Chatham 16 vs. Tempest 165

Rather impulsive but…
I just couldn’t pass it up!

Talked with a couple of paddlers on Paddlewise and they were pretty enthusiastic about the boat in combination with my criteria and physical build.

They felt it was one of the best ‘wind’ boats going. A real issue in Wyoming!

I’ll be traveling to Denver to pick it up next week and I’m going to try to find some ice free water where I can take a quick paddle… or swim!

I’d like to thank everyone here for their input in terms of boat recommendations. I know the topic is tedious and repetitive, but there is no better source for boaters than this site.

Now that I have a couple of people interested in my Seayak, I’m finding myself reluctant to part with the boat. It’s been a great friend and has taught me much. Maybe I’ll just add on to my garage…

Thanks to all.


Inside vs outside lean
Squash or others, can you explain the difference in handling during an inside lean between a boat that “wants” to do one and a boat that doesn’t want to. What would be the design factors that would affect that? Just an area I hadn’t thought about or read about before. I have tried inside leans a few times.

Paul S.

Thanks Squash
Now I really want to try a Chatham 16. My Elaho is the skeg version. I have always felt it has great secondary stability and extraordinary maneuverability. It seems to surf very well. It does not track particularly well and, while quick, is not fast.

If the Chatham has better secondary stability, tracking, speed, and manueverability, it could be my ideal 16ft boat!

Thanks too!
Just called my local shop…and I was truly surprised. They have a RM Chatham 16 in the heated part of their shop…it is about -20 with wind chill right now. So…in the next few days I’ll go sit in it…at least the first step.


As an owner of an “inland passage” design Necky, I’m wondering about the differences between the two goals. Seems everything you need for rough water can’t hurt too much in calm. I would guess the tracking isn’t as stiff in the Chatham and maybe the speed isn’t as great for an equivalent length traditional NW boat. Correct?

Personally, I like to be able to turn easily when I want to.

the myth of the perfect boat lives
The Necky Chatham does sound like a fantastic boat – and it looks pretty hot too. As an Avocet aficionado , I am sure that I would enjoy the Chatham as well. But you still can’t have everything in one boat. Rough water performance usually implies rocker and upswept ends. Speed on flat water or in moderate waves suggests more volume in the ends, less rocker, and a plumb bow and stern. Is it possible for a boat specifically designed for rough water to be fast? Yes, but fast is a relative term – many makers of 27" beam rec boats also claim their craft are “fast.” It will still never be as fast as a northwest-style boat of the same length and beam. Is the Chatham stable? Sure, but only as stable as a 20 inch beam boat can be - which is less stable than what most of us paddle right now.

Still looking forward to paddling the Chatham!