Cockpit dimensions

Lesson learned. Couple of weeks back i sat in a Delta 17 sport. Cockpit was 31x16. Laterally fit like a glove. Depth no issue. I assumed that any other 16x… would be a good fit as well.

So today I drive 2 hours to check out CD Caribou, Infinity,Andromeda and Gulfstream. All these cockpits are 16.5 - 16.75 wide. Guess what? Didn’t fit in any of them. Plenty of height but side to side no way. I just wonder how these measurements are taken and if there is an industry standard as to at what point in the boat the width is measured.

I was very disappointed as i was psyched to get a boat today. Search goes on maybe an Isle 18 who knows.


inside vs. outside dimensions?
I’ve seen various measures for the exact same boat I have, none of which match my own measurements. Internet research will only take you so far in your search - ya gotta go demo before you can say for sure.

How big are you?
The Gulfstream was designed for and by a guy who is distinctly wide around the middle, Derek Hutchinson. So what are your dimensions/build again? It might help people point you at a boat.

Common problem in many industries
I always take a tape measure with me when I look at kayaks, and often scales. Published specs for hundreds of things don’t ressemble actual dimensions. Often when you call the manufacturer they will quote you a spec but you have to ask them to check it with a tape measure if it’s really important.

Depth is another dimension you really have to measure. There’s no telling how kayaks get their depth specs.

Celia; Dimensions
Hi. I weigh 258. Waist is 43 in. height 5ft 11 in. I thought the CD would all fit as their dimensions are 16.25 x 31-32. Length is not a problem.

I thought it odd the Delta 17 fit well and these don’t. i sat in the Caribou and no go so i went right for the Gulfstream and no-go.

I’m now considering a CD Isle 18, Valley Aquanaut or maybe a Wilderness Tempest 180 pro.

The big problem is I have called a couple of dealers and they do not stock the “big guy” boats. Explained to me its cash outlay and they rarely sell one. Makes it tough.

Now more thasn ever I know I made the right decision to not buy either QCC or NC as fit may have been a major issue.

If you can steer me to any other kayaks i’d appreciate it.

I am looking for a more “advanced” boat not a roto with a 26 in. beam

I know there is a kayak for me. I’m getting antsy as i have a week off starting next Fri and i really want to spend the week swimming, err paddling.



26 inch beam
Is a canoe, maybe a decked one.

Ryan L.

Whatever. I think you get the idea. Sold the canoe to get into kayak.

i was kinda being serious
The widest beam you will find on an “advanced” boat is 24" or so. A 43" waist is going to make alot of boats feel tight. But the cockpit is the issue, not the beam. I’m a larger than average fellow myself and feel your pain. Most seats or seat pans are also not bigger than 17. So that can be problematic also. I think if you find a boat with a cockpit of 17" width you will be fine. Solstice gt titan I think had a bit wider cockpit. I could be wrong though. I don’t know if wilderness systems makes the tsunami in a pro layup, but I would guarantee you would fit, if it has the same cockpit as the Roto 175 version.

Also I am currently infatuated with decked canoes and single blading my kayak, so I wasn’t really kidding that much.

Good luck.

Ryan L.

What were your thoughts about the Eddyline Journey? Sorry, I can’t remember much about your previous post.

Don’t like rudders. Just my thought. So If a WS would be either Zephyr or Tempest series, not Tsunami I’m thinking Tempest 180 pro (composite)

RE: CD Journey: I lean more towards the Nighthawk 17. I like the look of a longer kayak esp. with the wider beam. Again just my thoughts.

Any other suggestions?

BTW: I prefer made in USA. Thats why i lean towards Eddyline or CD. I also like the composite so again CD.

I hear the Valley Aquanaught would be a good boat for me but i cannot find one to even sit in.

Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5
there is one for sale, “great condition, minor scratches”, in the classifieds, in Florida, in an ad dated May 27. It is a seakayak w. skeg for the larger paddler w. a cockpit of 35" x 18.5" (the extra width there should be a help). Comes w. pfd paddle, cockpit cover.

If it is anyway possible to go there, you could not only sit in it, but take it out and actually paddle it -something that will help a lot even if it’s not the boat for you.

Thanks. I’ll check it out.


You like the look?
OK, well, looks do matter but that’s about the last reason for buying a 17’ kayak.

The Journey is an Eddyline. If I’m not mistaken, the Nighthawk is the older Eddyline hull. The new hull (Journey, Fathom, etc.) is in my opinion much better. The journey is 24" wide. That is more than enough stability.

Thermoformed plastic is a superb material. It has more or less no faults, unless you drop it off a tall building in the winter.

It’s hard not to like the Journey. I think you would be doing yourself a big favor to demo one.

well…not "no"
It’s not as easy to field repair as fiberglass (I’ve heard there are patch kits but I wonder how clean a repair can be made). But I have to say I’ve come around to this material if the price is right. One of the things it seems to do well is resist surface scratching.

If you can find used, …
maybe an Argonaut. Older Valley boat, big guy’s boat.

The biggest Solstice suggest below would work. Tracker, so stiff for anyone without the size, but at 243 you have the volume. And seriously huge guys like Wayne Horodowich get into that cockpit.


Main reason for a longer boat is for tracking. I know there are other factors like hull design as well that effect tracking.

If you look at the Journey and Nighthawk side by side IMO the Nighthawk looks alot sleeker. Just my preference.

I am checking out a Nighthawk 17 today.

The CD dealer near me is unfortunately on vacation for another week.

There is another dealer 2 hours away but website down. I’ll call.

As mentioned the biggest issue is the shops I call do not stock bigger boats “we don’t sell enough”.

I have not ruled out thermoformed. I did sit in a Delta 17 sport. I was concerned as when i sat on the rear deck for entry it flexed like a bodybuilder! Yes it bounced back but it was a bit odd to me.

I have heard there is a video floating around of a guy beating on a thermoform boat with a hammer: no visible damage.

It’s probably in my mind but I envision a composite to be “faster” due to smoother hull. Likely a non-issue but it’s in my head.

“More or less” no faults
You have to do something pretty radical to crack or significantly dent thermoformed plastic, like crash into a rock at high speed.

My thermoformed deck looks almost brand new in its fourth year now.

Perception Essence

– Last Updated: Jun-23-12 10:43 PM EST –

I am 230 and 5/11 and paddle an Essence 16.5 - It is 19.5 wide and plenty wide enough for me. My only gripe about it is I wish the deck height was a little higher for me to bend my knees more, but that is just my own left knee joint issues.

The foot room is huge in it, and I think it has a ton of storage. Its a plastic kayak, but it has been good for me and I feel comfortable in it and have a lot of room to move around. The 17" is even wider.

I believe the essence is very similar to the Tsunami - just with a Greenland style hull. I couldnt find one at a local shop anywhere but lucked upon trying one at a demo day while travelling. I ended up buying mine from Backcountry because they had free shipping.

Essence Airalite

– Last Updated: Jun-24-12 12:32 AM EST –

Yeah, I think the Essence was also made in thermoformed plastic, if OP continues to look at used boats in that material.

What exactly are you looking for & why?
I hope you will take a good look at the hull shape of the Nighthawk and ask about all of its features, and how each feature impacts performance, and then compare it to the Fathom or the Journey.

Did you mention in another thread what you’re looking for and what you’re going to use it for?

The Nighthawk is a behemoth weighing 60 lbs. I would think you would be buying it for a very specific reason, like tours on big water.

When you say the Nighthawk looks sleeker than the Journey I guess you mean longer and narrower, which in your mind means faster? Actually the Nighthawk is a half an inch wider and it weighs 11 lbs more, which is quite significant. It’s only faster if you feel like paddling hard all day. The rest of the time it may be slower.

Are you sure you understand the advantages of a longer kayak, and the price you pay for those advantages? It may track better, but it will be more difficult to maneuver. The Nighthawk looks to have almost no rocker.

The Journey is a good combination of tracking and maneuverability, for 11 lbs less.

The newer Eddylines have reinforcing “architecture” built into the decks. The Nighhawk doesn’t appear to have that, so I’m not sure about the stiffness of the rear deck.