Boat for twisty rivers and extended camp

was wondering if anyone makes about 14ft boat with dual hatchs and rocker for rivers, up to class 3, up to weeks worth of gear. Prijon does, but anyone else?

Current designs Whistler or Valley kayak Gemini SP, in thoughts on them? The SP looks to have rocker in pix…

Wilderness Zephyr
The Zephyr models are very maneuverable and should do well in the conditions you describe. They are a little larger than you spec at 15.5’ for the low vol version and 16’ for the larger boat. A fun boat to take in the tight twisties or big water at the coast.

have a Zephyr 155 and 160, both very maneuverable and nimble

Borrowed a friend’s Delphin 155, also very maneuverable

Read very good things about the 14’ Alchemy

The Dagger Alchemy probably meets your desires, but any of these boats (Alchemy included) would take a skilled paddler to handle the Class III limit you can for.

The P&H Hammer likely would do it.

Truthfully, most expedition white water people probably stick to something like the Pyranha Fusion or the upcoming Wavesport Ethos - 10 foot-ish with a rear hatch.

Jackson Journey

– Last Updated: Sep-12-12 10:24 PM EST –

would be my choice given those parameters. the P&H Hammer looks fantastic but it's not available yet.

There are Class III and then there are Class III... depends what kind of technical features we're talking about, whether they're just occasional rapids on a smooth river or a more demanding whitewater stream, and whether you want to play in the rapids or just truck through 'em.

I've done up to week-long river trips in my Tsunami 140 with some whitewater thrown in, nothing too hairy. It's got some rocker to it but turns best with edging. It's great for camping, I'm sure I can fit more gear & food in the Tsunami than in my Zephyr, but the Zephyr is more fun to paddle.

Class III in a 14’ rec boat
My first thought was “what are you – crazy”. Then I remembered that a buddy of mine just went through Zoar Gap (class III) in a 14’ rec boat. It starts at about 55 seconds in this video.

He did great, actually a lot better than me (I swam). I’d still think twice about running anything too difficult in that boat. If you dump, and the boat pins on a rock, you could lose your boat and your gear. I know this is an older boat and I think the company was bought out. Looks like it is a Sun?

XP10 Grand Canyon Video

– Last Updated: Sep-13-12 10:27 AM EST –

In case you have not seen.

Edited: another interesting boat for twisty river camping.

river kayak
Eddyline Kayaks in WA state makes a model called a Raven. It is around 16 1/2 feet, but has lots of rocker and is very easy to manuever in tight spaces and hydraulics.

Eddyline Raven?

You either have a name wrong or a company wrong. The only 16.5’ boat Eddyline makes is the Fathom. A great sea kayak but not a whitewater river boat. They don’t make a Raven - at least that I have heard of. Maybe a different manufacturer?


new for 2013

Interesting – I wonder how it performs
differently from their Fathom (which also happens to be 16.5’ x 22")? Looks like 1 big difference is the “raked” bow and stern – I assume that shortens the water line (esp. when not loaded) and makes it more maneuverable??? What do you think?

That looks interesting.

if bashing through rapids and rock gardens is really your thing, you can get 3 or 4 plastic boats for that price…

I’m an xp10 owner and like it a lot
I consider it a better whitewater boat than tourer. That being said I use it as my all around boat.The rounded bow makes it very forgiving in whitewater but it is slow on the flats. I have also paddled the Jackson hybrid. It is quicker but has a more old school feel- more pointed on the ends, a little less stable. I also don’t like how the rudder system is put together on the Jackson. I haven’t tried pyranahs hybrid. It would be worth checking out as well.

One of the things that is great about the Liquidlogic boats is that they have comfortable seat and you have a lot of room to reposition yourself when you take your feet off the foot pegs.

If you go with a true rec boat rather than a whitwater boat you might want to consider dialing down the rapids a notch below what you normally paddle. I’ve seen many sea kayaks racing down the new river gorge for Captain Thurmond’s Challenge but for these paddlers the New river, with its class III and IV rapids, is a step down from the Upper Yough, Green, Upper Gauley.

1 Like

Fusion C30
copy that on the Fusion for extended wilderness expeditions; handles well, portages well, packs well…


That is easy class III
Maybe class II+. You can bomb straight through without catching any eddies.

I stand corrected
Funny that the Eddyline website says nothing about the Raven except that it is a discontinued fiberglass model.

Alchemy, Zephyr, Delphin…
…with the right skills are all capable proven platforms for what you are asking for. Your size, fit preference & ability to pack small & light would have a lot to with which boat would be easiest to accomodate you. I’m about 5:10" @ 155# and feel a nice tight squeeze in the Alchemy 14S & Delphin 150, am more comfy but still getting a good fit in the Zephyr 15.5, but feel like I’m rattling around a bit in the Alchemy 14L, Zephyr 16.0 & Delphin 155. With a fast & light backpacking mentality a week or so is not that hard to squeeze into these boats, though I admit I don’t know how effected the handling would become with full loads.

Best of luck,


They probably quit making the Raven because it was an unusual design. It was the first sea kayak that I have ever paddled that belonged on rivers with some rapids.

Including class III?
Lots of different river circumstances are called class III. Technically they all require maneuvering but there are lots of class III rivers I would only take a dedicated WW boat down. Even then I would choose a different boat depending on whether it was pool-drop, rock garden, etc. Most 14 foot boats are not maneuverable enough to handle class III unless you simply have to decide whether to be river left or right and don’t have to catch eddies or ferry back and forth to get around obstacles. You also need to ask what happens if you get pinned? Will your deck collapse and pin you as well? RIP. You cannot decide on a boat until you know which river(s) you intend to go down, what rapids are there and what kind are they. This is a serious safety issue. Depending on the river you are probably better off with one of the three crossover boats that do ok on WW: Pyranha Fusion, Jackson Rogue, and Liquid Logic XP and have a rear hatch for gear.