I am looking for a kayak in this length, like the Thermaform plastic and have read a lot of good reports about these boats. Since it is a fairly new boat not too many people have posted reviews so I wonder if anyone has some recent info on them. I currently have a 14’6" wide stable boat that I bought as a beginner but would say I am now an intermediate. I am about 5’7" and 150 lb and a strong paddler. I am hoping to go on long day trips and some camping and am in Northern Ontario where we have lots of open water.
I’m interested, too
Thermoformed is the only plastic I have liked. I’ve had two thermoformed, as well as two rotomolded – but generally paddle home-built boats. Thermoformed are somewhat lighter and stiffer, and are as tough as… plastic.
I’ve got a Perception Sonoma 13.5, and have had a Hurricane Phoenix 14. The Delta 16 looks appealing, though the rear deck is pretty high; that would be fine for gear hauling, and if one doesn’t do layback rolls.
Down here the REI chain sells Delta, as do a very few smaller shops, according to the Delta site. But, the Delta 16 seems awefully expensive for – even thermoformed – plastic: $2350. So, I’m curious if you can get a relatively better price, since they’re made in Canada.
The Hurricane Tracer might be a decent priced candidate – around $1600, I think – but, it’s 3/4 inch wider, and the cockpit is wider by 2 inches.
There are no kayak shops in my area. So, I’d like to ask you and others if there are other thermoformed kayaks that I (we?) should be looking at: 15 or 16 feet x 22 inches, and $1500 to $2000 range.
Take a hard look at Eddyline. If I recall they were first in Thermo and by far the best. Worth a look anyway.
It doesn’t appear that anyone is selling Eddylines for under the suggested retail price of $2600+. The Fathom LV looks appealing, though.
I have a Tracer.
I like it alot. It is about the same price as a RM boat and very well built. I feel the quality is as any, at a much lower price. Check out the Hurricane boats They have every thing for rec. boats to sea kayaks.
However, If you are looking at a Tracer DO NOT get one that does not have a skeg. The first boats made had no skeg and were very hard to handle. They have since redesigned it with less rocker and a skeg is now standard. It is a great boat for the price.
I’ve owned several rm sea kayaks and demoed a delta 17 with rudder a few months back. She’s not as sleek looking as my Shadow or Chatham and the hull wasn’t as stiff as the Chatham, but it was light for a plastic boat and the finish looked really nice like fiberglass - but without the fear of easy damage. Great outfitting and hatches and the non-sliding foot peg rudder was pretty cool, but I think it was more volume than I wanted in a boat. I’m into day paddles and weekend trips, not expeditions. She was pretty fast for that width beam, with the hard chines carving nice lean turns, but it was a calm day with no wind or waves, so I can’t say much about weathercocking or how it handles rough seas. I’d be happy to have one, but ended up building an Arctic Tern kit instead, which is cheaper, lighter, and stronger. Actually the hard chines on the delta convinced me to go toward a greenland style boat…
Do yourself a favor and look at the
Eddyline Fathom LV. If you want thermalformed, this is the one of the nicest I have ever seen (no it is the nicest). What I have not seen is the new Rockpool Alaw Bach. The pictures of this boat are very impressive and I would strongly suggest you look at it as well. Call Reed Rockpool USA and find out where you can see one. They are located in the PNW. The Fathom at $2699 and Rockpool at $2995 are not cheap boats, but Kayaks are like most things, you get what you pay for. The question then becomes do you need that much boat. If you are paddling alot and continue to develop your skills, the other thermal formed boats mentioned may be a stop on the road, whereas the Fathom and Rockpool might be a destination. I do not currently own any thermalformed kayaks, but likely will again someday. Bill
I own a Delta 16 and a Delta 12.10. The 16 is quick, agile and a pleasure to paddle. The boat edges very nicely, tracks wonderfully with the skeg slightly deployed. Initial stability is good and secondary stability is very good. It has handled choppy water very well, moves right through the swells and waves. I have only had it out a half dozen times since I purchased it in December and still getting to know it, but I have a huge grin everytime I go out these days. I also own a Prijon Motion. Having two day hatches on this boat, it would be tough going back to just the one rear. There is ample storage for a long weekend and longer id packed properly.
That being said, I am 5’9 160# and the boat can be adjusted to fit me like a glove. The seat is adjustable and quite comfortable for long periods of time. Everytime I take this boat out I it turns heads and gets all kinds of positive comments. I am very pleased with both my Delta’s. I test paddled several boats before I bought my Delta. I also quized Mark Hall from Delta numerous times about the this boat, because they are are hard to come by in certain areas of the country. No buyers remorse for me, I love this boat.
Eddyline are not available where I live. Another Thermaform boat line is the Seaward kayaks also made in Canada. I may have an opportunity to test paddle both the Deltas and the Seawards in a few weeks. Thanks for the info.
Regarding the high rear deck of the 16, have you done any cowboy re-entries?
I read something about unusual hatch hold-downs on the 16. What can you tell us about that?
I think you would find Eddylines and Deltas superior to your Perception or your Hurricane.
Eddyline has beautiful lines and finish, and the plastic is clearly superior to Hurricane. You will pay about $500 more for an Eddyline, but it is well worth the price in so many ways.
Where Delta excels: Same rigid material as Eddyline; same beautiful finish. The seat is better than Eddyline. The Deltas have a lot more volume than the Eddylines for touring. The Delta 14’ and 15’ are quite bulky and slow (although great recreational boats). I haven’t paddled the 16’—I would expect it to paddle completely differently from the 14’ and 15’. All I can offer is that Delta is known for stability in the shorter models, and the hard chines and shallow V should make the 16 stable.
The Eddyline and Delta sea kayaks are both shallow-V, hard-chined boats. Beyond that there are some significant differences in design. I can’t say that one is better than the other as I lack Delta 16 or 17 experience.
As for the price, I believe Delta and Eddyline are very close in price. $2350 is typical for a high-end thermoformed sea kayak. The goal with thermoform is to create a kayak that costs at least $500 less than fiberglass. Yes, Delta and Eddyline are about $1000 more than rotomolded, but they offer so much more to the committed kayaker.
I have no direct experience with the Hurricane Tracer. I tested their shorter models (Tampicos) and the plastic was unacceptably flexible—you can feel the whole boat flex when a wave hits you.
*** If you’re low on funds, I suggest looking for a used Eddyline Journey or Fathom. Also hunt for last year’s leftovers (new and demos)—there are still some to be had and I’ve seen prices below $2000. You will have some bargaining power for those leftovers.
Can you say more about stability?
What level kayaker are you, and can you describe the conditions you’ve had the Delta 16 in? (wind, height of waves)
The Prijon Motion being 23.5" wide, what did it feel like to transition to 22"? Tippy at first? How long to get used to the width?
How does the Delta 16 track without the skeg?
You’re always free to bargain when buying a kayak, for either a lower price or added services and equipment. Hard cash will improve your bargaining power. Don’t be shy. Do be discrete: don’t set off a price war by saying, “Joe’s Kayaks offered me $500 off.” Kayak dealers are touchy about that.
The weather has been a bit cold to do a lot of wet re-entries, but having done both cowboy and paddle float entries on my 12.10 (Cockpits are same length with the 16 being 2" narrower), I don’t foresee any issues on the 16. Spring is almost here, so I will be practicing shortly.
As far as the hatch hold downs, at first I thought they might be a nuisance, but they actually work very well. They are half turn latches, similar to a cam lock. There are 3 on each storage bulkhead and 2 on the day hatches. Once they are secured you are water tight, then with the bungee cords over the top of the covers it provides an added seal. I usually just secure the latches on the day hatches and leave the bungee un-secured so I have easy access to them. Having the latches on the day hatches are so much easier to open than fighting the tradional straps or bungees, IMHO
I am an intermediate paddler. I was concerned about a 22" boat feeling tippy after coming from the 25" Delta 12.10 and the Prijon. I test paddled several CD kayaks and a Valley Avocet and those felt pretty good, like I could grow into them.
The Delta16 never felt tippy for me, in fact it is has much better initial stability than the Prijon Motion. I really do like what Mark Hall has done with the hull design of the 16. I feel very secure even in bigger water and I know my confidence and skills will continue to grow and improve in this boat. We had some big waves out here in Northern California right about the time of the Mavericks and made it interesting just getting out of the harbor breakwater. The Delta feels to be right at home in confused seas and high surf. The boat tracks well with out the skeg, but when the winds come up, especially a cross wind, dropping the skeg just a bit puts it right on rails. From my perspective paddling into the wind is not an issue in this boat, I have traveled longer distances in a shorter amount of time in this boat as compared to what I had been paddling. It is like night and day. While I do love my Motion for touring (very comfortable), the Delta just literally glides like it is on ice in comparison.
Very convincing answer!
Thanks. Please keep us up to date. I would like to hear more in future.
Delta 16 skeg or rudder?
Does anyone have comments on the desirableness of a skeg versus rudder. I have paddled the skeg version and found it tracked amazing. my current boat however is a rudder and I am not sure which way to go. I will be getting a Delta 16 though.