Pintail thoughts?

I think part of the attraction to this and many other

boats of it’s kind are the lines.

It’s a very good looking boat both on water or on top of your car.

I have people tell me it looks fast and are surprized when I tell them it’s not really a rocket,it’s a go cart.


– Last Updated: Dec-12-08 9:54 AM EST –

I was where you were this summer, actually about to pay for a new WS T165 with Kayaksport hatches until testing them before payment-found they leaked. Next, test paddled composite Avocet and Romany. Liked both during test paddling but superior Valley layup and VCP hatches won me over. After a few months of paddling, I think I made the right decision but for me, used to a straight tracking design, even the Avocet is a challenge for me to keep tracking straight without some skeg at times. Thus, I just can't imagine my liking a Pintail. I also ponder that if the T165 hatches were fine, if I would have been happier with that design versus the Avocet.

Ease off on the skeg
I think the Avocet does weathercock enough that for long beam wind courses a skeg makes life much nicer. That said, by not using the skeg as much as possible, using only the minimal amount needed, and taking time/effort/pain/frustration to “learn” the boat; my experience with boats similar to the Pintail is they magically become harder tracking after awhile. Trying to paddle them as if they actually tracked well is a futile exercise and using the skeg heavy to emulate a boat that tracks well is not all that productive ultimately.

seat adjustments
Might not be applicable for your boat, but if boat trim is out of wack, the boat will track funny.

Why would the trim be different? - everybody is slightly different.

I paddled friends Avocet ( RM) and noticed that handling was very different from my boat. Apparently his seat was ~1’’ forward resulting in more balanced handling.

Bottom line - the placement of seat is yet another variable that shouldn’t be forgotten.


– Last Updated: Dec-12-08 3:31 PM EST –

I'm pretty much a carbon copy of you per your specified dimensions (6' even, 180 lbs and size 11-12 feet depending on the shoe), and the Romany HV is much too large for me. However, I found the regular Romany to be a very comfortable fit, and an overall great boat when I paddled it for two days in the San Juans for a class.

I have no experience with the Pintail, but I'd like to try it at some point myself. It seems like it might be a nice playful companion to my Force. I doubt I'd want it as my primary sea kayak, though.

Even have the same name. :slight_smile:

I’m 6’ 165 lbs.
and my Pintail is a tight fit for my skinny hips and long legs. I had to trim off some of the front edge of the seat supports to give me a more comfortable fit. It is the kayak I want to be in when paddling in challenging conditions but for paddling in waves under 3’ I enjoy paddling my SOF because it tracks a little better and is more challenging. I usually paddle the Pintail with the skeg dropped a little bit to make it manageable to control. For me it is a very skeg dependent kayak. For surfing, rock hopping and paddling in rough conditions it’s hard to beat it’s handling.

get a QCC
and you won’t ever need another kayak.I have been paddling my Q700X for about 5 years now, and it is all the kayak you could want. And extremely fast.

No kayak is perfect for every paddler…
…or every paddling situation. This thread is a perfect example. Take your QCC 700 into a rock garden and you’ll quickly see why people prefer Pintails for such use. OTOH, I would never choose my Pintail for long mileage paddling.

The Verdict

– Last Updated: Dec-13-08 3:08 PM EST –

Well, soon enough I'll have a thorough opinion of the Pintail. While I was planning a series of test paddles, and visiting a number of dealers, etc, a Pnet member sent me a heads up about a Pintail that had just hit Craigslist for a great price, so I now own one. Ocean cockpit, Rope Skeg, beautiful shape. British Racing Green hull and deck. It was too good of a deal to pass up, so I figure I'll get to know it over the next year, and decide if it's the boat for me.

Can't wait to paddle it.


No kayak is perfect for every paddler

– Last Updated: Dec-13-08 3:31 PM EST –

Thank you Brian.

When someone says get a "whatever" and you'll find it is the only kayak you'll ever need or want it makes me think that the recommender may have a pretty narrow array of uses for his kayak and/or limited interactions with other paddlers.

Every paddler is different hence the wide array of boats available.

You now own a classic playboat - ENJOY!

I’m practically making myself sick with anticipation. I can’t wait to take it out. It’s 10 degrees right now, so I’m hoping for a thaw, and I’ll try to find a pool session asap.

Glad the boat went to a good home! Hope the drive down here wasn’t too bad.

Now you can “demo it” for a year or so.

I owe you a case of beer sometime Michael!

Thanks for your help.

I’m basically looking at this purchase as a demo. I don’t know if I’ll like the pintail for all around use, and I’ve never had an ocean cockpit boat.


Pintails and Weathercocking/Broaching
I had a Pintail a while back–really liked it. I bought my boat used and the previous owner had ordered it with a custom (shortened) bulkhead.

Long story short, to fit into the boat I used the bulkhead as a footbrace and moved the foam seat all the way back so that it touched the rear cockpit bulkhead.

AND–I discovered that moving the seat back (it was only about an inch) made the boat really neutral. It no longer weathercocked when paddled across the wind, and broaching in a following sea was minimal. No need to use the skeg in most conditions.

Pretty cool and maybe worth a try on an older boat (one that you don’t mind cutting the seat out of).

Only downside is that it leaves almost no space between the paddler and the back edge of the cockpit coaming, so it will probably be best for a paddler who is at least 6’ tall, or has a long torso.

Brian Day

P&H Team Guy

Rutabaga Staffer

test results are in
I took it out today for the first time and it’s great. I love the feel of the ocean cockpit, and how effortlessly the boat edges. I didnt’ find the low initial stability at all unnerving - No problem opening the day hatch, and having a snack.

The boat definitely wanders a bit if you aren’t paying attention, but it’s super easy to put back on track. And with attention, it’s not hard to keep it in a straight line.

The water temps were about 40 today, so I wasn’t tempted to see how it rolls, but I did accidentally catch a paddle edge while leaning back to see a seal behind me, and got over far enough to get my shoulder wet, before a quick high brace. It was very reassuring how easy it was to pop the boat back up. I suspect rolling will be a cinch.


Get it into some rough water…
…and you’ll really appreciate it. It’s a very confidence-inspiring boat when things get choppy. If you just relax and let the boat move underneath you, it will rarely ever let you down. There’s no other boat I’d rather be in when conditions get nasty.