AT-17 vs Shearwater 17 vs Chatham17

-- Last Updated: Oct-20-09 4:35 AM EST --

Hi, this is just a continuation of my original post about when to build a kayak kit. I'm tired of my poly Chatham 17 and trying to decide between building the Pygmy Arctic tern 17 and the CLC Shearwater 17. I was wondering if anyone had a lot of experience with the two kits and can directly compare their performance to each other and to the Chatham 17 or a Perception Shadow (my last 2 touring boats that I'm familiar with). I know either kit is going to be much lighter with the AT-17 much higher in volume and more stable, but are they noticeably faster going straight and is not having a skeg an issue? What's the storage and stability of the Shearwater compared to the Chatham?

I'm 5'10", 185 lbs and will be using it for mostly day paddling, but need light touring storage sometimes. I can almost roll, but I'm pretty good at the cowboy scramble for now. Choppy seas and calm lakes / rivers and an extra long GP are the other variables. Sorry to keep beating this dead horse, but I'm going ahead with one of these kit soon and want confirmation on a few issues/suspicions. Thanks again.

AT 17
I can only speak about the AT but the stability was tremendous. I could crawl forward and retrieve objects from the forward hatch in calmer waters. I never felt the need for a skeg and at 42lbs. I used it as a day boat and I am about your size. It’s not a trickster but a comfortable solid boat. I wouldn’t call it a rolling boat but it can be rolled. You can usually get you money back selling it if you do a good job, not much for your labor though.

I do like the looks of the CLC with the strip deck.

AT 17
I know it’s got a 23" beam, but Wow, that’s really stable. I’m now wondering how slow that would be compared to the other boats I mentioned. I wonder if it could be modified to be pointier and lower in volume before building it…

All the boats you speak of…

– Last Updated: Oct-20-09 9:00 PM EST –

are very close in speed, toss up.

There are VERY few people with the skill and knowledge to successfully recut a kit on there own, and virtually ZERO on their first build.

Get the Shearwater with the strip deck... pretty boat