plastic stifness

I would like to find out wich plastic is the stiffest between the Capella and the tempest from Wilderness Systems.Also would like to find

wich one perform the best for tracking and handling?



Not to say the Tempest is flimsy,
but I’d have to go with the Capella for rigidity, at least the original. The new Capellas seem as rigid and are made with the same trilaminate PE/foam/PE sandwich hull. As for handling, I haven’t paddled the Tempest, nor the newer Capella, so all I could offer is expectations based on the original Capella.


Stiffest plastic?

– Last Updated: Mar-01-05 5:18 PM EST –

I'm not sure which one is more stiff. Have never handled a Capella but I do have a Tempest 170. I can attest that the Tempest is stiff enough for normal use. I have not had any problems.

The 170 tracks like a bloodhound, especially when the skeg is deployed. (Is that cheating?)
I've had it out in 20-25 mph winds and 2' rollers which it handled very well, felt very stable. It was difficult to turn in the 2' seas but it is a 17' sea kayak, so that's to be expected.

Capella, hands down
Now, I am not saying that the WS boat is bad, but the Capella is rock solid in the plastic department. Some of the most rigid material used in plastic, that triple layer. I have used the new Capella rock hopping, running through gaps and numerious “T” rescues and have never had one bit of unwanted flex. And there is no noticable “oil canning” when paddling at speed or popping over waves.

As for performance, it’s tracking is OK with the skeg up and great with it down. It’s maneuverability is great in big water and breaking surf. It’s easy to edge and holds very well.

Hope that helps!

Stiffness & Tracking
Looking at the two questions.

Tempest has a super linear poly single skin which is smooth and therefore soft. Soft poly sticks to the mold well in the oven. The Capella RM has 3 layer Super linear poly, foam, linear poly. The 3 layer system allows for a stiffer boat the same way a hole tube is stiffer than a solid tube.

Tracking and stiffness are related but not as much as design. Which boat has less rocker will tell you which one tracks better, other factors like windage, chines, waterline length and weight of paddler will also effect the outcome.

The Tempest is longer, has more rocker and more windage. The Capella RM is shorter, has less rocker and less windage. My guess is that the Tempest will track better with big people and loaded. The Capella will track better normal sized people and day paddling gear.