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  • 12' 7" Length
  • 26" Width

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!

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!

I purchased the Islay...

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...

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...

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.