Elaho rudder vs Chatham 17

Hey.Looking for opinions from people that either owned both or did enough seat time in both to make up a really informed impression.

Situation: I have an Elaho that i’ve used for mostly overnight touring and longer daypaddles for last 2 years, not a fan of the rudders so i installed solid footpegs eventually and removed the rudder.

I get a chance to trade for a Chatham 17.

Both boats being poly, my elaho is an oddball 01’ model with hard plastic bulkheads,the chatham has normal thick foam ones.

What i’m hoping to gain …a bit more knee/foot room(i’m 6’1 with size 12), a bit more neutral handling in quartering seas/wind,hopefully a bit quicker boat, and slightly nicer outfitting,though the elaho is just fine in that aspect.

What do you think? My main concern is that i will give up A LOT of storage capacity in the tradeoff.

can’t speak to foot/leg room
but the down wave and control in high winds is infinately better. I think the Elaho might be more efficient/slippery in the water.

The Chatham is a slim, sharp nosed boat and, like you said, you’re going to lose some storage space. Keep in mind the internal parts of the Chatham’s skeg will cost a little more space in the rear as well. I’ve sat in a Chatham 17 at the dealer (never paddled one though) with my size 10 street shoes and my feet felt pretty cramped. It would probably have been less of an issue if I was wearing my water shoes or a neoprene boot, etc…

Currently own both a CH17 and an
Elaho HV. The Chatham in my opinion, will not have significantly greater foot or legroom. In fact, your size 12 feet may be a bit of a challenge in the CH for long term comfort. The CH definitely has less storage capacity, at least as compared to the HV. What you’ll likely gain in reality with the CH is better maneuverability and rough water capability. The CH is also a very easy roller.

Thanks,good to know. Elaho is actually a notoriously easy roller as well.It’s the only real sea kayak i’ve had in “conditions” and i thought it’s fine all n all, my main complaint is weathercocking and lack of knee/foot room(but they say elaho was never intended for people with feet over 10-11)

Elaho or Elaho Hv?

– Last Updated: Dec-12-07 10:05 PM EST –

The regular 15' Elaho is VERY snug compared to the Chatham 17. I wasn't sure if you're talking about the longer 17' Elaho HV with rudder or original Elaho with the long metal skeg that drops from a slot off the stern. Two different boats.
Compared to the regular Elaho the Chatham 17 can be driven faster although it's not really 'fast'. It has more room and is much, much nicer in wind and much faster/secure down wave. I don't think it's more manueverable than the Elaho.
Necky was whipping out so many kayaks (just look at all the models that showed up and dissapeared in the last ten years) trying to re-invent the wheel through marketing and tossing tracking aids on them. The Elaho originally came out in a skegged version with rudder showing up later. The skeg really didn't stop the weathercocking.
You could have a stuck or broken skeg on the Chatham 17 and still be able to paddle beam to a 20mph wind comfortably. The Chathams become more stable surfing down little waves which is about opposite to the old Arluk III.
oops, you said ruddered. I can't keep track of all the versions of the Elaho that came out. My comments are about the DS version and not the slightly longer ruddered version.


it’s a regular volume rudder version of the Elaho, 16’2’’ long i believe.

oh heck
pretty sure you’ll be getting much better down wave and high wind performance with more stability. From my rough recollection sitting in the ruddered Elaho and paddling the Ch17 I think the thigh bracing is tighter on the Elaho.