multi chine?

One of my boats is a hard chined Seda Ikkuma which I consider excellent in the handling dept. Lean on the chine and it carves very nicely. Straight up and it tracks straight.

I chatted with Seda at the San Diego Kayak Symposium and was told of a possible new Seda boat (Sabre?) which might have multiple chines. Does anyone see the point of multiple chines? Seems to me one chine on each side is plenty. Some recent Neckys and maybe others have multiple chines but I think they serve no purpose, and don’t even look good.

Any opinions?


With stitch & glue construction, a multi-chine hull is a way to approximate a rounded hull.

With molded or composite construction, extra “chines” are usually more structural than hydrodynamic. Adding a “crease” can increase stiffness.

hard chines like the Ikuma vs round chines each have advantages and disadvantages so multi-chines are often a way to compromise. One problem I have with very hard chines is when taking hard side hits in rough water as the boat seems to get pushed around more than with a more rounded chine. So I think a multi-chine may still have some of the good edged turning but yet handle side hits a bit better. I’m sure there are other pluses and minus to each.

Necky Looksha IV is one example of a multi-chine that I hear folks seem to like.

the more…
the rounder. it’s more about volume displacement than creases in the hull. creases do add rigidity.


They have a function

– Last Updated: Mar-29-11 1:02 PM EST –

The question is whether you like that function for your own paddling.

We have an original drop skeg Elaho in the fleet, decidedly multi-chined, as well as pretty round Valley boats, a single hard chine Vela and the softened chine of the NDSK boats. Personally I'd say that things like the rocker and overall hull shape and dimensions have more to do with allover handling than the chining. But there are some things that are attributable to the chining itself.

The single hard chine boat shares a characteristic with the Elaho - both boats turn more smartly when they are sitting solidly on a chine. The funky thing with the Elaho is that you can pick how deep an edge - any depth - because you can choose to sit on any of multiple chine points.

A side effect is that you can balance brace this boat on more than one of the chines, so that it will sit perfectly balanced with the paddler several inches under the water and not fully capsize. We haven't figured a practical use for this except to make a hand roll easier, but it's fun.

I'd agree with above that the single hard chined boat gets more overtly slapped from the side - the Elaho doesn't feel like that. This Elaho gets turned around quite easily by wind waves etc, but that's the rocker. The newer ones aren't so rockered.

The diamond chining provides a middle ground between the ease of turning the single hard chine and rounder corners of the other boats, but still gives you a hard spot to land on.

As to looks - that's personal. If how something looks outweighs how it behaves on the water for you, that is a factor. It's not like you can paddle and not see the boat.

Smooth rounded hull

– Last Updated: Mar-29-11 2:35 PM EST –

An Epic Endurance 18 ft has a simple rounded hull.
There is no one particular perceptible line along it.
Some might call it a "soft chine" design.
I'm quite happy with the way it handles.

I feel the same way you do
Chines are pretty much more aesthetic than function. If you like the way a particular model handles and looks then that’s good for you.

I have multi chines on my Prijon Crusier
It’s considered a “crossover” boat. The most pronounced difference is when I’m just practicing leans or braces. When I’m in moving water it all just blends together.

So many other factors
There are so many aspects of the hull design that impact performance/personality that chine profile is often not a dominant trait. Though my experience has been that the hard chine boats I’ve paddled feel different than the soft chine, the hulls’ other traits such as volume distribution may be more significant. Many boats are somewhere between hard edge hard chine and soft chine - such as the Romany, Tempest, Cetus, all of which might be termed soft edge hard chine…

My Elaho DS (multi-chine) feels a lot like a soft chine boat, except when leaned onto a chine, especially in a static brace.

chines schmines
I’m envious. That boat is on my dream list.