Friday, June 27, 2014

Kayak Rating for Megunticook Lake, Maine

1300+ acres just 2 miles outside of Camden


Just outside of beautiful Camden, Maine, Lake Megunticook is an ideal place for kayaking. It has many "nooks and crannies", islands, cottages (some so integrated into the scenery you have to be right on top of them to see them), clean/clear water, and nice views.  It's an all around enjoyable place to be.

There are two easily accessible landings, one near the beach on Rte 52, so if it gets too hot you can always take a swim after your excursion, and the other on Rte 105. Motor boat traffic is moderate. This is a lake we have visited before and will return to.  There's always something new to discover.

 This is the walk-in landing on Rte 105-about 5 minutes out from town. There is also a boat ramp.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Images From 2013 Kayaking

Since we started this blog this year, we will give fresh reviews of the lakes we have and will visit. But we thought we'd show some pics from last season.

This is heading into Rockport Harbor:

Getting ready for Damariscotta Lake
Megunticook Lake, Camden

Seven Tree Lake, Union
One of three Megunticook Landings
Callie on Clary - Not her favorite activity, too hot in the bright sun.
The Landing at Seven Tree
Peaceful Megunticook Waters

Over the course of the summer, we'll provide details of locations as well as additional reviews.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Challenger K1 Review

Uncertain if this was going to be an activity we'd enjoy, we didn't want to sink a lot of money into it at first.  After doing our research, the Challenger K1 by Intex made sense as a first time purchase. Good decision.

The pros:

Price.  If we'd decided kayaking wasn't for us, we wouldn't have been out so much money as to make me very upset.

Stability.  While we're not interesting in running rapids, the K-1 can handle it.  We've taken it on some pretty rough lakes, surrounded by power boats, and it's had no problem. We've also taken it on the ocean, although not too far out in the open sea ... yet.  You'd have to work at it to tip the K-1 over once you're in it.

Weight.  Not too heavy, but there's a solidity to this little kayak that is very reassuring.  It's constructed of very strong material.

Ease of inflation.  Two sections, plus the seat.  Takes maybe ten minutes.

The cons:

Not a lot of leg room.  We're both around 5'7", and the way the kayak's designed, even with the inflatable foot brace, it sits very low on the legs.  It's not intolerable, but after a few hours my feet and hips get crampy if I can't adjust my position a bit.  Easy enough to pull my legs up and into the cockpit, but ...

Cockpit seams are unfinished, and are rough and scratchy.

Skeg mount is extremely unreliable.  After having the skeg fall off on our maiden voyage, we drilled single small holes in them so we could run a light line through and affix it to the kayak.  That does work, and we'd very much recommend anyone purchasing one of these boats do so, because ...

Customer service sucks.  There's no other word.  Thinking it would be wise to have a backup skeg on hand, just in case, we called Intex.  Run around and misdirection were the order of the day.  Long story short, replacement skegs are not to be had.

Do we regret this purchase?  Absolutely not.  The pros outweigh the cons, in our opinion.

Stars:  Four.

Here's an Amazon link for the K1:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

On Clary Lake with the SeaEagle

First day out in 2014 found us back at Clary in order to test out the new SeaEagle 330. Clary's not huge and the relatively low water level means it's not loaded with boat traffic. For the first go with the SeaEagle, we wanted clear and calm conditions.

The SeaEagle is a slightly bigger kayak than the Challenger. It's more open, almost canoe-like, and it seems that it would be better for long-legged people. It still weighs only 26 pounds. Inflation is very quick and easy. We got the more expensive seat for better back support and it truly does provide good support. The seat has a fabric cover and is not as hot as vinyl seats. It does, however, change your center of gravity; adjusting to that took some time. We also bought the QuikSail to use with this kayak, but, as it was dead calm, we haven't tried it yet.  Just a note: to use the sail on the 330, the deluxe seat is required.

The SeaEagle has an affixed double skeg and tacks quite well. It really does glide effortlessly on the water. Deflating was amazingly fast and it folded up nicely to store in the bag we bought to hold it.

This is the boat launch at Clary.

A view of the calm waters at Clary.

Once we've tried the SeaEagle in a broader range of conditions, we'll share further thoughts.