CD Kestrel 140 SOT vs RTM Disco

Has anyone paddled both the CD Kestrel 140 SOT and the RTM Disco?

There are some Kestrels for sale near me, but one salesperson said they are “very tippy”.

I paddle a RTM Disco now, and specs on both boats are 14’ * 26" beam, and both seem to have similar seating depth.

If you have paddled both, what do you think?

Will the composite construction of the Kestrel hold up over time to minor impacts, occasional oyster bed contact?

Thanks for any opinions,


currently near Tampa FL - headed to the Keys.

Have tried each as well as a CD
Kestral 12 ft. in poly. I did like the looks of the Kestral but did not like the feel of either the 12’ or 14’ when in the water. I usually paddle either a Tempest 165 or a NDK Romany, and used paddle a Findeisen surfski…am not worried about “tippy” but would agree with your salesman. The poly Kestral seemed to cant either left or right and felt unusual to me. The composite hull will hold up better than plastic but do keep an eye out for stones or oysterbeds anyway.

You might look for a used Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro TW (tankwell): rides drier than a Disco, tracks well and is a bit faster.

just an FYI
the Kestrel 140 SOT is no longer being made. I would think the Disco would be more tippy than the Kestrel just from the looks.

If you want something durable then look at the Hurricane sit on tops. I used them for years as fishing kayaks and the stuff is bomb proof when paddling over oysters and rocks. It was nothing for me to ram my Phoenix 160 into an oyster bed to stabilize the kayak while I stood up.

You Might Check…
You should check over at Its a dedicated SOT site.

I looked at both the Krestral and RTM Disco, and based just on reviews I bought the Disco. I like it as long as I keep my weight down under 200#

As you noted, they spec out about the same. Not sure that you have much to gain by spending over twice as much for the Krestral when you already have a Disco…

RTM also makes a boat called the Midway that is longer and has more capacity.

They also make a boat called the Tempo that is very like a Scupper Pro

Followup CD Kestrel 140 SOT
Thanks for the info. I’m in Tampa FL right now, and several shops within 50 miles have CD Kestrel 140 SOTs still in stock. They have both the older design with the “step well” foot braces, two hatch, and deeper seat, and the newer stle with adjustable foot braces, a tank well, and 2 hatches.

Today I sat in both the old style and the new style. The step foot braces on the older design don’t fit me -either too short or too far. On the new style, the adjustable foot braces work fine.

One strange thing: the older design seat is cupped about one inch deeper at the back, which is a better center of gravity setup, but angles upward from the back to the front pretty sharply. The newer style seat is about one inch higher at the back, with a more gradual upward slope, but would result in a worse CG.

Both shops are discounting the older style by $350 at one shop and $250 at the other shop.

Both older and newer design are 14’ * 26", composite build, same hull design, 39 lbs.

There is a Demo day at one of the shops on Saturday with a new style CD 140 SOT as one of the demos. I plan to go try it out.

One shop will take the Disco in trade - not sure about the other one yet. I took a bunch of photos and will post them to webshots, then post a link on here.



Bring water jugs
I helped someone make their Kestral 14 SOT much more stable by putting four or six 2 liter soda jugs in the boat. They were filled with water. Water bags would work as well. We held them in place in the bottom of the boat with inflatable bags. Flotation bags or inflatable snorkel vests work fine for this.

I imagine the same technique would work fine for any but and you don’t have to carry the water back up to the car or put it on the roof rack.

Photos new and old style Kestrel SOT
Webshots pics new and old style CD Kestrel 140 SOT

I loved the old 140…
I never owned one but paddled one a bit. My only complaint was the stepped foot braces, they dug into my leg, and it sounds like they changed them now. I would describe it as more responsive than tippy.

Step Foot Braces
You have to adjust the back band forward/backward to get a good fit for the foot braces

Demo Test and purchase Kestrel 140 SOT
My wife and I test paddled the new style CD Kestrel 140 SOT (foot brace has tracks instead of stepped braces, but it has a higher seat than the old style). It was at a Demo day, and the Kestrel had the factory seat installed in it, no thigh/knee straps on it.

Compared to our RTM Discos it was faster, but a good bit more “tippy” on initial stability. I was able to take it to almost the gunwale without going over, but could tell it was as far as it could go without dumping. It was tippy at rest, and also while paddling. Neither of us dumped it, and both of us thought we could adapt to it.

I tried the Kestrel 140 SINK (same exact hull design), and it was very stable with the factory seat about 1.5" off the deck. This lead me to believe that the old style kestrel SOT with the deeper seat bucket would be more stable than the new design SOT.

Another taller paddler tried the 140 SOT extensively, and he intentionally was pushing it to and beyond the limits (right next to shore). He dumped it at least 3 times, but was not discouraged by that. He’ll likely buy one.

Sandy and I talked it over and decided to see what deals we could make.

Another shop we visited the day before had old styles for $1300, new for $1699, and would give us $375 per RTM Disco, but only on the new style boats (more profit margin).

The shop who hosted the demo day had the old style for $1399, new for $1640, and would do $250 trade in per RTM Disco.

For us it was a toss up on old versus new. We really liked the foot brace track on the new style, but also really liked the deeper seat for more stability on the older style.

On the older style, the deeper seat does not bother us at all, but the stepped braces do put pressure on the leg. On the RTM Disco stepped braces, they are only on the sides and do not put pressure on our legs. On the old style Kestrel the braces are on the sides, but also on the bottom, and are a fairly sharp edge that feels uncomfortable (on the bottom side). I have some ideas on mitigating that.

Sitting in the older style, we both fit one stepped foot brace bare-footed, but were between with our normal paddling water shoes on. The dealer put in a Hobie seat with thicker back rest as a test, and then we both fit. He offered to throw in the Hobie seats along with the original seats.

I asked them to drop the price from $1399 to $1300, and take the Discos in trade at the offered $500, with 2 seats per boat (original and thicker back rest Hobie seat). They took the deal.

We left the shop with 2 older style Kestrels which we still had not paddled yet (only the newer style demo).

On the way home we tried the Kestrels with the deeper seat pan in Tampa Bay. With the Hobie thicker back rest seat in, it was a fair amount less tippy than the new design with the higher seat pan. I took the seat out, and sat directly in the pan - and it was only a bit more tippy feeling than our Discos were. I will experiment with the 2 seats, and just sitting in the pan before deciding what to do. My wife is more stable on both old and new style Kestrels than I. She is lighter by 60 lbs, and shorter. We sat on the water side by side and could easily see the differecne in “tippiness”.

At our normal paddling touring/cruising pace (easy pace), the Kestrel was between 1/2 mph to .9 mph faster than the Discos pace, both up tidal flow and down tidal flow as per GPS. Both boats are 14’ * 26", but longer water line (less rocker), Swede form, a bit more V, and “slicker” on the kestrel.

We are happy with our trade, but need to work on the pressure of the stepped braces on the bottom edge. I have some ideas to try with foam to even them out to level under the legs - and may test with duct tape first to see if it might work.