Seeking Stellar advice

Anyone out there with extensive experience with the Stellar kayaks? I’ve paddled a 15S for several years. It’s a light (36 pounds), soft-chined, fast and a somewhat delicate boat. I like it, but for the sake of increased stability I’m thinking about the Stellar Intrepid LV. It’s almost two feet longer, essentially the same beam and according to literature, has hard chines.
Would the SILV, in fact, be more stable? Faster?
Would love to hear from someone with relevant experience in those boats.

The Intrepid LV is a very different style of kayak from the S15 (I have paddled both). The SILV is a British-style sea kayak with a skeg while the S15 is a fast touring kayak with a rudder. Both have “soft” chines (technically, a boat either has a chine or it doesn’t, kayakers seem to have invented the term “soft chine”) although the SILV may have a slightly firmer turn to the bilge (ie a flatter bottom) than the S15 - which may be where the hard chine term comes in. Waterline length is the primary determinant of speed so I would not expect the SILV to be faster than the S15 although it should be more able in rough water. Stability is very subjective so hard to say which you would find more stable. Hope this helps!

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Thanks, Brodie. The S15 has a rounded hull and is thus without chines, I suppose. I’m looking for a reasonably fast, lightweight touring kayak for big-water paddling on such as the Mississippi where there is occasional turbulence — often unexpected and sometimes violent — though is, for the most part, smoother sailing than, say, the ocean where you might want more rocker for play.

A lot of sea kayaks would be suitable for where you paddle. Finding one that’s comfortable is really the most important thing. If you want light, you’ll pay for it either in money or in durability. Fortunately sea kayaks haven’t been hit by the mass pandemic buying as much as rec boats so there are still boats out there on store racks and available used as well.

Why not the 18’ Intrepid?

I like to explore back channels, in which length can be a problem. The 15 has been a good size for that. For that reason had hoped to keep it within the 16- to 17-range.

Lots of good choices in that length range. I take my 17’9" kayak through narrow mangrove tunnels all the time with no issues but it helps when you know you can get through and not have to turn around!

Problem is most of the time I don’t know where I’m going and I often have to turn around or back out.
Recently paddled a friend’s Romany in which I felt quite secure and liked in many regards. Even though it was the lightest (42 lbs.) layup, it didn’t feel as quick as the Stellar.