Necky Chatham 18

I know there are several reviews posted but I wondered if anyone had some additional comments about the Chatham 18 in composite. I was able to test paddle the Chatham but not to it’s fullest potential. It felt fairly fast and tracked well. I also didn’t mind the slightly lower stability than what I’m used too. What really appealed to me was the lower volume in comparison to many other kayaks of interest. I also like the fact that they use Valley hatches which I’ve heard are pretty water tight. The construction looked very good and attention to detail was obvious. My style is swaying towards Greenland skills and my taste has definately changed. This must be my primary craft so I want to be sure this time.

Any further comments would really help in my descision.


we just had a thread on this subject

you must be looking at big boats
cuz the 18 isn’t low volume. You make reference to wanting to be sure “this time”. I gather you’ve been through this process before. If so what made you unsure last time?

I ask that question because your descriptions and criteria don’t appear to be handling related which is the primary reason folks get a different kayak.

Basically it gets down to whether you like how it paddles for the paddling you do. If your paddling has been changing and is changing I’d strongly suggest more demo time for the $3000 purchase price. Once you know what you like it’s obvious once you’re out on the water, if you have to go through a lot of third party opinions you get further from your own criteria.

I bought a Chatham 18 because I wanted a “faster touring kayak” than my Express. Turns out I don’t go touring or fast very often and a plastic Chatham 16 was a better pick. Which was the kayak for same kind of paddling as the Express I had for 12yrs. Maneuverable for flat water and secure for rough water and high winds.

Sat. 7/11 Night?
As previously mentioned, prior to making a $3k investment, you might want to try out a broader selection of that class of kayak. Have a Demo Night coming up this Sat. night, not all that far away from you, that it might be worthy of trying a Cetus, Cetus LV, Force 4 or 5 in that size range or you might have fun in a Capella 167 or a Scorpio for that matter.

Always worth playing and contrasting toys to see what makes you smile the most on the water.

After all that a Chatham 18 might just be what works best for you. Hey, you never know.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Low volume
Perhaps that was a poor description. What I’m really looking for is something with narrow beam and low decks for Greenland skills. I just happen to like a longer boat with good tracking. My main concern is speed but not in a racing sense. I just want to be able to keep up with the pack. I’m a strong paddler so I don’t mind pushing a little more boat. I see comments about the Cetus and other but the price tag is too steep. There are several Chathams available right now for under $2,500.

did you mean that as a reply
to the next posts (LeeG’s)?

Very tempting
I’d love to come out and play but the wife has plans for me.

I also paddled the Force 4 and liked it very much. I will definately try that again but again, cost must also be factored in.

I don’t know what a Greenland skill is but maybe you should be looking at a few Impex boats like the Force or Outer Island.

I’ve been paddling a chatham 17 for awhile now, which is great for surfing and rock gardens - none of which I do… It’s decently fast, so I assume the 18 should be faster by a tad. Although the chatham line is supposedly very different in hull characteristics, besides the length, so it’s hard to say how similar they would paddle. I actually feel that it’s more stable than my last boat, which as actually narrower, by almost 2 inches. The low volume is generally nice until you actually go camping for more than a weekend, but at least the hatches are dry. You’re best bet is to paddle several similar kayaks back to back, like at a demo day. Good luck.

No worries
Perhaps we’ll see you on the 25th as we time the Demo Nights with the tide.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

In NJ?
According to their website, Jersey Paddler currently has 20% off “in stock” Cetus and Force kayaks. Maybe worth a call to see if they have anything you want to try out.

That’s true
I do have a few more items to offload before I can go shopping. I’m just really trying to narrow it down.

I’m also very interested in the Impex Outer Island. It seems to have everything I want. Maybe I’ll see where I can demo that one. I got to carry one off the Hudson last week. Darn, I should have asked to try it out.