CD Stratus 18 Pictures

-- Last Updated: Feb-23-05 4:54 PM EST --

Rejoice, CD has them on their website.

I thought that was going to use the SealLine Rudder setup? Wonder what happened there.

The "Quietwater" hull design is also interesting. Is that an official term or just advice on where you should go (and perhaps shouldn't go).



– Last Updated: Feb-23-05 4:14 PM EST –

Can't wait to try one! Any idea about price? Interesting that it doesn't have a day hatch. I wonder what they consider when they decide whether to put one in or not. Also, I do wish it had a skeg!

Somehow I doubt it needs a skeg.

That thing does look like a rocket, though. Obviously aimed squarely at QCC and Epic.

Skegs not about “need”…
… anymore than a rudder is.

The Stratus has a long waterline and enough kayak exposed to the wind that is will need something to balance in some wind conditions.

From what I saw on the prototype - rudder makes the most sense. Drop skegs on long boats can have some personality quirks. I like the (modified) skeg on my Q700 - but also know many would not.

A rudder is more marketable - and better for racing, which was a certainly factor in the design (it’s wider to meet the stupid 10% overall L/W ratio rule - like the EPIC - that the Q700 does not).

Not so sure about sliding pedals though. Thought the industry was steadily moving past that. Maybe what I saw wasn’t final hardware? I can understand not going SealLine - but they could do their own fixed pedals on standard rails (?).

Nice looking kayak. Maybe even more naval warship looking than the competition. It seemed to have a slightly bulbous area amidships my eye kept wanting to fair out to a cleaner/leaner line - particularly just forward of the cockpit - but I’m sure it’s there for a reason, right?

If I were racing USCA - I’d get an EPIC 18 (designed more as a racer). For touring and occasional racing - the Q700 (A fast touring design - better made - more rocker - skeg option). Not sure where the Stratus falls.

Between these three, for most shoppers, it’s really going to be about fit/feel/personal preference.

Day hatch?
Day hatches are for people who stop paddling while still on the water. This boat is for people who keep paddling until they’re done! You can mess with gear, eat, or whatever at the put in/take out!

“Quietwater” - Hmm… Did look a bit tender compared to it’s competition, even though wider.


– Last Updated: Feb-23-05 6:51 PM EST –

Yeah Greyak, I knew that comment would raise your eyebrows a bit. I think he probably just meant it looked like it was going to be hard to turn, but of course that doesn't necessarily mean it won't have tracking issues in the wind and want "help" going straight.

I found your comments a few weeks ago about the boat you saw with the sliding pedals being a prototype. However, does seem like they gave up on the SealLine, they had mentioned SmartTrack on the website earlier, but don't now. Wonder if that housing-in-the-water problem got to them too...

Superficially it seems closer to the Epic than QCC, swede form, minimal rocker. Most obvious difference seems to be that the seat is further back than with the Epic. May make the rudder more optional, but also less effective when it is used. All conjecture, of course, and assumes the pictures are accurate, which, of course, can't necessarily be assumed.


The Stratus, Epic 18, and Q700 are very different designs. I say that after seeing them all up close. The Epic and Stratus were side by side a lot at B&B - and I can see every curve on my Q700 with my eyes closed. Some obvious similarities, and they may play nice together, but very different.

Stratus appears to offer another really good option in the efficient touring range - not any sort of slam dunk or radical new design ideas. Nice boat - and very well made. It should develop a following pretty quickly. The question I wonder is how it will handle different conditions (I continue to be surprised by how well my Q700 handles “textured” water) - but since that’s more a function of the paddler - we’ll never get a useful answer without each demoing it ourselves with the wind up.

My cockpit (version 2 Q700) is farther back than any of these - so I can relate to your comment on that (but not so sure it applies equally - other design variable come in too). As a result I have never missed having a rudder - and do not use the skeg all that much (but at times [mostly noticeably between 15-20] it “needs” something). Moving my seat 3" forward (to current production position) has only slightly changed that - and lets me take advantage of the skeg slightly more (seem able to effectively use very small amounts I wouldn’t have bothered with before).

My boat is of course very hard to turn with the skeg down all the way - but the only time I’d need full skeg is running downwind in a pretty heavy blow.

The Stratus and EPIC have very little rocker - I think they would be harder to handle with skegs than the Q700. Unless the Stratus has more than it seemed - or has other mitigating hull features - neither should offer the skeg option IMO (and that’s coming for a pretty strong skeg advocate). Different kayaks…

A Q700/EPIC comparison (not mine - note more sweeping shear/greater rocker on 700):

That is exactly what I meant
"The Stratus and EPIC have very little rocker - I think they would be harder to handle with skegs than the Q700. Unless the Stratus has more than it seemed - or has other mitigating hull features - neither should offer the skeg option IMO (and that’s coming for a pretty strong skeg advocate)."

That is exactly what I meant. Perhaps “need” was too strong a word. It’s just hard to tell how literally people are going to take you on the net sometimes.

Comparison photo
Here’s a crude composite of the top and side pictures on CD, EPIC, and QCC* sites. These are not accurately scaled - or lined up - and are no doubt distorted by camera perspective too.

*Note - picture of the QCC is the original version with the old rudder setup. The cockpit on current production (3rd version) is located 5" aft (mine is a 2nd version and is 8" aft of the original).

Just does not do it for me

– Last Updated: Feb-24-05 8:19 AM EST –

Here is a real question, not a rant. Why are a numbeer of world class proven boats have designs that are fast, sea worthy and not need rudder contraptions? I enjoyed paddling an Epic, and hear the QCC is fun also, so not a dig on them.

I may be weird but I just hate rudders from every perspective, weight, supposedly 13-16% slower, extra windage, more to break down, get injured with, hassle of foot braces, laziness of not learning leans and trim, etc. Not that my preferences should be for anyone else! Just why can't CD design a performance boat WITHOUT a rudder. They do a pretty nice job of construction, too bad I find this boat less than great. The pics show it to be quite bulkier that the QCC and Epic at least from the views shown. I wonder if the plumb bow is going to plow in waves as well.

OK, said no rant, ideas?


– Last Updated: Feb-24-05 10:49 AM EST –

Can you cite rudderless boats that are winning races against similar-class ruddered boats? Seems to be for that activity the rudder helps the racer focus on straight-ahead paddling. I guess. Also seems to be somewhat true that the most efficent hull and trim for forward motion doesn't necessarily give the most stable tracking.

For general touring use I don't like the contraptions either.

Not to digress too much but the latest SK reviewed this boat, another wrinkle, at least it looks a little less contraption-like:

As long as designers keep trying stuff, they may stumble onto something that makes everyone happy.



– Last Updated: Feb-24-05 10:21 AM EST –

Although it appears Greyak's pictures were done correctly (thanks, btw), seems clear that QCC did a little trimming of their overhead photo, their boat isn't quite that narrow, really. They show it hardly extending beyond the cockpit opening at all.

Specs say the QCC beam is 21, the Stratus 21.75. Looks much different than that in the pictures. Can't seem to trust some of these people to correctly capture the outline of their boat from a photo. Impex did the same goof with their sideview OI picture.


Why rudder
To Evan: Your question tells much about you and how you are paddling.

Rudders are often used by paddlers who paddles long distances and/or fast. Belive me, you don’t like a skegg after paddling 70-100 km/day.

If you are racing you don’t want to mess around with a skegg. You will lose time and rythm.


Day Hatch
"Day hatches are for people who stop paddling while still on the water."

Best precis of why or why not day hatch I’ve seen.

If you may ever need a piece of gear, first aid kit, snack, or water while paddling (and don’t wish to clutter your decks) a day hatch makes sense. If you are racing and have to stop to retrieve something from the day hatch - you’ve lost the race.

This is why, IMHO, day hatches make a lot of sense for touring, but are not needed for racing.

Thanks for widening my views
It is always good to be reminded that our views our limited by our prior experiences. I will check it out.

think I’ll stick with my GT
I would like to try one though. not sure about the ruber hatch cover. never saw on one made of rubber that was as watertight as the ones on the solstice. nicew looking boat though…

Skeg – distances
Many who paddle distances use skegged kayaks.

Many of the most challanging expeditions were and are done in Valley, NDK, and P&H boats.

At least one such boat (Nordkapp) was specifically designed for long distance expedition.

Uh, well - I really can’t address that…
… since my QCC has a SKEG!!!

BTW - None of these has a plumb bow. To see one, look at the Loki kayak! These bows all cleanly cut water - just like any other sea kayak.

Otherwise - what mhackett said.

There is likely some distortion - as I noted posting them. If you look at the EPIC and QCC without the Stratus they look about right. If any is distorted it’s the Stratus. It’s sleeker in person but does carry some subtle bulge amidships the others don’t have.

The QCC shot is pretty accurate (other than being two versions old!) Image has some reflection/highlight on top edge that washes out a bit along the coaming. Just assume both sides are the same. Here’s the math:

21.0" overall -18.5" outer coming width (16" opening) = 2.5" divided by to sides = 1.25" on either side extending past the coaming. Looks like that to me

Refresh my memory Mike - do you have a 700 - or do you just like getting me to post this stuff? :)Mine is in reach as I type this - and on it’s side so I have an actual top view - so rather easy to reference/compare to the photo.

Responding to aneri who wrote…
“Rudders are often used by paddlers who paddles long distances and/or fast. Belive me, you don’t like a skegg after paddling 70-100 km/day.”

I was rather surprised at aneri’s assertion in that just about all of the major ambitious expeditions I am aware of were accomplished in British or Kajak-Sport boats.

I’m not getting into a skeg versus rudder argument. I’ve paddled enough to know that such a discussion is akin to discussing religion - a personal preference either of which, properly designed and used, is valid.