hull design/yaker wgt = optimal cruise


Anyone know a way to calculate (or guesstimate) what the optimal cruising speed a kayak hull should be?

Besides wgt of kayaker would this be a question that has to look at the “motor” also?

specifics = poly CD squamish and yaker wgt of 120 lbs.

looking for input from you mathmaticians out there.


motor matters more

– Last Updated: Jul-24-07 8:44 AM EST –

it would probably be more important to put you on a dynamometer to determine how long you can put out a comfortable watt output than to go from drag figures for hulls. Check Sea Kayaker magazine for reviews of kayaks, you'll find different drag figures for different speeds.

If you're a beginner 2-3mph is reasonable, I wouldn't expect much more than 4mph with good technique. If you are concerned with the getting maximum speed from your motor consider the lightest kayak possible and spending more money.

A QCC10x for example. Or CDs Suka. Depending on your power output and ability to fit into a kayak you could be better off with a superlight CD Raven with a theoretically lower top speed but at 3mph would require the least amount of hp to maintain that speed. The ability to accelerate quickly and maintain a particular cruising speed is more valuable than peak speed potential. Think of it this way, if you spend less effort for 95% of your paddling speed you'll have more energy for the 5% peak efforts. If you spend more energy paddling 95% of the time for the 5% efforts it's a hell of a compromise.

If you can fit into a Raven try it out.

Generally motor, paddle, and boat in

– Last Updated: Jul-24-07 8:18 AM EST –

that order, and within reason, have most influence in speed.

K.I.S.S system: If you want to quickly compare similar hulls simply divide waterline (wl) length by wl width and use that number to make quick comparisons. Remember that you should be comparing similar hulls. Can't really directly compare a poly hull to a carbon hull, etc.

There is a much more complicated formula that one of the mathmaticians will give you if you really want to go that far.

Happy Paddl'n >:^)