Andromeda - Question

I am 6’ 2" and 190lbs, and at the point where I think I’m outgrowing my Dagger Specter 15.5 (skill-wise, not size/weight). I want a thinner faster boat, and one with more aggressive thigh braces as I’ve learned to roll and like the CD designs I’ve tried. My storage options and expedition needs cap my boat length ideally at around 17.5ft or so… 18ft would be pushing it.

I was looking on the CD site and like the way this boat looks, and I’m just wondering… since I don’t see as much chatter on this as the QCC or Epic boats how it stacks up…

As always, all advice is greatly appreciated.


There are much better boats
I will be real with you about this boat. Look elsewhere. The CD promotional words are simply not near accurate. They have some quite good boat designs. This is one that was a problem right from the start.


  1. Very short acutal boat length in the water, like only 14 ft. The boat is NOT A POCKET ROCKET as they say. It is very inefficient above 4k. You will suffer regardless of how good your forward stroke is.

  2. The boat has less than 5lbs of secondary stability to resist and assist with edging, sculling, turning, etc. It has a V hull shape so virtually no primary stability. So this boat only is loved and feels OK in the hands of a short and very light person who has a very low center of gravity.

  3. Sea Kayaker review says all this above and also says to top this off the boat turns rather poorly especially for a boat with this much rocker and this little speed.

  4. It does roll smoothly and rather easily, but then again so do many other faster and more turnable boats.

  5. It was to be balanced designed many years ago and only as a boat that when heavily loaded would track well in ocean expedition conditions. There is some truth in this set up. Heavily loaded witha heavy paddler the water line increases dramatically the boat is less twitchy and it is faster. Still it does not turn well even then.

    I am not a person who is critical and can’t see the strengths in a boat or a person. So for me to be this negative take it as having allot of experience with boats over 25 years and when I look at a broad category of boats this is a design that should be taken off the market imo. Frankly, its promotion is close to being a gross misrepresentation of the facts, something that CD does not do with any of its otherwise fine boats.

    Why not ask a follow up question about yourself, one with your dreams, interests, and places you want to learn to paddle. A fine boat that really fits you, is comfortable, and inspires confidence will literally turbo charge your skill aquisition! As an instructor and coach, I encourage you to ask here and elsewhere to widen your choices.

    Good luck and feel free to disagree and bounce ideas off all of us!!! With a bit more info regarding you we could suggest some alternatives

A great/helpful response…bravo!

Is an older design
As above, CD has made some boats that were absolute standout boats for their time, like my older Squall and the Solstice line, and should be congratulated for putting the Rumour into production. In fact they redid the Squall mold because it still a hugely respected boat on the ocean. But their older, higher decked designs are not what many paddlers would choose today because they don’t support the full range of skills work as adeptly as a lot of the newer boats. If you are thinking of pushing your skills, or doing Greenland stuff, there are boats out there that’ll make it easier and be more flexible.

I agree
The previous post was on the mark. The Andromeda has incorporated the worst of worlds (low stability, unexceptional speed and performance) into one design.

You’ll not see a bad review (e.g. “this boat blows, don’t buy it”) in Sea Kayaker magazine, as they are beholden to their advertisers to one degree or the next and I’m sure their policy is to not say anything negative or which would come across as vitriolic or mean spirited, (like message boarders such as we are at liberty to do…) Their reviews are good and have a lot of worthwhile information (e.g. they tend to accurately record the true weight of the boats they review, which is consistently several pounds higher than most manufacturers will say), so, getting the most out of their reviews requires some reading between the lines, and their review of the Andromeda, viewed through this prism, is one of the worst you will see in that magazine . If you’re going to get a 17’ long boat that’s 20” wide, get something like a Sirius, which gives speed and performance as a tradeoff for the lowered stability one would expect in a 20” wide boat. (20” wide boats, however , can have some measure of initial stability; you might check out some of the new Impex boats, like the Force 3 & 4)

Thanks to Evan and everyone else for the great feedback on this boat… message received. As requested, here are my current skills and goals:

Skills, such as they are:


I can low/high brace fairly well, but haven’t REALLY pushed myself yet in conditions.

I can make decent forward and sweep strokes, as well as draws. Recently, (posted earlier) I reached 5.4 mph for a while in my Dagger and maintained over 3mph for a couple of miles.

I am in the process of getting a solid C to C roll and Sweep roll, with my most recent pool session ending up with a 5 out of 5 C to C’s, but using a borrowed Solstice… not my Dagger. I felt like I could roll that boat MUCH easier.

Goals (skills):


I want to learn to put a boat on edge and keep it there for a while… the Dagger is very difficult to edge, although the Solstice I played with was much easier (I could get over an inch of the skirt wet and still felt stable!).

Sculling… not sure how much this has to do with the boat, but in any event it is a goal… I want to be able to scull the boat around as well as lay out on the water… all in the interest of learning how to feel comfortable while horizontal.

More rolling… I love it… and want to get much much better at it. I’d love to eventually learn to roll sans paddle.

Lastly, I want a boat that I’ll feel challenged by as well… so I don’t buy a new one every 6 months, although there’s nothing wrong with that :-).

As for what type of paddling… I live in MD so there is plenty of flatwater as well as open coastal opportunities… and we spend a lot of time in the Outer Banks as well so sound and ocean time is also in the cards.

I know that’s a lot of info, but anyone who feels compelled to read all of this and make some boat recommendations, I sincerely appreciate it. (Evan, I appreciate your e-mails as well on this topic).

Thanks folks,


I read this post with great interest as I had the same experience with this boat as did Evans in that the description and the performance seem to be quite distant from each other.

IMHO There are many other boats out there that sould much more suitable i.e. Tempest 170,Impex Carrituck, P & H Capella 169 and Sirius, Dagger Meridian, NDK Explorer etc…

Good luck


No primary stability?
I guess I’m a bit curious on the “no primary Stability” of the Andromeda comments. Geez… I’ve come pretty close to sleep, upright in the cockpit of this boat, and I weight in at 185lbs and am 6’2". IMHO I’ll have to disagree on this one, say what you will. The boat is a hoot in the ‘rough’ and surfs nicely also, and for it’s short waterline, I for one still think it moves very well in a straight line, I don’t seem to have any trouble keeping up with anyone, and the skeg is rarely deployed outside of high winds. Granted, it will never beat my K.S. Vivianne, but then not much else around, other than my buddys marathon boat, will. A tender boat? No way.

can’t argue with taste but facts yes
Hey more power to you dude. That you can fall asleep in a boat with that little secondary has more to do with your balance than the boat’s ability. My for real compliement, really!

Check out the Sea kayak stats though. You will find that it has one of the lowest secondary stability numbers. I am 6’ 3" 178 and if I put a low foam seat in it, and have my legs stretched out I balance fine in it too, but I have 25 years of paddling and some in race yaks and such.

But then compare it with any of the other boats mentioned and they all have much more. Yes it tracks well, on a rail actually, but many others track as well but turn better and have more of everything.

Again, more power to you. For sharing a perspective with novices or intermediates just wanted them to have a view about differences a boat can make. The more experience you have to some degree one can make any boat do more, yes?


Lest we not forget… facts are often no more than one mans or womans perception, though maybe different than anothers, of the same thing. Boats are like women… what you may think to be a ‘dog’, another may think to be a thing of beauty. To each his own, yes? :^)

I’m 6’1 and 225. I tried out a friend’s Andromeda a couple of years ago in calm water, and it didn’t feel as “twitchy” as a Nordkapp - and that wasn’t as bad as I was led to believe either. I was surprised I could fit in the Andromeda, but it wouldn’t be anything more than a day boat for me, given my weight. I couldn’t see loading a week’s or more gear into it like I do with my Explorer HV.

It did feel “short” on the water because of the short waterline length. I didn’t have a chance to try it in real conditions, but it didn’t seem like it would be that bad. Personally, I’d choose the Nordkapp over the Andromeda though.

I too contemplated
the CD Andromeda. I never did have the opportunity to paddle one, I went ahead and chose the P&H Sirius. Granted it is a 20" wide boat, I found it to be a stable boat. I am only five foot six inches and one hundred and forty pounds. I have no trouble standing in my sirius and paddling around. When I was reading reviews, I found that there was nothing written about the andromeda that really spoke out to me. I would however like to try one. But based on some infobrought to light in this stream, I can’t say I would be able to take a drastic reduction in speed.

I greatly reduce the amount of boats available to me, as I refuse to think about purchasing a boat any wider than 20".

Good luck to you.


Me too,
I like the Jubilee version of the Nordkapp and the NDK Explorer. Tried the Andromeda and didn’t find it very tippy, though a definate squeeze into the cockpit. Didn’t really do anything in it but roll around and do edging and maneuvering.

Two things that would prevent serious consideration:

  1. Extruded seams, as opposed to glass seams, are weaker and when they leak will be very, very hard to detect source of leak.

  2. Glued in plastic bulkheads are too weak to support a foot pump. Have known quite a few who have suffered from having to reinstall a plastic or foam bulkhead. Say no to the gimmicks and get a real bulkhead. CD does provide an option for glass bulkheads.

    You may wish to consider NDK Greenlander Pro and Valley Aquanaut to your list.

    Augustus Dogmatycus


For skills work in 17.5’ range…

– Last Updated: Nov-15-05 2:21 PM EST –

nothing beats an Explorer. If you want speed in a boat that supports skills I'd say try an Aquanaut and Ellesmere.

Among Brit style boats the Naut and Ellesmere are near the top as far as least resistance at and above 5 knots. They are also both very competant boats in big seas and well suited to deepening skills.

for sure
yes and talking about stuff sometimes does not find the common ground that is present either. Once one gets into opinions about someone’s boat it can be like religion so hey, who knows what got into me to tread into this territory.

Derek H. seems to think
it’s a fine boat. Says so in one of his books… :wink:


do you have a budget?

– Last Updated: Nov-15-05 6:21 PM EST –

new prices jumped up a lot this year,,search around because some shops have old inventory. The Chatham 17 is a decent boat although not as slick/efficient as some might like but I like it's minimal weathercocking and downwave performance.

oh,,a CD Caribou,,that would work also,correction you might be a might tall for it. Snobs don't give the Gulfstream high marks but I like it.

Nordkapp reputation

The newer Nordkapps (starting with the Jubilee, I think) are very different boats from the original.

The ORIGINAL Nordkapp was designed to be paddled with equipment (ie, extra weight) which tends to make any boat more stable. Without this extra weight, the ORIGINAL boat had a reputation of being tender. This reputation is not applicable to the new Nordkapps!

The new Nordkapps do not appear to have significantly less stability (primary or secondary) than an Aquanaut (to me at least).

While the new Nordkapps might not appeal to a beginner, it is not the “expert” boat the original was!

Valley redesigned the Nordkapp to appeal to more people and kept the “prestigious” name.

I’ve got three boats you’re welcome to try: Perception Shadow–which happens to be for sale! :wink: ;-)(16’8"x22"), Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 (17’x22"), CD Extreme (18’10"x21").

p.s. The Shadow is for sale!