Boats with lots of "glide"

Not wanting to start arguments but I’m looking for my first touring/seakayak to use on flatwater camping trips. I will probably end up with a plastic boat and need a boat for 6’3" 185lbs. I just want a boat that glides well. The only long boat I have ever used is an artic tern pygmy I think.

Think “long and narrow”
My two cents worth!

Before you settle on a boat that someone says glides well, get the specs on the boat and compare it with other boats specs



Too many to choose from
Start by asking yourself what you liked and disliked about the Arctic Tern. Then think about priorities. How important is boat weight? What about beam? Did the 23 inch term feel stable or tippy? Is material a high priority? Seat comfort? Sie of hatch compartments?

If you can try a few more long boats, you will get a better idea about what you want and don’t want.

Look at a Tempest that fits you.

Lots of glide. I think that glide also has a lot to do with hull design.

Anything with strong tracking
The Tempests should be good there, as well as RM versions of the Valley Aquanaut, and there are older ruddered designs like the CD Storm that would also fit the bill as trippers. The newer skegged boats would probably be a better choice for other purposes.

Freedom to SURGE? one of the 6 degrees of freedom.

any friction generated by the boat will reduce it’s freedom to SURGE. so…stability is generally compromised. Race boats glide the best, recreation boats (read STABILITY) the worse.


Glide in a plastic boat?
The major detractor to glide is abrasion and scratches on the bottom.

And on a plastic boat they are there to stay.

If glide is that important to you you are looking at the wrong material.

I don’t know how it necessarily rates in “glide” as compared to other boats but if you are looking for a good flatwater camping boat the Tsunami is a good choice. The 140/145 or 160/165 are relatively narrow and long (generally considered good glide and tracking) but are very stable and still have tons of storage space as well as a pretty comfy seat. I just purchased a Tsunami 165 and am just starting to learn what all it can do.

by having a generally narrow profile low the Tsuanmi and Pungos for that matter, have reduced wetted surface and tend to glide OK. working upwards from the narrow profile into the chine area the boat gets w i d e r, hense the good seconary stability. U can have your cake and eat it 2.



All the comments above are true.

My Cayuga glides and glides. I am very impressed with it. I know it is not the King of performance, but for a plastic boat with the bottom ground up, I cannot complain. I would suggest trying a few and if you have a GPS, you might use that to get some speed data and momentum (glide) numbers you can use to make a good analysis.

Don’t forget, adding weight will increase glide. So when you test an empty boat, it may perform different loaded. Maybe better, maybe not.

Read some user reviews here concerning the Tsunami vs Cayuga. It is only user impressions and not science. You have to do the comparison yourself.

Meanwhile, I find myself gliding very little. I am more into getting the heart rate going.

But when I am relaxed paddling the Cayuga with my wife in my rec kayak, she really moans about my lack of effort. (gliding mostly) I suppose I COULD let her try the Cayuga. Naaaahhhh…

That’s why
I mentioned that it had to do also with hull design. I would think that how sharp the entry and stern area are would affect glide also. Lookiing at Tsunami 120 that a friend was paddling, the bow looked very sharp low on the hull and then flared up higher up.

PLastic boat with Glide
Prijon Barracuda

It seems to me that glide…
is a function of the speed of the hull. The faster the hull, the better the glide.

Try a
Hurricane Tracer. Thermoform plastic (stiffer than RM at about the same price . . . good glide

KayakMedic is wrong (again)
KayakMedic incorrectly posted:

"Glide in a plastic boat?

Posted by: kayamedic on Sep-19-07 10:30 AM (EST)

The major detractor to glide is abrasion and scratches on the bottom.

And on a plastic boat they are there to stay.

If glide is that important to you you are looking at the wrong material.


If you knew more about hydrodynamics, you’d realize how mistaken you are…

Smooth to the touch (scratched/abradions) has nothing to do with drag coefficients on a kayak… well it does, but it is virtully impossible to measure. (even in a laboratory environment)

The drag form the bow shape/displacement is THOUSANDS of times greater than that of a scraped up old hull.

Disagree with me? Then you disagree with a major designer of Current Designs boats as well…

We’ve had this discussion before.

Sounds interesting. Where can I read more about this? Thanks.

Prijon Kodiak

Based on a conversation…
I had w/ Kurt Renner form CD…

I was interested in “upgrading” to a FG or Kevlar boat… because of this issue.

Instead of selling me a new boat, he explained how and why this was the very LAST reason to upgrade to a new boat.

CD has done TONS of research into the issue with computerized boat “dimpling” etc…

Too long of a convo to paraphrase, but it makes sense…

Wenonah Voyager can outglide
most anyrhing mentioned and it’s a canoe.