Wilderness Systems Capehorn 170

Hi, I am new to kayaking so be patient with me. My question is this: I just ordered a Wilderness Systems Capehorn 170 with a rudder from Sierra Trading Post because it was a great deal($767.00 after a 20% coupon I received through email), but like I said I am new to this sport, is this a good kayak for a newbie who wants to spend alot of time in protected waters? How stable can I expect it to be? Thanks in advance for any input.

you certainly put the cart in front of the horse.

what if we told you it was the biggest mistake you could have ever made? How would you feel? but hey, you saved money!


you did OK.


Cart and Horse
I may have put the cart before the horse, but like I said the price was so good that I felt like it would be a great boat to grow into. I was really looking for a good used Cape Lookout 145, I have tried one of these out and really liked it, but then I found the Cape Horn deal. How will the Cape Horn 170 compare to the Cape Lookout 145 in terms of stability?

Cape Horn 170
I have a friends who paddle the Cape Horns, the 170, 150 and 140. They all love them. You paid less for that boat than some of the used ones are selling for(or at least advertised). You did not make a bad choice.

Don’t worry about “stability”. You will get used to what ever you paddle. You might want to get to know the boat and work on your skills before you head out into more challenging conditions. The boat will handle well in most coastal situations if you have the right skills. I have paddled my friend’s 140 in small breaking waves and even found that it surfed decently and was easy to roll. It was a fun boat and handled well without a rudder. Just make sure you get some decent instruction, wear your PFD, know how to wet exit (especially if wearing a spray skirt) and dress for the water temperature (not the air). Have fun with your new boat.


Great input
Thanks. I’m not much of a dare devil so I intend on getting plenty of practice and instruction in a small lake near my house.

Cape Horn
My wife has a Cape Horn 15. She loves it - very stable, good tracking boat with plenty of “growing room” for an new paddler (this will be her sixth season, no talk of another boat yet). Not the fastest thing on the North Atlantic, but still keeps up with the crowd pretty well. I especially like the seating - very comfortable even after hours in the boat. Looks like you’ve got yourself a winner!

Nice boat
for me. I love mine hopefully you will also. If not you got such a good deal on it you will be able to see it and make some money. Don’t worry you will love it.

It’s a Start

– Last Updated: Feb-13-07 5:47 PM EST –

You don't say how much you weigh so it may be a little more (or less) boat than is ideal.

It's a beginning. If you really get into kayaking you'll be trading it after a couple of years.

(I think the pig-in-a-poke analogy works well also)

I am 6’1" and weigh 225lbs.

good deal on it
I’ve paddled all the Cape Horns in the past. It is an okay kayak. Not my cup of tea for what I want in a sea kayak but is okay.

You got a good deal on it and it is a pretty good kayak to get you started.

Have fun on the water.

Cheers…Joe O’

plastic version?
if so, hey, 61 lbs, you’ll be one fit paddler hoisting that one up and down! ;D Check into

a kayak cart now with all the $ you saved.

A beam of 23" is not really narrow, esp. for a seakayak. you’ll see many listed all the way down to 18" (not counting K-1 racers). How it fits you is important. Check out all the great resources in the archives about outfitting your cockpit for the ultimate custom fit.

The tippy feelings are mainly mental for most people until they relax and start to get the feel of the boat. Learning correct form definitely speeds the learning curve & avoids discouraging new muscular pain.

It’s addictive, btw. I started in midsummer last year & went from a rec kayaks 28"–> light touring kayak 23.50" -->full on seakayak 20" wide, all of which are a great fit for me & are fun to paddle.

So get out as soon as you can & enjoy your first

kayak! Congratulations!

Oh, and post a review this summer, 'K?


– Last Updated: Feb-16-07 8:05 AM EST –

I think your weight is about right for that boat.

I started out with a Cape Horn 15 and I think it was a very good beginner boat.

Here’s one guy that likes it…
Check out this site, put up by a paddler in my area. He’s put in a lot of miles with his Cape Horn over the past four years - he said recently that his tally is 4,000 miles.



No problem
Let me get a few trips under my belt and I will definitly write a review. Thanks to everyone who responded!

great price…
but as many here will tell you, it’s like buying a car without driving it first. I have a Cape 150 and it’s been great. a super tough boat that I’ve bounced off many rocks on the Canadian Sheild. oddly enough, it has a larger cockpit that the 170 so it fit my fat arse better. I don’t know your size so I don’t know if it’s gonna be good for you or not.

and hey… if it doesn’t work out, you’ll surely make a few bucks if you do sell it.

Buyer Beware from STP
The Cape Horn will do you just fine.

A word on Sierra Trading Post…be sure to inspect the boat thoroughly before you sign for it. A paddler here bought a Prijon WW boat for a rock bottom price from Sierra Trading Post. The boat had two gashes (one that almost completely penetrated the side of the boat) on the side…precisely the size and width apart you would get it were impaled by a forklift!

If you’ve ever been to one of these common carrier shipping centers, everything is moved around on forklifts, and those operators aren’t delicate in how they handle the merchandise.

To make a short story long, the buyer took possession, and didn’t notice the damage until the boat was home. The sale was final and as-is, so once the boat was taken from the carrier, it was his responsibility. There’s no way of knowing where the damage occured…whether at Prijon, at STP or during shipping.

In any case, look the boat over closely!