Kayak fitment

So the Wife approved a “new” kayak , yea she’s awesome!
Budget about 1k roughly. I have a CD Breeze but would like to try a touring/sea kayak about 16’ - 17’ in length for a whole host of reasons. Better tracking, longer trips, building skills, etc. Plastic is first choice for shallow lazy rivers with inherent hazards and cost, too. I will likely not ever venture into salt or the great lakes and no ww.

I’m 5’8" tall and 160lbs average/ athletic build. I am looking at a used CD Storm w/ accesories $575 but found a new CD Squall GTS for $999 or a WS Zephyr 160 for $1199. I am in western New York so that’s my search area.

My concern is will I swim in the Storm? Or is the Squall a better fit? Not much on CL now , a couple nice boats but 'glass and kevlar concern me for my use area.

The Breeze fits fine and I’m not a big guy so I don’t need a barge. Really looking for an efficient touring boat that could support 1 or 2 day trips in the near future.

I appreciate any advice on fit as I don’t have much time to travel and try.

Thanks much,Walt

My first sea kayak was the Squall. I loved how she brought me home safe when I didn’t have a clue, but frankly I would not pick either the Storm or the Squall for a skills building priority. The Squall is more of a tracker than the Storm, but when I think skills stuff like rolling and a lot of maneuvering come to mind. Both the Squall and the Storm come from a design era where CD worked hard to put out a boat that would avoid the paddler having to figure that stuff out. And they succeeded - getting past that secondary stability to come up in a roll requires pretty perfect form. My next boat was an NDK Explorer, which allowed some sloppiness, and my roll percentage went from one out of three or four to two out of three in the first session on a local pond.

If tracking and speed is the question, either of these boats will do. You are on the cusp of fit between the two, maybe would fit the Squall OK and maybe a little light for the Storm but it’d also work. Any way you can sit in them?

The Zephyr is a newer design altogether. It is more maneuverable and likely to better support what I think of as skills. You are a better fit for the 155 but could get away with the 160.

There is one other difference in these boats. The CD boats are both ruddered, likely with pedals that slide to control the rudder. Unless CD has placed an equivalent of the smart track system in the new boat, where the rudder control is separate so you have a fixed foot peg. I tried one of the sliding systems in a half day rental and wouldn’t even take delivery of the Squall until they had replaced is with a system having fixed foot pegs. I hated the sliding thing, came out sore as heck, and I have no idea how anyone ever successfully rolls with the system though apparently people have.

The Zephyr is a skegged boat and will have fixed foot pegs. IMO, this is better for skills building.

thanks for the input, I appreciate it.

We ended up going to Oak Orchard Canoe in Rochester yesterday, ( needed other stuff) Great place by the way.

Brought home a Zephyr 160. The Boat “looks” right, has a day hatch, the seat is awesome( I’ll swap the backband in) and I fit in it really well I think. Plus it was a demo and fit the budget. It also seems to fit my paddling area well with it’s wide range of capability.

It felt right during the test paddle, lively and agile yet tracked like an arrow with the skeg down. It will allow me to work on technique and I think will be rewarding in this respect. Only time will tell, But the maiden voyage is in an hour. I’ll post the results later.