Kayak Layups

Just re-read original post and noted that you are considering a Sultan (or the current incarnation).

The Sultan is maybe the fastest sea kayak I’ve ever paddled. I don’t know about current manufacture, but the Azul Sultan I paddled was very well made.

There has been an amount of discussion here about the Sultan and Sea Kayaker did a review not that long ago.

Also, if your thinking of a Sultan, you should consider a Nigel Foster Legend. It is a very similar boat. Foster boats are being madfe by Seaward these days. Seaward has among the best reputations for quality.

Surge builds a boat called the surge

– Last Updated: Aug-11-04 8:20 PM EST –

it is fast, tracks quite firmly does not come with or need a skeg or rudder. Surge is a one man shop and the man who is Surge is an incredible craftsman. ( I really should know his name)His boats are made using very finicky chemicals which it needs great skill to use. Nobody else in the paddling industry uses his formulations; nobody can. Very Light and very strong! His boats are unique. Not Cheap. country canoeist in NH and others sell them. I am probably a bit to heavy for one.

I have been looking into the Sultan…have heard great things about it as well. The Azul Sultan is now the Riot Aura…want to demo one but it is hard to find. May need to travel to Rochester, NY (from CT) to check it out…


Surge Marine?
Do you know where the company is located? I tried Wiscasset, ME…but no go…


Surge Marine
I had some old literature and this is what I’ve got

Kerry King

Surge Marine


Box 529

Westport Me. 04578 (207)882-9474

Billington in (Plymouth?) Mass and Kayak Center in Wickford RI have carried Surge. Country Canoest sold their two in their retirement sale.

Checked out the link. Looks very neat. the fabrication and outfitting looks interesting.

Mountainman in Inlet, NY (a bit closer than Rochester) used to carry Azul - that’s where I test paddled a Sultan. They might be worth checking with in case they still carry the boat.

Sultans show up used on p.net from time to time. As I recall it was known as a Paradigm prior to being called a Sultan.

By the way, my experience is that the Sultan is faster than a Legend and not quite as tender as a Silhouette.

Sultan for sale on p.net
(PQ) Azul Sultan (yellow) 17’-10" long, 20.5" wide, fiber glass and carbon fiber construction, Asking $2200.00 canadian dollars

Am curious…
Have you paddled a T170? Many have commpared the Tempest 170 and the Sultan in terms of hull shape, though the Sultan is narrower. If you have paddled both, how would you compare them…especially the initial stabiity.

I haven’t paddled a T170. I would guess from what I’ve read and people I’ve spoken to that the Tempest has greater primary stability. The Sultan is a bit tender, but I found it to have stunning secondary stability. I would also guess that the Sultan is faster.

Surge Kayak
Wow…a real interesting boat. I spoke to Kerry and then to Billington Sea Kayak where they are sold.

Their write-up:


Surge – At 17’ 7” long x 22.5” beam, 38 lbs., this kevlar kayak is both a joy to paddle as well as car-top and carry. Very fast with excellent initial and secondary stability. A most unusual hull design that does not weathercock nor need a rudder or a skeg for tracking, yet with a lean, is as nimble as a cat. Performance oriented but so user friendly that it hard to imagine. A limited production kayak built for smaller to average size paddlers. Lots of races have been won with this kayak. MSRP at $3300.

A bit out of my price range, however given that Kerry uses minicell for bulkheads it would not be a good choice for me. I plan to pad out the front bulkhead of my next kayak and discard the footpegs.

Interesting line up
At the sizes/prices/weights you’re looking at - also consider QCC Q700. It’s is one of the most stable 21" beam kayaks made, and also one of the fastest. Construction quality is excellent. With QCC - Kevlar is their strongest layup (impact) - Kev/carb reasonably tough and 4lbs less, and all carbon stiffer and lighter yet but requires more careful use.

If speed matters the Q700 is same length overall as Assateaque, Aura, Legend, Silhouette, and Epic 18 (with a longer waterline than all but maybe the Epic) and longer than the others mentioned so far. It’s narrower than all except the Aura (1/2"), Silhouette (1/2"), & Chatham 18 (1"). It’s also Swedeform so you get a more efficient catch (same with Epic). It should be faster than any of these, with Aura and Silhouette being pretty close (and paddler being what really matters anyway).

Front deck is lower on the Q700 then all the others mentioned so far, including the Nigel Foster boats (I can’t find this for Chatham 18, P&H, NDK, and VCP, but are any less than 12"? Chatham maybe?). Rear deck is high on the Q700 (making layback hard for most), I know NDK is considerably lower, but I can’t find specs on all the others to compare. Being more Brit/Brit inspired I just assume they are lower.

The others also offer a day hatch. For some - a day hatch and lower rear deck make all the difference. If that includes you, skip the Q700, but if other things are more important - give it a look. It’s just not the high volume flatwater cruiser some would have you believe. It’s more similar than different to many of these (of which I’ve only paddled and Explorer (3), a Legend, and the Epic 18 to be fair).

Anyway, just a thought. So many nice options in longer composite boats. Many not already mentioned…

Lower foredeck etc…
The Valley Aquanaut height at coaming is 11.5" forward, 7.5" rear.

I believe there are a number of Valley and even a few NDK boats whose foredecks are 12" high or less.

If speed and lightness trump all else in one’s desires for a sea kayak, then Epic, QCC, and Kirton are probably the best choices.

There are so many options and many very good boats with varying strengths. This is part of why so many paddlers have more than one boat.

If you are not planning to race, then handling and fit are far more important than speed.

Fit, weight/handling & Many Thanks!
I definitely am looking for a light boat, with a great fit…and one that handles well. This thread of responses has been incredibly helpful. I am off to Boothbay Harbor, ME with family, dog, and 2 kayaks. May stop at Lincoln Kayaks in Freeport, ME…will see. Looking forward to paddling this week in the Boothbay area.

Again…MANY THANKS to all for your helpful and creative responses…

Backatcha in about a week…


MIKCo & Poseidon
You might want to check out Maine Island Kayak Company on Peaks Island, off Portland. It is Tom Bergh’s operation and they have a good stock of Brit boats to demo. Also Poseidon which is Ken Fink’s company. He is an Epic representative and the carbon Epic kayak he had at GOMSKS was the absolute lightest full length touring boat I’ve ever hefted. Epics are also very fast. If your going to be in Boothbay, Ken is a short drive. He’s on the Damiscotta (sp?) River.