Caribou/epic 18/ VCP argo/Legend

-- Last Updated: May-03-08 2:38 PM EST --


Looking at another boat - combination fo fitness and occasional trips (weekends mostly, with infrequent longer). I have paddled alot, live on OBX North Caolina. I have owned a Prijon Kodiak, QCC 600XL, NDK Explorer, and a few tupperware boats, and my steady squeeze these days is a Dagger Meridian sks. I have experience in a VCP Nordkapp, Greenlander Pro, Tempest 180, and, of course, most all the CLC barges. I do both inshore (live on Curr. Sound) and ocean stuff.

And the CD Caribou looks sexy and fast.

So, who knows EVERYTHING about the Caribou? I am looking at one, will paddle it next weekend. I gotta tell you that I have also paddled Nigel's Legend enough to know I am not a fan of that rounded bottom hull of his.

But, I need to know specifically about the rough water personality of the 'Bou. I get a lot of wind where I am, frequent 1-3 ft chop and swells, and I kind of like some buoyancy in the bow - but I cannot find very much info on the bow fullness of the Caribou.

Thoughts or recommendations?

Had a Caribu for some years
I loved the Caribu in storms and wind! I weigh 188lbs and am 6’1" and it fit great with a bit of padding out. I will say the bow of the Caribu did bury a bit while surfing downwind, or going into wind generated waves. I was never a problem for me, kinda made for a fun ride as it popped back up! Now if C.D./Wenonah would make a modified version at least a foot longer and say 2" narrower, we’d have us a fun, fast Greenlander! Come on, they made a shorter version already!

Sold my Bou and Then Bought it Back…
Sort of like marrying the same person twice…

Very solid boat in the wind and chop though it will pearl a bit but it never bothered me… Small price to pay for a good all around boat.

Thanks to both of you. I wonder…

– Last Updated: May-03-08 5:12 PM EST –

...if selling my Explorer was the right thing to do - but at the time, I was getting tired of teaching classes to folks who didn't like ice-cold seawater shooting thru their sinuses (go figure), and we were moving, etc, etc..

So now, my son is getting big enough to take the Dagger, and I figure if I need to move into another boat, I want to look for the best combination of speed, nimbleness, and capacity for guiding and weekend tripping (as well as fitness and day trips). So the Caribou sort of sticks out as a fast and responsive, but not too over-the-top boat. I like the hull and I think the chines will grab water when I want 'em to. I also saw a Solstice GTS recently, but was not impressed with the rocker - then found out (here) that the Solstice series is hard to maneuver without a rudder. I don't use rudders, so I opted not to test it.

So right now I am looking at a VCP Argonaut and the CD Caribou. Very interesting, Grayhawk, that you sold your 'bou, then got it back??????? Wow, that's a testimonial. Can I ask why?

Last question: What size are your feet? I am 6 ft, 190 lbs, and mine are size 12. Does this have enough depth for my big feet?


bow buries a bit
i’ve heard that about the Caribou and above twice now. i own 2 sea kayaks, and have had 3 others. all bury their bow surfing downwind, or going into head seas. is there a sea kayak made that does not do this?

I’ve found that the QCC has a very full bow that is very buoyant. My Kevlar 600 XL was truly fast and buoyant, and almost never had any water on the front deck.

The reason I got rid of my 600 was the hatch covers. The deck was glass mat, not cloth, and the hatch covers and hatch rims were a little on the fragile side. I was doing a lot of rough water at the time (4-star trng), and chipped a cover once. Also, I had a cover actually get washed off in surf once, and had to secure both of them with squeeze clamps to keep the velcro from coming loose - not good to have a front compartment fill with water in 4-foot surf!

I even called the company and told them to bring out a boat with Kajak or VCP hatches - y’know, an expedition model - but they didn’t listen.

AS far as buoyancy, though, the QCC is right up there imho. ymmv.

Buy what you like and
go paddle. Sea doesn’t care, nor does anyone else.

Paddling styles, goals and uses evolved into needing a day/guide/weekender boat. Having had several boats the Caribou served my current needs the best. When my Expedition/Kevlar/Tuffglass Bou still in new condition wasn’t being used much I was able to bring it back home, thanks Ken…

I’ve buried my QCC past the coaming…
… but it certainly takes some doing. if you never buried yours, you’re not having enough fun!

Caribou is super freindly feeling, not sure I’d call it fast. Likely plenty fast enough for most.

Well, yeah, if you try hard enough…
I’ve had it plenty wet in bigger water, but the recovery rate on those nosedives is very good on the QCC boats. In fact, my Explorer wasn’t too shabby either - better than my Meridian (but that may be a function of length).

My Kajak Sport Vivianne doesn’t
One thing I noticed after I sold my Caribu and started paddling the Vivianne that was in the shop, the bow didn’t seem to bury at all in downwind surfing. For that reason it was quite a bit faster downwind, my guess is the 19’ length of the Vivianne, as well as the additional bow volume, was the reason. Totaly different boats beyond that though. The Caribu is far more manueverable and secure in high winds and waves, the Vivianne will smoke it in most every other situation though, as far as overall speed and capacity.

Never Paddled a Vivienne
But I paddled a Millenium - that was an extremely nice boat - very well behaved, fast, maneuverable.

According to Sound Rowers,
the Vivienne has a 9.9 waterline L:W ratio, while the Caribou has an 8.5 I believe. That difference would result in different prismatic coefficients, maybe wetted surface, and (of course) WL lengths, so the Kajak would be a significantly faster hull.

If you have the shoulders for it, that is.

Which I don’t. ;>)