The Advanced Elements kayaks get a coastal/open water rating if they meet certain requirements.
One of the most important factors to be considered when bestowing this rating, is what happens if you get swamped at sea?
There are two ways that a kayak can effectively handle that.
The first way is by being a self-bailing sit-on-top kayak like the StraitEdge Kayak.
‘Self bailing’ means that any water that comes over the sides into the kayak will drain out through ports either side of the floor.
So you can never really be swamped in a sit-on-top self-bailing kayak.
The second way is through a sit-in kayak that allows you to put a spray skirt on.
This is a different approach, this is saying “I’m going to keep water out of my kayak and stay warm and dry inside.”
Are You Sure You Want an Open Water Kayak?
Just a little warning though, we get a lot of customers that say they want an open-water kayak because they think “Oh well, I might want to go out on an open beach one day if the conditions were right.”
But if you use the Open Water filter, some of the kayaks are going to drop off and an example is the AdvancedFrame Sport Kayak.
It’s similar to the AdvancedFrame kayak but with a wide-open cockpit, so you can NOT put a spray skirt on.
It does not, therefore, have the open water rating, but it’s a great kayak.
It’s lightweight and quick to setup and the wide open cockpit is great for taking dogs and taking kids.
So it’s really just about your priorities.
If taking the kids or the dogs is a really big priority, and open water is a lesser priority, you might want to consider a kayak like the AdvancedFrame Sport which does not have the open water rating.
BUT … if you know you’re going to be doing a lot of open water kayaking, then you really need something suitable.
And you would look to either the sit-in kayaks that allow you to put the skirt on, or the sit-on-tops which are self-bailing.