My “yacht” is a kayak I’ve wanted since I first saw it at age 12; the fastest plastic kayak ever made (according to most reviewers and a test I can’t find the results of). This is not a boat for everyone, or for all conditions; the 21.5″ width makes it extremely quick but tipsy. One thing though, is that while it’s the fastest plastic kayak, it’s still nowhere near as nice as a fiberglass/kevlar kayak. While it uses a blowmolded process, which is stiffer and stronger than the normal rotomolding process, and a higher density plastic it still isn’t as efficient as a composite kayak. It also weighs as much as an adolescent pachyderm which doesn’t help either. Currently, I’m considering changing the color from white to olive drab and put the classic P-40 Tiger Shark emblems on the sides.
Wenonah Sundowner 18′ Kevlar
The pickup truck of my boats, this Wenonah is an ex-rental fleet craft that has seen rough waters but still stays afloat thanks to several repairs. For a functioning kevlar canoe, I only paid $300 and it’s been great on the water. There’s plenty of room to hold several large coolers and it handles the extra weight very well. For a camping trip where I want to take the kitchen sink, this is my boat of choice.
Bending Branches Spirit, now Aquabound Surge Carbon, is the finest kayak paddle I’ve ever used and costs more than I would ever pay; I won it in a contest. Even though it costs $400, the 25.5oz weight will make it hard for me to ever go back to a heavier paddle if it breaks (and is the reason I’m that snooty paddler who has a $50 padded case for his paddle).
Bending Branches Sunburst is one of the most beautiful paddles I’ve ever seen and is by far my favorite. The combination of wood, carbon, and fiberglass makes for a durable paddle that’s light enough to not wear you out after hours of paddling.
Currently I’m using an NRS Chinook PFD which has plenty of pockets for fishing and extra gear. The problem is I fish with very little gear and no longer have as much need for this vest. Also, I find the foam is extremely bulky and just doesn’t fit as slim as some of my old Astral Vests. Before too long, I think I’ll be switching back to Astral, possibly to their Seawolf or Greenjacket.