Which is faster...

-- Last Updated: Apr-06-05 4:28 PM EST --

I am renting a boat for a race and need to know which is fastest.

Here are my choices:
Perception Eclipse 17 (Airalite)
WS Tempest 165 (plastic)

For those who haven't paddle them, here are some stats-
22.25" x 17' @ 64 lbs

21.5" x 16.6 @ 57 lbs

In the reviews on this website, it looks like the Tempest is a fast boat. But considering it is plastic vs. Airalite - it might be better to go for the Eclipse.

What do you think?


you have a longer waterline and a straighter keel with the eclipse.

But, hey, If Barton was racing in a Pamlico, I would bet on him. It’s the horse and not the cart.


Rocker? Not big enough difference

– Last Updated: Apr-06-05 5:02 PM EST –

One is narrower, one might have a longer water line, go paddle!

Also I assume the eclipse will have a rudder. If you do not have experience with a non-ruddered boat in the conditions you will meet it will be very inefficient not to have a rudder. That inefficiency would make a huge difference. That might be a prime consideration.

I’d go with the T165

– Last Updated: Apr-06-05 4:55 PM EST –

It's a lighter, smaller, sleek, low profile boat. Though it's a smidge shorter, it's also more narrow. I've sat in the Eclipse and it's a big barrel of a boat made for hauling a lot of stuff on big trips. I would be concerned about the front deck height getting in the way of my paddling. It would also be more affected by wind.

I have the smaller sister of the Eclipse (Shadow 16.5) and the bigger brother of the T165 (T170). As far as the hulls on my boats, I can tell you the T170 has a sharper entry and exit than the Shadow, but more rocker and harder chines. All in all, they are about the same as far as speed (as far as I can tell).

I think Kudzu will back me up on this.

What are you racing?


Maybe you’ll want something more manuveral.

Yukon River Quest
I’ll be racing 460 miles on the Yukon River.

weight and material
Ironic you have the same boats just reversed lengths.

So, what about material and weight. I like the idea or airelite (thought never paddled it), yet the plastic 165 is 7 lbs lighter. So what would be better, a stiffer boat or a lighter boat. (Yeah, yeah, I know - a lighter and stiffer boat would be ideal.)

Any case, I am leaning toward the 165. It’s cheaper rental too.


This doesn’t answer your question,
…but can’t you try them both out and see for yourself which is fastest.

In a normal race I would be tempted to take the narrower and lighter boat, but I have paddled a portion of the Yukon, (as a matter of fact it was with my 17 foot plastc Eclipse), and that current is awsome. The heavier yak might be more to your advantage

There were quit a few places where we had to hop scotch between eddies to keep out of the whirpools, and I was glad to have my heavy Eclipse.



how big are you?
unless you are a very large person, I’d go 165. heavy definitely will not be better on a 460 mile race.

the T is more maneuverable, accelerates faster and IMO more FUN than the Eclipse. and if you happen to smash a rock it won’t shatter.


good luk on the yuk
Have you posted on the Yukon Quest Web site?


they have a message board.

Sorry I cant anything about the kayaks. I raced the Yukon on 01 in a Jensen 18 canoe.

Have fun,

If you need any tips/ideas/suggestions etc.

let me know


paddle them…
Unfortunately I don’t have the option to try them. I live in a 2000 person town with little resources. The expense to try out a boat (meaning take a ferry to Juneau) would not be cost effective :frowning:

460 miles?
the boats not going to matter much, your fitness and the outfitting will matter more. If you’re not familiar with paddling then the big barge of an Eclipse with rudder will be more comfortable but it weighs more than that,or feels like it. The rudder may not survive if it’s the plastic one and hits rocks too often,then again the skeg will probably get jammed up a few times but you’ll be happier dragging it over the eclipse.

The biggest problem will be fit,you may not want a snug kayak for 460miles,but you’ll not know without gettin in it.

If the Eclipse is the same as the original aerolite as two years ago check the seat hanger,if it’s one continuous piece of plastic as the coaming and not a thicker piece it’ll tear out in the time of the trip.

I think newer T-165s have a larger/lower seat than the older ones so check that out.

my $.02 is that the Eclipse is faster but you’ll be paddling faster than marathon speeds to utilize it.

pretty much gets down to whether you are too big to fit in the T-165 whether it’s a choice or not.

The aerolite Eclipse feels bigger than the old eclipse as far as what’s touching the water,and faster,if you think you’ll be dealing with 20mph winds and you and your gear weigh less than 250lbs you may find yourself putting some rocks in the Eclipse because it’s a BIG kayak.

dont forget the most important things.
Everyone seems to be so keyed to the idea of “the boat”. With a race that long, that is NOT what will matter the most.

I raced the 770km Yuk Quest in 2001 with a paddle time (tandem canoe) of 54 hours. Believe me the important things will be your mental attidude, COMFORT (if your not comfortable pissing and sitting in one place for 50-70 hours do you think you will even begin to have an effiecient paddle stroke?? And being able to pace yourself, and eating and drinking enough. The boat design wont make much difference , BUT that doesnt mean to go out and hollow out a log either.

PS- I used a single blade 7oz ZRE paddle which is 16 oz (1 lb) LESS than my double bladed paddle at 23oz. AT a 55 stroke rate per minute paddle rate that equals= 77,962 pounds of weight I lifted in the course of the entire race. That is almost 39 tons of weight! Had I used my 23oz paddle, I would have lifted 256,162 pounds of weight or 128 tons! Thats 89 tons more weight than the 7oz’er I would have lifted in the course of the race.( OZ paddle X’s 55 strokes a minute X’ 60 minutes in an hour X’s 54 hours of paddling ='s Results) So whos going to be more tired? Object of the tome? GET THE LIGHTEST PADDLE YOU CAN GET!!!

Good point
Some of the local “experts” have stressed the same point. I ain’t going cheap on the paddle, that’s for sure.

thanks all
I agree, as someone said above, “It’s the horse and not the cart.” I am doing my best to be the best horse I can be - biking, swimming, and now that the weather is good, lot’s of paddling.

I just want to be sure that this horse is in the best cart. Obviously, there are better/faster boats out there than either of the two I am choosing from. But I at least want to get the better of the two.

At 5’10", 175lbs, I reckon the 165 is still a viable option. It is last years model, so I am not sure if the seat is wider and lower, so the comfort may be a concern.

Oh, and as mentioned above… pissing while sitting will certainly have its challenges.

In any case, lots to consider in this race. I appreciate all the opinions and advice on the boat.

As far as comfort goes
You will only know for sure when you sit in the boat for a long time, but the Phase 3 seat in the Tempest is the most comfortable I’ve been in. My perception required A LOT of modification to get it where I wanted it (had to lower the back of the seat 2 inches, pad it out with minicell and pad the bottom, all of which took a lot of time and tools).

The Tempest comes with fully adjustable back-band, seat, hip pads and thigh braces. After a few hours in the boat, you may appreciate the ability to easily modify the outfitting (with only a screwdriver for the thigh braces).

the horse
For the record. You are never ever ever going to hit a rock in the Yukon River during the race. Its the same section that the Klondike Gold Rushers drove 200 foot steam wheeler through. Its over 50 feet deep!

Steve, I personally paddled 250 hours the 7 months prior to the race which was my first race ever for a 6th place finish. I now the 3rd place team that paddled 4 hours of training.

I personally knew the mental thing would be the hardest and it was, so I made sure if did numerous days of 10-15 hour of non stop paddling including 1- 50 hour paddle. I was good to go another two days without stopping had the race been further.

The Yuk’s current is about 8-11 mph too!

Its easier in a canoe to pee than a kayak. With the constant drinking I did, I pissed about every 20 minutes. Use a 1/2 gallon plastic jug with the bottom cut out and the top screwed on and dump it overboard.

#2? You probably wont go till the carmacks checkpoint.

A wide mouth gatorade bottle
is just the ticket…Wrap some colored electrical tape around it so that you do not inadvertently use it for something else…