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Usefulness of Touring Kayak Database #4611
Back To Discussion List Written: 2016.04.12 by: Robin Tivy

I created a new database of touring kayak specifications and boats for sale and put a link on the front page. See Kayak Specifications table.

What inspired this effort was that we were looking into getting another sea kayak suitable for the kind of overnight kayak/canoe trips I've been doing since 1980. So I made a bunch of notes for my own use comparing the specs for the current models available. It took me quite a while to standardize the specs because every manufacturer did things differently. Then I went to craigslist, etc. and tried to find some actual boats for sale of those models. This also took time. I also found that I had overlooked a number of key models. So then I started dreaming of a little database that you could sort all the models according to certain important specs, so you didn't get bogged down in irrelevant models.

So I created a free online database of sea kayaks in Bivouac. After all, both mountaineering and kayak/canoe touring involve a wilderness camping experience, which is the core of Bivouac.

The first objective was to just make a list of the relevant models, and dig out the key specs. But then I thought it would be even more useful if you could click on any given model and see actual boats for sale. So the scope of the database is the larger models that would be suitable for multi-day trips. So have a look at the database. Familiarize yourself with the main models. On the Bivouac page for each model is a link to the "ModelURL" of the manufacturer. So you can look at lots of pictures and read about the designs. On the same page is a list of actual boats for sale in BC. So you can see what is actually available in the used market. Of course you can also thrash around in Craigslist, but the advantage of the bivouac list is it is organized by model. So you don't have to guess keywords to use in a craigslist search. I'll dig them out of craigslist and invite those people to list in bivouac for free.

Anybody can read the database, but only Bivouac members can insert kayak ads. The ads are free for Bivouac members. It only takes a few seconds to insert an ad because all the model info is already there. There is a link on your author's menu. Readers can contact you via the blind email link in your ad. It is optional if you want to put your phone number in your ad.

The reason for this discussion is to hear from members using the database. For example, if you have experience with any of the different models of kayak we are talking about, please post your comments.


#6446 - 2019.02.17 John Halliday - Join PIKA to meet sea kayaking enthusiasts
PIKA (see is a local sea kayaking organization that publishes a trip schedule for its members who range from beginners to experienced. Trips include local one day outings and multi-day trips. Club puts a strong emphasis on safety and encourages members to take Paddle Canada level 1 and 2 skills courses. Come to a monthly meeting in Langley to learn more.

#6445 - 2019.02.17 John Halliday - Table is missing single boats from Delta Kayaks
I paddle a Delta 16 which I find to be adequate for multi-day nomadic trips. Coming from a mountaineering/backpacking background rather than a canoeing background, I find that the same minimalist approach to gear allows me to take all I need in this size of boat. I transitioned to sea kayaking after my knees became worn out to allow me to continue to pursue the wilderness experience.

Delta kayaks are built locally in Maple Ridge.

#6437 - 2019.02.08 Ray Borbon - Interesting look at kayaks
I like the table/comparison. I have two sea kayaks that I use.

In 2016 I think it was, I did a solo trip from Ketchikan in my kayak over to Prince of Wales Island for two weeks. During this trip I was impressed with my fiberglass Current Designs Soltice GT Titan. It held my tent, spare clothes, food, cooking gear, sleeping bag, etc for my trip with ease.

To that kayak and my other one, I attached on Ram rod bases to the rear behind the cockpit. I also had one Ram rod base (all the 1.5 inch ball) in front of me for fishing and a second base at 1 inch where I attach a depth finder. When traveling overnight I crafted a "net bag" with a frame to the rear Ram mounts and to the tail area where there is a U shaped (built in) ring. This net bag is removable in moments. This allowed me to carry even more gear on top of the kayak which I can access right behind me. Sometimes you need a jacket or a cell phone or one time I needed my fishing license "on demand".

This kayak I have also utilized in order to cross the Columbia River Bar as well as the Grays Harbor Bar and have been out to Tatoosh Island (extreme current area) a number of times as well as to Cypress Island in the San Juan Islands.

The rudder is critical to me, I really enjoy the roomy cockpit area. I can move my legs around on longer trips and it handles well. In fact I have taken the same boat on a least two dozen trips down the Cowlitz River salmon fishing.

I usually use my plastic Current Designs (I don't see the model on their website anymore) down the Hoh and Sol Duc Rivers in all seasons as well. I think the plastic boats are less responsive in the river but bounce off the rocks without giving me any anxiety.

I have never used my kayaks for doing a climb.