Chatham Vs. Susquehanna

Bailout Package
I don’t have billions of dollars to give the auto industry, but I’ll happily give a canoe/kayak company a couple thousand every year!

Boats in stock and seated position

– Last Updated: Dec-21-08 3:13 PM EST –

Caught your post that you are trying to stay within boats that are in stock. What are the boats that are in stock in the 16-17 plus inches range near you? And are you ruling out or in demo/used boats?

Also, I had a thought about your seated position. Do you have a sense of whether you'll want your knees to be coming up on the higher side, or flatter? For those with tighter muscles in their lower back/hips/hamstrings, or with some issue in their knees, a higher knee position can be more comfortable. So you may want to take a look at forward deck height as a factor in your decision.

I tend to agree with some others on this one. Since you are already comfortable moving thru canoes rather than expecting one perfect boat, you would likely be fine picking a kayak to start and seeing if you want to try another at the end of the season.

Thank you Umnak!
Can only speak to Chatham Strait and agree it’s a great place.

Some take awhile to know?
“I was a pro tester for magazines some years ago and I can tell you that it’s business and not really objective…”

Nice to see that said somewhere, sometime.

“Listen to your body and your sub-concious. They won’t lie to you.”

Would it also be correct to say that it may well take a fair bit of time in any boat before you really know how well you like it? I know after my first few paddles in an AA it was not a boat I liked at all, but I struggled on and in the process it not only taught me many things, but I came to appreciate its qualities. Perhaps I just got used to its quirks. Still, the experience suggested to me boats that prefer some finesse and skill may make bad initial impressions to a novice paddler, but can lead to a very rewarding lasting relationship and improved abilities if some time is spent by the paddler.

I think so eel

– Last Updated: Dec-21-08 1:52 PM EST –

That's the hard part for folk. A boat that excels in certain conditions will likely not be so effective in others. The more focuse the design the less all-round it will be. Even within a category it can take lots of seat time to really understand a boat (my opinion).

Bias is rampant and folk want answers so they can feel assured of their choice (s).

I believe people paddle what's popular with their instructors or club members. They want to belong and get assured that their boat is OK. Just as showing up to a Harley event with a BMW isn't so cool... so goes kayak choice.

If you were to decribe to me a newer paddlers progression, where they paddle, who their influencers are etc, I bet I could tell you what brand they will end up buying. It's regional, biased, sometimes dogmatic, perfectly natural, and is what it is. Pro's are loyal to sponsors and will push whatever they are given. Instructors will push what their shop owner has in inventory. Mags will make sure sponsors get their share of "awards". All normal business which is neither good nor bad..just "is".

It's all good I long as you go paddling in whatever your "perfect" boat may be.

I heard Foster say something on a video that I thought very smart. He said you could design a boat for a given wave.. and all boats have things they do well and limits.

More info . . .
Thanks to everyone who posted so far.

With regard to the knee/deck height thing, I have spent lots of time in a sea kayak, but it was huge. I think I want a tighter fitting boat, but still with some bend. I have pretty short legs, though, so I don’t expect it will be an issue.

As for stability, I can roll, and hope to improve over time. However, I am not one of those whitewater junkies who can handroll anything anytime. My roll is fairly consistent in the pool, and reasonably reliable in a loaded touring kayak. That said, I have missed rolls and I have never had the opportunity to do a roll that wasn’t expected/set-up. To sum up - I want to be able to roll, but not have to roll.

While I was initially set on composite/glass, I think I might end up with a plastic boat for the very reason of allowing me to change more cheaply.

Done - Capella
While shopping around, I found an off-rental Capella 166 and took it home. As some suggested, I will use this and discover what I do and don’t like about it. Hopefully the next boat will then be a glass version of something similar.

Thanks for all the help. If you think I made a reasonable choice, feel free to let me know (just kidding, of course - you can tell me if you think I was foolish too!)

Great choice…go paddling.