Low volume poly playboat ?

Paddler: 135 lbs, 5ft 6 inches.

What am I looking for (ranked on priority).

  1. Poly.
  2. Low Volume.
  3. Extremely maneuverable.
  4. Strong secondary.
  5. Narrow.
  6. Can be found used.

    Candidates so far:

  7. Chatham 16
  8. Tempest 165
  9. Avocet

    Not a big fan of the Avocet (too big). Chatham 16 just did not feel right when I sat in it last (high back deck …and fore deck?) and the tempest is not as playful as I would like it to be. Any other options? I was thinking about the Eliza but I would have to remove the rudder …would that work?



Flatpick says:

“Zephyr- new WS boat taken from the ol’ Meridian lines. tweaked a bunch but still similar. LOVES rough stuff, very loose and playful. NOT based on the Tempest but related. Composite and roto. 15.5 X 22 (soon) and 16X23 (done) should hit streets mid-winter. will have 16 at West Coast sympo. This is a FUN boat.”


What is it with WS and the Web?
Flatpick, just wondering – why is is that the Web site of WS is so slow, or out-of-date, etc.? There was a time that the WS Web site was just non-functional, but now that it’s joined the Confluence template, so to speak, the user interface has improved, but we just don’t get news such as the appearance of new models. Under the link “News and Events” is a “news item” that is from May of 2006. That’s 19 months ago.

I understand that kayak companies are running on fumes, and often can’t pay attention to things like marketing and consumer relations. But take a look at Jackson Kayak, which has to be a lot smaller than WS. They post almost every day, or every other day. Don’t the folks at WS understand that the Web is the number one form of information marketing today? Or in fact pretty much the only form of marketing worth their time and attenton?

maybe the new Avocet LV?

– Last Updated: Dec-16-07 12:16 AM EST –

I'm not sure if this will be available in plastic or if it will be only in fiberglass but either way it looks real promising for smaller paddlers. Obviously it won't be available used either way.

I like both the Tempest and Chatham series of kayaks so you really can't go wrong either way.

If you're not looking to trip with it, the Episea might be a fun kayak as well. (http://www.emc-epi.com/touring.html)

tho you won’t find one used, in fact you still can’t find em NEW!!!

I sent a email to our web guy.


low volume poly
Check out the Current Designs Squamish RM. My wife paddles one and has found it quite maneuverable. I’ve paddled it, but at 200 lbs it barely floats me. I have found it more maneuverable than my P & H Capella RM 166 and certainly lower volume.

Maybe a used plastic Mystic?

too wide?
I just looked up the suamish specs … looks a little too wide … how is the primary and secondary on that boat? Thanks.


hey alex …
definitely need to go used …just picked a slalom race boat so $ are not flowing like the middle eastern oil mogul I wish I was :wink:

BTW, you are about my height and weight right … you did not think the Chatham was a bit too “high” in terms of the deck eh?

plastic mystic
pyrhanna pilot is the plastic mystic

I’m a bit larger…
I’m 5’8", 145-150 lbs. The Chatham 17 seemed to fit me pretty well but the reality is that after paddling extremely low volume kayaks, I’m starting to paddle slightly larger ones since the designs I like aren’t as low volume as I prefer. It all depends on what you are looking to do with it. Is it for tripping, day paddling, or greenland style rolling?

HOW about a …
NDK Romany? But in Poly?? Coming out in 08’. I think that would be the boat to fit your criteria.

How can you overlook the Avatar
I consider the Avatar a medium to low volume kayak. It also fits very well if you are of medium to small build. There are a few new ones going for a very good price. It has great handling in the rough and decent speed in smooth water. Its just a really fun kayak. Don’t overlook it!

Comments on Squamish RM
My impression of paddling the Squamish RM (only once for about 2 hours on a lake with mild chop < 1 foot) is that its primary stability is greater than my Capella RM possibly because of its fishform hull. It is wider just forward of the seat. Given that I am above its recommended weight for a paddler, the secondary stability seemed quite good. I’m glad that my skirt was a good fit because any edging I did put the coaming under water by a couple of inches. It turns quicker than my Capella RM, but it is also shorter at 15’ 8". I’ve seen used boats in the $700 price range. I got lucky and found a barely used boat (manufactured 2003) for $500.

its for …
… greeenland style white water paddling. Now that I look at the chatham pictures …maybe I thought it was a high deck cause that backband is attached to the combing practically and my laybacks were not as easy to do.

Re: Comments on Squamish RM
I paddled an loaner Perception Avatar 15.5 and then a CD Squamish for a month while waiting for the delivery of my CD Suka. I’d take the Avatar if I’m only going to play in the rock gardens and surfing. However the Squamish will be my choice if I have to get somewhere. The Squamish tracks much better than the Avatar but also harder to spin around. Both boats are more forgiving and a bit easier to roll than my Suka. I can get into a Greenland position and hand-roll in the Avatar but not the Squamish and Suka. The only other poly boat I can lay flat on the back deck is the discontined Necky Elaho Drop Skeg, which will be another good choice for low-volume poly play boat. Despite its reputation as a severe weathercocker, I found that the Elaho DS tracks better without the skeg than the Avatar, and thus an easier boat to live with if you actually have to get somewhere before you can start surfing or playing in the rocks. In addition, the quality of the Necky plastic is also superior and more durable (I have a Necky Gliss for surfing and whitewater). So the Elaho DS will be my #1 choice for the used, low-volume, poly playboat for rock gardening, ocean surfing and greenland rolling. The only problem is that I have trouble finding one in decent conditions for decent price because the Elaho DS has been discontinued for a couple of year. The new WS Zephyr (15.5x22) looks promising. Does anyone know how high the back deck is and whether it is possible to lay flat on the back deck of a Zephyr.

BTW, I’m 5’7 and 140lb and I found the Avocet, Chatham 16 and Tempest 165 entirely too big for me. Many of the folks in my kayaking club use these boats for play boats and they are over 6’ and 200lb.