Considering a CLC Pax 20 for racing.

I have gotten into racing…marathons and ultramarathons. I have a qcc700 which is a great boat…perfect for ultramarathons (I used it in the MR 340 (340 mile continuous race on Missouri River…but for shorter races (i.e. marathon…typically 30-40 miles)…considering the Pax 20 from CLC. I have built several boats…love the look of wooden boats…so hence the interest in the Pax 20. I intend to put the seat and cockpit forward an inch or two to avoid squat and may even squeeze the plans (less beam on bow and stern sections) …just a touch to create more knife in the front and less stern drag. Will forgo the skeg for an overstern surfski style rudder set up and a tiller bar for steering (good solid foot platform)…well there ya go…best layed plans of mice and men…am I on the right track??..what do others think of this boat (my qcc is very fast as is)…comments?


– Last Updated: Aug-22-07 9:41 PM EST –

you'd be doing something similar to what some folks did with the discontinued Northbay. I'd suggest going all the way and make the hull out of eight panels or consider making it out of very thin bending ply around/in a mold. You're coming from more experience as a paddler than what went into it's design.

Sounds like a fun project…
But I think you will very disappointed in the speed of the PAX 20 …

Have you looked at Nick Shades Mystery design ?

Onnopaddle…I talked to Nick Shade via phone today…about his thinking when he designed the boat and due to his partnership with CLC…tried to get his opinion on the Pax 20…he was pretty nuetral…but did not say the mystery was intended to compete with other unlimited boats. I am intimidated by the strip build process…silly, as I have built up 5 wooden boats and two sof’s …I should just jump in and go for it. I like the lines and look of the Pax 20…but that is not a reason to choose a boat.

I really would like a huki s1-xs…but cant find one used and cant afford one new

I am just looking for an edge on shorter (less than 50 mile) races than my QCC 700 gives (I love my QCC)…perhaps I should forgo the new boat jones and just work on the engine somemore!

I don’t know that the Pax 20 is any quicker than the Q-ship; in fact, I think I’d give the nod to the Q, from experiences coming up against a number in the races. I share your admiration for a wooden boat though; Nick’s Mystery is just flat out beautiful. Nick’s a very competent paddler and a heck of a designer/builder as well. Canunut has a very fast wood boat built to just meet the class specs (and he’s a heck of an engine as well).

If you wanted to stay in Touring, then there are a few options that come to mind: EFT, Rapier 18, Epic 18x, or the new Kayakpro Nemo/Marlin. I believe these all fall within most specs. I have an EFT-significantly faster than the Q-Tip, and have also raced the Rapier 18 (quirky, but fast). If you’re talking unlimited, then any of the fast skis, Thunderbolts, Vampire, Mohican etc. will fit the bill. The touring class is wrought with some aforementioned ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing,’ my own boat included here. There is a considerable performance gap between some boats and others in the class. Good luck running say a Legend or Falcon 18 against one of the others. I got tired of watching the EFTs disappear over the horizon when I raced my Q and finally tried one-wow. What a superb boat that can be paddled day to day. In the unlimited class, the boats are fairly closely matched, and it really is more about the engine.

one issue
Not to be rude…but what I would like to know is the experience of anyone who has actually paddled this boat (Pax 20)…I have talked to one racer who used it and loved it…and it has been used to win races by more than one paddler. In both cases they moved the seat forward…which is a common thing that has to be done when wanting to race a sea kayaks…to avoid stern squat.

I will use the boat as a flat water racer…not typically in heavy waves or surf like conditions.

Anyone actually paddles a CLC pax 20…and did you like it or not???

Have paddled it in flat and ocean
conditions. Comments above.

I’m curious
I built the prototype seven yrs ago and watched it shot into production. Curious to know your impression of it’s handling in waves. I talked to one fellow who paddled it in the SFBay who said it was hard to control but like any solicitation of opinions it matters what their reference is. My gut feeling was that the flat wave piercing bow is going to be a problem.

results of modified pax 20
I built the boat…and it is fast…I substantially changed the build…knifed in the front (more k-1 style)…removed the flair…reduced the beam to 18.5 inches and pushed the keel line down 2-3 inches…modeled the boat after some of the SRS K-1 racers…flat water racing boat. The end result…fast, fast, fast…is actually pretty stable…and can handle boat wakes or 1-2 foot waves…no worries…is it a touring sea kayak…no…not what I wanted…I did a 5 mile run the other day with a gps average speed of 6.5 mph …sprinted it to 8.3 mph…way faster than my QCC 700…really pleased…and the boat is light (I passed on the kings plank and cutt the shear clamp to 1/2 inch and used s-glass on hull only and worked hard to keep epoxy fillets to a minimum…end result is boat is under 35 pounds…I used a carbon fiber rudder and carbon fiber tiller system for steering (that is the only draw back of the boat…she does not want to turn…tracks like on a rail…I actually wanted this…use for racing on Missouri River…which is a pushy river with boils and cross currents, etc.)…I actually have no idea how a stock pax 20 paddles…but I sure like this modified version!