Stillwater Touring Company

Kayak adventures on Knotts Island, North Carolina

Would you like to see the unspoiled wilderness in the marshes around Knotts Island?  Have you seen the kayaks on the local waters and felt like you could try it as a  hobby?  Maybe you're a photographer or an artist with a need to get up close and personal with your subjects in the marshes and on the shorelines.  Stillwater Touring Company could very well be the way to quickly and safely have these experiences.

Stillwater Touring Company is committed to your education  and a practical approach to your introduction to the fastest growing outdoor sport in the country.

Try a personally, guided paddle tour or paddling course with Stillwater. While other companies offer pre-scheduled tours once or twice or every now and then, Stillwater Touring Company can set up your tour whenever you're going to be in town.  If there is a guide available on your day, you're on the water. 

Use the links below to learn about your new touring company.









Stillwater Touring Company offers ACA* certified classes in Basic Kayaking to get you safely started in the sport of paddling.  They can tailor the classes to your needs.

Classes are offered at sites near Knotts Island and will be announced as they occur.  Classes are announced on this site or can easily be arranged as your needs arise.

Special group instruction can be held at your facility so your group will not have to travel far.  Instructors and assistants can meet you at most locations.  Call for details and help with set-up arrangements.

Private instruction at your home is available.  If your family or friends have water close by and would like to learn in more familiar company, an instructor can come to your residence or boat house.

Contact Stillwater for details regarding any of these classes, since arrangements must be made in advance, to insure a smooth running class.  Generally a 7 day notice is needed.  If less than 7 days is possible it will slightly affect the cost of the class.

    *The American Canoe Association certifies our instructors and assistants.



Tours at various locations around Knotts Island are available. 

All tours must be preceded by a "Quick Start Paddling" course.  This takes approximately three hours to complete, a little less with fewer participants.  It is an ACA supervised  course requiring pre-registration.

After the course is completed a tour will begin and instruction will continue as our guide helps you become familiar with the methods of navigating through marshes and canals like those found intra-coastal North Carolina and VIrginia. 

Paddling clubs and groups may hire a guide to point the way and be available with local knowledge.  

Individuals may hire a guide to paddle them around in a tandem kayak for use as a platform for photography and recording.  This is under special arrangement and certain criteria must be met to provide this service.

To see some of the tours available, click here.  Currently, the Carova crossing and tours in island waters are available but more will be added later.  Note:  Tours of the Mackay Island Wildlife Refuge are not available.

Contact Stillwater and book your tour soon.



You may rent kayaks from Stillwater after you have participated in in the one-day "Introduction to Kayaks" course.

The course takes from six to eight hours to complete and covers all of the topics you must be familiar with in order to safely transport one of the kayaks to a paddling location and use it with confidence.

All rentals are for local use around Knotts Island only.




Write to: 
tillwater Touring Company, 101 Shepherds Way, Knotts Island, NC 27950


Phone:  (252) 429-2089  Ask for Shaun.  If calling from Hampton Roads, dial all ten numbers but it's still a local call.

If you have ANY questions at all, give a call or send an e-mail.  They love to talk about kayaking around here.



The Boats

Never used a kayak before?  Not to worry.  The kayaks at Stillwater Touring are all of the recreational type, built for stability, and are extremely easy to use.  Pictured below are the boats that you may be using on your tour.  These are very stable kayaks, easy to handle and ideal for beginners.   In twenty minutes, you'll be paddling like a pro.

This is the Bayou 2 by Dagger.  It can
be used by two people or configured
to paddle as a solo boat for larger paddlers.

This is the Phantom by Clearwater,  a
local Virginia Beach company.  It's
flat bottomed and sports a deep
seat for a comfortable ride.

This is the Critter by Wilderness Systems.  It's a handy solo boat for smaller adults and children.



Prices for Service

These are guidelines.  Actual prices could vary slightly.  It all depends on the facility available to hold the class and the costs of the facility at a given time of the year.  Fees will be posted and agreed upon before registration.  E-mail verification of the agreed price will be sent to you before registration.
ACA members receive $5.00 off of the cost of any class.


Half-day Quick Start courses can be as little as $36 per person in groups of five to as high as $76 per person for two.
A full-day of Introduction to Kayaks starts at $54 per person and could be $124 for private instruction of two people.
Instruction at your home is slightly less than the regular instruction rates with an additional mileage charge to offset travel.

It's easy to see that we should try to talk at least four or five people into having a class.


Tours must be preceded with a Quick Start course.  The typical price for the course and a two hour tour is $65.00.  A longer or shorter tour will change the price.  The area of the tour may change the price due to the fees for the classroom location.


Those who complete the full day Introduction to Kayaks course may rent kayaks at a rate of $20 for a half day and $35 for a full day whenever they visit the island.  Rental fees include a recreational kayak suitable for the paddler, a paddle, a PFD (life jacket), and assistance with car-top transportation.  Stillwater can transport the kayaks to your desired island location for a small fee (a tip).


Photographers and others who need to work from the kayak can hire a guide to do all of the paddling at a rate of $24 per hour.  There is a 6 miles per day limit to this service.


Prices for services will be agreed upon and then payment may be made by check, money order, or with a credit card using Pay Pal.
Pay Pal is easy to register, safe, and secure as any other online transaction. 



The Guides

Yes. He's standing in a canoe with no PFD on but it was a great shot.
 You had to be there this day to see what was happening. 
Please don't call and tell Mike about this.  Mama K won't even yell at him.


Shaun Kane is ready to bring you an enjoyable time on our waters. A professional mariner, documented by the US Coast Guard, he is certified in water survival and first aid afloat in accordance with standards of the IMO.  He is certified to instruct kayak paddling by the ACA.



Brett Ferris has been paddling the waters of Knotts Island for some time now.  He's an ACA member and holds active membership in two kayaking clubs.  One in North Carolina's Outer Banks and the other in Virginia.



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