I have been offered a Silhouette, but i cant try it before I buy it (time and place is wrong :-(). Anybody here who knows Silhouette and one of the other two kayaks ? I have tried the other two which are different kayaks, but I was hoping somebody could tell me about the caracteristics of silhouette compared to either Anas or Extreme
and the other three kayaks have almost nothing in common.
silhouette is a long, narrow round hulled, (no keel) hard chined kayak. It is a great kayak for someone in the 170-160 weight range to do day trips or the occassional long trip. It is fast, but some regard it as twitchy. It is a great kayak to edge and perform carved turns with. Very maneuverable for it’s length. Depending on who made the kayak, watermark, or foster/rowe, walden, or seaward, the quality varies. Walden and Seaward are the two best for quality, but they have key hole vs a modified ocean, (or round cockpit). i think it is 23" long. I own a walden and it’s quality is excellent.
The valley anas acuta is just totally different, it has a v-hull hard chines and is only 17’2" and a LOT of rocker. I don’t own one but have paddled them many times. It is a very fun kayak, narrow and also with an ocean cockpit, but it is smaller than 23". I think 21". IT is very small in volume, but you could pack it for a short trip. It is great in wind and waves, but dull on flat water. I wish I had one.
CD Extreme. Is the Biggest of the three, deep wide and long and with a rudder. Not at all like the other two, very fast, but made for long trips. It is ok on quality but I never liked the glued in abs bulkheads.
I personally would choose the
Silhouette over both other boats. The Anas has nice looking Greenland lines, but is sluggish in the water. The Extreme is too high-volume for me–I prefer a boat with better fit and therefore better control. Its West Coast, kelp-shedding, bow isn’t really needed in other places. The Silhouette, like other Foster boats, is fast, very easy to control, has a low deck you don’t bang your hands on, and allows easy laying back on the back deck for rolling and stretching. They’re all well-built boats.
A caveat would be if you are very tall. I’m not sure the height recommendations for the Silhouette, but if you’re well over 6 feet it might be too snug.
Just my opinion; I hope you get others’.
Anas for Fun, Silhouette for Speed
and the Extreme if you don’t want excitement to be part of your paddling experience;)
A significant reservation about the Anas and Silhouette is if you are a large person. They are not big boy’s boats.
What do you mean by the ‘lack of excitement’ factor regarding the Extreme?
it’s an efficient hull,stable,pretty,I’m not too thrilled with it’s stiff tracking like the other ruddered CD boats but I think that hull shape works better in the skinnier Extreme than it does in the wider Solstice boats. The transitions in rolly stuff isn’t as abrupt in the Extreme. For straightline touring with a ruddered kayak it’s a good choice. The high foredeck invites putting in lots of underdeck rigging.
Very different boats.
I owned a Silhouette and still own and Anas Acuta. They couldn’t be much more different. The AA is a very maneuverable and “playful” boat, but not especially fast, where the Silhouette is a strong tracker that’s quite fast. There is a big difference in stability as well, with the AA being the more stable boat. I found that I never got comfortable with the Silhouette’s lack of initial stability and I found it to be a handful in a following sea. In contrast, the AA is comfortable in all conditions and is an excellent rough water boat. It has become my most used boat (I also have a Pintail, a Betsie Bay Aral and two skin-on-frame boats). If you’re looking for a boat that’s faster and a bit stronger tracking than the AA, the Aral would be a good choice.
Yes, it’s true, the Foster
boats are relatively tippy, and not everyone likes that. They require attentive balancing when in rough water. This happens to be what I enjoy, but probably not everyone’s cup of tea–if you’d prefer to look at scenery, take pictures, or eat lunch while paddling, the Silhouette might be too tippy. I find them a very good match with an active Greenland paddling style, where you frequently extend the paddle, fall into a balance brace, and roll while paddling.
I had a pair of Vynecks, which were Foster’s tippiest design, so after paddling those through a couple of Boston Harbor winters all his other boats seem tame.
Foster boats and paddler size
I found the time I demoed a Silhouette that I felt to big for the boat. I fit in the cockpit fine - it seemed that my center of gravity was too high. The boat felt very tender. Nigel Foster put me in a Legend, saying I was too big for the Silhouette, and it felt fine.
I know there are a number of paddlers my size (6', 175-180lbs) who paddle Silhouettes, but those with whom I have had exchange note that the boat requires ones full attention. The Legend is a very fast boat, likely only marginally slower than the Silhouette (I think it is a half inch wider), yet feels much more solid to me.
Big difference in volume
The problem is that is one wants a low volume boat, the Legend isn’t the way to go, as it quite a bit larger than the Silhouette.