16 ft skeg kayaks/skeg drag/CD Sirocco

Ok i’ve been very curious about 16-17 ft brit-style skeg equipped kayaks like Capella,Romany,Sirocco,chatham,etc and thought a skeg is much cooler tha rudder,mostly for solid footing. I own a plastic Elaho with a rudder and today i finally tried my first skeg kayak- a rental Sirocco.

Me-novice paddler,6’1/180.

Conditions-flat water, light wind, some boat wakes.

Boat-rental CD Sirocco, in decent shape.

What i read in reviews here, every reviewer is pretty much extatic about it. Everyone sais it’s “not a fast boat but its not slow either” and great in big water.

Ok i wish there was some chop when i tried it out, but there wasnt.

My impression-very manouverable, very decent storage capacity, comfortable seat, will not track worth sh*t with skeg up if my stroke was sloppy, and plastic seemed tougher than wildy or necky plastic. It felt a bit twitchy but i’m sure i’d grow into that. Seemed made for someone bigger than me but it can be padded out. Wasn’t impressed when seat shifted around 1-2-3 inches each way when leaning the boat hard, but that can be fixed with foam.

The thing i don’t get is…why was it so painfully slow? it’s almost 17 ft long. waterline length probably between 14.5 and 15 ft? I mean my elaho isn’t a rocket sled, but Sirocco felt slower than my gf’s 15’ 28.5’’ wide sit on top.Just when i thought it was bad enough with skeg up, dropping the skeg made it feel like i’m dragging a dead body behind the boat, though it definetely made it track perfect. I looked at the skeg when got back on shore and it looked fine without anything that would cause extra drag?

I think it would probably feel quicker slicing through ocean swell. am i right?

Are all the brit style 16-17 footers like this? is this amount of skeg drag normal? Felt way more drag than any rudder i ever used.

Varies with boat.
The amount of drag felt will vary with the boat and the amount of skeg deployed.

I have an original Elaho (poly drop skeg) and the amount of drag with skeg well deployed feels far greater than on either my Romany or Aquanaut.

I haven’t been in a Sirocco in a long time, but

I recall it feeling awfully big (high volume).

In general a shorter boat will produce less drag under 4.5 knots and a longer boat will produce less drag at and above 4.5 knots. (there are other factors: length to width ratio plays a part as does hull section - how smoothly the boat moves through the water) My Elaho and Romany are both quicker off the dime than my Aquanaut, but my Aquanaut cruises at higher speeds better. The weight of the boat also impacts the amount of effort required to move it. My Romany, though slightly longer waterline than my Elaho DS, is quicker to accelerate than the Elaho as it weighs significantly less.


– Last Updated: Jun-02-06 10:51 AM EST –

In the reviews section, you tend to get posts by people who haven't paddeled the boats long enough, and are in the intial high from getting a new boat.

I'm 5-10, 180 lbs and own a Sirocco. Low wind - it'll paddling straight without the skeg if the operator makes it so. You'll need more time than a rental period. Depending on wind and wave conditions you may 'need' the skeg. I don't notice any excessive drag from having the skeg down, but I don't tend to drop it unless needed.

My opinion: You probably don't weigh enough for the Sirocco. It'll carry a lot of stuff, but for average everyday paddles it's a big volume boat.

Fact vs Feeling
If I was you I’d take a GPS along and quantify the speed.

“If I was you” .
Where are you from, Bubba?

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