Am I too big for a Necky Chatham 16?

I’m looking at upgrading to a used Necky Chatham 16 that’s being offered at a great price. My concern is I may be too big to fit the cockpit. I’m 6’, 200lbs with a 34 inch waist. I want to use the boat for rough water play so I want a tight fit for control, but I don’t know if it would be too tight to the point where it’s a safety issue, like causing numb legs or making for difficult wet exits. The boat is a 9 hour drive away, and so just trying it out would be tough. I’m curious about what experience people have had fitting this boat? I’ve seen it go both ways in discussions on here

I have paddled both the 16 and the 17, and yes their cockpits are kind of small… It’s so hard to say without being able to try one though! I once made a mockup cockpit with painters tape to see dimensions before I tried a boat and didn’t think there would be a chance in hell of fitting but when you’re really IN the boat, you move and parts of your body gives, etc.

I do think at 6’0" that it’s going to be small for you but it’s soooo hard. People just vary. I’m 5’7" but it’s all legs so I need bigger boats.

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Too small for 6’/215lb
I am 6 foot and 215 pounds. Have large thighs from years of biking. I do not fit in the boat - literally, my butt wont drop into the seat.

Any retailers near you that carry Necky that you can sit in?

Chatham 16 fits me
At 5’ 3.5" and last time I sat in it a bit lighter, 128 pounds likely on average. I had some extra room but I don’t think enough to make it comfy for you.

But it is not just that, I am thinking that you might be close enough to the top end for its weight that you might not get the same playfulness as someone lighter.

I bet you could squeeze in

– Last Updated: Jan-10-16 10:18 PM EST –

Is it composite or plastic? I sat in a plastic Chatham 16 once, I'm 6'2 and was probably 220 36 waist at the time. I barely fit, could squeeze in but it wasn't a working fit.
Another option might be to remove the seat bracket and remount the seat on the floor giving you a few more inches. You may have to relocate the foot pegs as well, but I'm not 100 % certain about that. Pretty nice boat. I had a plastic Chatham 17 as my first real sea kayak, it was a fun boat, but I got a little too heavy for it, would turn into a submarine in choppy conditions. The plastic 17s looked a little wonky as well, like they hadn't molded correctly. I think the 16 is probably a much better boat, especially if it's composite.

Tried an early composite one.
And at 5’11’ and about 175 the seat hangers were digging into me. I think they might have changed that but it was a no-go then.

My paddling buddy has a 17 and likes it a lot (and I like it too!) but it sits LOW! Sometimes we would raft up and he would ask me to grab something from his day hatch and the hatch cover would be under the water line!

It was changed
big screw up though

Displacement is fine
Your legs are probably long enough to control the kayak without the stock aluminum thigh brace tracks thereby giving you more ease entering/exiting.

I don’t mind taking out the thigh braces and existing seat frame and installing a custom set up if that makes it work. As long as I’m not too big to affect the performance of the boat, then I’m game


– Last Updated: Jan-11-16 8:26 AM EST –

I'm 6'2", 220 pounds with 36" waist and 34" inseam. Fits like a kayak should fit, snug but room to shift in seat. Love my Chatham. Regularly paddle it 10-13 miles with no need to get out due to discomfort. I too have large thighs from years of biking and downhill skiing. Wet exits are not an issue, and actually it rolls so easily I haven't had to do a wet exit in years. Awesome in rough water, but it is a comparatively SLOW boat.

As in I’d fit easily right? What you said is encouraging. I’ve heard it’s comparatively slow, but I’m not worried about that. I’ve been paddling a Manitou 13 for the last 8 years, so almost any longer boat would be a speed upgrade. I live on Lake Erie and I want something that will surf and handle well in wind waves and big chop, and everything I’ve read and heard about the Chatham 16 suggests it’s perfect for that. I do need to finally get rolling down though…

Tried to sit in one

– Last Updated: Jan-12-16 8:46 AM EST –

I'm 6'-2", but at the time I tried to get into a 16' Chatham, I probably weighed around 190. I did get into it, but I only stayed a minute. It was too tight, but if I remember right, the thigh pads could be adjusted.

None of that mattered, except that it put me into a boat that actually did fit (CD Sirocco) and I'm so happy for that. If I were you, I would either try a Sirocco before, or after the Necky.

Yes, easily as in you’d fit no problem
You are very similar in size to me, maybe a bit smaller. It is not a great surf boat due to its speed, or lack thereof. But it’s very maneuverable due to its pronounced rocker, the skeg works well to keep it on track especially with a quartering wind, and the skeg wire is the best I’ve encountered. Holds its position when only partially deployed, never had a problem with it kinking.

See some of the comments about fitting easily. My only experience was about 5 years ago with a Plastic 16. At the time I was very similar in height and weight to you although with a 36 waist. I paddled it all day, but it was uncomfortably tight - particularly the depth at my thighs. YMMV.

Chatham 16 great for such purpose
If you can get into it you would like its maneuverability for that use. This is not a boat that’ll fight you on learning to roll, it behaves roundly… I recall liking its motion going in a circle.