Wha Ho, Pilgrims;
Fat Elmo’s got a question. After a year of on-and-off building a Pgymy 17’ Artic Tern S&G kayak (lookee shur purty), I finally took it out for sea trials at a local reservior last Saturday. Granted, I have no seat, backband, thigh braces or foot pegs installed yet (stuffed it full of old pfd’s) I noticed the initial stability was a little on the tender side at rest and slow speed. Since I’m a die-hard canoeist and used to squirrely boats, I’m curious to see what you folk’s opinions about the differences between the hard chined (4 panel) “Greenland” type hull design and the soft or multichine hulls as far as initial and secondary stability issues. Like anything else I’ll get used to it soon enough. Thanky kindly.
Wha Ho, Pilgrims;
The Terns have good primary and a ton of secondary… Finish it and add the thigh braces and you have a great handling boat…
It’s hard to tell when you’re rattling around in it…
I have CLC Chesapeake 16
which has a similar hull, and the initial stability is fair enough, with secondary being quite solid. It’s very easy to keep on edge.
There is no hard and fast rule
Chine shape is only one small element of kayak design. It’s entirely possible to make any shape hull as stable as you want it to be, based on other factors. For example, a rounded hull 24" wide boat will be much more stable than a 18" wide hard chine boat.
A good explanation of stability and hull shapes is located here:
If you’re used to a canoe, most sea kayaks will probably feel a bit unstable. Some of that feeling is likely due to the fact that your 'Tern isn’t set up to fit you yet. You’ll feel much more in control once it is. Any residual tenderness will pass as you become accustomed to the boat and the degree of motion necessary to control it.
The 'Tern is a relatively large, stable kayak. You’ll get used to it after paddling a while.
A V-bottom like that can feel tender at rest and low speeds – it wants to be flat on one or the other of the bottom panels instead of bolt upright. The old Eddyline Falcon 16 was a good example of that. As for secondary, once you get it all the way up on its side you should be able to stay there all day. The transition may take some getting used to, but the Tern is a sweet boat, and worth the time. Once you have the support to use your hips properly you’re going to have a lot of fun.