Sterling kayaks ..

very nice homepages…

Some great clips, photos and a couple of great photoes of W.Williamson in extreme wind .

Next time my obseccion forces me into a kayakpurchase, regardless of concequences, the sterlings are a very strong candidate…Check out the rocker on the ILLUSIONS

folks, if you are not familiar with it…It looks marvelous

They do look awesome…

– Last Updated: Nov-25-10 7:03 PM EST –

Would love to paddle one, not on the East coast yet though... Would also love to get out on the Skook, but that's not available in the northeast either...

Sea Kayaker magazine profiled a sterling a few issues ago. I hadn’t heard of them, but they seem to be put together pretty well. Interesting center position on the skeg and I like their application of a half kayak width day hatch, opens up more storage in main rear cockpit. Even with the pronounced rocker the reviewers still tipped their hats to the hull maintaining speed.

Would love to try one, but haven’t seen them in the midwest?

west coast
Sterling is pretty much a Pacific Northwest boat, they’ll ship out of the area, but no dealers. I’m in the midwest too, and freezing .

Bill H.

Neat boat
But poor layup. To make it so light, they skimp on material. The couple I’ve seen have had serious stress crack issues due to too light of a layup.

Extremely Popular in NorCal
As I was launching my crabbing-yak yesterday in Trinidad California I saw a crew of 6 local sea-yakers, all of them in Sterlings (mostly Illusions).

Cool concept but…
Very poor workmanship on the 2 I paddled… sloppy layup, and a seam that looked like my 5 year old painted it on. (and the ‘pinstriping’ stickers were tacky, and faling off…)

On the upside, great stability profile, but seemed to hit hull speed almost immediately. Easy to roll too.

A fun boat in conditions, but no better that a simply shorter boat. (Which is all that rocker accomplishes)

The thighbraces fit me perfectly, and the simple minicell seat is really functional, and easy to recarve.

Oh, and the hatches leaked like a seive…


– Last Updated: Nov-26-10 3:32 PM EST –

strange...the people who have reviewed it seem to be quite happy..pretty much 10 of 10.

Talk about KoolAid
A fellow I know, who is a good paddler, absolutely raved to me about one of the Sterling kayaks he had demoed. He really pushed me to consider buying one, even though there are no dealers anywhere around my area (not that that would’ve stopped me, if I wanted the boat). He didn’t mention much about the rest of the boat, just went on about its light weight.

Weight is one of THE first questions newbies ask about, too: “How much does that boat weigh?” Hear it over and over again from them, though not often from experienced paddlers.

Of course…
Paid reviews are almost ALWAYS favorable…

As are reviews from people who bought the product.

Thats an ad posted by a dealer…
I’ve seen that video before… It’s posted by a Sterling dealer.

beautiful boats
would love to try one but am concerned about the comments regarding quality control—for the price they are asking for them–between 4 and 5 thousand depending on the model, I would expect perfection in the finish and layup

Maybe the Video Was …
… posted by a dealer, but I can assure you I have no connection to Sterling. I was just commenting on the fact that the local crew appears to like the boats.

my review after a short paddle
Here is what I wrote up for the BASK email list in regards to a comment that went out there:

—start copy/paste—

I had the chance to meet Sterling Donalson (company owner and the boat builder) and paddle the Illusion and Grand Illusion (a higher volume version of the Illusion) last weekend. I only paddled on flat water, but one thing I noticed is that these things can be edged. It was easy to put one side of my spray skirt way into the water, and then hold it there. I don’t think I have paddled any other boat that felt like it edged as well. I am hoping to get a chance to try one in moving water/surf at some point.

These boats were designed with a lot of input from a lot of the big tide rip paddlers of the Pacific Northwest. For example, if you have watched any of the recent videos of The Hurricane Riders, they are now using Illusions and Grand Illusions.

There is one shop in CA that carries them, and that is The Headwaters ( out in Lodi. It is just opening, and the owner was the manager of Penguin Paddlers, a shop in Rocklin that closed down a few months ago. From what I understand, The Headwaters will be the only shop in CA that carries Sterling boats. Sterling has a 3rd model right now - the Ice Kap - which is targeted at small people. And have a model called the Reflection coming out, which I am not sure about how it will be different than their current line.

—end copy/paste—

Update 1 - the Reflection is being targeted as a replacement for the Mariner Coaster. Similar waterline length but maybe a tad more volume in bow to keep it from pearling. One significant change is that it is being made such that it will also surf well backwards. This is reports from the dealer in Lodi and from Sterling.

Update 2 - based on the comments in this thread, it sounds like there might be a dealer up in the Trinidad area, so The Headwaters may not be the only one in CA.


– Last Updated: Nov-27-10 6:30 AM EST –

quite a few of the best in their fields seems to like them..


– Last Updated: Nov-27-10 6:46 AM EST –

i find it hard to believe, that they are as bad as some of you claim. i mean, who are "you"?
This is one of the reasons i like the american greenland forum. We use our real names. This is one of the things with forums like this of course.Anyone can hide behind afake name and i know nothing about intentions.Ive been in the flyrod/finshing buissness for 15 years, designing rods, fronting several companies..ive seen a lot of strange bullhit over the years. Im, very surprised about this since i have been aware of the kayaks for years, and they are used and designed by a bunch of people have have tons of respect for. this is the first time i hear anything negative about them.

Could be
The only reason the best in their fields like them is because they get them for free or a really good deal on them. Not like that hasnt happened before. Reviews mean nothing to me. If Im interested in a boat I take it out for an extensive test paddle, then draw my own conclusions.


– Last Updated: Nov-27-10 8:22 AM EST –

or get through a recomendatione with someone you trust.I seriously think there is limited how much a small company can sponsor and trow their money around. I just find it strange. especcially since this is a totally unique design in the roughwater niche. I would love to have one. i could also live with some imperfections..
My pintail is well built, but its not perfect..
i also strongy doubt that the kayakers were talking about would use them for any other reason than personal preferanse. They could get kayaks from everywhere and quite possibly some bucks too..
hey, just a departure from the thread..
couldnt resist..

I would take
your Pintall or my Romany over a Sterling Kayak any day. For the type of kayaking I like to do their layup seems to light or brittle to hold up.


– Last Updated: Nov-27-10 9:01 AM EST –

I could see prototypes and any boat built for light weight could develop cracks and damage in heavy use. That's how you find out how light is too light. ie. some of the Brit boats "light" dyolene/glass layups aren't a great example for durability. My old Mariner Express built with vinylester resin and heavy glass roving was full of cracks and it was built well. The existence of cracks isn't in itself indicative of poor construction/design.