Re: Shearwater 17 (LT???)

Posted by CLC on Oct 13, 2005

A universal observation of paddlers who have paddled the Chesapeake 17 and the 17LT is that the "roll moment," the quickness of motion, is different. While the underbody is the same, the lower center of gravity of the 17LT means it moves beneath the paddler in a noticeably different way. "Sporty" is one amorphous term for the difference in feel.

The reduction in "sail area" of the 17LT compared to the taller 17 also makes a marked difference in handling in wind.

Back to your original question: would making the Shearwater narrower be an improvement? Short answer: no. If you could isolate all of the many handling factors (paddler weight, paddler skill, etc.) so that you're comparing apples to apples, the narrower boat will be faster but harder to handle. Meanwhile, the off-the-shelf Shearwater 17 is fast by almost any objective measure and delightful to handle. If speed is the primary motivation, better to get a boat specifically designed for speed, such as the Pax 18 or 20.

In Response to: Re: Shearwater 17 (LT???) by Chris H on Oct 13, 2005