want to get some opinions | SouthernPaddler.com

want to get some opinions


Jun 6, 2011
Hey all, so I've been flirting around with building my own kayak, I downloaded the free plans Matt has on his site, and well, between wife, work, and other stuff I haven't been able to start. Now the wife says that she prefers me to buy a plastic kayak instead of building it. I wonder which would be better, a home made kayak or one of the recyclable plastic tubs that I've seen in Costco? I'd really appreciate any feedback. For the guys over at Matt's forum I think you might remember me from the Laker's lair, trying to build a free laker to use in some lagoons and in SF bay for baseball games. Thanks guys.

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
There's nothing wrong with a store-bought boat. It can serve a beginner well, and Tupperware boats can take a helluva licking and keep on ticking. They suffer if strapped to the top of a vehicle in bright sun - especially if the straps are tight. The plastic caves in and takes a set. Much of the groove can be removed by heating again with a hair dryer, but the plastic has a memory.

A hand made boat will never be perfect - especially the first one. BUT it is something you yourself made for yourself. Only you will see the errors; others see beauty and admire it. Kind of like the differences between a store-bought pie, and one your wife made at home with love.


Well-Known Member
G,day Franz and welcome aboard mate. :D

I don't know what is available at your costco but at a guess, it is probably something cheap and nasty and made in China to a low price and even lower standard. Further, it will probably be a dog to paddle. In short, he best thing that can be said aout these pigs of plastic is that they might be relatively tough and that they will probably float.

Now take a timber boat that you hand craft yourself. Especially something with style,grace and elegence like one of Matt's brilliant Lakers. Something you will be proud to be the owner of and even more proud of when paddling. There is just no comparison to this feeling mate. Matt's Laker is way to good a boat for the plans to be offered free.

Ask ay Laker owner and they will tell you the same thing.

Go on mate, build your boat. Ya know ya wanna. :D


Well-Known Member
Great idea Matt, renting several will help him to decide. And, it will take up a couple weekends so he'll have time to look at other boats, price materials, etc.

As we have all said many times to first-timers, BUILD AN EASY BOAT FIRST......have a success, learn some skills, learn to LOOK at what you are doing. Then, you may or may not want to proceed with another one.


tx river rat

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2007
Waco Tx
I started off in plastic ,and still paddle one sometimes when folks want to paddle
my wooden boats, there is no comparison between the two as far as I am concerned
M att has some simple fast to build boats that out preform 99% of what you can buy. Try a simple build like the touring perow.


Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2009

Is the question, which boat is best, or which boat is the best choice for you? If you have not had time to start a wooden boat, and your wife prefers you to buy plastic, a plastic boat is better than no boat. Changing our priorities can free up a lot of time. If you have time to use a plastic boat, you could use that time to build a wooden one. The more I build the less TV, net surfing, and etc. I do. Not a bad thing.
I have never had a plastic paddel boat, so I don't know "which would be better?", but building a boat can bring as much pleasure as using one. A bought boat can't match that.