-- Last Updated: Mar-21-06 3:57 PM EST --

I'm in college, so not buying a new boat yet, but am looking around a bit, WILL get it eventually. Always liked the Gulfstream by C D... Now I don't want to sound like an idiot, I'm not just looking for speed, there are obviously better ones for that, but is Gulfstream a fast boat? I am 6'1 160, and as I said, in college, so not as heavy as I will be, my dad's about 180, so the Slipstream is out, I sat in it and it seemed a little snug. Own a Roto-molded Squamish now, will I see a speed difference? Is it fast? -ish?

Just to add something: (and I will test before I buy, I'm jsut looking) I am somewhat eyeing the Legend and QCC700. I really like the form of a Brit style, but from what I've read, the QCC is faster. I guess, (not to get toooo hung up on speed, but...) is the difference between a squamish and legend a lot more than the difference between a Legend and QCC 700?


it’s fast enough.
The Gulfstream (nice boat by the way) won’t win any races but it is a capable boat which cruises fairly well at a decent touring pace (~4 to 4.5 miles per hour.) It should be a fair bit quicker than the Squamish.

pin your sights
on a QCC 700. It’s a great boat with solid company backing and a money-back warrenty. Fast,and user friendly. Look for a demo on the QCC web sight and save some money. It’s worth the wait.

paddle safe, LJB.

Need for speed…
From what I’ve read and such the QCC 700 will certainly be a faster boat… but search the archives here for a post by “Evans” that breaks down this issue very well. (Searching for QCC 700, Gulfstream, or Explorer should hit it)

Bottom line is that you need to be sure that SPEED is the driver of your decision… because many instructors believe there are better boats for all around skills development, playfulness, etc…

The gulfstream being one (I just bought a sirocco, actually), NDK Explorer was also mentioned, and there are some other boats that are comparable.

I’ve only been in this a short while but as far as I can tell… chances are you’ll end up with a fleet at some point anyway :-).

Here it is…
My original question some time ago was about the CD Andromeda. This response from Evans (scroll down to the first response), like so many here on P’net was very helpful in getting my head around my goals… and the boat attributes I wanted from my next purchase. Hope its helpful to you as well:

I really like the Brit style.
Then it might be wise to try a few Brit style boats. Each has a somewhat different personality.

The Gulfstream is a version of the Orion. A good boat but a rather beamy design.

You might try an Explorer, Capella whatever number, Aquanaut, Legend, and maybe a Chatham 17.

How you managed to fit yourself into a Squirmish is beyond me. It felt cramp by my 5’4 115#! But since you’re good at squeezing, you’re then in “shape” to try the Acocet, which is usually considered for average and below size people.

The Gulfstream is a nice boat, but I thought it was a little big and I’ve got about 50 pounds and a few inches of height on you!

I guess it depends on how much speed you need - are you racing or just trying to keep up with a group and taking it on long trips? If you’re not racing, a 17’ or so boat would be a good choice. I’ve noticed that some of the people paddling the 16’ boats (Romany, Avocet) feel like they’re working to keep up at the end of the day. Doesn’t seem like much of a difference but it can be. The Andromeda has long overhangs on it so the waterline length is closer to that of most 16’ Brit boats.

I wound up with an Explorer HV but their regular fit should fit you fine - and you’ll have an easier time finding a used one of them as well. Check out some of the Valley, P&H and Impex boats too if you like Brit boats. Lots of options out there for someone your size.

you must be considering the Gulfstream for reasons other than speed,it’s fast enough if you’re fast enough. More important is that it’s efficient and easy to move through the water. Basically for you to be looking at fast boats you’re looking at hard paddling with good technique,if you aren’t doing that you’ll sacrifice a lot of comfort and ease of hanging out on the water if that’s something you like doing.

A CD Extreme would be a “fast” production boat with a decent amount of predictable stability. I’m not sure where a Caribou would fit on the “fast” scale but I suspect somewhere between the two. Be honest with what 90% of what your paddling will be,there’s a lot of strong paddlers who can paddle a fast boat fast,but prefer a more maneuverable boat for social/coastal paddling.

Fast Brit style boats
Most decent boats are fast enough to keep up with most pods. Though my Romany throws such a large bow wake that it is work paddling distances.

The Brit style boats that are among the fastest thusfar tested by Sea Kayaker include the Azul Sultan, Foster Legend, Valley Aquanaut, Boreal Ellesmere. This is least drag above 4.5 knots. Below 4.5 there is not a lot of difference. At below 4 knots shorter boats produce less drag.

Many I know paddle Explorers in groups. It is not among the faster expedition length boats, but is clearly fast enough when paddled well.


– Last Updated: Mar-21-06 5:15 PM EST –

i've seen folks refer to it as a smaller persons boat before but don't quite understand where they're coming from - it is not a small boat...a buddy paddles one and he is 6'2 and 240 or so...i'm 6'1 and 215...we're both quite comfortable in our respective boats and don't feel cramped at all...there is an abundance of room in that boat for a fair size paddler.

when my wife (5'6 and small lbs's - you think i'd post a # here? she'd kill me...) first started paddling we put her in my avocet and she was lost in it...far too large a boat for her...we then put her in an LV explorer...and she puts that on, it fits so well.

avocets are great boats and i think would accomodate a mid to larger size paddler depending on leg length and foot size far better than a smallish paddler.

if the original poster were looking for a single boat without the intention of doing gigantic miles or camping for more than a weeked, an avocet could be a boat to look's a great surfer and turns on a dime...fair primary stability and a new paddler could certainly grow into it and not have to worry about skills exceeding craft too quickly.

my 2 cents - good luck with whatever you do and paddle a few before you lay out any dough.

Volume of boat, not the cockpit
The way I look at it, the Avocet is a small volume boat with a big cockpit. That’s probably why it has such a big following! ;o)

A lot of large paddler can fit into the cockpit and enjoy the playfulness of its relative low volume.

For the small paddler, the cockpit needs to be foam out big time. For us, the volume is just right, not low. Great for camping and day paddling. Relatively speaking, it’s a lot better than the majority of the floating bath tubs out there.

Valley cockpits and volume
I got the confirm the other day that Valley is using the same size coaming on their LVs as their standard boats. At 6’ and 170 pounds this already feels too big for me. I had the seat moved forward and padded out my Aquanaut a good bit.

Cockpit fit is something NDK does much beter. Though a higher volume boat than the Aquanaut, the Explorer’s keyhole is more pronounced and provides beter contact than Valley’s. Also NDK uses smaller coamings in its LV models.

As far as the Avocet, it is a very nice boat. The poly version has a somewhat tigher cockpit than the composite. Both seem larger than a Romany’s coaming. It seems that the Avocet is also a somewhat higher volume boat than a Romany.

A little big?
That’s why CD makes the Slipstream…


– Last Updated: Mar-21-06 9:28 PM EST –

Isn't there quite a big difference in volume between the Gulfstream and Slipstream? I too found the Gulfstream too big - like I was sitting in a barrel. Yet I was told I am too large for the Slipstream - which seamed well sized for my wife who is 8" shorter and 35 or so pounds lighter than me.

Well put wilso…

Slipstream is tiny in comparison to the Gulfstream. I could never fit into a Slipstream and a Gulfstream would need some padding even for me. Fit-wise, it seems like the Andromeda might be between these two boats but the design is totally different.

The Explorer HV fit me like a glove and although their standard fit was too tight I could get into it.