CD Whistler?

I have been eyeing the CD Whistler as a first boat. I sat in it in the store and it seemed to fit me well. But I will definately try it on the water before buying. I have tried others and they just didn’t seem to “fit” like this one. Also, I like the looks of it too. I really like the looks of all the CD boats, but most are way out of my price range. I was wondering if any of you had any thoughts, comments, or concerns about this boat? Is it a good boat or am I just a little “star struck”?


Where do you paddle?
Acording to CD’s own site, and from its measurements I would agree, the Whistler is intended to be a boat for mostly protected waters. It’s not designed with really big water or more advanced skills like rolling in mind.

Do you plan to paddle to paddle in protected environments, or in big water like ocean or large/very windy lakes?

Protected Water
Nothing extream here, I plan on paddling some lakes, but the most “roughness” I could expect on the ones I have in mind would be the wake from a motor boat. And the local marine police keep those guys in check pretty well. I would like to be able to load it up for a overnighter as well, but I usually pack very light for camping anyway. So I don’t think I’ll have a problem there, judging from the size of the bulkhead compartments.

Outside impressions of Whistler
I have a friend with a 14’ Whistler, and we have paddled together 20-30 times. I paddled it once. The Whistler tracks very straight, and has a rudder option. I do not think the rudder would be necessary in anything but the heaviest wind/surf (said friend has only used the rudder on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior). This is definitely a “go straight, turn hard” boat. For comparison, my 12’9" Castaway doesn’t track as well, but turns much more easily.

Rigging, rudder setup, and padding on the Whistler all seem to be of standard quality. The hatches don’t seem to cause much of a problem, and the coaming will fit a standard spray skirt. I have never seen negative feedback on the Whistler, and think it appears to be a pretty nice touring boat for small water. For a 14’ boat, it is not very heavy; in fact, I would guess my shorter Castaway weighs nearly the same because of its heavier construction.

If you had to go anywhere and have a lot of maneuverability, this would be the only thing that would discourage me from getting a Whistler. It is definitely a straight-tracking boat.