Chatham 16 ?

I currently paddle a 165 Tempest (plastic) and pretty much enjoy it. I’ve had an interest in upgrading at some point to a composite boat, and figured I’d test paddle a bunch this year, but hold off buying untill next fall or the following the spring.

I stopped by a small shop today that had a new Chatham 16 in fiberglass sitting in the window (one boat that I figured I’d like to try). The price tag says $1,695 and makes my head cock over to the side… my tail wags as I walk inside. Without a test paddle, I wouldn’t normally consider it (this place doesn’t offer test drives), but the price has me interested enough to ask whether or not I should consider buying it.

What differences am I likely to find paddling this boat compared to my T165? I’m just an average paddler, average build and day tour on lakes mostly. I do like the maneuverability of T165, and it’s ability to turn easily.

Thanks in advance for your humble opinions.


Guess it depends on what you …
… mean by “pretty much enjoy”. What do you like and not like about the T? That might help you target other boats to try.

I went from plastic to glass on the T because even after trying a few other boats, the T still felt the most “right” to me. The Chatham was not on my list to try, so can’t comment on that boat.

But it’s always a good idea (ie opportunity) to try out boats before you buy a new one. Other good boats in that size to try might be the Capella, Avocet, and one of the Impex boats.

Very neet boat
I’ve not paddled a Tempest 165, but have paddled many other day boats.

I own a Romany and an Elaho DS. The Chatham 16 holds its own very well in such company. My recollection is that is it more playful than an Avocet, and most similar to a Romany – but better built and more tweaked. It is a playful boat which some devotees feel is the most responsive coastal play boat available.

I never advise buying a boat without paddling one (though I’ve done so repeatedly with ww boats). It is a very good price. Maybe you can find a paddler near you who has a Chatham 16 you could try?

If you don’t
buy it, what store and town?

It’s an excellent coastal play boat
It was designed specifically as such and is great fun in big water, rock gardens, surges etc.

I would not recommend it as a flat water boat.

You have a good boat already so I say put the cash toward an awesome paddle, or a trip. If you go glass see if they have a CH17, or something else that would be more different and compliment the well-rounded 165. Re: the Chatham’s the 17 is a better all-rounder and quicker flat water boat.

don’t listen to Salty
It’s $1,695. Get the boat.

well now…
Just cuz YOU want one for that price isn’t a reason to for the OP to buy it when it may not be the best boat for him.

I would agree that a C/16 is a great ride if coastal play is involved but there’s no reason to jump on it just for the $$$ saved, when flatter, calmer waters is your forte.


Where do you paddle?

– Last Updated: Mar-25-08 8:10 AM EST –

Depending on how and where you paddle, a more playful boat may be anything from perfect to a poor fit.

steve, you know me
you couldn’t get me in a Chatham 16 if you used a stick of butter and Jaws of Life!

Chatham 16
Outstanding play/surf boat, very comfy in rough stuff. I think it has a bit more rocker than T165, and is slower. Very maneuverable, tracks extremely well. Romany-inspired hull. It’s not that low volume, although it looks so, but has a very narrow keyhole cockpit designed for small people. Excellent build quality.

we’d all like to know where it is
If you’re a 175lb person looking for more stability, down wave control or resistance to weathercocking it’s a good choice, if you’re a lighter person looking for the same ease of paddling or faster for flat water it’s not really a better choice.

If you want to buy it just because it’s below wholesale,er,ok

Very NICE Yak
Believe it or not, the Chatham 16 likes to keep up with my Explorer and my buddies improved Current Designs Gulfstream.

I paddled it. It seems very nice in following seas, turns like a dream, fast for amount of rocker, etc.

Better than a Romany? Don’t know…

For as much rocker as it has, it sure seems fine enough on flatwater as long as you’re not trying to win a race against a QCC, Solstice GTS, Epic 18, etc.

More a playboat, it seemed good in the waves and wind we had that day. Seems to me to have a higher deck than the NDK’s. Seems to sit higher, but is well behaved. More volume than standard NDK’s.

At that price, if you like rocker, turning ability, good manners in chop, I’d say…

Tell me again where it’s located… :wink:


For what it’s worth

– Last Updated: Mar-25-08 12:16 PM EST –

The hull is quite unique to a Romany...more Coaster like in fact. The designers of the 16 like attributes of several boats and came up with a different design that isn't a copy of anything, but similar to several. The Romany was one of several boats owned, paddled, and enjoyed by the designers, so yeah, it was one of several boats that had positive attributes, and the CH 16 would be in that class of playful boats.

The deck is not taller than a Romany. It's a pure designer boat designed for themselves essentially. No one has, or could legitimately call this boat a copy of anything.

As others have noted it's not as slow as folk like to say, and in big water it excels.

A plastic Chatham 16 was the first
sea kayak that thrilled me when I test paddled it on a windy lake in Madison, WI a couple summers ago. It was a blast on the boat wakes & chop. It went any direction I wanted quite easily. I would have bought it on the spot, but after paddling much of the day, it was too heavy for me to pick it up to put it on my car, so I didn’t buy it. At a listed weight of 62 lbs, it was too heavy for me. If it had been 10 or 15 lbs lighter, I would have bought it.

I wasn’t thrilled with the cockpit outfitting in the plastic Chatham 16, the seat back adjustment straps seemed to cut into my legs a bit.

It was a wet ride - every time went into a wave and into the wind, I got sprayed in the face. It was a fun but wet ride.

I’m 5’6" and 150 lbs.

I’ve never paddled the Tempest 165, so I can’t compare the two.

I’ve never paddled a composite Chatham 16, so I can’t help you there either, but the price on that composite at $1695 is just $200 more than the plastic model that I test paddled two years ago was.

I’m just a novice, so my impression of the Chatham 16 may not carry as much weight as the other posters.

I’m going to pass …
on this one. As good as deal it is, this boat doesn’t appear to cater to my type of paddling. A sweet looking boat, wish I could have paddled it.

Those who are interested in it can shoot me an email. The shop is located up in the northeast.

’07 Chatham FG 16, yellow/white, $1,695

Also available:

’07 Elaho FG, Mango, $1,695

’07 Loosha IV FG, red/white, $1,695