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Weight capacity of kayaks


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I'm interested in purchasing a kayak and am a pretty big guy. 6'4" and about 370. How important is it to match the weight capacity of a kayak with my weight? Never used or been in a kayak before. I hear that sit-ins are nice for stability. Any suggestions or anything else to look for I should know? TIA. Tight lines

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Very Important, being a fellow big guy I have learned that small (under 12') narrow kayaks can be very unstable when you get your upper body (center of gravity) much off of center line.  Your kayak will squirt out from underneath you like a bar of soap and leave you swimming in the blink of an eye. Don't ask me how I know.

FM.

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yes pay attention to the weight capacities.  The more you load a kayak the deeper it sits in the water and the more effort to maneuver.  Also, wider is better for stability, but also for weight capacity.  Also consider total weight capacity as including you, your gear, all equipment, etc.  On my autopilot 120 I am pushing up close to the limits and I'm only 220lb myself.  Of course that includes a motor and lithium battery (about 50#) but I'm still close.  I would understand how much gear you want to carry, double that weight, and add another 50 lb.  Then add that to 370 to get your carrying load.  I think you'll be looking at a wide 14' boat.  There aren't many that have a 370 lb working capacity to begin with, let alone with gear.  The autopilot 136 will get you there.  A Hobie PA 140 would also.

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6 minutes ago, casts_by_fly said:

yes pay attention to the weight capacities.  The more you load a kayak the deeper it sits in the water and the more effort to maneuver.  Also, wider is better for stability, but also for weight capacity.  Also consider total weight capacity as including you, your gear, all equipment, etc.  On my autopilot 120 I am pushing up close to the limits and I'm only 220lb myself.  Of course that includes a motor and lithium battery (about 50#) but I'm still close.  I would understand how much gear you want to carry, double that weight, and add another 50 lb.  Then add that to 370 to get your carrying load.  I think you'll be looking at a wide 14' boat.  There aren't many that have a 370 lb working capacity to begin with, let alone with gear.  The autopilot 136 will get you there.  A Hobie PA 140 would also.

Not that much gear to be honest. 2 maybe 3 rods and a small tackle bag. 

 

Edit: just looked up those models and ouch. Have to find a different kayak or just invest in a boat 

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YES.  look at weight capacity.  the Nucanue..(dont know how they spell it right now) has a very generous weight capacity.  even the little one.  

and at 370, a sit in kayak?  i will help you name your future boat.  "iron Maiden".  it would be so uncomfy, it would be torture.  

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Yes look at capacity but there is no standard. More important is the size and shape. So 12’ long and 35+ wide. Nucanoe does have excellent options. Its 11.5 long but the perception outlaw should be / is the benchmark big guy kayak. You can spend lots more too. Any dealers around that would have demos? The jackson bite is also reasonably priced. 

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You're definitely going to need to pay attention to capacity.  Figure in you're weight fully dressed along with anything else you're bringing, like tackle, combos, anchor, cooler, etc.  You want be sure you are below the stated capacity as not only is it unsafe, performance will be reduced by a lot if you go over.

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I know some kayak companies include the weight of the kayak in the total capacity, and some don't.  So sometimes you have to subtract the 85lbs. or whatever of the kayak itself from the total weight capacity rating for the kayak.  And realistically, it's best not to get near the upper limit.  I've been right below the upper weight limit of a kayak before.  It makes the craft unstable, slow, difficult to operate, and even dangerous in waves.  I backed it off by about 50lbs (carrying less gear), and it made it much, much more safe, easy, and fun to use.  An absolutely huge difference.  

 

At 370, you're looking at a pretty large sit on top.  Beyond comfort, I don't think any sit in kayak will be wide enough to keep you from rolling over.  You'll want a pontoon or tri-hull design, which are common on sit-on-top fishing kayaks, but not sit-ins.  And I'd probably look for something with a minimum of 500lbs weight rating, that way you've got some room for gear without getting too close to the upper limit.  Something like a Jackson Big Rig, Hobie PA 12 or 14, or a Wilderness Systems ATAK 140 would all work.      

 

 

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i was told to stay within 75% of a kayak capacity.  just what i heard.

 

there is a hulk of a man, i run across on the water.  he is huge.  probably 6-4 ish..he rocks a Triton 13 or something.  this guy is so big and strong he flips that kayak over and pushes it up ontop of his 4x4 lifted JEEP wrangler like it was a toy.  he said he weighs 320.   i'm to tiny to debate him.

 

he caught a 6lb and the fish looked tiny.  haha.

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My neighbor weighs 325 and tried a kayak a couple times, borrowed mine..  found it much to akward to maintain his balance, moved into a canoe and a small jon boat, with much better sucess.  Just food for thought here...

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I can say with certainty that being at or above the weight limit is a no go. I wouldn’t buy one unless I was less than 75-80% of the weight capacity. Maybe less, as you add tackle, drinks, clothes, and maybe some water I’d it rains. It all adds up quick. 

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Don't know how agile you are and suggest renting a kayak to determine if you can get and out OK.

Tom

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On 5/15/2023 at 10:26 AM, WRB said:

Don't know how agile you are and suggest renting a kayak to determine if you can get and out OK.

Tom

This is good advice.  Because in your case, it's not just the weight you have to consider, but your height.  The taller you are, the higher your center of gravity, and the more you'll have to curl up your legs and the less comfortable the seat will be.  Shorter people can stretch out their legs without standing and stand up and sit down easier while on the water.  They don't have to lean over as far to keep balanced.  

 

So it's not just an issue of, can you technically do it, but an issue of, can you fish as long as you want without it being so uncomfortable that you hate using it.  

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