The Kiwi who could be first to kayak the Tasman

A Kiwi is attempting to be the first to kayak across the Tasman.

Scott Donaldson first attempted the feat in 2014, but had to be rescued just 80km off the coast of Taranaki after a massive storm hit. This time he's determined to 'knock the bastard off'.

The kayak that will be his home for three months is a tight squeeze at just 76cm wide. The calm waters of Westhaven Marina will be swapped for the open sea of the Tasman, making the feat, if he can pull it off, even more remarkable.

"You get everything out there," he told Newshub. 

"You get everything from stunningly fantastic to really, really vigorous, and if you're going to spend that much time out there, you've got to learn to love both. So that's where my attitude is at."

Depending on the weather, Mr Donaldson will leave Coffs Harbour in March or April and finish the 2000km journey in New Plymouth. 

It's one he's attempted before, but in 2014 he came up agonisingly short. He had to be rescued after he was injured when his kayak rolled multiple times in the middle of a once in a 40 year storm.

"Some would say I learnt nothing because I'm doing it again," he says.

"But I've learnt a lot in every single area, so it's a body of experience that I'm really hoping to capitalise on, and we've improved every area." 

Coming so close meant the 48-year-old was always going to give it another go.

"I had a great time last time, and it's really just a job unfinished, so we need to go and finish the job. There's a few k's in between here and there."

This time the kayak is 40kg lighter, has the latest technology, and even a little bit more room.

A number of rowers have made the crossing - the first was Kiwi Colin Quincey in 1977. His son Shaun did it in 2010, landing on Ninety Mile Beach.

But Mr Donaldson says kayaking is a much greater challenge, mainly because it takes more than a month longer.

"Basically, rowers have their whole body to drive their boat with," he says.

"They have a bigger space to live in, and that's really the key, the fact it's such a small space to live in and you've only got the top half of your body to drive it. So carrying everything and staying healthy in that space is probably the biggest challenge."

This time around, at least time he knows what he's in for.