New Kayak

Appreciate all the advice re: CD Gulfstream vs Isle.

I did in fact add the Gulfstream to my stable of boats and surf skis. Bought it yesterday. 2007 Kevlar in pristine condition.

Took it out in the gulf today.

Night and day compared to the CD Isle.

First off even though I am a big guy at 6 ft 250 pounds I have lots of room in the Isle cockpit. I can use the thigh braces but still very roomy.

A different story with the Gulfstream. It is a snug fit and I believe for the first time i am in a kayak which fits as it should. Almost pinching in the hips but not quite. Very snug but reassuring at the same time.

Handles way differently than does the Isle. Not sure if it is due to the 14 inch shorter length or the softer chines but Ilike it, alot!!

In the Isle I always feel like I am working to make this barge turn. Even with edging and big sweep the Isle resists turns.

Now in the Gulfstream it is a pleasure. Turns quickly in my opinion.

Although it is soft chine whereas the Isle is hard i did not perceive a difference in primary stability. But it was my first outing so maybe my thoughts will change.

Also seems a lot faster compared to the Isle. Possibly due to both shorter length and less depth??

The tide was just starting to go out and the breeze was onshore at a good 10-12 Kts so the waters were a bit confused and the Gulfstream ate it up !!

Surfed a few waves which I never seemed able to do in the Isle. I have been paddling the Isle for 4 years so I gave it a fair chance.

Oh yes, lots lighter being shorter and kevlar layup as opposed to the glass in the beastly Isle.

I did have concerns about the hatch covers which are the round type which pop on like Tupperware but no issues even when on top of the Jeep at 70 MPH. Simple on and off compared to the straps on the Isle hatches.

Less usable storage but not an issue.

In closing, i will keep the Isle when a buddy needs a kayak to paddle but the Gulfstream is my new go to craft.

Finding a new favorite is hard. I keep trying various models and find I like what I have better!

Not a bad thing, either…


…take those hatch covers off when it’s in the sun or on the car…unless the bulkheads are drilled to keep from heat expansion.

Learn to turn.
The Isle might not turn as easily as the Gulfstream, but I didn’t find it hard to turn. Do you use a bow rudder and do you edge the boat away from the turn? I hardly ever use a stern rudder on any boat unless I’m surfing.

If you are able to paddle the Gulfstream faster than the Isle, you are either doing something very right in the Gulfstream, or maybe not doing it so well in the Isle. Some boats can feel faster, but a gps will tell the story.

Anyway, I think you will like the Gulfstream even more as time goes on.


likely similare speed. just feels better in the Gulfstream.

i edge to outside and use a sweep from bow to midship (wing paddle).

I believe we spoke on phone a couple years back. you live in Oregon/WA. and paddle an NC?

I was close to the NC 17 but did not feel comfortable buying without a sit in the cockpit. Opted for the Isle…

Who knows i may at this point get into an NC 17 as i am now more proficient and knowledgable

Glad you’re enjoying it.
Myself, I would prefer the fit that you’re describing in the Isle to the fit that you’re describing in the Gulfstream. I think you’ll learn a lot from paddling both. Owning surf skis, you probably have some affinity towards constant forward stroke improvement. A little room at the hips will much better allow you to connect your leg movement - through hip movement - to your paddle stroke. You may not end up agreeing that it’s necessary for you? But I think you’re right there where learning the attributes of different styles/different design approaches/different fits even, will start to come to light.

Enjoy the journey. I’m glad you also find them to be different. I suggest giving yourself plenty of time to discover, and then rediscover what you enjoy about both. But the Gulfstream sure is a playful kayak. The seat inmine is none too wide for me. I wonder if they have a wider seat available for it? I guess you should take some good time to find out if you prefer the snug fit for the long-term first.

Hi Jay
Long time no talk. I think I lost your phone number in the process of changing phones. Anyway, good to hear from you.

Yes, I do paddle an NC–the Expedition. If I remember right, you are a hunk, so if you are really thinking about an NC, you might want to consider the Expedition (19’-2").

Hey have you tried the new CD Caribou, or Prana? Both are great boats. I also like the new Stellar Intrepid and if you like a boat that turns like nothing else, the Sterling Grand Illusion.

But for what I do, there’s nothing like the NC Expedition.


Prana looks similar to Gulfstream but is “Danish” design. Couple inches longer and a couple narrower. I imagine a bit better tracking. Wonder if I would feel a difference.

Now that Sterling is one expensive craft.

Hey Jay
You might remember that I also have a Sirocco, which is the plastic version of the Gulfstream. If you haven’t discovered yet, I think you will find that the Gulfstream likes a little skeg for almost anything–even going to windward. I generally only use the full skeg when surfing, but for most everything else, I use about half the skeg. Of course the exception is when doing a lot of maneuvering.

My impression of the Prana is that it is fast, and very easy to handle–a great addition to the CD line.


How many do you currently own?

Myself 2 surf skis and 2 kayaks