Small Boat Design

Discussions around designing small boats including kayaks and canoes.


I have been researching designs for the last few weeks; however, I am confused by the information I have found. Part of the problem is that I have never kayaked before, and since most of the judgment of how a kayak performs appears to be a great deal subjective, I am having trouble translating others' experience with a kayak into what my experience with it will be.

I am 5'10" and weigh 280 lbs (though I am currently loosing weight and expect to be 220 lbs by the time the kayak is finished). I have a long torso with short legs. I am as tall as my 6'2" friend sitting down, but my legs are as short as my 5'1" wife's.

I live in the midst of the Mobile-Tensaw delta which is the largest undisturbed delta in the U.S., and I would like to use the kayak to explore all that the delta has to offer. This would include rivers, lakes, estuaries, and the Gulf of Mexico. I would like to do some extended camping trips. I plan to do a lot of fly fishing from the kayak.

I prefer the look of the Greenland style kayaks. I am currently looking at the Cape Ann by one ocean kayaks and the Redfish kayaks' Spring Run "L". I was wondering if anyone had experience with either of these, or if they could tell me if one would be better than the other. Also, I am open to suggestions of other models and will be appreciative of any advice this board offers.