Speed and capacity - which kayak(s)?

I’m guessing this question has been asked, but i guess i’m too lazy to search.

I’ve kayaked/canoed for many years mainly for speed and training. Exclusively paddled surfskis and marathon canoes. I’ve recently gotten the bug to do a little kayak touring/camping.

So, which kayak is best for meeting the following criteria?

  1. Speed.
  2. Room for ample gear for 2-3 day trips.
  3. Price and availability on the “used” market.


I know a few
I know of a few good kayaks, but I’m too laxy to share them with you.

A couple answers
1. QCC-700

2. QCC-700

3. if you want to play you got to pay !

Jack L

Great bargains here

Epic Endurance 18
A fairly quick speedy kayak by many people’s standards:

Picture of a 2004 Edition Epic Endurance 18 foot

Qcc 500 if you want to be able to haul a months worth of gear and still go 5-6 mph.

Ryan L.

a few
QCC Q700

Seaward Chilco, Ascente, Quest

Current Designs Nomad/Extreme

Epic 18

Valley Nordkapp

Point 65 XP18 (sold thru REI, I think. Was on sale)

Prijon Barracuda

It was designed for your specs. At 18’ it has ample speed, but also has some rocker dialed in for maneuvering and play. QCC 700 would also be a good chocie but you can find Nordkapps in poly at a reasonable price.

Rockpool is promoting their Taran
in this forum. It is a new design aimed at touring and speed. They also have other models which look very competitive with the likes of the Nordkapp. I just sold my Nordkapp to purchase an Epic 18x because I needed more capacity with as much speed as possible. I am also 6’3" and 250 lbs. Check out the Rockpool you might get the perfect mix of Brit Sea Kayak and Speed. I did not know of it until just recently. Bill

2-3 days?

– Last Updated: Sep-28-11 9:09 AM EST –

I'd echo the question of using your ski (as well as the other good questions from suiram above). Especially if you pack like a backpacker. 2-3 days is not long.

Seda Glider, Epic 18, maybe the new rockpool...

Where tour?

– Last Updated: Sep-28-11 9:34 AM EST –

Unless you are very small or very big, there are tons of kayaks that are fast enough for most peoples' touring needs. And 2-3 days of stuff will make it into any of the shorter day boat lengths - more like 16 than 17 ft long.

I'd ask where you plan to tour though - wondering if you need a higher degree of maneuverability than you have needed in your present kayaking environments. A boat can be very fast or very maneuverable, not both, and most touring boats are designed to be a compromise between the two.

Can’t anymore
I decided that questions were posed in an overly snide form, not necessarily contributing to this thread


0. Which surf ski do you paddle, and in what conditions

  1. What is your weight/height
  2. What are your camping experiences
  3. Where do you intend to tour ( Celia asked the same thing below)
  4. What is your definition of quick enough for touring
  5. What are your expectations of touring. Basically what do you see yourself doing while touring - going from point A to point B, or poking all over rocks and what not

(and what’s the hurry?)
On a coastal trip in rough water, getting there can be more than half the fun!

Touring and camping
The QCC700X is very fast and will carry everything you need and still retain the speed. If I compare it to my CD Gulfstream it will carry 1/3 more gear and is much easier to load. The QCC has a better warranty and is built here in Wisconsin. You can find many used ones here in the classified ads.

Impex cat 3…4…5
Don’t forget to take a look a the Impex force cat 3-4&5 I have the cat 4 and love it.

I paddled a cat4 on a week long trip last fall, and loved it. Aquanaut is nice too, probably a bit more maneuverable and a tiny touch slower? But still easily paddled at 5 knots at an exercise pace. Kinda depends on what you mean by fast touring? 4 knots? 7 knots?

I must be used to b&b
…but even politely rephrased, those are still excellent questions!

Convert Double Surfski To Freighter
Its been done before by a group of Hawaiian surfski paddlers for their Alaskan paddling expedition over twenty years ago, where they wanted to demonstrate that surfskis where the ideal vehicle for fast and fun touring of Alaskan waters. The ski was a Twogood double and was accompanied by other solo skis. The expedition was written up in Sea Kayer by John Goode. Go check the archives for the article.

If you could find one I would suggest
a Necky Looksha II. Since it is older you should be able to get one for a reasonable price. They are not as stable as a Qcc or Epic but are very fast and a lot of fun to paddle.

Almost any sea kayak for that load
Two to three days doesn’t require much gear/supplies. Almost any general sea kayak should fulfill that requirement.

If you want used, cross off the newest models, and that still leaves with a lot to choose from, IF you are not at the extremes of the size and weight range.