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If you’ve been looking for a portable kayak you may or may not have come across modular kayaks. But what exactly is a modular kayak? To give you a better idea, we’ve put together some helpful information.
We’ll look at what they are and why they might be useful on your next paddling trip. We’ll also give you a little guide to some of our favorite modular yaks on the market.
Recommended Modular Kayaks: At A Glance
- Point 65 N Mercury GTX
- Snap Kayaks Snap On Top
- Point 65 N Martini
- Snap Scout Solo Sit-In Kayak
- Point 65 N Tequila! GTX Kayak
What Are Modular Kayaks And How Do They Work?
A modular kayak can be easily taken apart and put together. It comes in separate sections, allowing you to snap or click the pieces together in order to create a single or multi-person vessel.
With many modular yaks, you will usually find that they come in two pieces for a single yak and can then be added to by purchasing extra center sections. This can then extend the yak for additional paddlers. Similarly, you can also remove center sections, leaving one seat to paddle the yak by yourself.
You’ll find that modular vessels come in a range of designs, each suite to a different type of activity. So, just like traditional kayaks, you should be able to find a modular yak that is designed for the type of activity you’re looking to take part in.
Both sit-on-tops and sit-insides can be found in modular versions. It’s also possible to find modular recreational, touring and even fishing kayaks, complete with built-in rod holders.
One good thing about a modular kayak is that you’re not as limited as you might be with a traditional yak. This means that you wouldn’t need to buy a separate tandem yak for when you’re paddling with a partner; your one yak can easily be transformed to suit you.
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using A Modular Kayak?
- Easy to store in smaller spaces, such as a closet, under your bed or in the corner of your garage.
- Easy to add an additional section to accommodate an extra paddler.
- Can fit in the back of a vehicle without needing roof racks or a trailer.
- Can be easier to transport on your own.
- Can be expensive.
- May require additional maintenance to ensure the snap technology works.
Are The Pieces Easy To Carry? Do They Fit In A Car?
The fact that a modular kayak comes in two or more sections should make it easier to carry than a traditional yak. This is because the weight and length will be distributed across the pieces so you don’t have to carry the whole weight of the vessel at once – you can carry a section at a time.
This can remove the need for kayak carts or lifting aids when you transport it. And because the modular kayak is broken down into separate sections, you don’t have to worry about fitting it on top of your car or trailer.
The purpose of a modular yak is to be more portable so that you can easily transport your vessel to and from the water, even if you don’t have a pickup truck or roof rack. They are designed to be convenient and fit in the back seat of your vehicle or in the trunk.
How To Put The Pieces Together!
With many of the modular kayaks, you’ll probably find they utilize similar technology in how they attach and detach. The way they work is that each piece slots into place on the next piece and then clicks into place to be held together with a ratchet strap locking system.
Because modular yaks are designed for ease of use, you should be able to put them together pretty quickly, as well as take them apart with the same speed.
Video: Martini Modular Kayak Assembly
Top 5 Recommended Modular Kayaks
- Length: 17 foot 10 inches
- Width: 23.6 inches
- Weight: 77 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 530 pounds
The Mercury GTX Tandem is a 17 foot 10 inch sit-inside kayak designed for touring. The tandem version features four separate sections; two cockpits, a front section and back section. Each section snaps into place quickly when you want to hit the water and can be taken apart easily afterwards for transporting it back home.
The Mercury GTX features an AIR seat in each cockpit, which benefits from a padded seat bottom and adjustable seat back, for added comfort during long trips.
There are also dry storage hatches in both the bow and stern sections, so you can keep your gear dry and safe. For improved tracking, there’s also a drop down skeg and rudder built into the keel.
Each section weighs just 24.3 pounds and the bow section can also slide into the cockpit for easier transportation and storage.
Video: Mercury GTX Modular Touring Kayak
The Mercury GTX also comes in a solo version, which is the same as the tandem, only with one of the cockpits removed. This means you could also use the tandem as a solo kayak. But because of the design of the brand, you could also add a extra cockpit sections to create a longer yak for even more people to paddle together.
- Length: 8 foot 10 inches
- Width: 24.2 inches
- Weight: 39 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 220 pounds
The Snap On Top Solo is a lightweight modular sit-on-top yak designed for one paddler. The Solo version features two sections that snap to join together or be dismantled at the waterside.
The seat is in a spacious open cockpit and features a backrest for added comfort, as well as molded foot wells for a better paddling position.
As for storage, there’s a spacious stern storage deck with bungee rigging for securing larger items. There’s also a smaller area with bungee rigging at the bow.
This could be a stable craft for exploring on a range of waters and you can also purchase additional seating sections to snap on to create a tandem or three person yak. This could give you the added versatility if you might want to paddle with other people.
- Length: 9 foot 4 inches
- Width: 27.6 inches
- Weight: 48.5 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 265 pounds
The Martini Solo is a 9 foot 4 inch sit-inside modular yak built for one person. But it has the added benefit of being easily customizable for tandem or more paddlers, with the addition of extra center sections. The Solo version just comes with two sections.
The Martini could be a good choice if you like to fish, as it comes with a built-in fish-o-meter to measure what you catch. There are also points where you could mount additional fishing accessories if required.
Another feature is the storage. There are two hatches, a larger one at the rear and a small one at the front, as well as bungee rigging on the deck. To extend your storage for longer trips or days out fishing, you could purchase an extra section to use it for added storage or space for your dog.
To help with tracking in open water there is a foot controlled rudder. The seat is a padded, adjustable seat with seat back and there are foot braces inside the cockpit for added comfort while you’re on the water.
- Length: 8 foot 8 inches
- Width: 30 inches
- Weight: 48 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 265 pounds
The Scout Solo (from Snap Kayaks) is a sit-inside modular kayak that comes in two parts that snap together for convenience.
The Scout features a spacious cockpit that could help you stay a little drier than a sit-on-top. It has a comfortable seating area, with a seat back for improved comfort while paddling.
Because of the short 8 foot 8 inch hull length, the Scout is designed to be easy to maneuver on the water and with the wider hull it should give you added stability. This could mean it may be a good choice for beginners.
This yak has a spacious storage area at the stern, with bungee cords to help you keep your gear from floating away. There is also some bungee rigging at the bow for holding additional items.
With the Scout, you can also purchase additional sections to create a longer yak with more seating. The tandem version comes with three sections to allow for a second paddler.
- Length: 13 foot 8 inches
- Width: 29.5 inches
- Weight: 77 pounds
- Weight Capacity: 530 pounds
The Tequila! GTX is primarily a one person sit-on-top modular yak built for recreational paddling. As with many modular kayaks, you can add additional sections to create a two, three or more person vessel. The tandem version can also be used as for solo paddling with one of the center sections removed.
The Tequila! GTX is designed for all levels of paddlers for most bodies of water but because of the limited storage, it may not be the best vessel for multi-day touring trips.
There is some storage space behind the seat with bungee rigging for added security. This could be ideal for keeping your essentials for a day on the water.
For added comfort, there’s a a padded AIR seat with adjustable seat back and there are molded foot braces to help you stabilize yourself and find a better paddling position.
Now that you know a little bit more about modular kayaks you will probably know whether a modular vessel could be right for you. As far as portability goes, a modular yak could be a great choice if you struggle with storage space at home. Similarly, if you want a more compact vessel that you can easily fit in your car a modular yak could work.
They can also be ideal if you like the idea of paddling solo and as a tandem, as these types of yaks can give you the choice of adding or reducing the amount of seats on the one craft.
Before you purchase one, remember to think about the type of craft that you might need and where you might be more likely to paddle. If you want to tour in colder conditions, a sit-inside touring vessel might be a good option but if you want it for exploring bays in the summer, a sit-on-top recreational yak may be better.