Cape Horn 15.5 Stability

I love the Cape Horn…

On that note, I noticed the initial stability especally going over chop is a bit tippy.

Was wondering if adding a couple of sand bags to the bow hatch would improve the ride (less tippy)

I am new to kayaking…trying to aviod sea sickness…


Give It Some Time…
just relax and keep the paddle moving. A moving paddle gives stability. You 'll find if you keep yourself relax (especially around the hips), you won’t send mixed signals to your craft. :slight_smile:


Time, Not Weight…

– Last Updated: May-18-06 9:54 AM EST –

...should get you feeling a lot more comfortable in the Cape Horn. My wife has had one for about five years, and absolutely loves's probably one of the most stable boats afloat. Adding weight, especially in just the bow, isn't the answer - it would affect fore and aft trim, and any significant amount of weight, if unsecured, could cause some real problems in the event of a capsize.
Sing is dead right about the relationship between movement and stability - keep paddling and moving the boat along and it'll feel a lot more solid underneath you.
Lessons - formal or informal - are a great idea - it'd let you explore the boat's limits in a safe situation, and give you far more confidence in the Cape Horn and yourself.
Re "...trying to avoid sea sickness"'s not clear if you actually get seasick, or just fear getting seasick...if it's the latter, it's likely that lots of cockpit time will cure that too. When we were really new at it, I tended to get my stomach in a knot every time something new came at me...boat wake, wind chop, whatever...and the apprehension felt like the start of seasickness. Now it takes something pretty drastic to get the butterflies fluttering.


– Last Updated: May-18-06 12:35 PM EST –

Beginners tend to look down & freeze up whenever their boat starts to lean, which just makes matters worse. The first rule of avoiding seasickness is to keep your eyes up on the horizon. Dropping your head upsets your balance and actually makes it harder to keep the boat upright.

The second thing to work on is keeping your hips loose and letting the boat move with the waves while you stay centered. Here's an exercise: in calm water, sit holding the paddle(loosely) horizontal at shoulder height. Start to gently edge the boat from one side to the other using your lower body. Keep your upper body relaxed and the paddle horizontal. With time and practice, you'll be able to have the boat well up on edge and still feel balanced. I do this as a warmup when I start paddling, and whenever I feel myself tightening up.

If you're sliding around in the cockpit, that can also feel very unstable. You may need to add some foam to make you more secure.

Ballast can help -- there have been some recent threads on this. Be careful not to drastically alter the fore/aft trim.

give it time

– Last Updated: May-18-06 12:24 PM EST –

I owned a cape horn 170. In the first season of owning it i was comfy enough to pop the skirt,reach behind the seat and answer my cellphone. Cape Horns are about as stable as they come, its the secondary that's mediocre. i could never lean the CH as far as i can lean my new Elaho.
As everybody else mentioned, bags of sand are a bad idea, especially in the bow. it will make the boat much harder to steer and probably make it weathercock more because the weight will move the 'pivot point' of the boat forward.


– Last Updated: May-18-06 5:25 PM EST –

Chop will knock any small boat around. Chop does take a bit of getting used to.

The Cape Horn should have high stability due to its width (25 inches, I think).

Oddly, a boat with less stability might be more comfortable IF you know how to use it.

Basically, in a sea kayak on rough water, you want "loose hips" (this is key). That is, you want to keep your upper body straight up as the boat "does its thing" underneath you.

sea sickness
is usually worse with rolling waves or flat water on a hot day and not with busy chop.

I Have A Cape Horn 15
It’s a very stable boat. I don’t think one kayak or another has much to do with triggering seasickness. Lots of other factors come in to play… empty stomach; diesel fumes; size of the swell. Taking your eyes off the horizon is a huge mistake.

“Mythbusters” on tv showed that ginger was effective at preventing seasickness.