Enlightened kayak reviews or comments?

I was wondering if anyone had any feed back on this kayak? I looked at their website and it looks like they only have a 16 foot model. From all the hype they give thier craftmanship it seems as if this could be a great boat. If anyone has any opinions it would help out a lot. Thanks

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– Last Updated: Feb-08-05 7:17 PM EST –

There have been a few threads on this. Here they are:




I was just looking at the Kaper numbers on the their website, http://enlightenedkayaks.com/kayaks.htm

I wonder what is up with those, they are way better, all the way up to 6 knots, than SK has calculated for even fast boats such as Glider, FW2000, Futura II, etc. There is a disclaimer that the numbers are not directly comparable due to different weights being used (total weight of 275 vs. boat weight+250) but that only amounts to a 25-lb or so difference, unless I misunderstand something.

Seems hard to believe…


Same people who do Tribalance
I agree the features look good, the price is right and the outfitting is supposed to be very comfortable. They have a satisfaction guarantee, so you have the opportunity to test drive.

Winters boats are designed for
speed using the kaper program. Winters designed the kaper program and likes to optimize his boats to it.

The enlightened boats are probably super fast for a rec (they have about 15.5 feet on the water, lite touring, introductory sea kayaking boat so if that is what you want go for it.

On the other hand it has very high volume and might well get pushed around a bit by the wind.

Consider, for example, the Epic 18

– Last Updated: Feb-10-05 11:41 PM EST –

generally considered a pretty fast boat, with a long waterline. SK Kaper numbers 2.03@3, 3.55@4, 4.73@4.5, 6.47@5, 11.27@6. This would be for boat weight, either 39 or 48 lbs, plus 250 lb payload. The T16 table lists 1.49@3, 2.54@4, 3.55@4.5, 5.21@5, 8.22@6. This is for a total displacement of 275 lbs.

These numbers are profoundly different, not just a little different. And not just at low speeds where the shorter boat might be expected to do a little better. I dare say there hasn't been another boat reviewed by SK with numbers anywhere close to those. Is this magic? Hard to believe the approximately 25 lbs less projected displacement makes that much difference in the calculation. If it does, I guess I need to get more serious about dropping some extra pounds I've been meaning to.

To my knowledge, SK has never reviewed a QCC boat (or this one of course). We really need them to do that, don't we.


i know it isn’t the exact same boat
but Sea kayaker has reviewed the epic 18. Which is almost identical to the qcc 700?

I know, that’s where I got those numbers from.

I can only think of five explanations for the Enlightened Kayaks numbers:

  1. They are lying.
  2. They plugged some wrong numbers into the formula.
  3. There’s a weird thing about the formula that John Winters knows how to exploit but it has no real-world value.
  4. 25 lbs really does make that much difference.
  5. John Winters knows something about small boat hull efficiency that no one else does, and he isn’t telling.

    I wonder which it is…


perhaps they have taken the path…
…to “marketing-hype enlightenment.”

Looks Good
Have been sold on idea of Tarpon 140 recently but have not spoken with anyone about the “Fisherman” by Emotion. Looks pretty similar from what I can tell. What is the price range typically on these?

Quite a bit different
These two had different design intent. Similarities are on the surface, due to shared emphasis on efficiency. They do share very good primary/secondary - and both surf wind waves and handle chop very well. Both are great to paddle in a pretty wide range of conditions.

Q700 was designed as an long distance gear hauler, has a little more volume, and a lot more rocker. It works well with skeg or rudder.

Epic was designed more as a detuned race hull made into a good touring hull, has a much sharper bow entry and is a little narrower up front and a little wider aft to meet USCA spec. Made to have the rudder and use it.

Don’t let same hardware and similarly raked bows stereotype them. It would be no different than saying most Brit boats are the same.

Numbers one column off…
Maybe? Website typo? If so, that would look like:


3.55@4, 4.73@4.5, 6.47@5, 11.27@6.

Enlightened T16

3.55@4, 5.21@4.5, 8.22@5 - and don’t even think about 6 outside of a short sprint.

That sounds more believable to me. Crossover @ 4 kts. Under that who cares? They’re all easy under 4 kts.

I know you look at this stuff
Greyak, don’t the claimed Enlightened numbers raise your eyebrows just a little? Looks like you get a free half-knot or more with that boat, compared to most anything else (possibly excepting QCC)available.


Yes, it would
I hadn’t considered that one, guess there are six possible reasons.