boat choice

Posted by Mike Coughlin on Sep 30, 2007


Though I've read what I could find, I haven't found tests on the CLC ShearWater 17, West River 18 or Guillemot "L". It's, still, unclear to me which kit to choose. If you've had a chance to compare:

Chesapeake 17LT (vs. Pygmy Arctic Tern) Shearwater 17 West River 18 (vs. Pygmy Coho) Guillemot "L"

... I like to read your impressions, particularly regarding:

acceleration drag (I wish CLC posted 'wetted surface specs), initial/secondary stability vs. beam width, edging/turning, wind/weathercocking

I'm interested in day exploring in it, but I'll (probably) never camp from it.

I'm 6'2", 185 lbs (closer to 200 lbs suited up), 34" inseam i.e. longer from the waist down than torso. Despite my own fatas#*d beam being ~16" (according to tape measure in front of a mirror), I can still see my feet, standing up!

I see no point in a 'beginner's boat', only to grow out of it within a year.

I've read arguments that beam width doesn't define speed, yet I see no wide (fat) racing boats. Not that I intend to race, but I'm thinking more regarding the tradeoffs between drag (getting somewhere with least energy expended) vs. the terror of rolling (spinning?) like a log . With SO many boats offered with 22" to 24" beams, there must be a pretty sensitive point between those numbers?

Regarding water line length and wetted area, I've wondered why we don't see kayaks with tapered transoms, like the bulbs in those supertankers ... only at the rear of the kayak - to extend the water line?

Your impressions will be welcomed. Hopefully, others have been wondering about similar questions and will benefit from a lively discussion ... all in good, but educational fun.

gratefully, Mike