Enlightened Kayaks

-- Last Updated: Aug-25-04 9:42 PM EST --

I found this in my email for those that are interested.


another (sigh) john winters designed kayak.

Nice website I was all geeked to see what they would be building, and then my heart sank when I saw all the John Winters engrandisement and propaganda. It was like being told you were going to see Schindler's List and then finding out that someone tricked you and they are showing Leni Riefenstahl's the Triumph of the Will.

Another one bites the dust, and another one down...

so whats not to like?

I can hear the…
“Pay for quality” crowd now. LMAO!!!

Paddle easy,


Who cares
It’s still a great boat at great prices by a great designer and it really seems like it is a QCC Kayak company. Best kayak company I’ve ever done business with.

I don’t understand the complaint.

for my money, that’s one ugly ass boat. never liked the qcc’s either that folks rave about but that’s just my personal asthetics…

sorry, those boats just don’t hit the sexy button.

what is exactly YOUR complaint though?

Beamy barrel
I’d like to like the kayaks (Swift, Epic, QCC and this one) that are Winters (or Winters like) designs, but many of them, such as this one, are awfully beamy and high decked. I think I can recall one QCC and one Epic that have decently narrow beams and reasonably low decks.

Also does Winters think day hatches impede glide?

Know whatcha mean Keith
I don’t think my thighs could even reach the thigh braces in that big sucka. That’s one big yak!

Watch Out
Watch out for those OCC guys. There’s a QCC mafia out there. I’ll stay with my Prijon Eski, best 16’-6" hull made at any price.

Close but no cigar

– Last Updated: Aug-26-04 1:13 AM EST –

The 600 and 700 are both reasonable of beam at 21 inches. Ther are lots of beginners, wannabees, lake cruisers, and heavier folk who want a 24 inch boat. On the other hand there are few who can handle a 17 inch wide surfski (not me I'm sure). But it's all paddling and it's all good. A thermoformed boat at that price will make things better for all.

I find winter's boats to wide in the bilge for their overall width, and to have too much boat slap. The bilgyness of his boats gives them good primary stability, but means that they do not give as good feedback as the approach the capsize point. I wish he paddled in steep chop more. I'd love to see his mathematical precision married to more experience of rough conditions. I think he personally favors the Qcc 600 of all the Qcc boats. It is a reasonable sea kayak at least.

Looks just like a QCC-500, wonder what the price actually is? I think it looks nice. of course I am Biased and own Two Qcc-700s. I dont like the Elf shoe boat look… Its anuther option for folks and thats not a bad thing.

agreed…the elf shoe look
may be effective in avoiding hull slap in certain condistions, but, really, it does look so silly.

tell us what you paddle, kwikle
I am not an experienced sea kayaker. I use a Q700 and can only compare it to a few other SINK’s. From what I have read, John Winters appears to be as advertised, a great kayak designer. What are you paddling that is better?

Can I appreciate the design…
without wanting the boat? I understand the advantage of a plumb bow, but I also understand the inflexibility of it to overcome adverse conditions. But hey, if you really like QCCs and Epics, but can’t afford them, and don’t plan on paddling anything but flat water very fast, this seems like a good solution. Kudos to the manufacturer.

Now THAT’s Fugly…

– Last Updated: Aug-26-04 12:40 PM EST –

at least to THIS beholder :-) Yeah, I guess I'm just a shallow guy but good looks just has to be part of the overall package!

I think keith meant (if I may)
that it ain’t very enlightend, unless of course it weighs #40.

Myself; I pay no attention to yaks built for the masses. And I couldn’t imagine paddling a boat built for a multi-month expedition on my day trips. But that’s just me. I also find the Q700 a nice looking boat, and at least it doesn’t have a radical shear line with plumb ends, rather, it (the Q700) looks right and rolls quite nicely which I doubt that boat does.

It’s rudder don’t stick straight up, eh, Jack? LOL!

Boy, do that look like a 600 or what?

As for the comments, it is -as we all know -a case of been there done that for all the plusses & minuses of volume, deck height, rudder/skeg, plumb bow, (& resultant handling), etc., etc., etc.

Now if one of these were to fall into my lap, I wouldn’t say no thanks, and ditto for a 600 or 700. But they aren’t for all paddlers in all seas in all seasons.

Love it or leave it, it’s each’s choice, as we all, in whatEVER we have -OR aspire to! -

Paddle On!

-Frank in Miami

Lighten up (but I agree to a point)
Why would you even be looking at a boat like this Keith? Of course you would be disappointed with it! You don’t paddle big barges.

I really don’t understand what you have against Mr. Winters (except maybe that his first name’s not Nigel), and don’t care. I also don’t see how it’s relevant.

I love Winter’s design thinking - and QCCs quality and commitment - and it looks like Enlightened Kayaks will operate in a similar manner.

That said, I don’t like this boat either. The ONLY QCCs I like are the 600/700. This boat specs out more like a 500. The 500 is an older design inherited from Swift (who QCC built for) that has been changed a bit since. Some history on the 500:


(Side note for Q700 owners: This message from Winters may also shed a little light on all the cockpit shifts on the 700. Original one being made for heavy loads and rudder use, Second version for lighter loads (as most paddle it) with rudder or skeg as options but not needed as much, Third [current] also for lighter running - but a bit more favorable to rudder [better control with it] as that’s what most order, and still probably OK with skeg or nothing much of the time. My theory anyway.)

So like the detractors here - I think it’s huge and beamy, etc, etc. But we who think this way are obviously NOT who this boat is targeted at.

For those wanting such a kayak - this looks to be tough, well thought out, and a bargain. I look forward to seeing other models as lighter less expensive boats like this open up a wider market. Service like QCCs captures it.

Check out the safety pages. For the folks who will never roll, they have a lot of built in assistance (flush rear bulkhead for easy dewatering, insanely overkill paddle park/strap system [mixed emotions on that], a port for one handed bilge pumping, and even a set out outriggers!).

Thanks for the thread Keith - I’m sure it will end up helping them sell a few more! For you, if you’d consider non-Brit, maybe that Outer Island - otherwise you’re going to have to build/commission something to be excited. You’re pretty much at the end of commercial options.

inflexibility of plumb bow myth

– Last Updated: Aug-26-04 2:22 PM EST –

kayakers and most other boaters love tradition. new ideas take a while to get used to.(plumb bows have only been around a couple hundred years, not the several thousand of upswept ends). if you have an 18' boat and want to make it more maneuverable, sweep the ends, throw in some rocker, and you have a boat with a 15' waterline that turns like a 15' boat. and is as fast as a 15. or you can have a 15' boat with plumb ends that is just as fast and manuverable as an 18' foot boat with upswept ends.

Yes, my ultimate dis-satisfaction with the Winters boats I’ve tried is their lack of liveliness in the water. I like an active responsive hull that is fluid through chop and swell. The ones I’ve paddled, while fast, feel inanimate or abrupt.

Some time I will get to somewhere I can test paddle a QCC700 - that and Epic boats seem like they would be fun boats to paddle.

Not misconceived nor misunderstood.
I understand that a plumb bow gives you a full waterline length advantage. I also can see how one will cause the craft to ride up on chop rather than cutting it as a lower volume bow should, making for a much rougher ride in moderate weather. Combining the plumb bow, a higher volume hull, and little to no rocker (as most Winters designs appear to be), it should bob like a cork in waves and cause hull slap. On the flip side, it should also fly on calm water.