CD Sirocco Kayak

I am looking at this kayak with interest. Have any of you ever paddled one? What do you think? I have never seen one in person, much less tried one out. I’m just curious about any experiences any of you may have had with this model and your general opinion of the boat. I am 5’11 and weigh 200 lbs.



It could be a good boat for you
size wise. I still own a Gulfstream (FG version of the same boat) and have paddled a Sirocco many times. It’s a good fun boat for us larger paddlers.

I own a Sirocco
Great boat. I’m 5’4", 190 lbs. Very maneuverable, if you want it to track better, drop the skeg. Good rough water boat, I had it in some 3’ swells on Lake Michigan and it handled them easily. 29 reviews here:

I hate to rain on a parade, but…
but I had a Sirocco for about six months and hated it. I didn’t write a review because… I dunno, maybe it’s just me. Everybody else seems to like them.

I did like the look of it - upswept bow with the little mermaid. And in calm conditions it paddled nicely and was reasonably fast. That’s pretty much all I liked.

What I didn’t like: That was my first skeg boat and I’ve decided I’m more of a rudder person. I hate having to let go of the paddle to adjust the skeg, whereas once the rudder has been deployed your feet do the work.

Also, that upswept bow really catches the wind, and it seems like an extra 12" or so of boat that doesn’t serve any useful purpose - purely aesthetic I guess. I had it out a couple of times in conditions of some pretty good wind/chop and it was a nightmare. Seemed to bounce around on top of the water instead of cutting through. And (it could just be me) it seemed to me like the roundish bottomed hull was forgiving on the chop, but with the skeg down it actually felt more like I was almost going to flip… like it gave the waves something to grab onto. I have my own weird style of bracing, but I was definitely doing a lot of it that day with the skeg down.

For comparison, long boats I’ve owned and done better in:

Eddyline Merlin LT and XT (awesome boats!)

Riot Evasion (my current ride)

Prijon Barracuda (also current)

But it might be fine for you. Lots of people love them. Not to be a contrarian… just thought an opposite point of view might be helpful at least for discussion purposes.

Manuverable versus tracking

– Last Updated: Nov-05-07 4:55 PM EST –

The thing with a boat like the Sirrocco is that it is tweaked to be failry manuverable. Some other boats like the Eddyline Merlin mentioned above are more about going straight rather than stopping to pause and play around in conditions.

What kind of paddler are you likely to be? For what it's worth, most people starting out tend to prefer straighter tracking boats. This is for a good reason - the first thing you want to do is get out there and explore all the stuff offshore. A boat that wastes no time in getting there will usually be preferable.

After some seat time, folks will tend to sort themselves out into more defined habits - longer distance touring, playing in surf, doing greenland rolls etc - and each of these purposes tends to want a boat with a different balance between manuverability to straight tracking.

If your lakes are big and have significant waves, a boat like the Sirrocco would allow you to have a lot of fun out there. If the rivers and creeks are small and sindy, its manuverability may be helpful. If you think you'll be in more protected conditions and want to go from A to B, other boats may do you better.

I have one in the fleet and have a ton of hours in it. Same height and weight and I fit well. Very maneuverable boat, skeg has its place in managing weathercocking and particularly lee cocking.

My biggest tip would be to try it vs other similar configuration boats. The Scirocco has a large cockpit compared to many in its league, Tempest, Explorer, etc… and you may find it too roomy or the thigh braces too lateral for good hull contact.

Sirocco is an awesome rough water boat
I have owned my Sirocco for a few years now so I feel I can now understand its design. The rougher the water gets the more this boat makes sense. It is VERY manouverable. When on edge it will turn on a dime. Tracks very well with the skeg. Is not particularly fast. It is what I consider to be a high volume kayak so you might want to add some balast to get it to settle in the water a bit. I also own a Perception Avatar which I feel outclasses the Sirocco on every level. Just my opinion. By the way I’m 5ft.9" and weigh 190 and the Avatar is a much better fit. Feels like your wearing the kayak instead of sitting in one. Hope this helps out. Jaws

The Sirrocco is a dowdy, ginormous boat

I’m 6’1 and 180 and only paddled sirocco for a couple hours in very calm water, so i’ll mostly judge it on fit and finish.

Cockpit :It’s HUGE! Compared to my Elaho, it’s Big compared to my P&H Capella 166, Huge compared to a Chatham 16 and Big compared to a Tempest 170.

I thought it felt somewhat slow but i didn’t have my gps with me so i won’t judge it on that. but it’s definetely not a fast flatwater boat.

Thigh brace contact was not good whatsoever,would have to pad it out A LOT to make it fit me.

Quality-good hatches, hull felt tough,though didn’t appreciate how the seat moved side to side but that would be easily fixed with some foam glued between seat sides and the hull.

Hatch space looked roughly similar to my Elaho,despite sirocco being 8 inches longer and a bit wider.

I didn’t think it was a “rock stable” boat in flatwater,but felt like it should be good in bumpy stuff.

I’d look long and hard at a Capella,Chatham,Tempest and Valley Aquanaut(the “club” version is even cheaper than the sirocco) But if you like the fit i’d give the sirocco a thumbs up.

Have you sat in one?

– Last Updated: Nov-06-07 9:33 AM EST –

Per some comments from folks that are taller than you, the boat may not be the best fit in terms of having good contact in the cockpit. This may also explain Donna's problem with the boat - if she was too small a volume for the boat it would have made it much tougher to manage and quite difficult to properly recover in a brace. She may not have sunk it to a desirable waterline, which negatively affects handling, then there is the issue of actually reaching the control surfaces like thigh braces.

Have you sat in a Sirocco to see if your thighs actually hit the thigh braces in a comfortable seated position? There's not much use getting a manuverable boat if you have to reach a mile to do the manuvering part. It does appear that you have sufficient weight.

This is the poly version of the Gulfstream. I own a Gulfstream and love it. CD Kayaks are well made and the Co. will back the product.That said, you need to paddle the boat and deside for yourself. Take into condideration what you want to do with the boat. Most paddlers own several boats because no one boat will do it all. Let me know if i can help you. Vaughn Fulton

I went paddling with a friend out and back in a stiff breeze with a Chatham 17 and Scirocco. Where the Chatham pounded tossing up spray the Scirocco simply dipped and moved up and down cleanly through the waves. It doesn’t take much effort to move at cruising speeds. Down wave/down wind the Chatham excelled. It’s an efficient, maneuverable kayak for 200lb+paddler. It weathercocks more than the glass Gulfstream.

Want to echo
the large cockpit. For me, it was the only downside. I like very snug cockpits. My favorite is my CLC North Bay which has a 15" wide one. I was willing to deal with the size of the cockpit to get a boat that, for me, was awesome in so many other areas.

Your mileage may differ.

I’ve had one for about 5 years (I also paddle a couple of other boats) and I think it’s a great boat. I like to teach classes in it because it makes you look good. Easy to edge, turn, and very easy to roll, with the low back deck. The kayak is also great in rough water, very stable. I’m 6’1" and 190, and it fits me well. The only think I don’t like about it is that it leaks quite a bit into the day hatch. Tried fixing the leak, but can’t quite stop it. Overall, I think it’s one of the better plastic boats on the market.

"makes you look good …"
You can say that again: Tight “figures-of-8” forward and backward, and nigh impossible to capsize (you could get your combing wet, perform a commited sculling brace, and drink your BCU thermos of tea all at one time)! No problems with leaking hatches here (although the sheer size of the rear hatch is worrisome). All that said, unlike ckayaker11 I find the back deck a bit high; by that I mean you can’t lay back in your seat on the back deck without breaking your back the way you can in some other boats. New recommendation: if it’s a Sirocco you’re looking for but want to cut down in volume, try the Gulfstream’s LV version, the Slipstream.

Not exactly a cut down version of the Gulfstream - neat small person’s boat but slightly more of a tracker and definately requires more of the paddler’s attention.

A CD rep explained the diff in their hulls to me in detail a few years ago - I don’t recall any details. But having paddled both boats, I would agree that the Gulfstream felt more manuverable even being oversized for me and was a lot less twitchy.

It has less rocker than the
Gulfstream and since it is narrower, when you edge it, there is less “virtual rocker” ie the curve from the side of the cockpit to the side of the bow and stern.

Sirocco not THAT big
not sure why some folks think it’s so huge. not a small boat but i don’t think the cockpit is that ginormous. the downsides to the boat from my perspective (owned one) is that the thigh braces are flat and i couldn’t get my thighs to grip them well compared to the Gulfstream which is excellent in this regard. the round bottom makes the boat a bit tender for it’s width, it is nearly completely round. back deck a tad high for my preference. also don’t think it’s that slow. medium volume bow slices well through waves, not a bouncy ride. a great all around sea kayak, carries plenty of gear and is very maneuverable. great seat and back band. i would guess that out of 10 random medium sized kayakers, 6 would like the cockpit fit. if CD does one thing well it’s dialing in a decent cockpit fit for most peoples tastes.

needs better thigh braces
more of a keyhole

I have one
that I picked up used. I’m pretty much a novice, and it’s a bit tippy at first, but a lot of that is due to my inexperience, and my size. I’m 6’-3" and go about 270#, with most of it in my chest & shoulders. My high center of gravity doesn’t help the stability any, but it feels better each time I’m in it. I chose it primarily because of it’s listed paddler size of 275#, and the fact that it looks cool, especially the mermaid! My wife has a Tempest 170 that she loves! She rates it as a Cadillac compared to my Sirocco, which she calls a sportscar.

In short, I like it fine so far.