I made a post asking about fast flatwater boats a while back and got some great responses.
I have since refined by search a little. I have a Dagger Meridian now and have discovered that I really like this style boat (British style hull, soft chines, skeg etc).
I am looking for a longer, faster, stiffer tracking boat to use on flat water----something in the 17-18 foot range. I want it to be fast with a lot of glide for flatwater, but still be maneuverable (as most British style boats tend to be). I like the Meridian but when I move back inland away from the ocean I will be paddling lakes again and want something a bit faster.
Boats that I am thinking of are the Romany Explorer, Valley Aquanaut, Necky Chatham 18, and the Q700 (available with skeg, but not really a British style boat). Maybe some of the Current Designs models available with skegs.
What do you guys think? Any advice?
thanks for your help!
well, i use
surprise surprise! A P&H Sirius, which is seventeen feet long, and twenty point five inch beam. I don’t use it much on the lakes but when I do, I have no problem keeping up with other boats on the water. Which would include a seaward quest, seaward cosma, p&h capella and several of the NDK boats. Boat is highly maneourable (I am five foot seven, one hundred and forty five pounds) and have no problems ‘rock hopping’ or playing in waves, or even on the lakes.
I have heard great things about the Current Designs Slipstream, being only sixteen feet I beleive. One of these boats just arrived in our club, and the paddler (Leslie - former seaward cosma paddler) seems to be much more confident in her edging, bracing and rolling skills. I think the boat looks ‘exciting’ - personal opinion only. I, myself will be keeping my P&H Sirius and purchasing a new boat for ‘playing’ (Yes I know, I finally broke down and decided to buy a second boat to own ) I really can’t decide between the VCP Pintail or VCP Anas Acuta…although I hear you can order older models of them now??? I better get to asking some questions myself
Good luck to you
Go over to MBK
and try out the Vivianne and Millenium by Kajaksport
Hey how was your trip??? I hope you got some good paddling in.
Great meeting up with you last week.
Great trip, report on Paddlers Place
length equals speed
simplistically put, but if you want fast, as in high top end crusing speed, you will need a long boat, with a slim beam. also not too much rocker which will reduce the maneuverability you would like. the Slipstream and larger Gulfstream are in no way fast boats. short (ish) and wide, they are great play boats but slow. think long and lean, like the Outer Island, Vivane, maybe the Andromeda (though it sure gets weird reviews). the Explorer is an awesome boat, but if you really want speed, you are looking for different animals altogether. mind you these really long boats are a lot of work to get up to speed and keep there. if some of the others on this forum start to chime in you will get a doctoral thesis on one heck of a complex subject! good luck!
i thought the impex outer island was
pretty durn fast, skegged, but not too british.
Definitely not British…mine doesn’t raise the water level in the LI Sound when I launch it. Have forgotten it has a skeg though as I have never deployed it! (never needed to)
If you edge her, she turns nicely, but if you don’t…
Brit boat for flat water?
Brit sea kayaks in general are not designed for flat water as there is little in the way of flat sea around there.
Certainly the Sirius, and Greenlander (especially the newer faster model) would dome to mind. brit boats are designed for rough conditions and often have a bit of rocker etc.
I'd look into a 700 for flat water speed. The caribou is a reasonably fast boat and for those under 200 pounds worth a look. Hard chnes on the caribou of course.
You are right that Brit boats are designed for rough water. I just like the way that they feel though as they also are very maneuverable for their length, I like their stability profile their response to leaning that their chines help provide-----I just find them to be fun and graceful boats to paddle. My Meridian is very graceful and a pleasure to paddle, but not a real speedster or stiff tracker.
I realize that the British style hulls will also be a bit slower relative to their length than some other designs, but to me that is a reasonable tradeoff given their super pleasant nature.
Our Brit Boats, Speed
Good points in the above post - these boats are designed for rough water which is not the same handling concern as straight speed. Also - you may get some real argument that the QCC700 hasn’t been given some hull characteristics that resemble the Explorer. But I’ll let those who know more on those boats get into that one…
I have an Explorer - LV but it’s the same hull as the full size. It’s average speed because of its rocker. My husband has a Valley Aquanaut, which is among the faster boats up to 4 knots and still carves a lovely turn. These are pretty different boats - the Aquanaut has less rocker so longer waterline, but it is an inch narrower at its waterline than my boat.
I forget the stats on the Necky Chatham 18, but you should confirm speed and resistance numbers. We’ve paddled a friend’s, and neither of us felt like it was as fast as the Aquanaut.
There are some good suggestions above with the Sirius, a great boat as long as you are comfortable with its kinda vague secondary stability point. The Greenlander Pro is actually a pretty fast boat, but like the Caribou you need to be comfortable taking it over to its chine to get it to turn. Similar with the Outer Island - not hard chined but it’s gotta be over there to want to turn steeply. (And requires a good skirt - very low height at the paddler’s hips.)
There are two other lines you should check out. The Nigel Foster boats made by Seaward, the Legend or the Silhouette depending on your size. Foster boats are quite efficient thru the water for touring speeds and Seaward makes a real nice boat. And as above the Kayak Sport line, especially if you fit the Viking. It’s not super hard to find dealers compared to some of these others. I only ever have tried their Millenium, but they are pretty fast boats overall and for an 18 foot full expedition boat both my husband and I were pleasantly impressed at how easily you could get it to take a turn.
You should take your time and sit in boats before you decide. The Dagger Meridian is, if I recall correctly, a much stiffer boat than the more moment to moment lively feel you’ll get from some of the others you mention. Given your starting premise, it’s likely the boat you end up loving will feel quite different from the one you have now. My husband and I spent a year and a half trying every boat we could find within 60 miles of wherever we were before buying our composite boats, and it was well worth it.
‘Brit style’ fast boats
The fastest Brit style sea kayaks thus far tested by Sea Kayaker are the Azul Sultan and the Foster Legend - both hard chined boats.
The fastest Brit style soft chine boats tested by Sea Kayaker are the Kajak-Sport Vivianne and Valley Aquanaut. The Aquanaut is the more responsive (playful) of the two.
Up to 4 knots the difference in drag among most sea kayaks is less than a pound. It is at 4.5 knots and above that the difference in drag becomes really significant. My reference to 'fast' is therefor based on drag figures at 4.5 knots and above.
Among the absolute fastest sea kayaks tested by SK are the Epic Endurance 18 and the Wilderness Systems Artic Hawk. Neither Brit Style, though the Artic Hawk being a very traditional West Greenland inspired design is closer to 'Brit style' than the Epic.
I confused your Dagger Meridian with another Dagger boat. The result of a year and a half plus paddle symposiums sitting in so many boats I can’t always keep them straight.
Bottom line is that you’ll likely find the Romany hull, found in both the NDK Romany and Explorer to feel pretty familiar. Aquanaut will feel more lively, also carves a turn a little nicer than the Explorer, and as above is definately faster.
Check out KajakSport
The Artisan Millenium or the Viviane would be worth checking out, plus you don’t see one every day…The Current Designs Andromeda is another I’d look at.
Fast Brit style
Riot Azul-hard chined, very fast
Tempest 170- very well behaved and surprisingly fast.
I have paddled all of the boats mentioned in this thread and the above two extensively.
QCC’s in "conditions"
dont discount the q700 because of all the “experts” who will tell you that it is solely a flat water boat. It does need some balast if you are getting into the crazy stuff, but I have no probs surfing etc in mine.
It is not as manouverable as a more heavily rockered “brit” boat though…
You’re generalizing too much
There are dramatic differences between various “British-style” kayaks. They don’t all feel like your Meridian. In fact, I found the Meridian to be somewhat unique in some aspects of its handling; specifically, its tendency to side slip in a beam wind. Stability of British-style boats varies widely (compare a Gulfsteam to a Sirius) and they’re all over maneuverability spectrum (a Pintail and a Nordkapp HM couldn’t be more different). You need to paddle a few of them to see what you like and don’t like.
Additionally, the same handling characteristics are available in other designs. If you like the “British” look, that’s one thing, but if you’re looking for specific handling qualities, looks don’t mean a great deal and can only give you a general idea of what a boat may be like.
fast brit boats
I like the one’s I have the P&H Sirius and the Nigel Foster Legend. Both fast and handle great. I see you also are thinking about the QCC-700 not a brit boat but very fast and comfortable. Good luck with your choice.
I second the Sirius