West Greenland or Brit day boat

There are at least two people reading this board who are significant to the design and/or production of two of the very good sea kayak manufacturers.

I am therefor starting this thread to voice the desire for a West Greenland or Brit style day boat with decent speed, lively hull, no longer than 16’, with fore deck less than 12", rear less than 8", beam less than 22" and under 50lbs.

Oh yes, this boat should have snug cockpit and be able to get its best waterline carrying no more than 200lbs, and not be so low volume as to be awash carrying 180lbs.

Something lower, faster, and sexier than a Romany, Avocet, or Montauk.

Qaanaaq 512
Checkout the Qaanaaq 512 by Japanese based Water field kayaks:



You can find more information on the boat at the forum of Qajaq-usa.


hey now!
that’s a pretty interesting boat

The Japanese Definitely

– Last Updated: Nov-02-04 6:20 AM EST –

have some nice low volume, Greenland style boats out. The problem is that they have no distribution network in the US to talk about. So, we can look at the pics and drool (my shirt is wet). Or think of paying some hefty yens to get someone to ship one over. My sense is that when that's all said and done, one is better of building a S&G fitted to one's dimensions, or working with a local builder to build one.


Conflicting requirements and…
…too small of a market to be commercially viable.

A fast, 16’, Greenland or Brit style boat is an oxymoron. You’d have a waterline of 14’ or less, which limits your top speed. The best you can hope for is a relatively efficient shape that will approach that limit gradually.

While I like the idea of such a boat, there’s simply not a large enough market for one to expect a commercial manufacturer to produce it. If you want such a boat, you’ll have to build it yourself. Skin on frame would be the easiest way, but stitch & glue is a good alternative if you can find a design you like or design your own using Carlson’s “Hulls” program or something similar.

Waterfield kayaks…
I was looking at images of the Japanese boats that I had saved to my hard drive when someone had posted a link here some time ago. Sure look neat.

I also think that the Nigel Foster Echo might fit the bill.

I recently heard of a manufacturer deciding not to produce such a boat.

As far as oxymoron, I am only looking for decent speed, somewhere in the neighborhood of the Kajak-Sport Viking.

Though sing has been agitating for lower volume boats for some time, it can’t hurt to assert the desire for such.

It is likely that someday I will work with a designer and builder for my best possible day boat. I, as yet, do not have the knowledge, experience, money or time to do so.

It’s Not All Out Speed

– Last Updated: Nov-02-04 8:39 AM EST –

but efficiency that smaller folks want, unless they are into racing.

Most boats are too big, or too long, for the smaller paddlers on a day trip in moderate to more challenging conditions, i.e. they are not efficient and potentially dangerous in bad conditions where efficieny and control are required. (Read John's description of the CG rescue.)

I feel much more confident paddling my SOF or S&G in windy conditions alone than I do with my Montauk. It just takes less effort for me to battle winds and waves. And I know I can easily roll or balance brace them if I need to on a capsize.


liveliness first

– Last Updated: Nov-02-04 9:34 AM EST –

If speed were a major concern I would never have bought my Elaho. For that matter, I would have bought a Foster Legend instead of my Aquanaut.

I feel best, i.e. smile most, in a boat with lively hull and snug cockpit.

I would like a boat that is efficient unladen. While my Aquanaut paddles okay with just me with some water and snacks aboard, it paddles noticably better with another 25 or so pounds. It also weighs 50 or so pounds.

Wilsoj2…how about…
With the exception of the 16’ length, you might consider Nick Schade’s Night Heron which would provide all of your other interests in a day boat. I paddled both Nick’s strip and s&g models. They are quick and manueverable as well, very comfortable, loose/agile feeling with a 20" beam. (I also demoed the Aquanaut this summer as you may recall…LOVED that boat. When I can afford a kevlar model…I will purchase one.)

FYI…a Night Heron is for sale in CT. It was built by a couple who are excellent paddlers and builders…and design and build their own low volume boats. Dennis recently built an awesome looking very low volume boat that looks like a greenland kayak version of a stealth bomber…just incredible!


They submitted the following ad in www.connyak.org (classifieds):

Strip-built Greenland Deck Night Heron, 18’ X 20". This is a low rear deck boat, with a generous foredeck that can accommodate medium to larger paddlers. Ocean cockpit. Small permanent skeg added for tracking. Good boat for someone looking to learn Greenland technique. $900 Contact Dennis: denandjoy@snet.net

My wife and I paddled a Vela recently. She really liked the boat and I was surprised that I was able to fit very comfortably. I am 5’10" and 165 lbs. I was on the last peg slot and could touch the bulkhead with my toes. I would be able to remove the pegs and pad the bulkhead with an inch or two of foam. The boat surpised me with its handling and apparent speed for its size. We will probably buy one once I get her boat sold.

Another possibility is the WS Sparrow Hawk if you can find one and fit in the cockpit. It is the smaller sister to the Arctic Hawk.

If you’re willing to build your own…
at least one designer will customize an existing design AND make a S&G kit to those specs, for a very reasonable charge.

When I was talking to Eric Schade (Shearwater kayaks) about his Merganser 16 kit (16’ x 21"), he said he could downsize the kit pieces, either proportionately or disproportionately. For example, I wanted to retain the length of the Merganser 16 but with a lower deck and slightly narrower beam.

In the end, I chose to buy the standard size kit because I didn’t want to be a guinea pig for a disproportionately-downsized model. But it can be done.

You might want to consider going that route, because what you described is very hard to find.

I myself have all but given up on the notion of finding a small-fun kayak unless I build it myself.

(The Merganser 16 would probably be a small-fun playboat for a bigger person than me. For me, it’s kind of a medium-sized boat.)

Eddyline Falcon 16
Out of production, but a great 16ft boat…

If anyone wants a Japanese Boat, I may be able to help.

There ain’t gonna be one…

– Last Updated: Nov-02-04 12:17 PM EST –

You've got to build it yourself bro.


Check out the qajariaq article in the Winter issue and then the latest Fall issue.

You've described my boat.



– Last Updated: Nov-03-04 1:59 AM EST –

tsunamichuck has ideas of getting Japanese boats!

Airwave's boat is the boat I've described.

Yes, it does seem like a handbuilt would be the route. I won't have the time or room to do so until retirement - still a ways off. It is more likely that I will have the money to commision or buy one before I ever have the time and room to build.

I can't physically store a 18' boat. We have over 65 feet of kayaks in the basement already and storing the two that are 17.5' is 'innovative.'

The connyak site is great! I feel dumb for not being aware of it previously.

Thank you kfsrmn for the suggestion of the Vela. I was told that at 6' & 180 that I am too big for the boat.

I'd like to find a Sparrow Hawk to demo. Thanks for the reminder and I will be on the lookout.

I'd still love to find a Foster Echo...

same dilemma

I had the same dilemma for a sound day boat. I want a small 16 foot kayak, with some of the same specs you mentioned. The Nigel foster rumour is the only kayak made,(past tense) that came close, and no one will make it, (sigh). The impex montauk is fairly close but too beamy, and a little to high decked. I have decided to try and build one S&G in the near future. No company will make a kayak like the one i want because the demand is too low, too many fat americans wouldn’t be able to fit into it, so I will have to build it.

Ideally a 16 foot long 19" or less with a 10 inch fore deck, and a 6-7" aft deck with a fair amount of rocker is what I want, oh and a small round cockpit. No kit or plan exists for that either. All of them are too big. In some ways I could care less if it had hard chines. but in S&G it will be easier to build it this way.

regarding the echo

I’ve only seen one Foster Rowe Echo in person. That was at Sweetwater Kayaks in Florida.

It was sitting side by side with a FR Rumour and from your specs, may actually be more what you’re lookin for. The hull is definitely “lively”.

I’ve paddle both the Vela and the Rumour and liked the Vela a bit better.

More Tender Is
the Rumour compared to the Vela, expecially felt as the paddler gets bigger.

Had the same issue: expedition/camping boat (a P&H Quest) wasn’t much fun to surf or dink around in tight spaces plus it paddled much better loaded. Got a kevlar Pintal, and love it. Nothing magical about 16 versus 18 feet–seem like rocker is the key parameter.

According to the info origianlly released about the Echo and Rumour, I am, at 180lbs, above the ideal weight range for the Echo and at the top end of the plausible weight. I am way over the maximum weight noted for the Rumour.

Pintail & length
My goal of 16ft or less is for ease of carry/swing as well as storage.

I really do fell silly at times loading a 17’7" 50+lbs boat for a few hour local paddle. Also my main boat is too high volume to paddle best unladen.

If my Elaho were composite, I would likely keep it as my day boat. It is a lively fun boat, with low decks and only 15’10". However the boat is well over 60lbs and really feels as if hitting a wall when trying to paddle it fast. A great example of quick not fast.

Both Pintail and Anas are very neat boats - however both are longer and heavier then I’m looking for as a day boat.