questions in regards to choice of kayak

-- Last Updated: Feb-06-12 1:26 AM EST --

So, a few years ago I bought a New Necky chatham 17 polyethelene version. Fell in love with it. This was my first and only venture into sea kayaks. Now, I would like to add another sea kayak to my roster for my wife or to give me variety..
I have 2 particular rotomoulded models in mind but have a few concerns,
Current Designs Sirroco, I believe this brand is one of the most recognized, popular brands out there, Why are cd roto kayaks soo much cheaper then the other competition ?
Example, Necky chatham 17 poly $1749.99 us
Current Designs Sirroco $1549.99 us
BorealDesign Baffin p2 $1999.99 cnd
These are all 17' plastic skeg models that I believe would all be in the same class. So why is Current design soo much cheaper? Are they Inferior ?
My other choice is the most expensive with also the least amount of info or reviews, Borealdesign's Baffin. I love the look of the baffin, but have only came across 2 reviews, one saying uncomfortable and the other saying not as playfull as they had hoped. Why is the Baffin priced soo much more ? Can anyone comment or review on the baffin ?
I have not test paddled either the sirroco or the baffin and know that I will need to. Lots of dealers around me carry curent designs so I know that will not be a problem, But only 1 dealer within an hours drive from me carries borealdesign, but does not have the baffin and is not willing to bring it in unless I commit to it. He says it will be hard for them to sell because they usually cater to the lower end recreation crowd. I will definately have to drive some distance to try the baffin model. I love the look of the baffin and I love the price of the sirroco. I don't want to take a step down from my necky chatham but wish for equivalent or preferably better. So if anyone has some insight on either of these 2 models or why they have such a large gap in price please comment..

CD Sirroco
I can’t really comment on the Sirroco, but can comment on the Gulfstream, which is the same boat. I have had mine several years now and bought it used. You can find used Gulfsteams here in kevlar for about the same price as a new Sirroco.

The Gulfstream is a nimble kayak and is very playful. It paddles like a much shorter kayak because it has some rocker and a shorter waterline. I have had issues with it. The bulkheads are cheap plastic. Mine is built in Canada. The tube running to the skeg housing leaked too. I added some fiberglass to the fitting and that issue is ok now. The bulkheads have been sealed and still weep water when doing wet exits, etc. The kevlar doesn’t oil can like plastic and is very durable. It isn’t an easy kayak to load, but can carry enough gear to camp for a week or longer. I like this kayak. It doesn’t have the speed or carrying capacity of my QCC700X, but it sure likes to dance better in the waves.

How tall/heavy is your wife?
The Sirrocco is for a medium sized paddler. I’ve seen smaller paddlers manage it but they have to work a bit in wind.

The Gulfstream handles a pretty wide, heavy person. Look at a photo of Derek Hutchinson - those are apt dimensions for a good fit. The boat is cavernous on me at 5’3.5" and 135 pounds. Not that I didn’t have fun messing around with it, but I’d never want to do a full day of paddling in one.

Understand the desire for another boat, but if part of your goal is to have your wife as company you need to get a boat that she will find spritely and easy to handle, not something that requires knuckle protectors to paddle.

Boreal just filed for bankruptcy…
…so a new boat may be difficult to get, but you may also find killer deals on leftovers.

Different pricing strategy
You get what you pay for doesn’t always ring true. Current Designs makes well-constructed boats in my experience. Their quality is often preferred.

CD Scirocco has been around for ages. That, basically, means that major costs related to RM (manufacturing of mold) were covered eons ago. Additionally, that is a kayak outfitted in a true no-frills fashion. Combined with simple single layer poly allows for a reasonably cheap boat.

Not a bad kayak if your have the weight to load it up, since it is “expedition” boat even by the designer’s heavy standards.

If you are on the lighter side, this kayak will act as windvane and bob on top of everything

I would strongly recommend looking for a used Scirocco, you can save even more. And, I can assure you, scratches will not affect that particular boat to any noticeable degree.

One design shortcoming is the skeg - it comes with cable integrated into aluminum blade, but you can definitely aftermarket that with plastic blade and replaceable cable.

Size of paddlers
You and your wife’s size would help as far as useful replies and recommendations.

The most popular and very good poly kayaks among medium to small paddlers I know are the Valley Avocet and WS Tempest 165. Both are often available used.

Used composite boats can often be found for the price of new poly.