That's right, the biggest trend in the history of watercraft and our favorite subject to write about incessantly, the kayak is the answer to your financial woes. Because if you buy a sub-par yacht, you'll be the laughing stock of the marina. But you can probably scrape together enough dough for one of the most kick-ass kayaks on the water, and that will make you the envy of your new peers down at the public boat ramp. Here are some suggestions:
For classic elegance, give the Night Heron in western red cedar a try. This gorgeous wooden kayak is custom-built by Guillemot Kayaks of Groton, Connecticut, and it's so striking that it was even displayed in the Museum of Modern Art.
One problem I've found with standard kayaks is that my legs fall asleep from inactivity because my upper body does all the work. The righteous dudes over at Hobie solved that problem with the invention of MirageDrive, a special kayak propulsion system that requires users to essentially do a StairMaster motion from a recumbent position, leaving the hands free to take photos, catch fish, type on BlackBerrys, or open beers. It's not cheap, but it is brilliant, as is the company's new line of sail-yaks.
That's right, the Hobie Mirage Adventure Island (pictured) combines the best attributes of kayaks, pedal-boats, and sailboats into one of the niftiest emission-free watercraft I've ever seen. It's as good as it gets, and you're still worth it. After a day on the lake in one of these babies, you'll swear off mega-yachts forever, or at least until the next bull market.