chatham 17 dilemma

i’m a new paddler looking for his first boat. i’ve demoed & have been able to narrow down the list to the tempest 165 & chatham 16. should i consider the chatham 17? being so new, noone has it available to demo yet. i’ve demoed the tempest 170 & found it to be an unwieldy tub. could i expect the same from the C17? from a side-by-side spec comparison, the C17’s cockpit dimesnions are tighter than the T165, & C17’s beam width is thinner than both the T165 & the C16. the C17’s depth is smaller than the C16 & equal to the T165.

whats really putting the pressure on is that REI is offering 15% off all boats until the end of the week & necky is giving away a free tent with purchse. what to do?

At least sit in the boat, MUST MUST MUST!!!

You can’t go by the cockpit #s as those are just the opening…

I know people that swear by the fit of the C17 and the same # that swear AT it. Same is true for any boat.

You will soon forget the $$$ and the tent if you hate your boat…

Good Luck GH

if he gets it on discount,then doesn’t like it he’ll sell it for a good price to the next person!..yes,yes, buy it!

You’re right as usual Lee…
I wonder if he will throw in the tent to make a sale…

Never buy without paddling first!
It is difficult to decide on what boat you will like. I have demoed one boat several times, bought it, and after paddling a while realized I really didn’t like it.

To buy a kayak without paddling it is like getting married to somone you never met. Your chances of being happy with the deal is pretty darn slim.

I have never paddled a Necky Chathem 17, but I hear it is not a beginner’s kayak.

I speak with experience,… being stuck with a kayak you really don’t like, can take a lot of enjoyment out of your paddling time. I don’t get to paddle enough as it is, so I sure want it to be enjoyable.

Good Luck!

The Chatham 17 is probably a lot different than the Tempest or the Chatham 16. I know that the Chatham 18 and 16 are much different. I am sure that the 17 is unique as well.

I flat out don’t like the Chatham 16 (you can see in the other post here about this boat where I have commented). I think you would be very wise to try out the Chatham 17 before making a decision.


Chatham vs WS
I paddled both the Chatham 17 and a WS Tempest 170 a few weeks back.

Both were great boats and I had a very hard time deciding on the WS, but I did.

The WS fit me like a glove and the finishing details were nicer on the WS.

thanks for the responses. if i’m smart, i’ll use my better judgement & wait until i can demo the C17. hmmm . . . but i could always take advantage of REI’s return policy.

If you liked the C16
it might be worth getting it, and as you note, if you like the 17 better, return the 16.

I’ve not paddled a Tempest 16, but it seems the Tempest and Chatham are very different boats. It is also true that each iteration of the Chatham has a quite different fell. The 16 and 18 are VERY different boats. My recollection of the 17, from demoing one at GOMSKS, is that it falls somewhere between.

Ch17, plastic
just sat in one today,hope to paddle it tomorrow.

I’d be surprised if the volume is much more than the Ch16. The cockpit is what the Ch16 should have been. It’s perfect. The thigh braces are at the right angle, the coaming is wider, for some reason the 22" wide Ch16 has a 15.5" width cockpit (with the metal back band guides it’s tight down to 14.25" wide!) and the 21" Ch17 is wider, something over 16". Something tells me the Ch16 cockpit molding was made for the metal brackets but they really didn’t think through the consequences of all that adjustable back band hardware and it’s limitations on the fit at the hips/thighs.

One other improvement on the Ch17 over the 16 is that the skeg box doesn’t present a furrowing plow when the kayak is dragged by the bow.

One thing I can’t figure is why the front hatch/deck is so low. The Ch17 is shallower than the CH16 at the front hatch. If this kayak is meant to be a bit faster than the Ch16 and it’s more in the touring category it doesn’t make sense to make the forward compartment so shallow.

Kind of funny, the Ch18 has a huge cockpit compartment for it’s width. The Ch16 has a tight coaming. The Ch17 is a smidge too low at the front hatch. All these things are kind of small but they’re noticable. Anywho I’ll try the 17 manana.

I paddled the Chatham 17
at an expo in CT a few weeks ago. I am still a beginner after 2 years but I am trading up now.

I was impressed by the 17. While I did not have the skill to test all of it’s capabilities, it

seemed a solid and quick boat to me. I can’t believe that you could go wrong with this one.