yak appeals to different peoples body type and strength so gather as much knowledge and personal demo experience before deciding.
 

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You just need to go to somewhere like Pensacola Kayak and Sail and try a few kayaks out. Everyone will have a different opinion, but in the end it's only going to matter what you think. I personally went with the Wilderness System Tarpon 140 and love it.
 

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You look like a big guy, so I would have to agree with Apex on the choice. You would need one of the bigger paddlers he mentioned for your size. If you can afford a hobie, then go for the outback at $1749. Otherwise you can pick up a one of the 14 footer size paddle yaks for around a $1000. You can also find them on Ebay for discounted prices and shipping to a local terminal for pickup for free, $29, $49, $69, $99 with the various sellers. I think the kayak seller in Panama city ships for fairly cheap and or you can pick up from them. They seem to make some sweet deals. Talk with Linda & Ernie about it. On pensacola beach they will probably make a deal. The biggest selection to look at is at Pensacola kayak and sail on old Barrancas avenue.
 

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There is no easy answer here - these will be my opinions and others are free to agree or disagree. First, a Sit-on-Top is recommended over a Sit-In - they have more deck space, easier to rig for fishing andsafer in the surf / rough water. Among the SOTkayaks, Hobie is very popular - the mirage drive is very efficient and the yaks are well designed.They come with very good seats, paddles andthe pedal drive. Butwhether you choose the Outback, Revolution, Adventure or Pro Angler - the prices start at $1,750. Key Sailing is the Pensacola Hobie dealer. There is a reason why lots of us have upgraded to Hobies. Native Watercraft makes a good pedal drive design, great seats, but they are open hulls and arepricey. The Native Mariner design is worth looking at if $2,000 is in your budget.

Among paddle kayaks there are numerous very good brands.Most of the fishing specific models are good - everyone has their preference. Ocean Kayak, Wilderness Systems, Malibu, Heritage and several others - it would be hard tomake a poor choice among them. Pensacola Kayak and Sail is a good place to start - they sell many of the top brands / models and you can try them out. The OK Trident / Prowler series, WS Tarpon 140, Malibu Stealth, Heritage Redfish to name a feware all great designs. West Marine and Academy are selling the OK Prowler 13 for $800 new.

Regardless of which paddle yak you buy, plan on spending $80 - $100 for adecent paddle - Aquabound, Carlisle are good brands. You don't need carbon fiber - you can spend more on a paddle, but it isn't necessary. Get a fiberglass or aluminum shaft with nylon blades - you want something durable to push off piers. pilings, oysters, etc. Plan on $125-$150 for good comfortable, supportive seat. Going cheap on a seat is not a good move. Surf to Summit makes the best yak seats around. Hobies are not such a bad deal when you consider they come with a seat and paddle.

Safety - think yellow or orange. It will be easier for a powerboat to see you and the fish don't care. Get a PFD - there are fishing specific PFD's available - and wear it. It is not mandatory that you wear the PFD, it only has to be "readily accessible", but wearing it guarantees you have it on when you need it. You can get an inflatable and a lot of folks like them, but they must be worn. You must have a sound producing signaling device - marine whistles are $4. Bring a flashlight, even in the daytime. Consider buying a handheld VHF radio that is waterproof and floats. If on the water during hours of darkness, you need a 360 degree white light... Sorry for the long answer - hope it is helpful.
 

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Not that I'm arguing against either, but you do not need a sound making device on inshore waterways(bays, sounds, etc), nor are you required to have a 360 degree white light. It's too late now, but I'll look up the exact wording later. For lighting you are required to have a white light capable of signaling other boat traffic. I believe the number of signal lights required was just bumped up to three.
 

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Taylor - you are partly right and it can be confusing. It goes back and forth between the Feds and the state. After your post, I did soem research. The Florida law says that all boat owners / operators have to have safety gear in accordance with the USCG requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which is federal law.

The CFR (33CFR - Inland Navigation Rules) does not address kayaks specifically, but says we MAY be inferred to be the same as a sailboat or oared vessel (Rule 25) which says you have to use sidelights and sternlights, but does not mandate them. But it does say that if you don't use those, you have to have a flashlight or show a white light in time to avoid collision. As for the whistle, Rule 33 says vessels under 12 meters don't have to have a whistle, but have to carry some undefined means of "making an efficent signal".

So, according to the Feds /USCG, you don't have to have a 360 white light or whistle, but you must carry or flashlight or white light and a means of making a signal. Not very specific.

OK, back to the FWCC Boating Safety Regulations. Remember,the CFR is law, the FWCC issues regulations and rules. The FWCC says all vessels"are required to carry an efficient sound-producing device, such as a referee's whistle" and that"vessels less than 16 feet in length are required to carry at least 3 visual distress signals approved for nighttime use when on coastal waters from sunset to sunrise." There is other stuff in there about PFD use, etc.

So - ifI am reading all thisright, the Feds / USCG say you have to have a flashlight / white light and a means of making a signal. Florida says youmust havein addition to the USCG requirements, a sound producing device like awhistle, andif on the water during darkness, you musthave three visual distress signals, like flares, lights, etc. (FWCC).

Here is the link to 2009 Florida Statutes, Title XXIV, Chapter 327, Vessel Safety; Section 327.50 - http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0327/SEC50.HTM&Title=->2009->Ch0327->Section%2050#0327.50

Here is the link to the USCG Navigation Center which talks about Inland Rules of Navigation <SPAN style="COLOR: black">http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/mwv/navrules/rotr_online.htm

<SPAN style="COLOR: black">Here is a link to the FWCC Boating Safety Regulations - http://myfwc.com/RULESANDREGS/Rules_Boat.htm

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A few kayakers have been ticketed for simply not having a 360 light down by the pass at dusk/nearly dark. I have been pulled over and asked about a few things, but regarding safey, whether I had a whistle. So it seems the 360 light and a whistle is mainly what the policing agencies go on the most. I even had Pensacola Kayak and Sail call one of the enforcement agencies and the answer was a 360 light and a whistle, nothing about 3 flares and signaling devices. The answer even came at the expense of a chuckle as if to say, how much equipment are you going to carry on that little kayak?

Seems reasonable, since most all kayak suppliers usually sell some kind of 360 light and whistles and not other signaling devices.
 

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Thanks for looking that up FLSalamon.



The wording does seem to have changed in regards to sound signals as at one point there were specific distinctions made between inshore and coastal waters. I carry one anyways and encourage all to do so.



Bonsai, that really surprises me that people have been ticketed for no 360 degree white light. I would most certainly argue that one. The rule still remains at 3 white signaling lights. I carry five with me just in case. The easiest thing I recommend is to carry several of the small LED push button keychain style flashlights. They are extremely bright and small. I carry several extras in my dry box in case my batteries die in my headlamp. That way you can still fish and be legal without having to scrap the trip.



Of course, for my boat (16ft) I am also technically required to carry a type IV throwable PFD and 3day time and 3 night time visual signaling devices. That's probably not gonna happen...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the info everyone! I've been fishing around on CL and i found wht i believe is a decent deal but would like to run it by ya'll. Its a 15ft Heritage come with paddle and a new seat for $400. the owner says theyve only been able to use it twice. It also already has two pole holders behind the seat. Heres some pics



 

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the best .360 lightis atwell d battery powered light. it comes with a 3ft pole and small bracket mount. it last about 10hrs on 2 batteriesand less than $20 at walmart. ill post a picture in a little while. it will keep the sea fuzz off your rudder
 

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That's a very good price, but that model has very little storage space, particularly in the stern. A small tupperware type hatch instead of a tankwell, another tupperware type hatch up front. Most fishing kayaks will have some sort of tankwell in the stern to store coolers or crates for storage. Have you tried sitting in the yak and trying to access either hatch? I will bet that will be a challenge and something you would have to deal with.
 

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"Pensacola Kayak and Sail" is the place I went on Thursday with my grandson. I have boated and canoed but have never been in a kayak. Bahen (pronounced "Bain") was extremely helpful and courteous. We demo'd a tandem (sit on top) and thoroughly enjoyed our leisurely paddle around a small area of the bayou.
Thomas is only 4 1/2 so his grandpa was the horsepower and he was the "row master". He told me to "Row Well..and Live"......just like Ben Hur. :)
We saw a rather large otter and I didn't know otters were even here in the brackish water....so that was neat. For me...I will look for an on-top with a more comfortable seat for my 190 pounds (still trying to slim down some). I love to fish and look forward to catching a Spanish or Speck soon. My son and I are going to put in at Pensacola Kayak and Sail early tomorrow morning..with some Gotcha Lures and some "bubble" rigs for Spanish Mackerel.
I will rent for awhile to see if I really will catch some fish and to see if I my old body will get used to the positions and to see if I am flexible enough to reach the gear.
The Hobie Outback sounds very interesting but there is also a single seater right there in teh store that looks like a very good piece of gear also..and is supposedly a very good kayak for fishing...around $1,200 I believe.
Will be back in here tomorrow to give a report.....Thanks for all the info on the different types of Yaks.
 
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