New boat...Chatham or Q-Boat?

Hi all. Looking for a new boat. Have quite a bit of time in my Chatham 17, as well as an Ikkuma 17, and am looking for something hard-chined and with decent maneuverability. Considering a Chatham 18, and also a Q-boat. Honestly, however, haven’t spent any time in either the 18 or the Q, as none of these seem to exist out west (live near Tahoe).

Thoughts on the maneuverability and durability of the Chatham 18 and Q-boat? Any advice appreciated!

Really Need to Test
I have never heard anyone be neutral about the Q boat. Suggests to me you would really need to test well to see if your cup of tea. You might have better luck on the west coast finding a Legend which is also a hard chined boat with a good reputation.

Drive up to Portland or Washington
Alder Creek sells both Valley and Necky and Back of Beyond on Bainbridge Island and Shearwater Adventures in East Sound sell Valley. At the end of month, Aqua Adventures in San Diego has the Southwest Sea Kayak Symposium and Valley and Necky will be there as well as other makers. You can demo lots of kayaks, not just the same old Confluence stuff that is around the Lake.

I have a Chatham 17 and I like it a lot for all purpose seakayaking. I’ve been in a Q only once and my impression was that it is much more an expert boat. Stability was much less than the 17 and with more rocker, the Q tended to weather cock more. Another hard chined boat that is more forgiving and higher stability like the 17 is the CD Caribou. Also a fast boat.

I had a Chatham 18, the Chatham17 is well rounded but the lack of rocker makes for funny handling in the longer/skinner 18. If you don’t need the huge leg room the high deck is a bit odd. The 18 is a wonderful boat in wind and down wave like the 17 but if you’re looking for a faster hull and maneuverable then get the Caribou.

Any thoughts or comparisons to the Chatham 17 or other boats on the Ikkuma?

Thanks, guys.
Have spoken with Alder, and even bought a Chatham from them in the past. They are now discontinuing handling the Necky line, don’t have any 18’s and currently aren’t much inclined to promote Necky at all, based upon a recent discussion with them.

Will be at the Symposium in SD, but Aqua Adventures tells me they won’t have a Q boat there.

Regarding the Caribou, love the hull design, but don’t like the boat’s lack of both a day hatch and provision for a real compass. Called CD regarding the lack of a day hatch and they responded like I was from Mars. All-righty then…

Regarding the Ikkuma…really neat boat. Very high quality, easy to paddle, very maneuverable. Would seem to me to be easy for even a novice paddler to adapt to quickly, as initial is quite high, and secondary is comforting. Haven’t had this boat out in big water, so cannot comment much there. In lesser conditions, turns much like a Chatham 17. Comes in 2 cockpit sizes. I’m 6’0" and 215#, and fit snugly (very nice and snug, though a bit tight for an all-day jaunt) in the smaller cockpit. The only detracting factors with this boat for me are the round front hatch, and a simple, flat pad for a compass mount.

plenty of comments here on the Q
just search a bit…the only thing I’ll point out in this thread is that the Q-boat’s thigh braces are indeed that THIGH braces, some like the ability to engage the boat from the knee down the thigh, others say thigh brace but they either are thinking knee brace or wanting only contact at the knee. Personally I like it plus the new Valley seat is kinda like my Jackson WW boat in that you can easily pad out the hips for good fit, it is designed that way and comes with several layers of padding. Mine was also with a custom placed bulkhead and Valley got it right and provided a piece of mini-cell so footpegs were avoided!

Yeah, I had already searched and read everything I could find. Was just hoping to spur some new conversation on the Q and the Chatham 18.

can’t paddle a day hatch

Q boat
apparently very rare, even Valley dealers almost never stock them. but then they often don’t stock Nordkapp’s either.

i paddled one in choppy windy conditions on lake Superior and found it to be fairly friendly actually. stability was fine, lively but fine. i think it was more stable feeling than a Greenlander Pro as i recall. i was only in it for a half hour but liked it. the aft compartment is very tricky to pack, given it’s low volume. i’d like to try one again, but it is unlikely to come across one. if you’re the type who likes unique and rare things, getting a Q boat, if you like the way they paddle, would be pretty funky.

call the people at Midnight Sun sports in Duluth, they had a couple and demo them frequently.

AC has a Q boat
I was at Alder Creek a couple weeks ago. They had just received a shipment of Valley boats the week before that. There was a Q boat, grey I think, but not sure. They will have a demo day in April 28. You’d only get to paddle it on a lake at that time though.

Paul S.

paddle camping with a Q-boat
actual experience with such…you’ll find it no problem. Unless you are the type that must carry a lazy-boy you can easily pack enough for a week. I did an overnighter with BrazilBrazil and took the typical ‘luxyries’ i carry paddle camping, even a tent if it turned out I couldnt hammock (but did hammock), now have a way to use a real camp chair in most of my kayaks:

My background is that of backpacker and use many ultralightweight backpacking techniques/gear and transitioning from backpacking to paddle camping is really just emptying the contents of the backpack into the kayak with the down products going into dry bags…if you have anything close to this mentality then the Q has plenty of storage even with the low back deck.

Oh, forgot…when I ordered the Q I ordered a knee tube which gives just that much more room.

Q at Alder Creek
This boat came in defective (malformed bow), and is being sent back.

And, LeeG: That’s “shouldn’t have to paddle WITHOUT a day hatch”… :wink:

I like glove compartments
in front of me.

I would highly reccomend
that you test paddle a Q-boat before purchasing one. Make sure it responds to your paddle strokes like you want a kayak to.

Backpackers Supply…
… in Tacoma has the Chathams. They have demo days scheduled in the summer and there’s also the Puget Sound Symposium in May in Tacoma where you can test them out in salt water.

I haven’t spent time in the Q, but I like the Chatham 18. It’s got more room in the hatches than you might think on first glance but I thinkit could use a little more volume near the bow, as it tends to be a wet ride in chop. Surfs great, rolls great and real fast on flat water.

wet ride
that is more a function of the lack of rocker and rapidly widening deadrise in the bow splashing water to the side. What makes it good going down waves makes it a bit splashy. Increasing volume in the bow wouldn’t change that.