Chatham 16 demo

-- Last Updated: Feb-02-04 12:10 PM EST --

We finally got our Chatham 16 (roto) demo and I took it out for a spin the other day.

Very nice boat, indeed.

We paddled about 20 miles down the lower Clackamas river from Barton park to Clackamette park (the confluence of the Clack and Willamette) at 20,000 cfs. Great demo venue! =:-0)

Had plenty of opportunity to run the boat thru the paces and had every condition but following seas and wind. Maybe tomorrow I'll take it out in the gorge if it's in (east windwise).

Anyway the boat is nicely balanced, outfitting is comfy and secure and all in all a fine rough conditions vessel. IMHO.

Got to surf some standing waves and a bit of hole riding. Nice bouyancy forward and a sweet tracking pattern allowed some pretty rad cutbacks. The stern is well behaved and follows the bow nicely thru eddy turns and peel outs. great stabilty/ balance (not too stable or tippy) carves well on edge. OK acceleration and glide. SUV not dragster. Plenty of freeboard for me @ 180 + kit. not sure if she'll hold a heck of a lot more. Spray-bro-270 pounder??? whatever.

Things I didn't like: seat is not adjustable (foam glued in) and seems too close to the combing aft. It put my legs to sleep. backrest was then just hanging in the way. seat seemed a bit tight, side to side, for anyone with a beamy butt. End toggles are only 3 mm cord. wimpy for a safety item. No leaches on hatches.

anxious to do an A/B with my T-165 in wind. pray for wind!


How Heavy Is Your Kit?
just trying to figure the “tonnage” that fits in the 16. :slight_smile:


I carry
10-20 lbs on a average day. Probably 15 on this trip.

I’d say the 16 fits between the T-165 and 170 sizewise. Not sure I’d recommend a over 200 lber. Had a couple customers who were ‘beamy’ NOT feel comfortable, tho they were well below 200 lbs.


Fully adjustable seat
The Chatham that I demo’d had the seat velcro’d in place. (did they change that?) I found it too far back as well, and simply peeled it off the mounting pan and re-positioned it forward about an inch. No more issues. Also, the seat mounting pan can be moved for and aft by loosenong the mounting screws on either side of the coaming. The stock hip pads can likewise be repositioned, or removed which would add about 1.5" of additional room. I’m a solid 208 lbs exactly though I have no fat, so my ass isn’t huge. I fit that boat beautifully, and found the outfitting very functional, easy to customize, and super strong. I’m not a fan of ratchets, and I would replace those with a simple nylon buckle, which would be easy to do. I had the WW thigh hooks in my demo as well, and loved them. I loved this kayak, especially in composite. A friend at Necky did mention that they would be widening the seat mounting pan in the near future to accomodate bigger butts. I would encourage you to mess with the outfitting and I think you’ll find that you can become very comfy in short order. BTW, I like lots of boats from a few different manufacturers, and do have friends around the industry. I do not currently own a Necky, but I’d buy one of these in composite if I could afford it. I’m out…


– Last Updated: Feb-02-04 2:59 PM EST –

I stand totally corrected.

The seat IS totally adjustable. Just gotta rip it up. I didn't know it was VELCRO!!!!

moves 3/4 of an inch aft and 3 inches forward from standard. hip pads are removeable and can be positioned in about 40 different positions!!!!!

The trough the backstrap slides in is the narrowest spot now and yep those ratchets are ......less than cool. Nothing like a couple snowboard ratchets to catch on while re-entry and roll, eh?

oh and BTW, welcome back.



Do you think there’s a chance of the thigh hooks snagging in a wet exit? I haven’t seen the Chatham but I was looking at a Necky WW boat and they seemed to stick out kind of different. Just wondering.

I may clip the hooks on my Looksha
Sport, but it’s not really necessary. Incidentally, it’s good that Necky is permitting seat adjustment. My older Looksha has a plastic, non-adjustable seat. This is forcing me to turn the footpeg rails around to get more room for my long legs.

Thigh Hooks
When I paddled the Chatham 18’ last October around the Bowron Lake Circuit in British Columbia, I was very impressed with the feel and adjustability of the new Necky thigh hook. I do not see wet exits being a problem with them. Overall, I was very pleased with the outfitting.

I believe Flatpick commented on he wimpy carry handle cords? I had one break during the 3 days I paddled the 18’.

I was under the impression they were going to modify this?

Cheers…Joe O’

oh yeah
between the thigh hooks and the backstrap ratchets (snowboard style) and straps there’s plenty of ‘stuff’ to get in the way of safe/ EZ enter/exit of the cockpit.

it’s a bit of a catch 22, you want it tight, for fit, but you also want it loose for exit. where’s the safe line???


it is adjustable
you just gotta re-mount it. It takes a bunch of work but it can be done. You may need to weld/ fill the holes in the deck, as well.


an EZ fix. Funny how upping the thickness on safety lines is such a no-brainer, looks good and gives the customer security and value.

3mm- give me a break! hehe :slight_smile: The deck lines are kinda whimpy too, but hey NDK uses it too. Personally when I’m hauling my fully loaded boat up a rocky cliff I want SECURITY and a comfortable ‘hand’ outta my lines.


Over Rated Concern
as long as you ain’t wearing anything that can get caught. I have to wiggle into my SOF but when I practice wet exits, I come right out of there.


yeah but
I bet nothing on your SOF is hard plastic, sharp stainless steel or strong plastic strapage.


btw, uncanny how you and I are online at the same time, alot! Wonder if that means we spend too much time on Pnet??? :wink:


Disagree with Steve
Steve, I disagree with your assessment of the safety of outfitting that we have put on the Chatham. I would appreciate it if you took the time to understand the outfitting before you start making negative comments about it.

The seat is adjustable two ways. You can either pick the seat pan off the cradle which it is velcro’d onto and simply move it fore and aft, or you can loosen the four screws holding the cradle to the boat and slide the cradle fore and aft. This is not the big job that you characterize it to be. A quarter turn of each of the four screws is all that is needed. Simple field adjustment for anyone with a leatherman.

Also, not sure how you would get caught on the ratchets since they are tucked in above the thigh braces. This system is common place in whitewater outfitting to give the paddler easy forward adjustment of the backband. We have tested the boat with BCU 5 star coaches, and heard no concern over entrapment (yes, we did ask and talk about entrapment with them). That is an issue that we take very seriously.

Feet falling asleep. Mine do too when I sit on the wrong part of the seat pan. When I adust the seat so that my butt fits into the part molded for it I can easily do 20 mile days.

3mm cord. We have been using this for grab handles and perimeter line for many years without failure. As a Necky retailer you should know this. The perimeter line pull tests at over 1,000 lbs. unless you have gained a lot of weight since I saw you at Deception Pass this fall I think it will hold you. In fact, I would be shocked if you could hold onto any perimeter line with that type of force.

Please try to keep things more positive and fact based on this site. People here seem to appreciate your posts. I do too, but not when I see things that are obviously wrong.

Working load
Isn’t the safe working load of a line usually 10 -20% of the max tensile strength? And loads in real life rarely line up like a pull-test machine. If you tie a 1,000 pound test line tightly between two fixed points, and then apply a side load, it’ll fail long before the load gets to 1,000 lbs.

whoa cowboy!

– Last Updated: Feb-04-04 11:36 AM EST –

Please believe me, I am being positive and rank the Chatham high on my list of boats I like. A couple answers to legitimate questions and constructive critique is all we're going for here.

I had a total re-call on my original comments on the seat adjustment. It's very cool. I didn't know it was velcro. I thought it was glued! the latest comments I made about seat adjustments were for the Looksha. remove and re-drill. es correcto?

The comments on thigh brace entrapment are valid. ANYTHING short of a bare cockpit can cause issue with entrance/ exit in a kayak. I have played around with all kinds of outfitting and ratchets and aluminum hooks could cause grief in a panic exit or re-enter and roll. The Wildy thigh hooks are no different (minus the ratchets) tho not the topic here.

>>Feet falling asleep.

see seat adjustment comment re-call. Had I known I would have adjusted the seat. btw, I did adjust it after I figured it out and yes it is GROOVY. Fits like a glove. Haven't seen if the balance on the water is close but assume with kit trim will be a non-issue. boat seemed very well balanced with seat in stock position. I moved forward 1.25".

>>3mm cord.

without failure?? I have personally replaced rental fleet Necky end toggle lines because of failure. Outrageous had failure. No I haven't gained weight but when one uses a bow and stern line car-hauling boats just the friction pulling them on and off will burn thru 3mm pretty fast.

Perimeter lines are OK, tho I prefer thicker. Just the feel of thicker line makes hauling loaded boats on gnarly terrain more comfy.

all in all, I really like the boat and my comments are legitimate in my kayaking world.


When I was in the Army
they called it quibbling.

A little too much vested?
If you helped design the Chatham, you are a representative of your company on this board. We are potential customers. Do you believe the tone of your response is appropriate to potential customers?

Two ways to take constructive criticism (from a professional, at that): (a) react defensively and rationalize decisions, or (b) listen to customers and make improvements.

If a professional kayaker, dealer, and designer (all in one) are providing feedback, you are probably getting solid product information. Bottomline: even if there are many “reasons” for the outfitting of your boat, if a pro can’t immediately see those benefits, it is probably worth getting more information from that person and re-evaluating design.

Based on your response, I would think twice about buying this boat, or any other from the company. It appears that it might be a chore to get warranty problems addressed, should any come up, based on the defensive tone of your response above.

I’m guessing
that the designers at Necky would not consider flatpick a pro… In fact, I’m certain of that!

welcome back Bro! I was wondering how long it would take for you to chime in with some of your most valued input.