cruising speeds

Anyone know of a website which compares the average speeds of different open water touring kayaks? I don’t have much experience with long distance trips in boats other than my own, (Prijon Kodiak) but I average better than 5 knots in it, which seems to be slightly higher than many fiberglass or even kevlar models that are lighter. This is anecdotal only, which is why I was looking for something less subjective. I know weight plays a fairly small part in speed, but it still surprised me.

Mariner has a downloads page
on it I think you can still find drag comparisons of many different touring boats. The info is technical and much of it is beyond my comprehension but there is info that a layman like myself can find practical. Go to the menu in the upper left and click on downloads. Somewhere in there you might find what you are looking for. Hope this helps.

The engine has a heck of a lot to do…
with it.



A 5 knot average cruising speed
is around 5.5 mph and that’s a pretty good rate no matter what you’re paddling. I’m happy with 4.2 John

See, I wish I had
the opportunity to take a variety of boats out for longer paddles. The fiberglass and kevlar boats I have had out that are comparable in dimensions to mine, feel a good bit slower, which really surprised me, but I haven’t been able to take them out for a 25-30 mile day. Things to look forward to…

hey superman
if your cruising speed is 5 knots you clearly wear a cape.

Bingo,… it ain’t the boat

– Last Updated: Nov-23-07 11:52 PM EST –

damn, which I could post pictures.'s the motor and I wear a cape.

Using charts with drag characteristics will give you an ideal on how fast YOU can paddle a particular hull.

My kodiak is slower than yours:

2004 cane river lake race

no current, some headwind

26.2 miles in 4:57 (5.29mph)

how much difference does the paddle make

for instance…

– Last Updated: Nov-24-07 8:16 AM EST –

(assuming that you are the same engine in the different boats) lets say you wanted to compare cruising speeds of a Prijon Kodiak and Current Designs Extreme. Mariner kayaks put together a Drag prediction sheet for narrow hulls that shows the Kodiak with a total resistance of 10.73 at 5.5knots and the Extreme at 9.95. From that I would gather that the extreme would be easier to cruise at 5.5knots. The same effort used to propel the prijon kodiak would result in a higher cruising speed in the cd extreme. There are lots of different boats on the drag prediction sheet that you compare theoretical drag predictions for at different cruising speeds from near 0knots to around 8 knots. If your boat does not show up in the drag prediction sheet you can enter the dimmensions of the boat and get helpful info. There are different numbers for plastic, wood, skins, kev, ect.
I am sure the spreadsheet is full of flaws. Probably based on straightline flat water forward motion with no waves or wind but it's probably a good baseline to start with. There are probably better programs out there.

paddle speed
in my experience the paddle does make a difference. in my sea kayak i can sprint faster with a euro (lightning carbon) than a greenland, though the greenland will hold a nice pace for a longer period of time. a wing paddle will greatly increase your speed if that’s what you’re after. You use your larger muscles eg back, shoulders, abs, and are forced to do a proper rotation, so you’ll go much faster for a longer period of time (assuming you’re reasonably fit in the first place!).

Big difference.
the lighter the paddle, the faster you will go.

The wing is the fastest and depending on if it is a sprint race (short one) or a marathon (long one) will determine wether you use a light weight small wing or a larger one. The large one would be the fastest for the short race, but will wear you out in the longer race where a smaller one would be better.

I am not talking about an elite racer here, but the every day Joe, (or Jack) who enjoys racing.



Thats what I love about my
Pamlico 140. Its excellent at Cruising. Its not very fast at accelerating, And it takes a bit of effort to get it going, but once you reach your top speed, it maintains it and Tracks wonderfully. Sure, its not the fastest, but its easier to keep at a steady speed than alot of Expedition kayaks I’ve paddled.

Lendal Kinetic Wing
Been playing with one of these recently, and I really like it. Sort of a hybrid between a full on wing and a touring blade. Great catch and nice to tour with. Braces and rolls are fine, as is sculling etc. Sorta weird with draws, but excellent duffeks… Would not use for Rock Gardens or surf, but for general touring it’s a nice compromise.

with the grey thing in the bow?
i heard that increases speed as well.

On a 26 mile paddle

– Last Updated: Nov-26-07 3:23 AM EST –

I'm not holding a 5 knot average. You're definitely ahead of me there. I'll hold that pace for 10 miles, then it's time for a nice nap. I don't mind pulling 30 miles in a day, but when I do, I'll drop down to 3.5 knots or so for an average. It just seems that the kodiak will hold a faster pace for a decent distance better than other boats I've been in. I love mine.

Hey thanks for the site
I havent gotten around to playing with it yet, and like you say, there’s caveats, but it’s a great start.

pam 140 top speed.
I borrowed one of these boats during a group paddle. The hardest part was gearing down the engine once it hit hull speed.

Thought by switching boats and paddling the slowest hull in the group that I would stay with the group better. Alas, I would hit a good cruizing speed (is that an oxymoron in a pam140?) then stop and wait for the group.


the wife just tapped me on the shoulder and said it was a dagger blackwater 10.5 that I switched into during the last group paddle.

That was a fun day. After several miles of paddling. My wife switched to my q700, the Blackwater paddler got my wife’s prijon kodiak, and I paddled the Blackwater for the final 3 miles back to the put-in. The wife wasn’t that happy because I did not take the bungie cord off of the q700 before she started paddling it.

(I put two wraps of bungie cord around the hull just in front of the cockpit for most of our group paddles. Slows the glide a bit, allowing me to maintain a decent cadence while still staying close to the group pace)