Islay 12

12' 7"
Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Islay 12 Options

  • Polyethylene Plastic

    Polyethylene Plastic
  • Polyethylene Plastic

    54 lb
    Polyethylene Plastic

    Islay 12 Description

    The Islay 12 is a kayak brought to you by Venture Kayaks. Read Islay 12 reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other kayak recommendations below or explore all kayaks to find the perfect one for you!

    Islay 12 Specs and Features

    • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
    • Cockpit Type: Sit Inside
    • Seating Configuration: Solo
    • Ideal Paddler Size: Smaller Adult/Child, Average Adult, Larger Adult
    • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
    • Ideal Paddler Size: Smaller Adult/Child, Average Adult, Larger Adult
    • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate

    Venture Kayaks
    Islay 12 Reviews

    Read reviews for the Islay 12 by Venture Kayaks as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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    The cockpit leaks, can’t…

    Submitted by: Neptune4 on 7/11/2022

    The cockpit leaks, can’t determine exactly where. Water also drips from the skeg cable into the cockpit. I have to use a pump multiple times to get rid of the water. Only had it a month and trying to get a resolution from the dealer but so far was just sent a seat bolt kit to do it myself! Will be contacting the manufacturer. Not happy as the boat is new.


    I bought the Islay 12…

    Submitted by: paddler1662833 on 8/23/2021

    I bought the Islay 12 standard version, not LV. It has the fit4sport outfitting, and skeg. I use this on a Scottish sea loch with ventures out into the Sound of Jura. I am a six foot 160lb/73kg man. The kayak tracks very well with skeg deployed. This is easily done from the seat. I feel confident in a bit of chop, have not had the opportunity to test it in ocean swells. I use a spray deck (skirt) if the water is choppy, but leave it off if the weather is calm and dry. I like the footrest adjustment, but once this is set up I should never have to change it. The boat feels sturdy, and the highish front of the cockpit copes quite well with the odd breaking wave. The only thing that prevents me from giving 5 stars is that the seat back does not offer any support if I lean back. I modified this by sliding a dense foam yoga block between the seat and the rear of the cockpit. It is now acceptable. Overall then, very happy with my choice.


    I bought this kayak in 2015…

    Submitted by: allendria on 7/22/2020
    I bought this kayak in 2015 after doing an awful lot of research and renting a different lengths, styles and types to figure out what I liked. I wanted something plucky, short enough to be manoeuvrable and portageable but long enough to use in sea-like conditions. My LV Islay came up on sale at a local shop that was discontinuing it. I got it at a steep discount, making it a no-brainer. It's a beautiful little boat, and I've been incredibly happy with it. I've used it in calm and choppy waters all over southern Ontario. From small dirty rivers and swamps to open Great Lakes waters and bays, it tracks like a dream and has gotten me through tight and tough situations. It has been stable everywhere (topping 20kt winds gusting 25kts, couldn't tell you wave height with certainty), and has happily waded through gross muskeg like a glorious, slimy beaver. I don't have a spray skirt, but I will likely be investing in one soon. I'm a small person (5'4 and 120 pounds soaking wet), so it's low-volume nature is awesome. I sit more comfortably and with more stability than in any other kayak I've ever used, which mostly seem to designed for strapping 200-pound, 6'3 hockey players. The Islay's braces are all positioned reasonably well for me and the seat's fine. Right out of the box, it fit me like it was pretty much moulded to me. When I go out, I almost always sleep out. The watertight bulkheads have plenty of room for my camping and fishing gear. I've packed it for week-long trips, but I'm sure I could do more than that, as there's usually space left over for any extra panties I would want. The skeg is my only issue. If it falls all the way out, it drops and starts to swivel, usually sticking in a way that leaves the kayak tracking in circles. When it does this while I'm paddling, it becomes a potentially-disastrous scene that involves me lying down on my stomach, scooting back, trying not to flip into water and pulling the skeg back in. I reached out to Venture, and their solution (tightening the cords) hasn't worked. So I just try not to let it fall out all the way. I think I have to change out the skeg line, but this is on a boat that's now more than five years old — so it's not too bad, all things considered. I move the Islay around with foam blocks and straps on my wee tin-can of a car. I've never had a problem with it. It's a bit of a lug when I'm carrying it on trails, and it has some scrapes from bad portages that were equivalent to dragging it across the coals of hell. It's quite durable, but even so I got it wheels to increase its lifespan. All in all, I've been very pleased with this boat. A great kayak for big lake country.

    II really like this kayak. I…

    Submitted by: Carquniez49 on 5/7/2020
    II really like this kayak. I have a wilderness Pungo but it was not great for long paddles rough water and winds, Islay does all of that and more. With the skeg which is easy to deploy and retract it tracks like a dream. The kayak is fast and really moves in all kinds of water. I kayak in the Carquinez Straits in the San Francisco Bay Area and it is best to watch tide charts when kayaking. It can also get quite windy and choppy as well. The Islay handles all of that and provides great secondary leaning with adequate contact for bracing. I have not rolled over yet but have had to employ leaning, bracing and recovery to stay upright. The Islay has forward and aft water tight compartments and bulks heads, with lots of storage room. The cockpit is small but at 220 pounds, 5 ‘ 11”I can easily get in and out from a dock. Inside the cockpit the foot braces can easily be adjusted without having to lean forward and bend down as there are paddles hat are reachable from sitting position and adjust with a twist push or pull. It comes with thigh pads for bracing but it made getting in and out more difficult so I removed them bit I can still brace with my knees and lower thighs. I have all 5 points of contact when paddling. I have recently added a kayak sail and it is a hoot In down wind conditions. The only issue I have is the weight it is about 45# and not easy to lift and carry at my age. I have wheels and or try to launch from a boat ramp. It is plastic but I need the rugged construction. I have a truck so loading unloading is not bad. It would be pretty difficult to load on a roof rack. The fun I have once I get in the water easily overcomes any issues with loading and unloading.

    I purchased the Islay after…

    Submitted by: Carquniez49 on 6/27/2018

    I purchased the Islay after an outing with friends who had touring kayaks. We went to Elk Horn Slough in Moss Landing California for our outing. I had a 10' Wilderness Pungo and got waxed trying to keep up with them. I called California Canoe and Kayak to ask their opinion on touring Kayaks with durability (plastic) The recommended the Islay. When I tried it out I was ex tactic, It handled and tracked like a dream with the skeg. After I purchased it I have been in Carquinez Straits which are along my home town Benicia. The straits can be difficult with tide current and wind. The Islay was awesome. It has great balance and secondary lean which took some time to get used to. I have been able to zip around in a comfortable cockpit that was not wide open as the Pungo was. I have used with and without the spray skirt and like the option of being able to have an open cockpit on hot days. The Islay has two storage compartments fore and aft that are more than adequate. The kayak is very squirrely without the skeg and does not track well. I have a 5th wheel RV that I used to mount the Pungo to (vertically on the back ladder I have kayak stirrups and straps) I was able to take the Islay on my RV ventures and in a lake it is an absolute dream. It is heavy but that is what I expected because I am hard on kayaks and wanted durability


    Having kayaked for only two…

    Submitted by: Flying-Anchor on 7/8/2015
    Having kayaked for only two years I tried the Islay 12' LV and fell in love with it. The fit was as if it were custom made for me. At five foot six it was like putting on a well worn pair of shoes. The adjustable skeg was helpful but not needed as this kayak turns quite handily. The seasoned kayaker with me also felt it was a great kayak.
    It is "my saving money for" Kayak.

    I've been paddling this kayak…

    Submitted by: SeaBadger on 6/22/2015
    I've been paddling this kayak for nearly a year, so it's time for a review. Though I'm a medium sized guy (5'11" tall, Eur 43 shoes, fat thighs) I chose the LV version, and it's definitely right for me. The boat feels light in the water, I still have plenty of room for adjustment in the foot pedals, and loads of space to stretch my legs.

    The Islay 12 is a tough plastic day touring boat, with good quality outfitting and safety features like a proper sea kayak: full perimeter lines, deck bungees, front and rear hatches, floating backrest, adjustable thigh braces, and skeg. A 'skudder' (combination skeg-rudder) is available as an optional extra, but on a boat this short, the normal cable-operated skeg is plenty. It weighs only about 20kg, making it much easier to lift and carry than most sea kayaks, so it could be a great choice for anyone paddling on sheltered water where a full 17' sea boat would be overkill.

    On the water, there isn't much primary stability, but there is loads of secondary stability. This is not ideal for absolute beginners; my beginner tester (Mrs. SeaBadger) found it hard to keep the Islay tracking straight without dropping the skeg. But for intermediate paddlers, rolling is easy (also thanks to the low rear deck), and weaving around rocks using edging and low brace turns is great fun. A sustained straight line speed of around 4mph is achievable. The surface area of the skeg is generous, making it simple to keep the Islay tracking straight in breezy conditions, and it handles confidently in a 1-2' swell - and maybe more, but then I am a fair-weather kayaker :)

    Overall it's a great little boat. Only a couple of minor niggles: the spraydeck size is nonstandard; and it would be better if the removable pod fitted into the front deck with a more positive click. But apart from that, if the 'mini sea kayak' idea appeals then this boat is definitely worth a look.