"Advanced Boat"

Last week, I was working with a paddler on Greenland braces and the start of rolling. She was a good student. Her boat is an Eddyline Merlin LT - a bit beamy and big in the cockpit. She did pretty well with the boat and was getting the feel of controlling the boat with her lower body.

I then had her get in my Romany. She was nervous at first as it is much snugger than her boat and looked a lot narrower. Once she settled into the boat, she had a great time. She spent a chunk of the rest of her time on the water in the Romany, zipping around, leaning, edging, and bracing the boat.

Last night she learned that an advanced boat is not a difficult boat, but one which most readily does what you need it to do.

My wife started in an LT and while she found it very competent on the ocean and surprising fast, the reality was that it is not a small person’s boat even though dealers tend to say it is and it was simply too big for her once she started trying to expand her braces and strokes let alone rolling. FWIW, even an Avocet is a huge barge to her. Curiously, a Force 3 is not which defies logic.

Since the Romany was designed as a school boat to be comfy for beginners, but also to have traits the coaches could enjoy and use in rougher water, I’m not sure it should be thought of as an advanced boat. On second thought, I have no idea what an advanced boat is so perhaps it is. Advanced in design? Advanced in that only solid paddlers can handle it? Advanced in that it is competent in a variety of rough water? Advanced in that even beginners can successful do things with it easily? Lots of possible meanings to the term advanced. The concept that a good boat is the boat that lets a paddler do what they want easily and they feel at home in is a very good point. Of course everyone has a different opinion of which boat that is since we are all different.


– Last Updated: Jun-27-06 6:41 AM EST –

To me sea kayaks aren't "advanced" boats, though some may be tougher to use than others depending on the individual's size and skills.

Advanced boats to me are specialized or niche boats, e.g. K1 racers, surf skis, waveskis, ww playboats, etc. These are made to perform specific tasks that reaquire skills and training beyond the "routine."


boats aren’t advanced or basic…they are what they are…they have more or less primary and secondary stability than one another and some are faster or slower than others…however, i’d agree that the paddlers are more or less advanced or have a better seat than some and that’s what makes one boat or another a better choice for folks.

…but accepting your argument that sea boats aren’t “advanced”…endo’s and pirouettes (sp?) can be and are done. is that advanced? in ww/play boats? would it be especially advanced because now your boat is 18 feet long or just so/so or just entry level? i think the whole advanced/beginner thing is just such a pointless circular argument…who cares!

it comes down to what can YOU do in a boat? are YOU having fun? is the boat performing at a level that isn’t getting in the way? is it enabling or disabling what you’re trying to do?

you wouldn’t toss some 200 pounder in a sirius their first day out but that’s because it has less primary than an orion…it isn’t a more or less advanced boat…it just isn’t an appropriate boat for someone without a bit of weathering, braces or a good seat…it’s the paddler, not the boat.

My take

– Last Updated: Jun-27-06 9:33 AM EST –

For what it's worth, to me, an "advanced" boat is one that requires more of skill and attention to operate.

Note that my comments can be applied to many excellent boats (I'm using the Romany as an example).

I don't think the Romany (for example) is an "advanced" boat. It's just a "normal" sea kayak. A "normal" sea kayak is about 22 inches wide and 16-17 feet long. A sea kayal is a bit "tippy" -by design-. The Romany is designed to be a real sea kayak but not require a great deal of skill or attention to operate. While there are skilled paddlers who would prefer another boat (nothing wrong with that), one could paddle a life time in a Romany.

For me, boats like the Romany work pretty well: it supports sea kayaking paddling technique, it's a boat that won't surprize me when I'm tired or looking at wild life, and it works well as a day boat and a camping boat.

People tend to start out in beamy, short, stable boats because they are worried about being in close spaces and getting wet. The short length allows any body to change direction (you have to be a bit more deliberate and patient in a real sea kayak). These boats also tend to be cheaper too, which makes it a easier, economically, to start out.

In my opinion, genarally, people who are interested in sea kayaking (longish trips in openish water), should start out in a "real" sea kayak. For most people, I believe it takes a relatively short time (about an hour) to get over the basic "panic" about tipping over. With not much practice, people can manuever a real sea kayak as easily as a "rec" boat and the sea kayak is more interesting and useful, long term (in my opinion).

Well… I Gonna Have To Agree WIth Ya!

– Last Updated: Jun-27-06 9:25 AM EST –

the dude/dudette who can consistantly loop his/her Romany in the tidal race is advance in my book. :) Other than that, a Romany is a Montauk is Avocet is a whatever. No big deal. :)


advanced boat vs advanced paddler
an advanced boat is one that requires a great deal of skill to paddle. Example advnced k1 icf cannot be paddled by most people much less with great skill. High performance wave ski is very diificult beast to play with.

an advanced paddler can do advanced moves etc on any boat. Ie the guy in california who surfs the ocean kayak or Gregg Barton who can beat surfskis while in a sea kayak in Blackburn challenge.

There are definatley advanced boats that take years to learn to paddle. However the performance aspect is dictated more by the paddler than the boat.


put a 6’5"
250lb guy in the Merlin and he’d have the mass to move the boat to the edge and back easily. I’ve seen 5’3" women in Shadows and Chatham16, they were so stable it was hard for them to lean the kayak with ease. Match the boat to the paddler. I have a friend who’s 6’5" 340lbs (not fat) and he paddles an “advanced” Necky Pinta.

Advanced need not equal difficult
Certainly, the paddler’s skills are what can most readily be termed advanced or primitive.

However, in certain environments wherin paddlers have American beamy boats, a decent well designed boat like a Romany can seem advanced. Indeed this happens most often when a paddler’s aspirations exceed the design of their exisitng boat.

People unused to sea kayaks look at my Romany or Aquanaut and often ask if they are ‘dangerous’. Such folks frequently comment on how they do not have the skill (often expressed in terms of balance) to paddle such boats.

As both these boats are reassurring craft, I believe a novice paddler could be comfortable in either - though more so in the Romany than the 'naut. I have been in some other sea kayaks, which do not perform as well as either of these boats and find that they are crude designs for my purposes.

An example for me would be the Montauk. This day boat appears very similar to a Romany. However its hull is an older design (it is a North Shore Shoreline hull) and its stabilities seem cranky and uneven compared to the Romany. Its decks are also higher. To me, in this context, the Romany is a more advanced boat. For me the traditional Nordkapp and the Aquanaut have a simliar relationship.

The two boats which have impressed me most in the last couple of years for their design best suiting their intended uses are the Outer Island and the Nordkapp LV. Both boats evidence extensive refinement in hull desing. In this context I would call them advanced boats.

I know a paddler who has a Dagger Magellan. It is not a bad boat, but as he pursues deeper skills he is finding the limitations of its design. It is time he moves to a boat better suited to his aspirations. This boat should support his skill development in a manner that the Magellan does not. It would be easier for him to paddle an Explorer or Aquanaut and build his skills, rather than battle the shortcomings of his Magellan. In this case the Explorer or Aquanaut is a more advanced boat for this paddler.

lol, I don’t know about that…
If the guy is looping in a Romany, something tells me he’s taking the trashing of a lifetime. :slight_smile:

Romany = beginner to advance
It’s ridiculously stable and well behaved. It’s a nice boat although I wouldn’t classify it as an advanced boat. While I agree that this can end up be a silly circular argument in regards to advanced paddler vs. advanced boat, I do know that I would not be comfortable putting my friends in any of my kayaks if they had not paddled before.

NF Silhouette = Fun sea kayak but if you don’t have good balance you’re in for a quick swim.

Liquid Logic Scooter = Total spud playboat that will definitely give you a bad time on the river if you’re not used to the edges and you can’t roll.

Pete Strand rolling SOF = It’s my “roll or die” boat. While you can wet exit from this boat, you do have to be calm and collected to do so. A beginner who manages to squeeze themselves into this boat would have a VERY bad time if they couldn’t roll.

But, With Strand’s Boat…

– Last Updated: Jun-27-06 10:18 AM EST –

you don't need to wet exit. With that deep V and flare sides, you are probably more stable just lying on your back with the boat on its side. Time for a snooze, right... :)


“I’ve seen 5’3” women in Shadows and Chatham16, they were so stable it was hard for them to lean the kayak with ease. Match the boat to the paddler."

My wife is slightly over 5’ and 115# and has ridden horses all her life. She has yet to find a seakayak that is tippy to her (after paddling a month or two she tried a Nordcapp and found it boringly stable) Her biggest problem is finding one that is tippy enough to lean easily and has a design displacement close to her weight. Finding boats with cockpits that provide a good fit for her is easy, but finding a boat that matches her is not. Two very different things.

An advanced boat…
… is one that will encouraged/assist/require you to advance your skills - or be able to take full advantage of them if you are “advanced” yourself.

It’s all relative. “Advanced” only tends to appeal to those who are interested in, and see a benefit from, advancing. For a hard cutoff of which hulls are or are not, I’d agree with Sing’s list.

are not synonymous.

I would term a boat that requires you to advance your skills a ‘demanding’ boat. IMHO it is a different, though not necessarily unrelated, characteristic than ‘advanced.’ I’m thinking of advanced as more closely related to ‘capable’ as a characterization.

I Have Learned
the value of outfitting and the relative value of the paddler makes a lot of differance. The eddyline may have been easier for the owner to paddle if the outfitting were such that she fit the boat. An experience paddler in the Eddyline could very well have paddled circles around a less experienced paddler in the Romnany. The paddler makes a very big differance.

Not sure what the definition of an advanced boat is. All boats are not designed to do the same things.

Happy Paddling,


Strand boat is not challenging,…
… and so not “advanced” to me. Paul’s is the easiest I’ve ever rolled, very stable, and light to carry. An “easy” boat in many ways - except maybe on my knees getting in! Wouldn’t be my choice for touring though.

Like Alex, I no longer have any kayaks I’d stick a rank beginner in. Closest would be the Pintail or Sparrow Hawk (which are supposedly good for small paddlers but I still find a bit bargey). Their smallish cockpits are not exactly newbie friendly though. My QCC 700 has seems beginner friendly to me now - but I can remember when it wasn’t. The Tsunami X-1? Nope - I’ve talked 3 out of buying it already and steered them to wider plastic. My SOF or ski? No way. Still, of these I’d only consider my ski advanced - and that’s just because I haven’t put in any seat time and so can’t really handle off glassy water. The rest are pretty “average”.

Not meant to be synonymous

– Last Updated: Jun-27-06 2:14 PM EST –

I used all three to reflect how different paddlers react to them.

"Capable" could apply to a fat rec boat is used on a pond. A Romany could well be described as "capable" - but few would call it "advanced" except in a very direct comparison to an older or more rec orineted model.

No boat is "capable". Some paddlers are capable with their chosen gear on their chosen venues (the rest of us mostly lucky).

I get the sense you see "advanced" is a bit of negative term/experience. Using "demanding" being a dead give away. It's not inaccurate - just not a very positive spin on things.

I've found that for every bit of challenge/skill I work to acquire I am rewarded many times over in returns. Balance is an excellent example. Rolling even more so (and very related). These give you back MUCH more than you have to put in.

My less than 19" wide x nearly 20' long and somewhat round bottomed SOF would be "advanced" to most paddlers - yet I find it remarkably well behaved and predictable - requiring very little attention at all. It requires some adaptation, getting more comfortable with use, but is certainly not demanding. It is a good platform to advance my skills by further developing my balance, flexibility, forward stroke, and rolls.

Watching a K1 paddler or surf ski racer in action it is clear they don't find their craft particularly demanding either - but can still advance their ability using them.

My now dock solid 700 was a bit "demanding" for a few months. Now my surf ski is my only attention getter.

Mt point here is simply: "Demanding" is a temporary thing.

What an "advanced" kayak (relative to wherever you are at now) demands up front in terms of attention and get acquainted seat time will be paid back in spades - IF you are interested in, or have any use for, that sort of thing.

The trick is advancing in things that appeal, and at a pace that remains positive. Bite off more than you can chew and it can be less than productive. There is and will always be an active "like new"/"barely used" surf ski market.

wrong Strand boat…
sing, you’re referring to Pete’s crazy storm qajaq which I’ve only seen pictures of. Mine is just a standard rolling SOF which was modeled after Maligiaq’s and Cheri’s rolling SOFs. It is pretty stable although because it is pretty much a surfboard, it has no secondary stability. Edging it often results in a flip.

Heck if you are a confident roller, the boat is the easiest rolling boat you’ll ever get in. The problem is that if you aren’t a confident roller or tend to panic, you’ll probably rip the boat apart trying to get out.

Association And Mental Imagery…
when I think of Strand, I automatically think of that “V” boat that likes to lie on its side. :slight_smile: