I agree with you on the expense issue. It doesn't make sense to spend several hundred dollars on something that isn't going to be used very often. The photo doesn't do a good job of showing just how bright the glow sticks are at night. These were guaranteed to last eight hours but were still glowing, albeit not as bright, 24 hours later.
I didn't take any photos but we had some pretty bright hand held lights that when we placed them inside the hatches made the kayaks "glow." Which got me to searching. Supernova has a least expensive way of illuminating a kayak with interior lights: http://www.supernovafishinglights.com/a ... ow/4117520
Even less expensive are the solar powered string lights. http://www.lowes.com/pd_330071-59179-LS ... ing+lights
Find a way of wrapping them around the boat or cut off the excess lights and wrap just enough around the boat once and you might have something that looks like a floating Christmas decoration.
Walmart also sells these but they are only 10 feet long. Which is enough for one side of most kayaks. You would have to buy two of them to get both sides illuminated. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Shoreline-Mar ... 0/42434038
With that said, anything is cheaper than the Nocqua lights; especially if you aren't going to be out on the water very much at night. I think I'll stick with the glow sticks.