Re: boat choice

Posted by LeeG on Oct 1, 2007

Mike, Beam width or beam/length ratio has to be based on waterline beam and not max beam measurment at the sheer. If you're comparing hulls that are 1" off they may be the same at the waterline.

You may "grow out" of a particular kayak regardless if it's optimum for beginners or experts. You may discover x,y,z characteristics aren't that important comparted to A,B,C. - read between the lines on the reviews "it's a 10!" doesn't mean much. - good depth of experience for feedback.

17LT-stable- moderately firm tracking, moderate weathercocking, very stable

Arctic Tern- very little weathercocking, maneuverable, tippier than 17LT, nice in waves, big boat,big cockpit, have to add thigh bracing.

Shearwater17-lower volume than the above, very easily driven, firm tracking yet more responsive than 17LT, good for windy conditions. If you liked it's handling a Merganser18 ( would be worth considering as the Sh17 is a low volume hull and tippier than AT17 and Ch17LT. Snug cockpit.

Never paddled a Guillemot but general understanding is that they are manevuerable, I'm guessing more weathercocking than AT but don't know.

Coho, roomy big efficient touring boat, stable on flat water and comfortable in waves. Review calling it tippy must be poorly outfitted cockpits. Big cockpit like AT. Moderate weathercocking.

"day exploring" could mean a lot of things, stability and manueverabilty or low volume and light weight.

If you don't have an existing set of preferences I'd temper preferences for theoretical top performance and go for comfort/maneuverability.

In Response to: boat choice by Mike Coughlin on Sep 30, 2007