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CybrSlydr

Is $250 for a kayak doable?

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My car isn't the kind that can tow something, so a Jon boat is out of the question.  So the next would be a kayak. 

In my brief looking so far, it appears Sun Dolphin is about the cheapest available - and they're a bit much atm. 

The other problem I'm seeing is I'm 6'1" 275, so I'm apparently going to need a bit bigger kayak than most of you, which raises the price.

So I assume at this point, my best bet is to look on Craigslist or something like that?

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$250?  Used possibly...tho, unlikely....is that including paddle?  PFD? Crate?  Car crossbars?  Car racks? Dry box, anchor, trolley, flag, rod holders, whistle, sonar, stake pole and all the other stuff you're going to want a week after your first paddle?  I'm being a bit facetious...and it doesn't HAVE to be expensive...but I haven't figured that part out.

At $250, I imagine you're going to have to get extraordinarily lucky to get into something you'll be happy with more than a couple outings.  Take a hard look before buying the Sun Dolphins or other 'budget' yaks that you see at Dicks, Walmart, etc.  Many (most) are 2-piece and the interwebs say stay away from them....I only looked at them in the store and I wouldn't be surprised if the seams between top and bottom pieces don't last.

On the other hand, if you get a little better one piece molded yak, you can take solace in the fact that most will retain much better value for when its time to upgrade...so, maybe spend a little more now, or a lot more later?

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4 minutes ago, Choporoz said:

$250?  Used possibly...tho, unlikely....is that including paddle?  PFD? Crate?  Car crossbars?  Car racks? Dry box, anchor, trolley, flag, rod holders, whistle, sonar, stake pole and all the other stuff you're going to want a week after your first paddle?  I'm being a bit facetious...and it doesn't HAVE to be expensive...but I haven't figured that part out.

At $250, I imagine you're going to have to get extraordinarily lucky to get into something you'll be happy with more than a couple outings.  Take a hard look before buying the Sun Dolphins or other 'budget' yaks that you see at Dicks, Walmart, etc.  Many (most) are 2-piece and the interwebs say stay away from them....I only looked at them in the store and I wouldn't be surprised if the seams between top and bottom pieces don't last.

On the other hand, if you get a little better one piece molded yak, you can take solace in the fact that most will retain much better value for when its time to upgrade...so, maybe spend a little more now, or a lot more later?

Well, I was also considering a float tube, but the idea of dangling my feet in the water is a bit... unsettling?  Then throw in the cost of fins, waders, etc and I figured if I'm spending that much, why not just get a kayak - so I figured I'd ask if it was doable at that price.

For instance, Amazon has a Classic Accessories Togiak, fins and manual pump for $189 and a Cumberland with fins and pump for $248.

But like I said, the idea of dangling my footsies in the water is... uncomfortable.  :)

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I bought a 250$ kayak 3 years ago and after hundreds of trips and many modifications I still use it every day. If I could do it again I would save my money and purchase a kayak I could stand in and modify more easily. I would look into the BPS Ascend sit on top kayaks if you are looking for something inexpensive and still fishable. 

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Budgets are good.  Very good....and I'm usually upset when people ask for a $150 rod recommendation and people say you gotta spend $200.  However, fishing in a yak, you have to feel stable, safe and somewhat comfortable or it will be a miserable experience.  If you aren't sure about kayaking and just want to give it a shot, a cheap boat will get you on the water and might find out if you like it.  A better way might be to rent one or borrow one for a long outing to see if its for you.

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We have both a Sun Dolphin and an Old Town yack. I wouldn't use the sun dolphin for fishing, it's just not heavy duty enough. There is a .hugh quality difference between the SD and the Old Town, I think the SD was less than $250.00 the old town was 4 and change.

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12 hours ago, CybrSlydr said:

My car isn't the kind that can tow something, so a Jon boat is out of the question.  So the next would be a kayak. 

In my brief looking so far, it appears Sun Dolphin is about the cheapest available - and they're a bit much atm. 

The other problem I'm seeing is I'm 6'1" 275, so I'm apparently going to need a bit bigger kayak than most of you, which raises the price.

So I assume at this point, my best bet is to look on Craigslist or something like that?

Dude, save some cash and get something better. I'm about your same size, I went for a boat that can hold me. 

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I have a Lure 13.5 that was used for a "demo weekend" through ACK.  I ordered it at a sizable discount and received it with pieces missing.  I called, complained, and not only did I receive the missing pieces, but was also refunded a pretty solid chunk of money.  Their customer service did an excellent job making a bad situation a very good situation.  I tell this story because you can often find some pretty killer deals on quality equipment if you look for them.  That being said, do not spend $250 on a cheap, small kayak if you are a bigger dude.  Look into buying demo models, used, end of season sales, etc, but don't buy something you're going to hate fishing out of, or doesn't track well to save a couple of bucks.  If possible, its better to spend $700-1000 on something you'll be happy with than $200 on something that makes you miserable every time you look at it. 

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$250 would be tough. If you got a decent kayak for that the person would be doing you a huge favor or it was stolen. Are you against those belly float deals that look like a inner tube?

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5 hours ago, GetBent said:

$250 would be tough. If you got a decent kayak for that the person would be doing you a huge favor or it was stolen. Are you against those belly float deals that look like a inner tube?

I'm not against them, I just figured if I'm spending about $200 on the float tube, $100 on waders, $40 on fins, $$$ on a pump that I'd see if I could do a kayak.  You know, skip the middle man.

However, the idea of my feet dangling isn't exactly something I like...  :(

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I have been in your position and I was actually unable to make a decision. Passed up several good deals on jon boats with either electric or small 2 cycle motors because I didn't think I could make the financial sacrifice or my car couldn't pull the trailer. And actually the boat I have is boarderline too big for my main tow vehicle, but lets just say I wouldn't get one any bigger until I get a bigger truck.

I think a small jon could be pulled by just about any car as long as you don't get carried away. I've actually had a 15' alum canoe for about 25 years but I really didn't like to fish from it. I don't know, the concept of fishing from a yack or canoe doesn't appeal to me personally, I think my advice would be to look into this very carefully and however you go, save up and get something that makes you happy.

I see at my local mud-hole, which is one of the few unlimited HP lakes in this part of the state and very busy with boaters/fishermen, a lot of awful boats. Many are close to unseaworthy. Guys buy something cheap and sometimes it works out but many times it's a disaster. Save up and get something that is nice even if it takes all winter. There is always next year which will be here before you know it.

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On August 19, 2016 at 2:19 AM, Turkey sandwich said:

I have a Lure 13.5 that was used for a "demo weekend" through ACK.  I ordered it at a sizable discount and received it with pieces missing.  I called, complained, and not only did I receive the missing pieces, but was also refunded a pretty solid chunk of money.  Their customer service did an excellent job making a bad situation a very good situation.  I tell this story because you can often find some pretty killer deals on quality equipment if you look for them.  That being said, do not spend $250 on a cheap, small kayak if you are a bigger dude.  Look into buying demo models, used, end of season sales, etc, but don't buy something you're going to hate fishing out of, or doesn't track well to save a couple of bucks.  If possible, its better to spend $700-1000 on something you'll be happy with than $200 on something that makes you miserable every time you look at it. 

I would even go further and say even if your a smaller guy, don't invest in a cheap kayak. I bought a 350 dollar perception sport and I'm 5'10. I complained about it every season until I got my predator MX. I can finally fish... And it just so happens that I got my PB out of this kayak which is my first year using it. 

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you also have to consider a PFD and a paddle in your budget.  I have owned many kayaks and if you can save more I do think you would be happier but getting off the bank and into the water will always be better, even if it is a pain in the butt at times.  

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Buy once, cry once... If $250 is all you can afford, you can make something in that price range workable. *BUT*, you'll be better served to save a little more (if you can) and get a better option.

This is especially true if you're ambitious or have some physical issues (larger frame, mobility issues) that might make using a budget boat more bothersome.  

There's no shame in being unable to afford more... We all are in that spot from time to time.  But, if it's impatience driving you to a low-end boat, discipline yourself to be patient.  With new boats coming out and the season coming to an end, Craigslist and the like will have lots of kayaks at various price points.

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^^^Well said^^^

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Don't settle for something you don't want. Scrimp, save, get a second job, eat ramen, mow lawns. Sell stuff on ebay and craigslist. Do whatever it takes to get what you want and that will last you and be the most pracical. Change tow vehicles if you have to although I've seen jon boats towed by Honda's before. They can put a hitch on anythng now. Do you have a buddy you could double your money and split ownership? Where there's a will there's a way.

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Study the kayak you want and watch for a great deal when a disgruntled wife is getting rid of it!

Tom

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On 8/18/2016 at 0:38 PM, MI.Kayaker said:

I bought a 250$ kayak 3 years ago and after hundreds of trips and many modifications I still use it every day. If I could do it again I would save my money and purchase a kayak I could stand in and modify more easily. I would look into the BPS Ascend sit on top kayaks if you are looking for something inexpensive and still fishable. 

I personally have the Ascend D10T.  It's way over your starting budget, so I hate to say too much about it --- but going with the thought of getting something "decent" to begin with, without breaking the bank, is a good idea I feel inclined to mention it.  Plus, why spend 250 on something you will hate... save longer and get something you can use and love.

First, I would look for used Kayaks if you are trying to cut costs.  Also, the add on's add up quickly, but they for sure make things more enjoyable.  If you can get a used fishing yak at a decent price, you will probably save a ton by having it already rigged on top of the used price cut.

Having a "solid and stable" yak is kind of a misnomer as they just are not designed to be super stable.  But, the more stable the better for fishing, in my opinion.  The D10T is about 450 and comes pretty plain.  It's kind of like a big barge, so you wont be the fastest on the water - but she tracks very well to be so wide and is more stable than most kayaks out there (without outriggers etc).  I did add a few add-ons immedaitely.  Two rod holders and an anchor trolly were two keys.  I did add a few extra goodies, but meh, not needed really.  If you are down to rod holder vs anchor trolly decision - Take the anchor!  You can get a low priced kit with a tiny anchor which works great!  You can always strap down rods, but you can't keep the yak still on a spot with any wind or current without the anchor.

I do have one complaint with the D10T though.  If you run up on a stump, most yaks will just slide off to one side or the other - and keep going.  The channels on the hull of the D10T can kind of trap ya on a rock or stump, especially if it manages to get stuck in one of the sculper holes.  That can get annoying, and potentially dangerous in swift water.  Almost a second complaint is the weight.  It weights a ton.  So single loading etc, can be hard.  It's only about 70 pounds rigged, but its a difficult 70 pounds to maneuver compared to a sit-in 35 lb sun dolphin about the same length.  All things to consider.   However, for fishing - I would ONLY suggest a SOT (Sit on Top).  But, that's just me.  I will deal with the extra weight and just ask my buddy to help load it :-)

Good luck and welcome to a whole new world!

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I have a heavy (72 pound) Ride 115 that I throw in the back of the truck,  no way would I try to car top that thing.  But I just picked up my first Jon Boat for the super low price of $60.00!  It's a small thing for two people but it does not leak and it's super light too.  So look around at yard sales for a small jon boat.  If I had to car top that jon boat I know it would be pretty easy because it is so light. 

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38 minutes ago, hoosierbass07 said:

I have a heavy (72 pound) Ride 115 that I throw in the back of the truck,  no way would I try to car top that thing.

FWIW, I have car-topped a Ride 115 on a Toyota Corolla and, before that, a Hyundai Elantra... Neither's had roof racks.

I wouldn't say it's easy, but it's totally doable... especially if you add a redneck hack or two to the process.

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Wow, thanks for all the great advice everyone!  I didn't realize this thread had as many responses as it does. 

I don't even know if my car can mount a hitch let alone if the transmission would handle towing. 

I've looked on Craigslist and such just to browse what Jon boats go for.

http://parkersburg.craigslist.org/search/sss?sort=priceasc&query=jon boat

They're out there, but they're waaaaaay more than I want to spend.  It'd also have to hold two people as my brother and I would use it together. 

$250 was a guesstimate for a starting point as I figured I could swing it.  Plus, it'd be cheap enough that if I didn't like it I wouldn't feel too bad about buying it rather than spending $1000+ on something and regretting it. 

If I'm being honest, it is a bit of impatience/eagerness as my brother and I are tired of going out for hours and hours and not getting any bites - so a boat/float tube/kayak would be the best way to remedy it.  Frankly, thousands of dollars seems a ridiculous price so I wanted to see what the range is on these things, how much I'd have to budget.

Again, thanks everyone!

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1 hour ago, HeavyDluxe said:

FWIW, I have car-topped a Ride 115 on a Toyota Corolla and, before that, a Hyundai Elantra... Neither's had roof racks.

I wouldn't say it's easy, but it's totally doable... especially if you add a redneck hack or two to the process.

I mentioned earlier up thread that I have had an alum canoe for about 25 years. Probably close to 30 years actually. We bought it used to canoe the small rivers of south jersey (Batsto, Wading, Mullica and so forth). Many times little old me single handed hoisted that canoe, which is at least 75 pounds, up on top of our Dodge Caravan, which had factory luggage racks.

It's all in the technique, load from the rear and make sure the bow doesn't come crashing through the windshield. This probably wouldn't be a problem with a plastic yack.

BTW Cybr, having a boat is no guarantee of fishing success. I actually did a lot better as a bank beater. But it does just depend and having a vessel to me adds to the enjoyment of being out there trying. As far as finding a hitch for your car don't assume there isn't one available, look and see. If all that is available for your vehicle is a class 2 receiver hitch you will be limited to 350 pounds tongue weight but you should be able to find a jon with acc under that I think. 

I was grousing on another thread about all the troubles my outboard has given me this summer. I refused to pay someone to fix or maintain it which is my choice and I pay the cosnsequences of this attitude. But finally this weekend I went out (Friday) and put in a few hours of non-stop angling and I did put (for me) a beauty in the boat.

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1 hour ago, CybrSlydr said:

$250 was a guesstimate for a starting point as I figured I could swing it. [...snip...]

If I'm being honest, it is a bit of impatience/eagerness as my brother and I are tired of going out for hours and hours and not getting any bites - so a boat/float tube/kayak would be the best way to remedy it.  Frankly, thousands of dollars seems a ridiculous price so I wanted to see what the range is on these things, how much I'd have to budget.

Again, I'd suggest keeping an eye out for used kayaks as the fall starts and maybe even into the spring. If you find a jonboat that you like the looks of, by all means go for it!  In the end, both will get you on the water and fishing.

That said... Maybe it's just me, but you might find that you get skunked in a kayak, too.  Especially in the summer.  Summer fishing is just hard... Fish are deep and inactive, and locating them (without electronics or being able to cover _a lot_ of water) can be hard.  I can tell you that my most productive day on the water was still from the bank in the fall here in VT.  And the last time I was out on the kayak - a more-or-less all day affair - I was skunked.

8 minutes ago, thomas15 said:

Many times little old me single handed hoisted that canoe, which is at least 75 pounds, up on top of our Dodge Caravan, which had factory luggage racks.

It's all in the technique, load from the rear and make sure the bow doesn't come crashing through the windshield. This probably wouldn't be a problem with a plastic yack.

I bought a THICK beach towel and pool noodle.  I drape the towel from the end for the roof over the rear window down over the trunk.  Then, I put the pool noodle at the 'top' of the towel on the roof.  I drag the kayak to the back of the car, and then lift/slide the boat up the back of the car until it's resting on the noodle. I then 'roll' it forward - eventually putting the standard foam blocks under as I center the boat and strap it down.

Easy.

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Well, I have an interview with UPS for a part-time package position in Parkersburg (my brother has an interview 15min after me).  This should go well with my school schedule and bring in some much needed cash to supplement my fishing budget as well as a few other things.  :)

Maybe a kayak or little Jon boat is doable in the future.  Still don't like the idea of putting a hitch on my car...  Maybe I can find a cheap 4x4 on Craigslist or something to tow it around.

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