Who is the Outer island for?

-- Last Updated: Nov-05-04 3:56 PM EST --

The Impex composite manufacture of Jay's wooden boat design is certainly getting a lot of attention. I am curious what the customer/paddler profile might be for those considering the purchase of this boat?

Looks to be…
…a good all arounder for intermediate and up. Just going from what I’ve read and the strip version I’ve seen.

Not a specialized kayak. Good touring (but not major expedition boat), efficient (but not a race boat - and probably not faster than many of similar dimension), and good for rolling & skills work.

Looks like the one to have if you can only have one - IF you want a variety of functionality and it feels right. If you want a race boat or a play boat, might want to look elsewhere.

I agree with others that two cockpit options (ocean and keyhole) might be nicer than the inbetween solution - but not having tried it I’m just guessing and parroting.

Beautiful kayak. If I were shopping (this is probably the only commercial kayak out now that makes me even think about shopping) I’d be very interested, but that’s a while off. I think I may have to build the next kayak.

Go Straight To The Source…

– Last Updated: Nov-05-04 3:47 PM EST –


The piece about "looks" is a bit... Oh, never mind... Form follows function. All kayak designs have a built-in compromise among various performance criteria. What someone is willing to have more in one area at the expense of the other can be expected to turn someone else off for a diametrically opposed prioritizing of performance critieria, e.g. a day tripper intent on a playful day in interesting conditions won't want an expedition boat and an expeditioner who wants storage and strong tracking won't want a day boat.


PS. I think the boat is attractive but it's built with more tracking in mind and certainly more volume than I, a small paddler, would need. This is relative fast day boat (or overnighter) for the mid size paddler and or tall but lean paddler.

I demoed a strip version
and found it to be much stronger tracking/harder turning than my Avocet, but I wasn’t very agressive getting it up on edge. Easy to hold course with beam/quartering wind blowing small whitecaps. Felt significantly faster than the Avocet. It’d be on my list if I were shopping for more of a straight-line boat and didn’t want to deal with a lot of volume.

Are these a new niche boat?
Knowing zilch, is this what some folks call a new niche boat? There are some newer boats coming on, the Chatham 17, the Quarajaq, CD’s to be released Stratus (stats below). Are these all to appeal to intermediate paddlers who want faster boat with some less tracking and storage, but bigger conditions? Not knowing, just guessing.
















22 3/4"

11 1/4"


50 lbs

51 lbs

46 lbs

47 lbs*

33 1/8 x 17"

21 x 14"

14 x 9 1/2"

Swede Form

Shallow Arch

Soft Chine


5.49 m

55.25 cm

28.56 cm

30.48 cm*

22.68 kg

23.13 kg*

20.87 kg

21.31 kg*

84.14 x 43.18 cm

53.34 x 35.56 cm

35.56 x 24.13 cm

Because fast is fun!

Designer, Dave Kruger, raised the bar for super-efficient, yet stable and user-friendly kayaks with the new Stratus.

This performance-touring model is Swede form to maximize glide, and is among the most efficient kayaks available for its width. The bow shape of the Stratus increases water-line length, yet doesn’t catch weeds as an overly-plumb bow is prone to do. Rocker is kept to a minimum to further improve speed and tracking, while a low profile deck helps reduce windage

The Stratus features a generous cockpit that allows flexibility in paddling style. Thigh braces are built-in under the deck, keeping the cockpit free of obstructions, and comes standard with the SmartTrack rudder and foot brace system. Bow and stern hatches and bulkheads, as well as the comprehensive deck lines that Current Designs is known for complete the package.

The Stratus is also offered in a high-volume version for those who require more depth.

This exciting new addition to our model line-up is currently under development. The Stratus is scheduled to be available for shipment in February of 2005.

That Just About Describes
every boat that fits the physical characteristics and performance attributes desired by the individual paddler. What boat would not be a niche boat, except for rec boats which are intended for a wider range of paddlers? Even these can be argues as “niche” boats.

I have a number of boats and each does things somewhat differently and/or are for different venues and fit me pretty well to varying degrees. The niche I haven’t filled is probably a boat designed and built for racing speed.


Chatham 17
I was at the Gulf of Maine Kayak Symposium last July . All three Chathams where on the beach to demo . The 17 was poly ,the18 & 16 were composite. I am 5 ft 10 and about 215 lbs. After 3 seasons of ocean paddling I have found nothing I like better than that Chatham 17. The cockpit is 31 x 16 bt the freeboard behind the cockpit is as low as a Romany. Very easy and comfortable to layback on. With my body type it can be a challenge to comfortably lean hard when it`s real choppy or windy. This was a piece of cake in the 17 and the 16. The 18 was faster but a little more tender (at least for me) The 17 is going to be my main boat for sure. The only frustration I have on this message board is that I feel it should be mandatory that you state your body type and size if you are going to go on & on about what you think of a certain boat. In my case I had to really struggle for the first year and half untill I met a experianced kayak instructor that explained that I have a high center of gravity and should have my seat as low as possible if I want to progress faster. Man was he right! It made all the differance for me. The Chatham 17 is already setup perfect for me and fits like a glove. The only downside I suspect is that it does not seem to be a very fast boat. I have a hard time judging the glide and speed while demoing all boats. Anyone else paddle the 17?

I wish I knew this earlier also
Thanks. Being 6’3" with way short legs and way long upper torso I wish I knew this at first also. I will be thinking of this more, good post.