Question kayaking to get for Vancouver area and lakes

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by pasccal Tremblay, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. pasccal Tremblay

    pasccal Tremblay New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I recently re-located from Quebec to New Westminster BC,
    Me and my wife where boating a lot on the St-Lawrence in Quebec where i was also a whale watching Zodiac captain.
    The St-Lawrence was too dangerous for us to ever try kayaks(although some people do kayak on it).

    So since we moved here and the coast is so wonderful we are looking forward to start finnaly learning kayaking.
    we have rented Kayaks a few times at Engligh Bay and Deep Cove and really enjoyed it.
    Next weekend we are doing the Paddle Canada Level 1 Skills so at least we have some basic skills.

    Our goal is eventualy to paddle in Indian arm, Howe Sound and some lakes around greater Vancouver.

    -I would like to know what would be some great one day or 2-3 dasy overnight trips around Vancouver?(lakes and also saltwater)?

    -Also any recommendations for a Kayak around 1500-1700$?(lenght?,model?)
    i am 5,10" 190 lbs and my wife is 5,7" 130 lbs ?

    I am sure the answer is there some where in the Forum but there is so many post there that i thought i ask again.

    Merci everyone!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  2. designer

    designer Paddler

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    Welcome Pasccal! Once you have the basic skills there are some very friendly overnight trips/parks in the Gulf Islands area. But that will come later. I want to address your kayak recommendation request. It is very important to understand the priority of "Fit". Just like clothes from different manufacturers will fit differently even though they are the same size, so different kayaks will fit you better or worse than others.

    For example, once I had and opportunity to buy this beautiful Kevlar Necky at a great price. But I just couldn't fit in it - too tight in some places.

    So you may get many, many recommendations for kayaks in that price range - a great range for excellent used kayaks. But you need to know how well you will fit in them before you buy.

    So ... Google around for Kayak Clubs/Organizations in your area and also any manufacturer's "Demo Days". We are near the end of the season now, but there may still me some events. The goal is to try different boats - even if it is just to sit in them - so you'll know how they fit - or more to the point, become aware that there is a difference. Once you find a model or two (or three) that works for you, then you can focus on finding that model for a good price.

    Also know that you can add some padding in places like the hip area to make things more "snug" - a better connection to the boat. But endeavor to get the best fit "out of the box" before adding any required padding.
     
  3. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Maybe join either SKABC or PIKA: they're the two main paddling clubs in the lower mainland and the members and clubs will have lots of info about all levels of whatever your interest in skills or locations may turn out to be. I know SKABC has a buy and sell of usually appropriate gear as well as day to small to longer organized trips - and PIKA will be similar.
    Club Locarno lends has a kayak fleet that can be used for multiple days and I think both Ecomarine and MEC stores will also rent kayaks for multiple days.
    Don't be in too much of a hurry to buy - but if so, re-sell it if it just doesn't meet how your interests change and then get something more appropriate. Your wife and you are perfect size for general ranges of kayaks out there and there are always good used kayaks on craiglist or elsewhere that will easily fit your budget.
    Anyway, sound like you are approaching this well: have fun, be safe, and get out there!
     
  4. AM

    AM Paddler

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    In the school where I teach, we classify our local trips as follows:

    1) Easy trips (2-3 days, no crossings, a short car ride away):

    a) Indian Arm (Deep Cove to either Granite Falls or Berg's Landing)
    b) Alouette Lake
    c) Pitt Lake (either Wigeon Creek or Raven Creek)

    2) More challenging trips (4-5 days, some crossings, some current, possible ferry traffic):

    a) Gulf Islands: Montague-Wallace-Dionisio-return
    b) Gulf Islands: Portland-Prevost-Saltspring
    c) Sechelt Inlet
    d) Desolation Sound

    These are all completely doable from Vancouver and very enjoyable. Mick might chime in about the Howe Sound marine sites.

    Cheers,
    Andrew
     
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  5. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    For Howe Snd, check the weather, use your head, and have safety in mind as the winds can blow up there.
    But it's a good place to get out to if one has safety backups - and we're working on making it better too.
    [incidentally some of the places mentioned get very busy in summer so choose off season for the real easy ones. I heard that last weekend that 70 canoes were counted at the Widgeon Ck campgnd!]
     
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  6. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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    On kayaks, you have plenty of options. You both fall into size ranges which many boats are made.

    To start with, I am assuming you are looking at touring/sea kayaks? You could possibly do it with a sit on top kayak (but would be more exposed to weather). Recreational kayaks are not appropriate for what you are looking to do. For info on types of kayaks, check out article in issue #10, page 6 at http://calkayakermag.com/magazine.html.

    As you are renting and taking classes, use the chance to try different boats and figure out what you like.

    For 2-3 days, if you pack somewhat compactly, you can use a day touring kayak (one that is the 14-15 foot range. You could possibly by new at the price range you are looking at (assuming that 15-1700 was per boat). Used boats run about 1/3 to 2/3 of the new price, so you can save money by going used. I do recommend going used for first boats, if you can, as it seems what we like when we start isn't what we like as we gain experience. So you can likely resell a boat you bought used after a while of using it for basically what we paid. But I would avoid boats more than 10 years old, and make sure the boat has deck lines and front and rear bulkheads (along with the all-imortant fit).
     
  7. pasccal Tremblay

    pasccal Tremblay New Member

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    Thank you everyone , this is all great info and i am super excited to get started! merci!
     
  8. AM

    AM Paddler

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    Yep. Freshwater is a problem in the summer: it tends to attract the weekend warriors. Mid-week can be okay, but Wigeon is usually too busy, unless you go in the colder months. With school groups, I go late or early season and always during the week.
     
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  9. rider

    rider Paddler

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    Hi Pasccal, welcome :) Now that we are getting into fall season, the crowds on lakes are disappearing. 3 weeks ago I went up to Osprey creek on Pitt lake for a super easy overnighter to read a book and get away from computers and had a very nice beach front spot to myself, the occasional bro boaters blaring bad beats from boomboxes were a bit obnoxious but never for long. Stave lake is also nice once you get around the turn and away from redneck noise on the mud flats( camping under the massive wall of Mt Robbie Reid feels super cool. Halkett Bay in the Howe Sound is a pretty decent shorter overnight paddle. Also Thormanby islands on Sunshine coast, though windy conditions always a possibility there. Hotham Sound is also a lovely spot.
    As for boats, you are about my size, lots of possibilities out there. When looking at used boats i am less fussed about the age than about how it was used and kept and always shy away from badly faded plastic boats. Fiberglass lasts forever and the main thing is not to buy a terribly outdated design. Try, buy, enjoy!
     
  10. pasccal Tremblay

    pasccal Tremblay New Member

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    Thanks Rider,
    well 'overnighter to read a book and get away from computers' is exactly what i intend to go for, thanks for all the advice everyone has been so nice so far! :)
     
  11. pasccal Tremblay

    pasccal Tremblay New Member

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    Again everyone thanks for all the answers.
    i would have a few more questions if its not pushing my luck too much:)
    - in Quebec i was a whale watching captain on the St lawrence so i am use to the cold(we operated until october) but i was wondering if here people still kayaks in the winter? considering the seas are favorable that day.
    -Second, for the kayak i have a budget already but what else shall i calculate, paddle and what basic equipements are required(excluding camping gear) ? im trying to calculate what will be the other cost?
    merci everyone!
     
  12. pasccal Tremblay

    pasccal Tremblay New Member

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  13. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Pasccal-
    Welcome to WestCoastPaddler!
    These comments apply to ocean paddling:
    Many people paddle all winter here, though the weather is more variable, so storms can affect plans.
    I think there are a lot more 'day paddles' and not so many camping trips in the winter - partly because of the weather and partly because the daylight hours are so short. That said, people commonly do get out for overnight or a couple of days any month of the year.

    This brings up the 'other gear' question.
    You definitely need 'immersion clothing' - either neoprene (wetsuit) or preferably a drysuit. So, the cost of clothing, a good PFD, paddle (and spare paddle) can easily add up to more than the cost of the kayak. You definitely need a sprayskirt (spraydeck) if you are paddling a sea kayak (not sit-on-top).
    You also need (compulsory legal) safety equipment - throw line, pump, etc.. - check the regulations.
    Finding a used kayak with some gear included in the deal can be good. Just avoid those 230-240cm paddles!
    :)
     
  14. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Those look like the type of boat I'd recommend, and there's some gear (paddle or sprayskirt) included.
    Especially for your wife, something in the 15-16' range might be easier to handle in the wind if you are just out for the day and don't have a lot of gear in the boat.
    With the 'end of summer' here, there could be some boats at reasonable prices - don't be afraid to make offers below the asking prices. I don't know much about what a 'reasonable price' is for a plastic boat, and a lot of sellers don't either so you'll see a lot of variety in prices.
    I think it's been suggested that you take some classes and rent boats for a while?
    That would be my recommendation.
    Take a class, and another class, and...
    Buy PFD, clothing, paddle, gear
    Roof rack for vehicle?
    Rent boats..
     
  15. pasccal Tremblay

    pasccal Tremblay New Member

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    Merci!!!!
     
  16. rider

    rider Paddler

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    The Narpa is probably pushing 15- 20 years old, though looks like it has been stored out of the sun and lightly used. Pretty simple but functional seaworthy boat. I would change the factory footpegs to gas pedal style and high-ish plastic backrest to a backband type to get more out of it. Given the age I think it's worth closer to $600 but that's just me. The ad for the Storm confuses me because I don't remember them being my idea of fast,fun or maneuverable...tough and seaworthy boat, totally, but just like the Narpa, more of a A-B touring boat than a 'fun' boat. I would check the age of the Storm because it's a model that's been around basically unchanged for a long time, but it also looks to be in good shape. If my experience with the Sirocco is anything to go by, American ones could be built better than Canadian.