rotomolded Chatham 16

speaking of new boat,love it…but you know those funny things you notice with use? The aft end of the skeg box presents a flat edge to the ground when picking up the bow and dragging it. Of course no one drags a 65lb plastic kayak on asphalt but you might for surf landing or the lawn when working on it. So I go to pick up the bow and drag it one boat length and it feels like a plow digging a furrow. I flip it over and sure enough theres dirt on that flat edge and a strip of exposed dirt and ripped grass. Usually when you pick up a kayak and drag it you don’t expect it to plow the beach/lawn,sometimes you gotta drag a boat NOW or the next wave will take it away.

I’ll have to measure that area to see if there’s enough material to grind away,usually the keelines are thick but I’ll hold off anything rash until I’m sure.

I know a manufacturer wouldn’t think of this as a selling point but I’ve become so used to carving my own minicell seat that the aluminum seat frame makes for the best customizing options with a block of 3" minicell. Once they get the wider seat frame in the boat it’ll be even better.

I was taught…
If you had to drag a skeged boat, drag it by the stearn to prevent jamming anything in the skeg… GH

not a bad idea
this is my first skegged boat. Gotta say though that implies stern first launchings off gravel beaches to prevent jamming. I tried freeing up a friends skeg after he launched his Kayaksport Millenium off a gravel beach and couldn’t do it.

I’m I a picky one or what?

Now if the Broze brothers would make a smaller Mariner II I’d be happy.

skeg tool
mandatory (IMNSHO)kit for skeg boaters is a skeg tool. I make 'em out of a stainless steel tableware knife (Thrift store $.25-.50)and grind it to resemble a climbers nut tool. a hole in the handle for a leash and you are G2G.

I keep it handy, wedged in between my adjustable thigh brace (another benefit)and the deck and use it whenever my ‘buddies’ skeg jams or for un-jamming mine when on shore.

even a smaller M-II won’t paddle well in reverse. =:-0)


You’re gonna love the skeg…
… once you get used to it…

It’s so nice to have your feet firmly planted and not have to coordinate turns with your feet. When I take the Pygmy (sans rudder or skeg) out, life is so simple, I just think turn and the boat does it. A skeg is the next best thing…I think you will be using it less as seat time increases… GH

thanks steve
sounds like you go paddling backwards a lot!..actually surfing backwards into a broach is fun with the Express.

I tried using my knife to unhook a friends skeg in 50degree water but told him to get used to it because I didn’t want to slice my hand and not know it as my hands were getting numb.

What I’m describing with the rmChatham16 doesn’t have to do with jamming rocks into the skeg box,it has to with not having the stern of the kayak hang up on an immovable object when scrambling/dragging over a surface when it’s not possible to lift the kayak. With the bow lifted about 2’ the end of the skeg box presents a flat protruding edge that digs like flat plate. If it was sloped back the stern would ride over things. Imagine getting out in a less than perfect beach with rocks, seaweed and crud and have a few moments to grab the bow toggle and drag the kayak to high ground,and as you drag it it momentarily gets hung up on said immovable object,tired cold hands let go and kayak back slides while paddler continues forward. Ok,maybe paddler doesn’t go forward but I like to conjure of possibilities. Am I a manufacturers nightmare or what?

I wonder if you could add some material.
I know this sounds unlikely, but it might be worth exploring. If you could add enough material to create a gentler transition instead of sharp edge, you’d also create a pad (keel strip?) for dragging the boat without damage or wear to the hull.

If you could get some material to conform perfectly to the shape of the hull, it might stick with a coat of Goop. I’ve found that many plastics, including PVC, can be thermo-formed after heating in boiling water. I would try heating a strip of plastic, then pressing it against the hull to create the shape. Maye even a thin strip of plastic that curved up into the rear of the skeg slot would create enough curvature to prevent the plowing effect.

As long as we’re talking about the

– Last Updated: Jun-01-04 10:43 AM EST –

Chatham RM. I finally got to test paddle one this weekend and alas I am too heavy (215) for the boat. It has the maneuverability I want but unfortunately with me paddling it, it pushes water like a coal barge. Oh well, I guess I'll have to wait for the Chatham 17. On a brighter note, I tried a Tempest 170 RM for the second time and made sure I had the seat and the thigh hooks adjusted properly this time and was quite pleased. It's not as maneuverable as the Chatham but very nice and it can handle my weight.---Rich

half full or…

– Last Updated: Jun-01-04 9:41 AM EST –

half empty?

Rich writes: On a brighter note, I tried a Tempest 170 RM for the second time and made sure I had the seat and the thigh hooks adjusted properly this time and was quite pleased this time. It's not as maneuverable as the Chatham but very nice and it can handle my weight.

glad you got a chance to re-visit the Tempest with 'proper' outfitting adjustments. It makes all the difference in the world!


that’s funny
I think of the Tempest as being a bit more maneverable as it’s easier to crank on edge/more freeboard…I haven’t A/B paddled those two within a few days of each other, Steve,what’s your opinion?

not suppose to
talk about the C-boat online!


Well, I’m not vested in either boat, so

– Last Updated: Jun-03-04 8:46 PM EST –

I feel free to give my opinions... not expert by any means, but what the heck!

I have both boats, and I like them both. My C-boat is the carbon layup (already gelcoat patched due to being blown down the beach when I stupidly walked away from it in a rather stiff wind). Volume is smaller than my 170, and cockpit too narrow for easy ingress and egress. Seat stays are for narrow-hipped folks only. I fit perfectly, but am 6 ft. 2 in. and 34 inch waist, etc. So I am slim, by any standard. The C-boat handles absolutely awesome. It is a rough water dream! It rolls, it edges, it handles energetic H2O superbly. It is fast, but more rockered than than the 170, so 170 (I have RM version) has the speed edge.

The 170 is the best RM I've ever paddled. As mentioned, it is higher volume, easier to get in and out of, seat more comfortable, and handles seas excellently. Deck is peaked higher than C-boat, but foot room (for me) not as convenient as C-boat. Had to move seat 2 inches back in 170 by drilling more holes in gunwales. I have long legs! And I've heard many others have had to move seat back too. C-boat has all the leg room I need without seat moving. I think I prefer the 170 knee pad setup to the C-boat; don't think I care for the WW buckle system, and the 170 is plenty adjustable without all the gizmos of the backband and knee buckle system of the C-boat.

At this point I don't think I would trade either of these boats for any others. I paddle both quite regularly. I paddle a gorgeous CD Gulfstream glass boat too. Another fantastic kayak!

Just my one cent worth, guys. Over time my feelings may change. I would feel differently had I designed either boat. But if a person's honest, they will have to admit that neither boat is perfect for everybody, and that both boats have strong and weak points. For these two boats, I will put up with any weaknesses.


I appreciate hearing your comparison. I liked them both also and probably will own both if they come out with a Chatham 17.—Rich