Any "Swift" users out there?

Just noticed the new Swift “Saranac 15” and thought it looked real nice. I’m thinking about downsizing from a Necky “Narpa” which I love, but at ~65 lbs it’s getting a bit much to boost onto my car. At 40 lbs. the Saranac 15 would be quite appealing indeed. Anybody out there have anything to say about the Swift line?

Thanks much,


Suggest you contact…
wetzool on this board. He has paddled a decent amount of the Swift line and he tends to make a boat work hard.

I suggest you come to an understanding of the design characteristics of the hull and how they impact handling. Ask Swift what the shape of the hull is and the significance of each element. Then compare that to where and how you paddle and your paddling skills.

This should be done for every kayak, but I personally feel it’s important with Swift.

Swifts are good kayaks

– Last Updated: Aug-10-12 10:55 PM EST –

Go for it. I was a Swift dealer and paddled every kayak in their line extensively. They are well-designed, well-built rec/light touring kayaks, and the company has excellent customer service. Despite their lightness, they are very strong and tough; my first kayak was a Swift Bering Sea. 11 years later I still have it and my husband has adopted it as his personal boat.

When we closed our business we kept three Kiwassas from our teaching fleet that we now use as guest boats because they accomodate a wide range of body types and sizes, are easy to paddle, and very versatile.

The Saranac is one of their best designs. We sold more Saranacs that any other model (Kiwassas were a close second). We used both models as teaching boats and our students kept buying them from us!

Saranac 15
Thanks all for your comments and advise, and yes, prior to buying any new kayak I’d certainly want to learn more of its handling characteristics etc. That being said, the Swift line is still of great interest to me, and I look forward to learning more about them. It’s too bad Gravenhurst, ONT is so danged far away! :slight_smile: This is my second Necky Narpa in 20 years of paddling, so anything new will take some getting used to.

Swift’s aren’t difficult
What makes them work is that they are pretty easy for a lot of people to get used to, much more so than some of the really old Necky boats which often came with a lot of personality. They are very popular around here, and get a lot of unduly nervous paddles around without dumping them into the river.

As to hull design, the older designs are kin to the older QCC boats, the newer ones move away from that a bit. But I’d advise talking to someone who knows what they are about and has paddled them over looking at schematics unless you are a designer. There is a tendency to get stuck in one aspect of a hull profile and not see the whole picture unless you are used to balancing that out.

Where’s CEW?
I currently own a Saranac 14 Sport and am very pleased with the boat. I use the boat in a variety of conditions from inland waters to coastal paddling with excellent success. The construction and quality is topnotch compared to the QCC 400X that it replaced. The Saranac line of kayaks is a totally different design than the QCC boats. I ordered mine with a skeg but have hardly used it but I do recommend getting it. The light weight just makes you want to go paddling!

Swift Saranacs

– Last Updated: Aug-11-12 8:52 AM EST –

There are three Swift Saranac hulls, the 14 Sport, the 14 Classic and the new 15. All are David Yost designs and have similar handling characteristics.

All are mildly Swede-Form, with minimal stem layout so the Saranacs are quick/fast for their lengths.

With differential rocker they track well enough to not need skegs or rudders although both are available as options. [Probably better to spend the $ on a paddling lesson or two and keep a lighter boat.] The bows come around nicely.

Yost's typically soft chines yield increases in seaworthyness and predictable heeling to enhance turning.

The Classic has finer lines than the 14 Sport, so is a little quicker with a little less wetted surface than the sport. The 15 shares Classic's fine lines but is longer and wider with a larger cockpit to accommodate bigger paddlers.

All three feature Swift's "relaxed fit" seat and cockpit. They are comfortable hulls to paddle

And through the use of infusion technology and aero-space components they are very light and strong.

The X’s are newer

– Last Updated: Aug-11-12 8:16 AM EST –

It is the older QCC boats, pre-X series, as well as the older Swifts, that are closer. The QCC X's were a new workup from QCC as are some of the boats like the Saranac 15 from Swift.

I agree, the Saranac series from Swift and the X series from QCC are not related.

That is why I said what I did - in an open request for experience, someone might come in talking about an older design. Both companies have been selling boats long enough for plenty to be around.