Another new kayak thread...

Hey guys,

Another new kayak thread…

looking to move into a touring boat finally and start pushing my skills, and going on longer 2+ week excursions.

Im a pretty stocky guy, only 5’7 and around 250 lbs.

A boat that I’ve paddled that has stood out to me so far is a Delta 17.

Do you guys have any other suggestions? I work in the outdoor industry so I do have discounts available from CD, Necky, and WS.

Let me know any follow up questions, and I know the best practice is getting out and paddling, but I don’t live in a very good area for that, so doing some internet legwork can help get figure out what will work for me to a certain degree!


From what I have experience with.

Composite = Impex Assateague

Polyethylene Single Layer = Venture Jura HV

Corelite X triple layer polyethylene = P&H Scorpio HV

Where are you located?

Others can chime in with experience in the CD and Confluence models.

See you on the water,
The Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
845-228-0595 main
845-242-4731 mobile

Used Prijon Kodiak, hard to find but good for expeditions and your weight.

For Necky, about all that I would consider is if they still make the Looksha 5/Looksha 17/Looksha Elite. On the whole., Necky is making more recreational style boats and moved away from touring kayaks.

Wilderness Systems makes a decent line, but I am not all that familiar with all of their products. Depending on how much the long trips matter versus day trips, the shorter boats of the Dagger line (sister company to WS), specifically Stratos and Alchemy, may be worth a look. I paddle an Alchemy as my daily driver, and have a longer boat for when I do long trips (which isn’t that often, so really should consider selling and just renting a long boat for the long trips) . For not much more than the retail price of the Delta you liked, you could pro deal an Alchemy or Stratos and a longer WS boat.

Current Designs also has good boats and likely something that fits you, but I don’t know the line well enough to suggest anything.

Your body size is different than mine, so do make sure you test paddle anything you are considering. Don’t base your decision just on our thoughts.

The CD Sirocco would fit you and for the money it is a truly great boat. For twice the money you could have the same thing in composite (Gulfstream). There are two other CD boats that are very high on my list–the Prada and Caribou.

The Delta 17 would probably be a pretty good boat, but I’m not into rudders.

I like the CD Gulfstream. Mine is outfitted with a narrower glass seat. But the standard seat (or I think they may have a wide seat offered as well) is designed to handle a stockier paddler, and should offer some room for someone thicker in the hips and thighs. The deck height should also be good and comfortable for you . Most more recent designs seem to have followed that concept of getting rid of concave curvature in the hull. I think folks have found that when you push hull speed - sprint and race type stuff, any concave areas tend to be the areas where a lot of turbulence is introduced. The other thing that those concave curves can do is create stiffer tracking. At the time of the Gulfstream’s introduction, CD’s Solstice series employed that fine entry at the bow and stern that those concave curves can afford. P&H kayaks like the Sirius, Bahiya, and the stern of the Quest also had concave curvature. Since then, Current Designs redesigned the Solstice hulls to get rid of that, and loosen the hull some for maneuvering. P&H came out with the Cetus, and a big part of that design change was getting rid of the concave curvature in their previous fast cruisers, and a big part of the advertising there was maneuverability. In any case, the Gulfstream is a nicely efficient kayak for its length and rocker profile at a strong cruising pace.
The Gulfstream is considered nice and stable by experienced kayakers. It can feel somewhat wobbly right at first for someone who’s not used to sea kayaks. But it’s a quick one to grow into. I like that stability profile. Some kayaks can be too stiff in their primary stability, and believe it or not, it takes more coordination to smoothly handle your edging when it takes more to put and hold it on edge. I don’t like needing to use a notable effort to pull my kayak up on it’s edge. I want it to respond from just a shift in weight. Otherwise it can feel like you’re fighting it from both sides - trying not to let it go over, and trying not to let it fall back flat. I feel like that takes more coordination. The Gulfstream edges back and forth very easily, between a solid secondary stability you will feel as you edge it significantly over. So it has that sporty, responsive feeling, while still leaving you feeling secure within the bounds of secondary stability.
It’s a fun kayak for rough water and surfing. And it does everything with sea kayaking quite well, except for one thing. Maneuvering. She is a fun girl when it comes to maneuvering. The Gulfstream is actually pretty exceptional in the maneuvering department.

For extended excursions, you definitely want to be comfortable in the cockpit. No snug points just sitting in the seat relaxed. If she’s comfortable for you, it would be a great way to go. A lot of folks get caught up on the width of the kayak for a guy my size (fairly slender). But it performs, so I don’t fret the width. I’ve dismissed that concern with this kayak. For a stocky guy, you should definitely give one a whirl, as it was designed by someone shorter and stockier than I.

I am partial to CD boats. I am partial to rudders. I do practice without rudder in rough water just in case cable snaps which has not happen yet. I like the construction and weights of CD kayaks. I load the Libra XT on my high Ford Excursion myself at 22’ and 100 lb. but light is nice. The few pounds seems to make a difference because of the length when you swing one around. I have to lift mine high to clear a fence when I turn it on my walkway after dragging it up off the floating dock. I am 6’ 235 lb 38" waist think my butt was 44" measured around. I like the fact that CD has a wide base seat option which is more comfortable for me. Better for rotation and leg drive. It is 17" wide. I converted all my CD boats to wide base. Libra XT comes with wide base std. I have only been in rudder boats with the exception of a rental Caribou for 3-4 hours and it felt tight for me with the lower deck. I like the Solstice line and mine is a 2008 not the newer hull. Super comfortable good all around kayak I have never felt uncomfortable sitting in or in rougher water conditions. I can get in my Extreme now called Nomad OK with wide base seat. Bought an HV model for bit more room getting in and will set seat back an exra inch. Sick of dragging my shins in winter all geared up. Look at the cockpit lengths for easy of entry. The other thing that affects the easy of entry is height of cockpit combing in the front. Gulfstream is 30" long but 13.75 high deck opening which helps a lot. Nomad is 29 to 29.75" from what I read. I need to measure it as I see different listing depending on year of catalog. The boat has not changed since Extreme came out. Deck is (13.75"?). HV is plus 3/4" also see different deck heights listed. New Solstice has a 33" long cockpit and 14" depth. They make and Infinity model I could probably get into also. It’s 22" wide

Wayne for University of Sea Kayaking has a Gulfstream for years shown in his vids and he’s a big guy very tall.

What have you tried to date? Don’t panic try a lot of different kayaks. I need to get one kayak without a rudder soon probably a Gulfstream. I did sit in a Impex Assateague in dealers showroom and it has decent room also. Capefear’s advice is crucial “For extended excursions, you definitely want to be comfortable in the cockpit”. So many kayaks so little time! :# The way you can measure your butt width is sit down on a bench and put two cement blocks or similar items snug on each side then stand up. That is how I did it on my road race car seat where your need to be snug also. If you post where you are people may have places you can look or kayaks you could try.

I truly appreciate all of the fantastic info you guys have provided!
I’m in the great white north just outside of Toronto.
It looks like I will have to get into a gulfstream to check it out!

lots of good reviews here on about the Gulfstream which I read last night!

If you have a connection with Wilderness Systems check out the Tempest 170 or a Tsunami 165 or 175. All 3 are great boats, the Tempest will give you more performance but the Tsunami will give you lots of space and comfort. They’re definitely worth trying out before you buy anything else.

Just a little bump…

I was able to check out a solstice GT at a local shop this weekend and the cockpit fit me really well, Would the gulfstream cockpit be VERY similar to this in size? What if I could find a used NDK Explorer? or would I need the Explorer HV?

Thanks again guys!


look on CD web site and compare depth (Deck height), length & width of cockpits. Later Solstices 2010 and later have longer cockpit openings than my 08 which is 31" new ones are 33" as I remember if the one you were in was new likely longer.