We Has Boats
Well, we did it. After a couple of weeks of semi-intensive research both online and in the water, we settled on what we wanted, confirmed our choices on the lake during the Ouachita Outdoor Outfitters spring "Demo Day", wrote the check, and picked up the boats.
We figure that this year, we'll skip our usual out-of-state week-long vacation in favor of buying the boats and then taking a couple of super-long weekend trips to boat around in our home state.
Bryan has a brand-new LiquidLogic Remix XP10. It's billed as a "crossover" boat which means it's an ok whitewater boat with a drop-down skeg to help it track straighter on flat water. It's got a hatch for dry storage for camping gear when needed.
Mandy has the smaller version of the same boat, but in a prettier color. Good kayaks have seats that can be customized to fit the paddler by inserting "shims", and she's had to use all of her shims and half of Bryan's in order to get the seat to fit snugly around her skinny self. She's completely thrilled with her boat.
Hayduke and I settled on a Native Watercraft Ultimate 12 kayak. It looks a lot like a canoe. It's got lots of room for camping gear, and is super stable so Hayduke won't cause me too many problems when he's moving around. I can stand up in it, and can easily get him back into the boat after a swim. It'll be fine on flat water, and okay for class 1 and 2 rivers, which is all I want to do right now anyway. I'd thought this was my choice based on reading reviews and descriptions online, and when we tried the Native boat on the lake the choice was easily confirmed. When I found out that I could buy a slightly used Ultimate for about 60% off retail, the deal was done.
Eventually I'll want a more appropriate boat for whitewater, too, but this is great for dogboating.
Our friends Kathy and Jarion bought boats, too, so we're all set for summertime paddling. We'll have actual photos once we get the boats on the water.