What is the fastest...

composite touring sit in kayak?

I would like all opinions.

After seven years of racing my heavy plastic Eclipse and my wife racing her plastic Shadow, we are ready to get a composite to allow us to be a little more competitive in the sea kayak touring class

I want something between 17 and 18 feet, with a rudder, and she wants something between 16 and 17 feet.

We won’t buy anything without first trying it, but I am looking for whatever in your opinion is the fastest.

Needless to say, the Eclipse and the Shadow have a tear in their eye, but I assured them that they will always be our camping yaks.

Thanks in advance,


let me be the first to say QCC…
Then YOU TOO can be in the cult…J/K…

how about a composite eclipse or shadow?


Good luck, Looking for a new boat seems to be half the fun in getting a new boat

QCC & Epic
Might help recomendations to know your sizes (ht/wt).

Since you limited the length to under 18:

For you - I’d second the Q700 or maybe an EPIC Touring Endurance 18. QCC quality gets the nod - and it’s a very good all around boat you’d be able to use for just about anything. Plenty od room for gear. It really is a great boat. The EPIC is a good paddle too (I’d like to try on again - with GPS to see which is faster for me - it should be close - but I’d keep my Q700 either way). Both use the same rudder system.

If you want something less common, a Kirton/Nelo INUK is in a similar speed range - a but narrower and exactly 18’ I think. I am not aware of faster production boats under 18 ft (anyone else?). Most still have long overhangs putting them in longer classes.

You could also consider a SOT like the Isthmus. Haven’t tried one - and their kept here in town!

You’ll be able to check these all out at the B&B - or were you wanting these for the B&B?

For her? Maybe a Q600 (Isthmus should not be too big either). On length some women seem surprised when they try longer kayaks and like them. Don’t set a length limit without trying them. There are some happy female paddlers on the water in 19+ kayaks.

What else other than your current kayaks have you paddled? Anything faster you liked? Are you in an Eclipse 17 and she in a Shadow 16.5? Neither is really what I’d call slow.

Let me add Wave Excel

– Last Updated: Jan-19-04 9:54 AM EST –

From west side boat shop. Very Fast. Maybe Greg, Ocsar and Company at Epic have gotten the hatch problems sorted out, but one day in serious stuff I saw one of those boats take on a lot of water. It was being paddled by a bit of a novice, and I cannot vouch for the way that he secured the hatches. The rudder mount issue on the 700 has come up before on this board

Absolute fastest for those with the motor might be the xpar missile fron westside, or the mirage 22s from Mirage. but at 23 and 22 feet respectively, they need to go fast.

New additions Westside EFT (Extra fast tourer) Probably the fastest 20 foot by 20 inch production (albeit small scale) boat around. Looksha 2 or (II) A fast touring kayak which races well which you can actually tour in, (in heavier lay ups)

Maybe the westside boats are considered custom come to think of it. Then again most qcc boats sold are built to order so who knows what custom is?

Thanks Andrew
I never even thought of the composite Eclipse and Shadow.

I’ll start the list with them.


I am 5’-9" and 165 pounds, and she is 5’-2 " and 120 pounds.

We are both older then dirt, and that is why we need all the help we can get.

I had in mind the QCC, but didn’t know which model to look at.

I’ll add it and the Epic to the list.

As much as I would like a composite boat for the B & B, it would be foolish for me to rush into something.

I might contact the FBO folks and see if they have any composite rentals, although we had to put what boats we are using on the entry form.

We generally pass up the demos, but we are going to take full advantage of theirs.

If I lived in Fla. I might be looking at a SOT, but right now it is a SINK.



Current Designs Extreme - - -
a friend of mine in florida paddles one. he’s 75 and keeps up with me easily, me in my Explorer. granted the Explorer is not a fast boat by any means but i’ve always been impressed with the speed of his CD.

It is on the list.


fast boats
Fastest 16-17’ composit sink: Q600, SRS Dart

Dart is probably a touch faster than the 600 on the flats but the 600 has more rocker and feels better in chop than the Dart. Rudder controls on the SRS boats are superior for fitness paddling and racing. I use a 600 with a retractable skeg and Aluminum Yakima pegs. Both have solid initial stability.

Fastest 17-18’: Inuk, Epic 18, Q700. Inuk gets put in the racing class here locally. Deservedly so I believe, it’s fast. I’ve paddled an Inuk and Q700 and the Inuk is faster but technique and balance have got to be really fluid to take advantage of the speed in the Inuk. Q700 is more comfortable with higher initial stability. Inuk has better rudder controls. I haven’t paddled the Epic18 but I’m told that they’re fast.

If you’re just looking for fitness paddling and flatwater racing, check out Kirton’s Development boats.


You can get the Tercel copies cheap:


Fast Boats in 16ft range
The Viking by Kajaksport is an awesome little boat. Very quick and nimble. The Falcon16 by Eddyline was my favorite kayak, but it is no longer in production, and not too many people sell theirs.

Confused again - not too difficult
What is this 18’ limit thing in touring class kayaks. There are 19’ overall kayaks in the Blackburn Touring class. The following is a paste from the USCA 2003 ‘Touring’ spec. :

“K1 Sea Kayak Touring: 20ft max length, with a 4” water line beam of at least 18".

Wouldn’t a 19’ Seda Glider fall into the ‘Touring’ kayak class? At least they race as such in the Blackburn. An EFT - don’t know about the beam.

touring includes
seda gliders, looksha II’s, Westside EFT’s and of course the Qcc700 (which you can definietly tour in if you like).

Her is a link for you:

http://www.blackburnchallenge.com/results.asp choose 2003 and by class and you can get confirmation.

You can get rules there perhaps, but I believe that the class lines are drawn at 20 feet and 20 inches. Others will know much better. Letting the EFT race against the 700 is not my idea of fair, but I do not race so setting that right its not at the top of my list of action items.

Hi Peter,
One of the problems that I see is the fact that the local people running the race set their own rules, and in most they set touring kayak as a maximum of 18 feet.

It is not fair also to have heavy plastic and light composite in the same class, but there are many that don’t separate them either.

“The bride” and I are not primarily racers, but in between our touring/camping sojourns we love any excuse to meet with and race against other paddlers. We have found that they are the nicest bunch of people in the world, and will go out of their way to help any caliber paddler.



You can both paddle the QCC-600 but the 700 is a little faster. They are stable fast kayaks great for racing and also great for every day use. Some racing kayaks are not so great for touring. The 700 is faster for me than the cd extreme and the seda glider also better built than the seda. The QCC is also built better than the Epics at least the Epics from last year and before that.


– Last Updated: Jan-19-04 2:40 PM EST –

My post abpve just refers to the blackburn. sound rowers classification is much more in line with the 18 foot rule I think.

Got nothing againts racers, some of my best friends do the Blackburn. I am a recovering hypercompetitor and when I get possessed by the essence of competition (or more importantly, serious training) it can just eat me alive, so I watch out for it in myself. Get my challenges from the sea and her moods, learn a lot about my shortcomings fron those I try to help, and one of my biggest kayaking thrills last season occurred when a paddler told me that a technique we had spent some time working on worked and kept him in his boat.

Get here next summer and I'll put you and the bride up, and take you out to woods hole or to do the vinyard crossing; or Boston harbor if those are too steep. Bring light tackle and you can fish within 300 feet of suburban home. Politics and Skalak are off the agenda though.

Got a pamlico, arctic tern, pintail, romany explorer and a Foster shadow (Seaward), (probably my fastest boat). Might let the pintail go if I get a surf boat. But you and the bride can take your choice of what I have.

Oh! that reminds me, perhaps you could consider a silhouette or legend as a fast boat, mostly for touring and occasional racing. The kevlar ones from seaward are very well built and very strong while remaining light, and while not as fast as the 700, they are tremendous all round boats which do not require tracking aids in moderate conditions. both boats are 17'10" long.

Speaking of fast…
wished you would have let me know that you were in the area (ocala). pnetters have been allusive in the place to be down here. perhaps as soon as next time.

Many races don’t use USCA specs
and I can see why. The 2003 changes began to make sense, but then USCA I believe has also brought back the 2002 18 & under “Sea Kayak” class with the 10% overall length to overall beam ratio, and 8.5% 4" WLB to overall lenght ration (confused yet).

This bizarre spec, patterned after some obsolete ICF rule, lets in the Epic TE 18 in (21.5" overall)- and keeps out Q700, EddyLine Falcon 18, Nigel Foster Legend, VCP Nordkapp, etc. (21" overall - but almost certainly wider at the 4" than the Epic). None are likely to be faster than the Epic. All are 18’ or under, all meet the 4" beam - just not the 10% overall rule. Good spec?

West Side EFT
The West Side Boat Shop’s EFT (Extra Fast Tourer) altho a bit longer than you specify, is an exceptionally fast touring boat. Here’re the specs:

LOA 19’4", beam 20", WL beam 17", weight low 30s in carbon. It has a tiller bar (racing) steering system and your choice of either an over-stern or understern rudder.

I bought an EFT recently (wanted top-of-the-line speed in a very lightweight boat without going to an all-out racing kayak) and have not been disappointed. I find the EFT addictively pleasant to paddle hard because of its exceptional speed and decent stability.

FYI, Doug Bushnell (owner of West Side Boat Shop) builds these boats to order. He doesn’t have a web site (at least last time I checked) but can be reached at (716) 434-5755.

Here’s Doug’s description of the EFT taken from his literature:

“This is an entirely new concept in a touring kayak. Moving the speed range to 6-7.5 mph for top cruising speeds lightly loaded. Low wetted surface round bottom design allows this to occur in conjunction with a long water line and narrow water line span very low wave drag occurs at the cruising speeds. Eight mph is possible for an hour or less with a well trained paddler. The deeply flared bow keeps a dry ride. The paddling position is ergonomically correct to allow movement of the legs to facilitate upper body rotation. A hung seat allows a true kayak fit.”

If you want one of the fastest (maybe THE fastest) touring kayaks on the market, you should give the EFT a look.

Good luck and happy paddling whatever you decide.


How about the hatches?
Not having been interested in them until now, I never picked up anything on the hatch leaking problem until looking at some revues.

Im am spoiled, never having a problem in seven years with my Eclipse.

It sounds like the 700 is the one I should be looking at, but I don’t want to pay big bucks for a yak, and then have a leaky hatch.


We will be back in Ocala
for two nights on the way down to the B & B, and then again for two nights on the way back.

We will be staying at The Rock Crusher, (or something like that) campground.