Boat styles

Can someone refer me to a place that explains the difference between boat styles, e.g. Greenland, British etc?

you’re a busy
poster, eh?

have you tried google?


yep, very busy
any idea how many places pop up with “greenland” “british” and “kayak”


– Last Updated: Sep-07-05 12:16 AM EST –

is like saying drink instead of juice. There's enough other stuff in there that marketing is a major reason for the terms.
Look at some British kayaks,,then google up the various links you can find on

Ah, shucks…
Your question is not easily answered. It’s kind of like asking “Whats the difference between a German car, and American car, and Korean car?” There is no way we can answer your question in a satisfactory manner in a short forum. In a previous post, you bashed other people’s opinions, so I assume we should be careful to avoid “opinions.” With that being the case, you should refer to the “objective” manufacturer’s sights. Good luck.


– Last Updated: Sep-07-05 12:45 AM EST –

for the link, Leeg

What opinion bashing?
If you asked me to name differences between the three cars, I could easily do it, whether it be styling, drive train, power train, whatever. I understand that this is a short forum, which is why I asked for a good place to look for descriptions. The manufacturers sites don’t explain what a Greenland style boat is, or what the benefits/downfalls are, they just say that it is that kind of boat. I am sorry that my lack of knowledge has caused you to second guess your own opinions. Thanks

How would you quickly describe the differences between the three cars without making generalizations? You couldn’t do it in a concise manner to someone who had very limited knowledge about cars. You admitted that you didn’t know much about kayaks in the same post where you bashed others’ opinions in the product reviews section. For one person’s needs, a KIA might be the perfect vehicle (10 of 10) because it meets all of his needs and makes him happy. Another person may rate a BMW the perfect vehicle because it meets all of his needs. See what I’m getting at? Just trying to make a point. I’m sorry you are bitter about your kayak decision, but don’t blame the product review section. Hopefully you will make a more informed decision this time around and remain happy with your boat for a longer period of time. I don’t recommend a Greenland style boat such as the Arctic Hawk…but thats just my opinion.

Search archive
There have been many threads about kayak ‘styles’ or design ethics. Here is one on Brit style:

Thanks. That’s much more helpful. Why not the Arctic Hawk? Or Greenland style boats in general? You obviously have some knowledge and that’s what my original question was about. I didn’t bash anyone’s opinion, I laid fault to the system. There is no one who drives a kia that wouldn’t rather have a nicer car. That doesn’t mean that the Kia is a bad car, it just means that a nicer car exists: it doesn’t make it a “10”. I understand your point, which is why I stated what I was looking for in my original post. I’m not bitter about my purchase, even though it was a bad one. I read all the great reviews, leafed through brochures, talked with dealers, and made my decision. I figured that that approach didn’t work last time, and most likely won’t work this time, so I asked for help from people that actually paddle, all over the world, in the same conditions I regularly experience, and who wanted the same thing out of a boat that I want. I’m not sure why you took it personally that I pointed out that every boat got great reviews, and every boat cannot be great.

thank you
much appreciated

Easy enough
I see the distinction between what I would call North American boats and British / Greenland styles, as pretty clear. Traditional North American, or Pacific North American kayaks are wider beamed, rudder dependant workhorses that are capable of hauling a lot of gear in a stabile platform. These kayaks are good for folk who like to go from A to B and haul lots of stuff. Easy for fishing, photography, guiding etc. These boats are capable of some serious conditions, but are not necessarily fun (playful). Companies like Epic and QCC have incorporated race design principals to this category and the results are fast touring kayaks. albet not playful rough water or rock gargen craft.

Brit / Greenland styled craft tend to be lower volume, narrower, more rockered craft that may not have flat water speed in mind, rather be meant more for rough water conditions, high wind etc. Typically these kayaks are rudderless (skeg is typical) and have water tight hatches and bulkheads. They look more sleek in general and tend to be smaller all round, though both categories fall within a general range of 16-18 ft.

Many choices within each category, and all will allow you to float and go from one point to another. People who are interested in skills such as rolling, surfing, etc., tend toward the Brit / Greenland styles, while those who enjoy touring and camping can do fine with a ruddered North American boat.

It’s interesting to me to see the trends in the industry toward a blend of the two. North Americans are fat and weak, (as a rule), and boats that worked 20 years ago are no longer popular. Companies like Valley are coming out with more tracky stabile craft to serve the American market. Tempest 170…an Americanised Brit style boat. Pintails are special order soon??? There you go…Aquanauts selling well…probably way more than Nordkaps!

Bottom line to me is figure out what you wanna do and choose the boat that fits your butt and speaks to you. Many good choices.

Had no problem with your post until

“North Americans are fat and weak, (as a rule)”

I don’t know where your “rule” book is, but if you show it to me I can show you where to shove it.

(btw, spare me your “just sharing observations” prattle.)

ok now I am curious
I am curious as to how the Tempest 170 is an “americanized” brit boat. What aspects of the boat are typically “brit” and what specifics are “american”

Since I own one I find my education severely lacking as I obvioulsy don’t know and would like to hear (read) the comparisons.

Perhaps Flatpick would care to comment also?

BTW the comment about someone driving a KIA would certainly want to drive a beter car (BMW) if they could is incorect. That is a blanket generalization. I could certainly afford what you might consider to be a bette car. I just don’t see the necessity to either impress myself or my neighbors. (not much of a car buff I guess)


higher volume, gucci seat adjustments that work great on the showroom floor for a range of paddlers but on the water it’s not any better for a range of paddlers, mondo marketing lead-up in magazines, hatches appear to be marketed with inadequate testing using new technology as initial reports of cracked center plastic were being reported.

I have an Arctic Hawk and a hard chined SOF…just like hard chines, low decks, low windage, no bulges or curves…

Don’t know if that means I like “Greenland” style boats or not…but also want to add a NDK Greenlander to my fleet now too…heh heh .

To each his own. Stop worrying about styles and go with your gut feelings regarding how it paddles, feels, rolls, and looks to you.

Great info so far…
Hope your getting the info you are looking for, Al. I didn’t take personal offense to your comments. You indicated that you were pointing out the flaws in the system, and I was simply pointing out the flaws in your argument. LeeG made some great points about the Americanized Brit boat. That dosen’t mean that boats such as the Tempest are bad, they simply incorporate elements that take away some of the “charm” of true British style kayaks. However, if you take a look at the P&H Capella RM you will find that it is also an “Americanized” Brit boat that is made in Great Britain by a traditional British manufacturer. Go figure huh? I suggested that traditional Greenland styles would not suit you do to the nature of their design, i.e. the narrow beam, hard chines, ultra-low decks, minimal fluff, etc. Hey SLOVRIEN!–When you buy your Greenlander, are you going to donate your Arctic Hawk to a worthy cause, er, my cause? Had to ask!

don’t recommend a Greenland style boat such as the Arctic Hawk…but thats just my opinion.

just curious, why?

The Arctic Hawk is just about as authentic a replica as one can find of a Greenland boat built in modern materials. Mark Rogers is an old friend and I have spent many hours building boats and paddling with him. He knows GL boats!


for the right price…
My Hawk is fully padded/outfitted with foam bulkhead, seat, etc so you probably wouldn’t like it…too comfy. ;^)

Hey, but if you have a NDK Greenlander, drop me an email!!

comfort/ friendly
you might say the "Americanized’ Tempest is more comfortable and friendly than many (most!) Brit boats. Glass workmanship, outfitting and finish might come into play?? Weight (or lack of) ??

fyi- I refer to ‘friendly’ as comfort and predictability in the stability (roll) and maneuverability (yaw) curves.