Thanks for the input. I agree storing a boat outdoors long-term isn't good. On the other hand, I've had literally decades of experience with both composite and plastic whitewater kayaks. I currently own one of each, and both have spent a LOT of time stored outdoors...and they're both still in perfectly good condition. (They show their age, but they're not brittle or thinning or falling apart and I still paddle them.) The real enemy in my experience is sunlight; if you can store them somewhere in the shade, under a roof (e.g. carport) or somewhere that only gets a couple hours of direct sun each day...they'll last a long time.
I've been scouring the Paddling.net classifieds...and currently am seriously considering 2 different boats: a Necky Manitou 14 (plastic)...and a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 165 (plastic). Both boats are priced well under $1,000...and both are in excellent condition.
So now what I'm wondering is...how much of a speed difference is there between a 14' and 16.5' boat? Obviously there is some...but is it like night and day? Or would the 16-footer be only slightly faster (with the same amount of effort)?
My primary use for this boat will be fitness—I'll do long flatwater paddles a few times a week. But I also want the ability to take the boat just about anywhere, including open sea. Given this, I'm leaning toward the Tsunami.
While I've read at least one review from a tall/heavy paddler who said they liked the Manitou...I'm a bit concerned that it'll be too small for me (I'm 5'11" and 225lbs).
The Tsunami, on the other hand, seems made for bigger paddlers—and I read several reviews from large paddlers who all loved it.
Finally, I agree that in a perfect world, I'd take my time to paddle as many boats as possible before buying one...but a) I want a kayak to start working out in NOW (LoL)...and b) I can always resell this boat and move to a different and/or better one in the future (this doesn't have to be the last boat I'll ever buy).
If anyone has thoughts on the Manitou 14 vs. the Tsunami 16, I'd love to hear them! :-)
Edited by SWriverstone (09/11/13 07:23 PM)