WS Tempest 170 vs. CD Gulfstream

Can anybody comment on the differences and similarities between these. I’ll be paddling both soon with an interest to purchase. Not so much as to what would be better for me in particular, but more an objective comparison. Criteria being performance and intended use. Speed, inititial and primary stability, tracking, hull design, rough water handling, weight (lightest layup), etc… Also, would one say that they compete head to head for the same targeted paddler? Thanks in advance for any help.

"more an objective comparison"
The Gulfstream was designed by Derek Hutchinson. The Tempest by Steve aka flatpick.

The Gulfstream was an adaptation of the Orion which Derek had designed for P&H.

The Tempest an amalgam of design informed, in part, by boats of more recent vintage than the Orion, such as the NDK Explorer.

Both good designs and very capable boats.

the difference is night and day
Close one eye and look at a nickel. That is a Sirocco. Now stand the nickel on end and look at the skinny side. That is a Tempest 170. Not exactly, of course. I’m abstracting a bit. But you get the idea: the Sirocco is rounder, fuller, more buxom, more roly poly, if you will. As such, it will be more maneuverable. The Tempest is like a knife: a slasher. It cuts through the water, zip zip zip. There’s your objective report.

just like that. performance defined, end of story, zip zip zip!

I was using my laptop earlier today and it defaulted to Celia’s log in on

but…“As such, it (S) will be more maneuverable”

dead flat the T has more freedom to YAW and is easier to turn. the S has fine stems (forefoot and skeg), less rocker and tracks better.

didn’t you find this out surfing with me at Oceanside along time ago?


The 170
has MUCH more primary stability, at least for me. At 6’-3" and 270, I found it unnerving at times. The secondary stability of the Sirocco is surprisingly solid. The Sirocco prefers to have a paddle in the water, preferably moving forward. For my type of paddling, which is relaxing, picture taking, day trips, the 170 wins hands down. Even better is the Tempest 180, for which I just traded my Sirocco!

I missed something here…
I thought the thread was the Gulfstream vs Tempest 170 - not the “Sirocco” or whatever that is.

I am also looking at a Tempest 170 Pro - and if only I could get a blue over yellow one now I would pay cash today.

Steve/Flatpick - can you help me?

Scott L

North Cove
or ???

good dealerships are the backbone of our retail sales.

support your local dealer or shop the net.


I own a Tempest 17 and a NDK Explorer. Both kayaks resemble each other in handling and hull design. The Tempest turns easier but is more apt to broach in following seas due to less skeg. The Tempest has much more volume above the water line which can be good or bad depending on weight put in boat. The 165 is a better day tripper.


Different boats
Have tons of hours and own both boats. T170 has more rocker, a tighter cockpit fit (5’11" 200#), and likes rough water. CD does fine in rough water but cockpit is larger and not as good a seat and backband. In my experience CD and WS quality are about the same with CD having a bump with plastic bulkheads (crap) a few years ago and WS has had both hatch and skeg issues. Both seem to have fixed alot of problems but both skeg systems are a PITA. CD because it sticks and kinks, and WS because it can leak at the fitting - gotta goop it.

IMO, CD is a slightly better camping boat because it has more capacity (more bow/stern room to stuff)and with less rocker may track a little better. Both boats will weathercock without the skeg.

All I can say is I paddle my Tempest everyday and the CD gets pulled out for camping trips. In my case, because of the fit and maneuverabiltiy on wave and swell, Tempest is playful and just plain fun. CD is very, very, functional.

So to me the biggest different is the cockpit fit. If the boat really fits you can do more with it. Both boats will take an edge and roll fine.

CD has better graphic on the bow.

You need to paddle both boats.

the “Sirocco” or whatever that is
the Sirocco and Gulfstream are plastic and glass of the same boat

For whats its worth
Husband (approx 230 lbs) paddles a tempest 170 always now and the CD sirocco sits waiting but he keeps it anyway as it is still a nice kayak to paddle and he likes the mermaid! He fits the 170 well but feels the sirocco has a slightly too large cockpit to feel snug for control. We both like the quality of plastic on the CDs but like the design and seating of the tempests also. You really need to try them both!

in which colors?


Nobody has them in stock. How long would it take to get one shipped from WS in the color combo I like? I just don’t/can’t wait till September…


close, but not quite
the same. If you look at the specs for

each design, the Gulfstream is actually

3/4" wider in beam and 1/2" higher at the

deck. And, while the Gulfstream is rated

w/an overall higher weight capacity of

400 lb. vs. 350 lb. for the Sirocco, the

Sirocco actually has more holding capacity

in the storage compartments! The Gulfstream,

then, has a huge cockpit!

I own and paddle a Sirocco and enjoy it a lot,

a really great, fun boat – what it lacks in

some areas (broachability ring a bell?), I think

it makes up in others, esp. manoeverability. And,

while the Sirocco is still a “bigger” persons

boat, the Gulfstream takes this to a new level.