What is good secondary stability

I read several reviews on the Chatham 18 which consistently praised its secondary stability. When I tried one out last week, I found that I could not get the secondary stability to lock in like other boats I have paddled. This made for very uncomfortable edging not quite knowing where the breaking point would be. I thought I knew what good secondary stability was, but my experience compared to the reviews is making me question that.

So, What is good secondary stability?

Thanks, Marshall.

it’s kind of a misnomer
and varies with the cg of each paddler in each boat. Throw on top of that subjective descriptions dependant on each paddlers bracing skills and preferences and you get a term that’s as useful as “that’s cool”.

My definition would be the ability to control the kayak near it’s angle of capsize, there’s nothing to “lock in” because the kayak is about to go over without a brace. I don’t know where other folks measure “secondary stability” but it doesn’t describe any kind of stability as much as a range of controllability.

The Chatham18 doesn’t have much rocker which is ONE thing that detracts from controlling a kayak on a lean or in waves.

I think that you are right on, and …
I can only add, that what is good secondary stability to one paddler is tipping over to another.

last year I (we) had a West side boat shop’s “Bullitt”(tandem) which is 19" wide and 23 feet long.

I (we) could actually put it on it’s side and then with a quick brace bring it back upright.

If that was four or five years ago we would have been over in a heart beat.

The longer you paddle, the better you get, and what had terrible secondary stability a few years ago, now has great secondary stability. - Is it the boat ? - No it is you.



Chatham 18 is awesome on edge
just not for you guys. Get something that matches your skill level and you’ll be happy. Why is it “always” the boat??? Favorite touring kayak for more than one Olympian… But hey, maybe they don’t get it??

you keep with that sorta chatter and secondary markets dry up.

and because olympians paddle anything might not be the best endorsement of anything anyone else is going to use…pssst…you aren’t an olympian. pass it on.

try a bunch and then get the boat you’re comfy in…

confused also
right now my take on primary and secondary is that anything that helps on flat water, such as heeling resistance, and righting force, becomes a liability in rougher conditions.

I have owned and paddled true hard chine with flat bottom to soft chine with keel bottom… right now I’m leaning towards the soft chine with little heeling resistance although responsive to edging, because it becomes transparent in demanding ocean conditions, but that is subjective to my experience.

The C18 seems to be somewhere between the two with a flat bottom and somewhat pronounced chine. A friend has one and it has really good stability on the coast. Good all around kayak. Little rocker but flat bottom so it seems to turn well with bow and stern sweeps.

Well rick

– Last Updated: Jul-05-09 2:20 AM EST –

You have a point, but gosh I'm just burned out on all the frikkin boat anal-isis. Seems this site is just the same shit over and over and over. If it isn't skeg debates it's hull analysis from guys who've never designed anything in their lives, and probably are not great paddlers.

I'm surly cuz I'm just fried with all the bullshit here. And I could care less about secondary markets. Ya'll have fun OK.

I'm off to surf.

That’s about the first description I’ve
heard that I actually understood. Seriously.



Very well said LeeG


– Last Updated: Jul-05-09 9:56 AM EST –

Marshall I tend to agree with you. You're a good paddler and have paddled a lot of boats. I find that boats with the higher shear point have the greatest 2ndary. Think of a kayak like a box with straight 90 degree sides. As you lean it, you would get to a capsize point very quickly. Now if you took the box and pushed out the shear points (widened the top of the box) you would immediately gain 2ndary. With boats that have very flat bottoms, they usually have more parallel sides. So, that's a trade you make for other characteristics. However, there's a lot of happy paddlers paddling all types of boats and that's why we have choices.

I enjoy reading opinions and my computer allows me to not read what I don't want to read.

from my non-ww rarely in the surf paddling background I don’t have the ease on the edge with the Chatham18 as others do to appreciate that maneuverability. I was in my Mariner Express and am in the Chatham 16. I did love it’s controllability zooming down on little waves but the hang-out-and-drink-a-beer in choppy waves part wasn’t there for me. They don’t have that on the charts.

what’s interesting

– Last Updated: Jul-05-09 5:39 PM EST –

is that you can get a somewhat similar effect with a rockered box shape hull as flared hull with little rocker. Not that they handle the same in waves but that there's some "give" in both designs that makes the approach to capsize more controllable.