low volume production boats

Just came across this message board…Wondering what people’s experiences are with CD Rumour and Suka. I’m 5’10" and use a Necky Eliza for a play boat; I’m very happy with it, but am thinking of expanding the quiver for variety sake. Eliza’s not slow in conditions, but am thinking there might be some speed advantages in moderate conditions with a tad more length and slightly less waterline beam.

The Rumour is a much more active (responsive, tender, etc) with quite a different personality than either the Suka or Eliza. Among the low volume production boats you might also consider/try are the Avocet LV, Vela, and Pilgrim. Many find a standard Romany to be appropriately low enough volume.

Sea kayaks of similar length and beam vary very little in the amount of drag generated at most speeds paddled. So, the fit and personality of the boat is often more important than the ‘speed.’

You really have to play in a few to get the feel of the boats and a sense if they are ‘right’ for you.

add TideRace xcite-s
Nice boat. Excellent build, solid layup.

Depending on what length you are looking at, Pilgrim Expedition is a hoot. And, TideRace xplore-s is very comparable to Pilgrim Expedition

xcite S not that small
I paddle an xcite S for a few minutes this winter, and I was suprised that it wasn’t a tighter fit. I had tons of room, and I’m 180 pounds, 6’ tall. I can’t comment on it’s handling, as I was in pool. It was rock solid way up on edge though. Rolled fine. Front deck is oddly high, but that seems to be a design thing with Rockpool and Tiderace.

The XciteS is waaaay bigger than a Suka, which has very low decks fore and aft of the coaming. Tight squeeze, Glove-like fit, but honestly too small for me by any measure. Only sat in one on dry land. Probably make a good greenland trick-rolling boat for someone my size. I’d go give it a few rolls if the local store that has one in their demo fleet didn’t do their demo paddles right outside our sewage treatment plant.

P&H Cetus LV, or NDK Pilgrim?
Both of these are low volume, both are reasonably fast for their maneuverability. Not sure about relative speed between the two, but they are two true low/lower volume boats that have gotten some decent response. Finding a Pilgrim could be quite difficult, but the Cetus LV should be around here and there. Long boat by the way, for its target paddler, if you are looking for length.

Avocet LV plows some water with me in it, and you are bigger, so while it’s a neat boat I don’t think it’s what you are looking for.

CD Suka

– Last Updated: Apr-05-10 8:16 PM EST –

have had one for a season (fglass/kevlar). Demo'd two Sukas over 2 seasons so it was a carefully considered purchase. Boat that fit me perfectly w. no mods (I'm 5'3" 117, 33" inseam).

The Suka is for small paddlers. However lean hipped larger folk may fit. In its August 2008 review Seakayaker's test paddlers were all above the originally stated upper weight of 130 lbs. : 5'11" 165 lb male, 5'6" 140 lbs male & a female 5'1" and 150 lbs. In later catalogs CD gives a total paddler + gear weight.

Assuming you fit inside the narrow keyhole cockpit (one leg at a time) & the footpegs mate well w. your height, the Suka is a very likeable boat.

These are my opinions/impressions, not design statements.

Great blend of tracking & turning. Noticeable V hull but not as extreme as say the P&H Bahiya or Prijon Barracuda.

Paddles very efficiently w. little side to side bow movement. Bow & Stern very clean & quiet slip thru water.

Torso rotation for me is awesome, I really feel well clear of the kayak walls. For someone of your size this is a given.

Low deck --> less resistance in wind, & great clearance for using a traditional paddle. Narrow 18" waterline beam for planting a Euro in high angle (I do both)

Cockpit neutral position (neither fish nor swede)puts the paddler's weight dead center & makes the boat very easy to spin, sweeps, bow rudders, etc. Very responsive kayak, not as loose a stern as some might like, tho.

Altho it is hard chined w/in the broad description of that category, it is a concave curve, not hardlined and boxy, so beam waves are more easily absorbed. Once on say a third degree edge the chines let you bury the skirt & the Suka will hang on edge forever.

The rear deck is not high as most at 9 inches but high compared to an Anas Acuta or Outer Island. I found that to do layback rolls all I needed to do was scoot forward. CtoC requires no particular attention, the boat is so narrow and low volume it comes right around.

This kayak is relatively narrow w. a 20.5" beam (true width, 21" per catalog) & wants to dance in waves - like it should. It is not a beginner boat. It is a really rewarding boat for someone w. excellent balance who wants to paddle assertively.

Although people (including me) at one point, called it the miniCaribou, that is only true as far as the deck design, in that they are identical. The curvature of the hulls are dramatically different. This is comparing the Suka to the "vintage" Caribou of Barry Buchanan design. The newly redesigned 'bou for 2010 (now that the BB design license has expired) actually resembles the Suka more. Haven't paddled the new 'bou yet to compare further.

My bias/preference is for flush fiberglass hatches: they look good and strap down tight. Footpegs are wellsized & adjust on the fly. Cable slider very smooth and cable is protected for most of its length inside the stern bulkhead.

Like the Caribou (old or redesigned) the Suka is a very attractive kayak. The CD build quality on their vacuum bagged boats shines - but she is way more than good looks.

Email me if you want to know more.

CD Rumour
have only some extended demo/boat borrowing experience w. the Rumour. Cool fun boat. Decent speed, roller w. a low stern deck. Unique hull. I had multiple reasons for going w. the Suka, one being I already had a capable 16’0" rockered boat in the North Shore Shoreline Fuego I own.

The 2 people I know who own one are all very petite females (as in shorter than me) The consensus from people your size is that it’s a Mexican jumping bean.

That can either make for a very lively playboat or a skittish bucking horse in active water.

You really need to to demo that one in different conditions to know if it’s right for you.

Seaward Silhouette
Small volume, long, narrow? That is the Seaward Silhouette. Keep up with the big boys, but your boat will hug your skinny legs and hips. Quite a quality, performance boat.

xPlore S is smaller yet longer/faster
I am used to VERY low volume boats and picked up a xPlore S after trying out the xCite. The xPlore S is fast, turns easy (almost by thought alone) and yet I have no problems with tracking either.

Sat in a Pilgrim and then a Pilgrim Expedition and found them to have higher decks and more volume. Expected just the opposite.

You should try the xPlore S - you would find it a viable alternative to other smaller boats that do not track as well or are slower.


low volume
If you want a low volume kayak go to a Tahe Marine Greenland. Great kayak. Rolls, surfs, paddles great.

Try the Outer Island with the ocean cockpit. Fast, easy rolling, great for club paddles and long point a to b trips.

what’s your size, if you don’t mind?

that people have difficulties distinguishing tight cockpit boats from low volume boats.

Ah, well, ain’t my problem.

deck height
Wouldn’t you consider a boat with high decks to be a higher volume boat? After all, some of the NDK “High Volume” boats only differ from their counterparts by the an extra inch of height in the decks.

The XciteS had a high deck, and lots of leg room, that’s all I’m saying.

A few more questions
Let’s consider something that has no cockpit - a racing surfski or a sprint kayak.

Would you interpret those as low or high volume boats - it is somewhat hard to stay in them when upside down.

Why do you think they have different models tuned for different weight paddlers? Would it be fair to call a model tuned for, say, 140lb paddler a lower volume boat, than the one optimized for 220lb paddler?

What makes a boat different - how much stuff you can load into in, or what the hull looks in the water when it is loaded to spec, and how that hull behaves?

Being more specific, would Nigel Foster Rumour be a high volume boat if the deck were artificially raised 2 inches? Or would lowering deck in Nordkapp make it lower volume boat?

hey, how did we all get thru
this thread without asking the OP’s weight, inseam & shoe size?

When talking about boat fit these stats really do matter, IMO more so w. the “low volume boats”

“Low volume” is a design distinction gone mainstream w. the emergence of the day/play boats prized by so many.

Body metrics, incl a paddler’s weight, inseam and shoe size - which are not given by the OP - make a huge diff in what “low volume boat” are for a given person and how they will perform. What I call low volume is someone else’s sardine can. What they call low volume is a big tripping gear sponge to me.

The OP said he paddles the Necky Eliza. If he’s paddling an Eliza, particular a glass Eliza, I’d venture a sometimes dangerous assumption that he’ll find the Tiderace Xcite & the Silhouette on the large end of his potential range. The Tahe Greenland, the Suka and the Avocet LV on the opposite end. Further than that it’s really the feel of all the boats to the individual.

that is a good one
And an apt description, exactly what I found. A bit tender at first but for me it was an almost effortless paddle. Made me want one right away.

not the silhouette
I’m shorter than the OP and it fit me like a glove. Nice low foredeck. But you’re right, low volume means many things to many people.

that’s all I’m saying.

I loved my quick paddles in the Silhouette for its speed and liveliness, but it has more volume and a higher deck than is optimum for me. It is a fine boat for all kinds of skills, and a beauty to boot.

But I am only 5’3" and 117 lbs w. size 6 feet and 32" inseam… To me the Suka and the Avocet LV, and my North Shore Fuego, are “standard size” LOL.

It’s all relative. We are missing some body metrics from the OP, and in the end it’s more how it fits him and responds to what he expects from a “playful” day boat…that is more important than whether it’s classed as “low volume.”

why low volume?
if you want speed that has little to do with volume.

Get a QCC600. At 5’10" you need some worthwhile secondary and you won’t get that with little boats like the Suka or Rumour, assuming you can fit in them.