Any boat recommendations for...

I have a composite Chatham 17. It is a great all purpose boat IMO. I can pack 5 days of gear (at least) for the infrequent camping trip, but it also works fine as a day boat. If I could only have one boat, this would be it. But I think I can have two boats. I am now wanting a boat that is a little more maneuverable, probably a little shorter, and a nice soft chine so that I can really lean and edge aggressively - like have water starting to come onto the deck. I’d like a boat that responds very well to some of the often taught but infrequently used strokes like a bow rudder (Duffek, or whatever its called). And I’d like a low deck. In my old Chesapeake I could balance brace, but the Chatham will have none of it. I want something that works well in surf - more of a day/play boat, but still something that is a regular kayak. Boats I am considering and hope to demo this summer, based purely on some reviews, are the P&H Capella, Point 65N Whiskey, Anas Acuta, and Romany. I dealer suggested I also consider the Impex Montauk (which he said is very similar to the Romany), the Maelstrom Vital, and the P&H Cetus LV.

I would love to get some more opinions as to other possibilities, or as to the ones listed above. FWIW, I am a very experienced paddler (but just in 3 boats, about 5’6" and 190 lbs.

Thanks a bunch

Additional suggestions
Instead of the Montauk take it’s originator the North Shore Shoreline (now called the Atlatic LV), Northshore Polar you’d probably have a hoot with and the Cetus LV would all fit the parameters but for your weight the Cetus MV might be better, although it’s a longer boat so I don’t know how set you are in a shorter length kayak.

Other suggestions will follow I’m sure.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Other ideas
BTW, I don’t quite agree that the Montauk (or its alter ego the Northshore) comps to the Romany in a way that makes one replace the other, but you can try them and see for yourself.

Just for fun I’d suggest you add the Nordkapp LV to that list, though definitely a boat that you should try out. It has good speed for when you do want to go straight but is quite maneuverable. It balance braces great, and has real enthusiasm for getting you into the correct position to do it. These boats are fairly rare in quantity, but tend to circulate used so it’s worth checking around.

In the Capella line, you’d be talking the 161, yes? I think it is by far the closest in that line to the behavior you want.

If you want to go plastic, and are willing to go out and test the heck out of a given boat’s hatches for their water tightness (or not), you may want to try the apt size of the Dagger Alchemy. It comes in two volumes. Very responsive boat - just not always the driest. Used one at a demo recently and the rear bulkhead area did like to acquire water.

The TideRace Xcite
An Aled Williams design he describes as a third or fourth generation Romany(which he designed when he and Nigel were partners). He also designed the Rockpool line.

I Like WS Boats
Put the shorter Zephyr on your list if you like getting up on edge. Try the Tempest 165, too.

Avocet, Elaho DS

– Last Updated: May-11-10 1:52 AM EST –

One has to consider an Avocet when considering day boats.

I would also suggest an Elaho DS. The original version of the Necky Elaho is a blast - 15'9", ww outfitting, very rockered, drop skeg.

I'm 6', 185 and my playboats are a Romany and an Elaho DS. For thrills I paddle a Nordkapp LV.

Add the Pintail to your list…
…though that may be going too far toward the maneuverable end of the spectrum.

RE: Pintail
A friend has a classic Pintail (older flat aft deck etc…). He uses it as his every day boat. One time paddling with him, I mentioned that I had heard that the Pintail was the boat no one could paddle straight. His response was “Really? I’ve heard that some even have skegs?”

I’d also look at the Impex Mystic.

The pintail
It’s a great way to work on your forward stroke technique. If you’re going straight, you know you’re doing something right!

That said, I love the pintail for all around day-touring and cruising. If I’m with slower groups it’s fine for 2-3 day trips too. The times I start dreaming of another boat is when I’m doing long slogs with a full camping load, and my partners are strong paddlers in sleek boats. Then it starts to feel like it’s pushing a lot of water.

Definitely worth a try if you’re considering play boats!

Eddyline Fathom LV? Delta 16?
These are two that I’m considering, which seem to fall into your category. They don’t get much talk. But, I like the thermoformed plastic material.

Chatham 16 composite!
You described it perfectly. Try it… It will make your 17 feel boring. Entirely different hull. Listen to me on this…I know.

Nigel Foster recommends the…
Point 65N Whiskey 16.

He recommended it to me when I asked he to name me one boat as a “surf boat”. He was paddling it at the time. Of course, he neglected to mention he designed it. I didn’t get a chance to paddle it because every time I went over to demo it (ECCKF) he was in it!

I have a Dagger Alchemy S that I am going to bring out to the surf for the first time next week. To date, my limited surfing has been in my WS Tempest 170 (plastic).

Oh, my instructor friend paddles an 18’ Chatam and surfs awesome in it. Only thing she uses to surf.

I did demo a Tiderace (can’t remember the model) and thought it was a lot of fun but I was on a pretty calm little lake.

Bill G.

Mt. Pleasant, SC,

Not a sea kayak surfer yet, but I will get it.

if you want something with soft chines

– Last Updated: May-17-10 3:22 PM EST –

then you can take the Anas Acuta off your list. It's a very hard chined boat. But it's definitely a very manueverable boat.