Seaward or Current Design, best boat?

-- Last Updated: Oct-11-04 8:03 PM EST --

Ok, so cast your vote on the Solstice GTS HV or the Chilco, or the Ascente witch boats would you buy and why? I have paddeled all three boats and found it a hard choice to make. So please help me before I drive my Wife nuts talking about it.
Thanks, George

You should check out Nimbus. Nimbus makes a great boat and many would say the quality is a notch above CD or Seaward. My Canadian friends consistently tell me Nimbus is the way to go.

Go Chilco
I’ve paddled the Solstice and the Chilco. Both are too big for me, but the Chilco was amazingly responsive. The fit and finish were perfect. I haven’t had the chance to try a Nimbus yet, but Irishmanng has, if he’s around. I recall him giving it a rave review on our club site.

Since you are looking at ruddered boats, which one has the best rudder system? Can you get a good solid brace with the rudder down?

Seaward builds a nice rudder

– Last Updated: Oct-12-04 9:04 PM EST –

with solid pedals. I do now know what wildy is using these days,

seaward does have a nice rudder system in fact the best that I have see to date. NImmbus this is a Boat that I have not looked at yet, but I’m Going to! I’m looking for a boat that is going to haul all my camping stuff but I don’t wish for a tug boat. Thanks for your input, George

made my short list when I was shopping, so I can’t comment directly.

Did look at and try Nigel Foster Legend and Quest X3 (both well made by Seaward - but both I wanted out of as soon as I got in - purely a personality thing). I find Seaward’s boats too deep. Front decks 2" higher than my boat. Maybe if I was 7’ tall.

Boats I liked (in increasing order): KajakSport Vivianne (also a bit big/heavy/deep), NDK Explorer (paddles great but a tad slow), EddyLine Falcon 18 (no real knock - nice all around), EPIC 18 (better stability and speed, but wanders a bit un-ruddered), CD Caribou (like an old friend - handles so nice I didn’t miss the speed of the last two), and QCC Q700XL (stability/feel as friendly as the 'bou, speed on par with Epic, AND better quality than any).

Thanks greyak

I should add…
…that test options were somewhat dependent on what was available at demo days and from local paddlers (but I had narrowed things to 17 1/2 to 19’ L x 21-22" W sea/tour boats and got to try most I was interested in) - that I prefer skeg - and paddle with a GP so lower deck may be a little more useful for me than it might be for you - and am 5’9" x 210# with size 9 1/2 shoe so fit most anything I listed with plenty of room. Also all tests were done when first transitioning to narrower closed deck boats - so initial stability was more an issue than now (but I was up for a challenge).

Not better quality
than Epic! Epic’s lay-ups are superb…

don’t say that there are boats with better lay-ups then QCC’s unless you are trying to make new enemies :wink:

So has
anyone here rolled any of these boats/ if so have you done it loaded? seaward looks like the craftmanship is top notch and the color choices are endless.

my Ascente
i have an Ascente that is a year old. it is an “HV” in that it had an extra inch added to the deck hight as the std deck in the Chilco/Ascente (same deck slightly diff hulls). its a great boat, fast and efficient, very comfortable, extremely well made and i got some awesome colours. (mint hull, burnt orange deck and burgundy seam- try it on the colour selector; super cool!)

VERY easy to roll, great thigh braces.

incidentally it is for sale. decided on a shorter, turn oriented boat for instruction purposes. the Seaward tracks totally straight.

cheers, JBV

Solstice HV
I own a Current Design (CD) Solstice HV and can offer you a few comments:

  1. The larger Solstice versions don’t track well in certain wind conditions (due, in part, to the increased deck exposure to wind)–you’ll need the rudder down to prevent weathercocking. If you’re a big guy/long legs, this might be an acceptable trade off for the increased leg room–matter of personal preference.

  2. While initial and secondary stability are good, maneuverability is marginal. You’ll have to work to steer this boat; and it’s not particularly fast.

  3. The bulkheads are not glassed in and are sometimes prone to popping out. Someone recently reported on this board the mediocre technical support response he received regarding this issue–basically, it’s your fault, not ours attitude from CD! If you examine the bulkhead carefully, you’ll see it’s glued in, not glassed, as it should be. There a number of manufacturer’s that glass them in now, so if you’re going to do long range / expedition type paddling, consider a boat that aren’t glued in.

  4. Current Design’s quality level slipped when they made my boat. My boat has several rough areas in the interior glass lay-up and a couple of exterior ripples (very small).

  5. Keeping with the quality theme, CD doesn’t cap their deck hardware bolts with covers on the inside of the kayak (or at least they didn’t in my kayak), so when you pack your boat, you have to be careful not to rip your bags on the relatively sharp bolt ends–you should consider the manufacturer’s attention to the small details when purchasing an expensive boat in a very competitive environment.

  6. Some folks don’t like CD’s hatch cam lockdowns. I, on the other hand, like this feature which most boats don’t have. The hatches are well made and they’re water tight.

  7. CD uses the sliding rudder pedals. Had to replace them with the fixed mounts with moveable pedals–matter of preference, but some manufacturer’s are equipping their boats with these improved pedal systems.

    As with the purchase of any kayak, you should try as many versions as you can–you’ll get a much better measure of what’s right for you.

    If you are looking for a large kayak, don’t forget to visit West Boyd’s, Kayaks for Big Guys (And Gals) at:

    Wes provides a large number of big, and not so big, boat reviews and some things to keep in mind when considering big guy (and gal) kayaks.

    Good luck.

Plastic baulk heads

– Last Updated: Oct-18-04 6:55 PM EST –

I looked at this in CDs boats and thouhgt that it seem kinda cheep. I am glad to hear about the problems now rather than finding out later the hard way!
Thanks, George

CD Bulkheads
They are designed with more flex than fiberglass but more solid than foam. It is meant to give the hull some flex if you hit rocks or other hard objects.

Seaward or Current Design, best boat?

I had the same decision to make earlier this summer. I looked at the Solstice, being that I owned a Current Design kayak already. It was a very nice handling craft. I then tried the Ascente by Seaward. My final decision was made for the Ascente for a couple of reasons. The hatch openings seemed to be finished off a bit better and were a little larger (opening). I also liked the foot pedals relating to the rudder system and I liked the addition of the protective piece bottom of the back of the kayak to protect it when dragging it on to the shore.

The Ascente really handles nicely and I’d buy another in a heartbeat if I needed another kayak.

Good luck and enjoy what ever kayak you buy,


seaward boats
Ken I been looking a lot lately and I keep going back to the ascente. Do you like it better than your Cd boat? is it faster? is the stabilty the same or better than the CD boat? The heck with it I’m calling Glen @ Seaward and placing my order for the Ascente. Thanks all, George


I really like my Ascente! It’s not so much that I like it over the Current Design - I feel that after I compared everything between the two manufactors that the Seaward was/is a better boat. It’s fast and with the improvement of my paddling skills this kayak handles beautifully and is very stable! I’m 5’11" and 190#. This past week I did a 10 mile paddle on the Willamette River here in Oregon and did it comfortable in and hour and a half. The Ascente handled extremly well.

Enjoy your new kayak and let me know how you like it.

My best,


Thank you all!!!