Looksha 17 vs CD Strom

I have both the looksha 17 and the Current Designs storm available used nearby. The looksha 17 has very few reviews anywhere, and the storms are reviewed fairly well. Has anyone tried both of these both or have any comments on them? I am 6’2" and intermediate paddler, currently have a necky chatham and am thinking of something a little more stable/relaxed.

CD Storm
will give you relaxed and roomy.

It is a very big boat for a big person. I know men who are 260 lbs and up who paddle them… you didn’t give your weight…

for the sake of history: the Storm is the plastic version of the Derek Hutchinson-designed Sirocco (DH is a big barrel of a man and designed a boat those of like build would enjoy).

As for the Looksha 17,there is a recent thread under Discussion where a man discusses choosing between the 17 and the Valley Aquanaut RM - maybe you want to shoot him an email w. his impressons.

Of course nothing counts as much as your own.

The Storm is the plastic version of the composite CD Solstice and is in fact NOTHING like the Sirocco…which is also a plastic kayak based on Hutchinson’s Gulfstream composite kayak (which is a decent design).

Myself, I think the Chatham is a nice kayak but lower volume if you like to pack a lot of gear. But if you want to play on the water, it is an excellent design.


The Sirroco more closely resembles the Gulf Stream / Orion.

The Storm is a boat all its own. Roomy , Fast and a little tippy. She weather cocks more than I like.

Derric Hutchinson is not that big of a guy. Chubby but he was not so stout when he designed the Orion.

It had a sea cockpit then.

The Orion, Gulf Stream and Sirroco are pretty much the same boat.

Between the necky and Storm I think I would go with the Necky: I find the storm a little to much boat.

I don’t think D H Had anything to do with the Storm: That is a pacific coast type creature where the Sirrocos and Gulf Stream are a UK Variation of a greenland boat.

you know what?
I was entirely wrong about the design legacy. Thank you for pointing it out. As it happens the Gulfstream and Sirocco run large too, but it was entirely my mistake to attribute the Storm to the Hutchinson design. After all, the Storm doesn’t have the mermaid design on the bow '-)

All three are nice boats for a big man, but in different styles - the Storm/Solstice series being the North American, the Sirocco/Gulfstream decidedly British.

So if anything good came out of my post, it might be to suggest two more kayaks to try.

Which Chatham do you have?
No one has asked, and these are three very different boats. If you have the Chatham 17 I am not sure that either of these boats gets you anything. They are all general use expedition boats and it might be more worthwhile to get comfy in the Chatham.

If you have the Chatham 16, it might be helpful for you to explain what about it leaves you feeling like you have to work a bit. The boat is more playful - is it stability or tracking you want to change?

If it’s the Chatham 18, could be anything. That is a more challenging boat in some ways than the other two.

sirocco vs gulfstream
I took a class with Derek a few years ago (fabulous experience), which included Wayne Horodovitch (sp?). We put my sirocco next to a gulfstream, and the sirocco had noticeably more rocker. Wayne suggested it might not have been totally intentional.

If anyone has a chance to take Derek’s “beyond the cockpit” class, I’d strongly recommend it, if just to learn a one handed hats off brace.

Chatham 17
I have the Chatham 17 right now, and i love it, wouldn’t part with it at all. It is a blast in any sort of wave or wind situation. It’s those lazy flatwater, not going anywhere fast, possibly fishing as i go paddles where i still want to be able to move fairly fast when i need to get back to the car, but has a little bit more room/ stability to move around in. Or something i can bring a friend along in and not worry about them falling in with something as narrow as the chatham.

How about neither?

– Last Updated: Jun-25-09 5:44 PM EST –

I can't say enough about how protective the Solstice series is of the paddler, in some ways maybe too much so, but for your stated goals I am not sure another expedition length sea kayak is the ticket. Have you considered a transition boat, maybe something closer to 14' in length? These can usually be found used at a decent price, and I've seen paddlers with a good strong stroke smoke people in sleek looking 17 ft plus sea kayaks with one of these 14 footers. In the right hands, they'll move you back to the launch from fishing quick enough.

It sounds like you need a boat that you can sprawl a bit in to fish, or a companion could use for paddles in relatively protected situations where speed was not of the essence. It doesn't sound like you would use this other boat to take someone out into tough stuff. So something that tended to barge-like with a bigger cockpit may be fast enough, and cheaper.

I already have a 14 foot boat, that while it is ok for the way downstream, fishing, paddling lazily, etc. It’s when i turn around and head back to the truck, or the wind picks up, i don’t want to be stuck with a bargey short boat. I want something that can still move pretty quick when i want it to. And although i say i wan’t a little bigger more open boat, i find the cockpits of 14 foot boats just way too big, so something kind of in the middle. I am also leaning more towards backbands now, which i find more comfortable than any type of full seat back.

Celias suggestion for neither

– Last Updated: Jun-28-09 2:55 AM EST –

those two are good boats but big and heavy, you should be able to get what you want without going totally to a very high volume kayak. I got a glass QCC400 for the exact use you are describing, efficient, stable, good second boat for friends. I bet it's faster than a Chatham 17 even though it's wider.

I don't think you're going to want a straight tracking hard to turn kayak and it sounds like more "secondary" is as desirable as more primary stabilty. A maneuverable kayak with skeg or rudder would be more versatile than a hard to turn kayak with either.

Maybe a WS Zephyr? Just guessing, I haven't been in one. P&H Capella 166?...One of the Prijon boats, Touryak? You don't need a 17' boat to get home quick. You just need to paddle efficiently.

There's another one that comes to mind,,except it's not.

totally out of left field but have you paddled the Necky Manitou 13 or 14? If you haven't consider it. Seriously if you aren't looking to fill a kayak with 300+lbs of paddler and gear there really isn't much reason to get a kayak designed for that, especially if this is meant to be a day boat for second paddler. Honestly check them out if you don't know them, they aren't just rec. boats.

Probably no Manitou
The 14 foot boat i have now is an Old Town Cayuga, which i understand is very similiar hull shape to the manitou. I like paddling with a larger bladed paddle and i’m a fairly strong paddler, so with the smaller boats i find i can only get to a certain speed, but anything past there is just wasted effort, they don’t want to go any faster, and any speed over that cruising speed just takes way too much extra effort, which because i’m paddling soo hard tends to push the nose back and forth with each stroke.

tricky compromises
personally I don’t think you’re going to find significant differences in speed in 14-17’ boats unless you’ve paddled each one as waterline length and wetted area aren’t figures contained in a kayaks overall length. For example the QCC400 is two feet shorter overall than a Solstice CD but I bet it can be paddled a smidge faster because the waterline length is the same but it’s got a higher prismatic coefficient.

I’ve got a Chatham 16,it’s 16’ “long” but it’s obvious that it’s not a fast boat as it throws up a curling bow wave.

Pygmy kayaks has had a kit out for over ten years called the GoldenEye/Osprey that’s 15’x24" kinda hard to turn, voluminous and VERY efficient. Except for the QCC400 I don’t think there’s another kayak with that balance of stability and speed potential around.

Their Coho would be a good choice.

Regarding your initial comparision between the Looksha17(which is really a BIG Chatham17) and the Storm,personal taste is all I gotta say. If you’re looking at a new boat keep your eyes open for a used glass QCC400 that might be the same price.

Celia please comment

Please explain your comment about the Chatham 18. I am looking at that boat closely. I am looking compliment my Impex Diamante which is 16’ 6" with a lot of rocker. The Chatham 18 looks to be a straightlone rocket. Comments?

Osprey standard
I remember seeing a big guy win a couple of sprints during the games at the WMCKA symposium in one. As you said, it looked like a nice blend of stability and speed for bigger folks.

Not…Cayuga and Manitou not really

– Last Updated: Jun-29-09 7:52 AM EST –

At least the Cayuga 14. Cayuga 130 and Manitou 13 similar...yes.

Jeez Lee, uncharacteristically wrong!

– Last Updated: Jun-29-09 7:51 AM EST –

L 17 is in NO way a Chatham! Very very different hulls! CH 16 slow? Let's not forget the guy who won the Tsunami Rangers extreme race did so in a Ch16 (chose the 16)...... So, in the seas for which it was designed it aint slow.

The same thing that makes the 16 bow give a wake, makes it work awesome dropping into a big trough in a following sea.

Contact me off-line about the 18…
I know more about it than Celia :slight_smile: As informed as she may be.

What do you know about the looksha 17 salty? there’s very little information out there about it. Everything seems to focus on the looksha IV, and they make it sound not soo great. On the other hand i know a guy with a Looksha V and he absolutly loves it, stable, faster than my chatham on flat water and comfy seat. I would probably be more considering the looksha 17 outfitter though with the backband.

L 17 and L V same boat

– Last Updated: Jun-29-09 10:25 AM EST –

It's a big stable cruiser for distance touring, guiding, or anyone needing a big fit and cargo capacity in a boat that is still reasonably agile and fun to paddle.

Necky marketing decided to rename it from Looksha V to 17. Something about "family" branding et??

It's not going to be as efficient as a Chatham 17 or 18, but it's mega stable.

I'm a bit suprised to hear you say the C17 is slow for you, yet you seem to be fit? It's actually a pretty quick boat with a great glide (for a greenland type hull). Definitely faster flatwater than the 16. If you found the Cayuga 14 swinging, it's probably your stroke.

Now, NONE of these boats would be considered "fast". If straight on speed is your focus take stroke lessons and buy an Epic 18 or QCC 700, etc.

LIV is an old design that has a huge following. probably the most successful Necky ever in terms of sales (touring boats).