Boreal Ellesmere in the rough stuff!

Who out there owns and paddles an ellesmere,

and how do like its handling in rough water

from ocean surf to small lake chop or anything

in between.

I like mine Jay
I’ve paddled an Ellesmere for 9 seasons now and my little fleet is shrinking but if I could only have one kayak it would be the Ellesmere.It’s an early one with the ocean cockpit,rope skeg,very capable in rough seas as it has reassuring secondary stability,good fit and contact with the extra cockpit padding I’ve installed,no leaks or quality issues. It’s been used a lot ,much of the time loaded with camping gear and has developed no stress cracks (carbon kevlar layup if that makes a difference)I’ve installed a keel strip,eliminated the footpegs by moving the bulkhead back and installed an electric bilge pump. Had to move the skeg cleat from the side to the rear deck and would prefer if the backband were further forward to prevent hitting my spine on the rear coaming but I’ve learned to compensate and can still hit my head on the rear deck when doing laybacks.

Are you in the market for one or did you buy already?



Used to own one but had to sell
ran short on money and sold off a couple of

kayaks. I didn’t have to much paddling experience

with ellesmere before I sold, now I have chance

to pick up one at a good price.

Is it one
in Northwestern New York by any chance?



Like mine so far

– Last Updated: Apr-06-08 10:05 PM EST –

Once I got the seat I needed for my old back it is a dream. ( I bought the comfort seat from Boreal) My previous kayak was a Mirage 19 and tracked like it was on a rail unless I used the rudder. My Ellesmere has no skeg and I found it to be "interesting" in surf, wind, and a strong tide. I had to adjust my stroke, which is something I didn't have to before to stay straight. The good thing it is improving my paddling skills with my newly acquired Lumpy Paddle, aka Greenland Paddle.

I also learned to roll with the Ellesmere within the last couple of weeks so I know it will always hold a special place in my one at a time fleet.

Even though I bought the boat second-hand, the folks at Boreal have been quick to respond, helpful, and even sent me some free stuff.

I did my first roll today in a cold lake rather than the warm pool, I nailed it and was very happy to not do a wet exit.

I am waiting for warmer weather to decide how much I like it in the rough stuff. It did well going into the wind and waves but made me a little uneasy with it at my back.(cold water) I believe this is me needing to learn rather than a problem with the Elle.

It turns well and I think it will help me be a better paddler.

Cold water rolls
I wasn’t rolling when I owned ellesmere, but

was out today with recluse rolling in lake

Ontario and what a easy rolling boat the recluse is. I was playing around with seat in recluse

and didn’t have glued in and forgot to take out

on drive home and lost my seat. I’ll price out

new from Betsie Bay kayaks or make one.

I had one
for a short time. The first time I had it out in some rough water, I learned to hate it. The waves were only about 2-3 ft and about 12 ft between crests, they tended to break right over the deck and run up and hit me in the chest.It acted like a submarine starting to dive. In a following, quartering sea, the boat wanted to broach easily. I returned it to the dealer the next day. For a reference, I paddle a NDK Romany and Explorer in the same conditions with no problem what so ever.

Just my experience and opinion, I’m sure others will differ. :smiley:

I’ve heard conflicting opinions
of ellesmere in snoty seas. I guess with rounded

or arch bottom its a bit of an active hull

compared to most shallow vee boats. My recluse

really surpised me how stable that boat is in

lake Ontario chop today.

Was that a superlight one?
My husband demo’ed one that Silver Moon Kayaks was selling. It had been used by shop staff in a race. The thing was incredibly light but they were selling it el cheapo.

I tried it out and didn’t like the fit. Felt too tall. But it wasn’t meant for someone my size anyway. Was very easy to accelerate.

Funny you say that
Those were my thoughts for about the first hour in 20 plus winds, chop, and a very strong current. I thought, what have I done, this thing sucks.

It took a day to figure it out but I tweaked my stroke a bit and I could tell I was learning the manners of the Elle. I went to the Elle for the sole purpose of learning and I am, finally.

I often read all boats are a compromise in one way or another and was afraid my 1K investment was going to be short lived; I now know it is not.

It is difficult to get a straight answer, those that still have any kayak will tend to say nothing negative about it, Those that no longer have it are in love with their new kayak and now it is the best. I thought my Mirage 19 was the best thing on the water until I slipped into the BE

Drop me a line if you would like or have any questions.

How much do you weigh?
That makes a big difference in the buoyancy of the boat. If Jay is considerably lighter than you, he might not experience the same issue.

150-160 depending what time of year

Explorer LV
I liked fit of explorer LV but haven’t paddled

one, only sat in one. Last time I paddled

standard explorer it felt way to big. Alot

harder to find deals on Explorer LV’s.

Buck 95
I was told a little more weight in the Elle may make it track better but I think I just need to work on my forward stroke.

I did notice a little wrist roll at the end on my stoke made a quick correction using a GP paddle.

It won’t be my last boat, I plan to keep it for a year or so then pass it on. It is good for what I am doing now.

that two posters above didn’t care for the rough water handling the first time out.Okole traded it in and Belles perservered and got used to it.

That was my experience when I first took mine out in big seas ,the tender primary stability scared me and I didn’t totally understand the concept of secondary stabilty. I was in conditions way over my skill level at the time but I did make it home without taking a big swim LOL so I guess that’s saying something for it.

Now I find the the boat comfortable and re-assuring in the waves in fact I prefer it over the Pintail especially if I want to go some distance.I think it’s just getting used to a particular hull although I haven’t paddled a lot of other designs to compare.

I favour my Pintail when we’re not going anywhere special,just out to play around for the day or for instructing students because it’s easier to manouver around the pack.

That’s where
I got mine, from Bob & Susan.

Also used to paddle a pintail
so tracking not a problem with ellesmere, its

the rounded arch bottom which is more active.

I get out for week trips in Georgian Bay and

sometimes the weather can whip up and was

considering explorer lv because of the way

it behaves in bigger water. Then found a deal

on ellesmere and got me thinking about this boat


Yes the rounded arch hull
does create some rather sensitive primary stability but also makes it easy to edge.

I’ve been paddling it so long I don’t notice the tenderness anymore. I’d love to take the Explorer out for a day just to see the difference,everyone seems to like how they handle.

With explorer unless your in rougher water

you might find it kinda boring compared to