Kayak advice: Tempest 170 vs Delta 16 vs ??

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by Swimmy Tim, Sep 20, 2019.

  1. Swimmy Tim

    Swimmy Tim Paddler

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    I will be purchasing a performance touring kayak in the next few months. I'm looking for the ever elusive do mostly everything model. Decent in rough water, not a slug on flat water, for lots of day trip exploring and a couple multi-day journeys a year. Also, it should be reasonably comfortable (I'm approaching 50), minimal leaking, durable, reputable, and on and on and on you betcha. A stretch to achieve no doubt, but may as well aim for the sky I say.

    I've discovered my trips tend to be more destination oriented (eg. to see something cool) then playing in the waves and rockgardens (I whitewater kayak and surf for that thrill). So I think I have nixed more playful boats like the Romany Sport and WS Zephyr off the list. I've also ruled out composite on account of the care required in handling around rocky shorelines and beaches. I'm 6 foot 4, 185 pounds, size 12 feet and reasonably experienced in west coast paddling. I am used to the tight fit of a whitewater boat. I don't want to carry a tank, but realize there's a tradeoff with weight vs. durability. See the sky aiming thinger referenced above. Oh ya thought seriously about P&H but I have read numerous problems with very leaky hatches and skudder issues, so ruled out the Scorpio.

    The Tempest 170 and Delta 16 sound good on paper and review well. I'm concerned about leaky hatches and maneuverability in the tempest, and the durability of the Delta. I will be demoing both the boats mentioned above soon. Just looking for any advice or personal thoughts on these from the "in" crowd. Feel free to share any other random thoughts you have on sky aiming and kayaking. I should note that I've read lots of discussions on these boats and while there's snippets of wisdom, but maybe there's a fresh perspective out there in webland? I posted this on paddling.com as well.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  2. AM

    AM Paddler

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    I don't know what you've read about P&H quality, but they would be my first choice: quality plastic, good hatch covers (Kajaksport), excellent outfitting, and good design. My experience is with a P&H Delphin, Scorpio, and Capella (RM).

    I don't have a good opinion of the quality of Confluence boats (WS, Dagger), especially their hatches and skegs. My school club has a couple of Daggers with absolute crap hatches (combination soft and hard rubber that leak like crazy) and rusted out skeg cables.

    That said, the search for "bone dry" hatches is perhaps not worth the stress. On a trip, water will get in as you load and unload. Along with sand, needles, whatever. My hatches are usually dirty, moist, and funky at the end of a trip, and that's on a boat without leaks.

    One advantage to buying P&H is that you can pick up a boat at MEC and then return it if you don't like it. Their return policy is pretty good.

    Final thought for you: weight becomes an issue with every passing year. For the type of paddling you describe, fibreglass is plenty tough and durable.

    Cheers,
    Andrew
     
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  3. sbourgoin

    sbourgoin Adventures on Land and Water!

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    I have a Delta 17 for the past 5-years and I have had great success with it. Great for day trips as well as long expeditions. Recently, I paddled 215km through the Broughton Archipelago and had a variety of weather and water conditions and the Delta handled it all perfectly! It travels great through wind and waves as well as glides perfectly on calm waters. The seat is comfortable. The hatches pack easily. The overall weight when empty is easily manageable by a single person. Agreed that no hatch system is perfect as, but the rubber seals on the Delta hatches do great and haven't had any issues. Highly recommend the Delta line. If you have any specific questions, please let me know.
    Cheers Shawn
     
  4. rider

    rider Paddler

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    Hm. P&H use Kajak Sport hatch lids which I believe are still the best in business for both dryness and durability. Their string/bungee skegs i am not sold on though. No experience with the plastic Tempest specifically, but I agree that Confluence hatches in general are not amazing. I personally have a Current Designs Sirocco that is my go-places boat and it does me well . Especially if I am mindful of end to end trim when loading it on trips.. Also if opportunity presents itself, i would look at a Delsyk Akula, having logged many miles in a Necky Elaho in the past and having used the Delsyk Nifty (with outfitting mods)for last many years for daytrips and play trips, I think Mike Neckar still builds a good boat. Lots of choices out there :)
     
  5. JKA

    JKA Paddler

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    I had a plastic Tempest 170 for a few years and found it a very boring boat. By that I mean it did everything I asked with no issues. No answering back, no surprising me, just did what it was supposed to do.

    It was used mainly on day trips, but it did win me a down river race (!) in its class.

    I did find it a little on the big side and when the opportunity arose I traded/bought my way to a Tempest 165. That suits me better, even though it has now been claimed by my wife.

    My main comparison with it is against my Chatham 16, my main coaching/play boat. The Tempest is faster, rolls easier, carries more and, out of the box, is more comfortable. The plastic is much tougher than the Chatham, which seems very soft.

    FYI, Nigel Foster, paddler/coach extraordinaire, once described my Tempest 170 as "a floating sausage". YMMV :)

    I think I've paddled a Delta 16, if that's Gary Jacek's kayak that I paddled in Victoria.

    Gary ?

    We were overflown by a US fighter jet and I half expected it to try and land on the front deck, the kayak felt like an aircraft carrier to me!

    To sum up, I think the Tempest 170 poly is a great boat, given your sky-aiming requirements. You have enough rough water experience to know what you want in the real world.
     
  6. Swimmy Tim

    Swimmy Tim Paddler

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    I've now demoed both boats. Here are my thoughts:

    Delta 16: Conditions were calm, almost glass. The boat handles very nicely. It felt quite big but was still reasonably quick, maneuverable, and easy to put on edge. Hard to comment on tracking given the conditions (i.e., no wind). Comfortable seat but felt like there was too much room in the cockpit, almost sloppy. I flopped around when I rolled the boat, and on the second roll the string that secures the backband let go. I heard there's an outfitting kit you can get so I'm sure this would improve the cockpit feel. Hatches were as close to watertight as it can get. It was weird to push down on the hull of the boat to close the day hatch and see it flex so much, like more than I expected. Coming from a whitewater background (i.e., plastic boats), I worry about scratching and punctures from the rocky, barnacled and oyster shelled beaches where I live (east coast of Vancouver island). It is nice and light to carry (the delta website says 48 pounds). Very sharp looking boat, eye-catching.

    Tempest 170, in plastic: Conditions were moderately windy, with a 1 m open ocean swell through part of the trip. The boat also handles nicely, quicker than the delta and overall a faster boat. Maneuvers better than I thought, maybe not as well as the Delta. Tracks like an arrow and the weather-cocking was quite mild. The seat was comfortable and the ability to adjust everything is impressive. For me, the fit was exceptional and it was almost intuitive to put on edge, and no cockpit sloppiness with rolling. I checked the hatches after and they were dry which was a pleasant surprise --- not what I expected for certain. I could pick it up and put it on the car with some effort, but it ain't light (ws website says 57 pounds). Doesn't look fancy either but built solid.

    Overall, I'm inclined toward the Tempest. I like the way it paddles, the fit, and durability. I can put up with the weight for a few more years.

    Thanks for the tips everyone. On another note, I did try a P&H Capella last summer in Nova Scotia. It was just alright, but I did not like the outfitting and fit much at all.

    See you on the water
     
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  7. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Nigel Foster hasn't 'hit it out of the park' (translation: 'had perfect success') with some of his designs.

    Tempest boats (glass 'Pro' and plastic) have a loyal following, from what I see locally.
     
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  8. BigandSmall

    BigandSmall Paddler

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    A note on the Scorpio hatches for Rider. The front and rear are bone dry, the 4th hatch out front has a hole to the cockpit on mine so I just use it to keep gloves in. The day hatch is the leaker but not from direct spray. I needed to wash mine today after returning from a trip so I hit it directly with the garden hose on full blast. It doesn't let any water in that way. The issue is the rim fills with water and when the deck/hull flexes it gets sucked it. I've only had water in there after rescue/rolling practice but not in normal day to day paddling. I wonder if a screw top lid like a peanut butter jar might be better? Personally I'd rather eliminate the day hatch and the bulkhead for more storage but P&H didn't answer my email when I in asked if it would be ok to pull the foam bulkhead.

    As a comparison to the Tempest I'd say the Tempest is a fair bit faster but less maneuverable if memory serves me correctly. I think the Tempest is a great distance boat and only complaint with it is how they set up the cockpit. For me at 6'2 a butt first entry isn't realistic without re-drilling the seat an moving it way back and I'm sure that would change the boat quite a bit. Comparing waterlines the T170 carries more load than the MKI Socrpio MV, can't say for the MKII MV as I have the HV now.

    Edited to add, no issues so far on the MKII skeg but you don't really need it now anyway since they improved the tracking in the re-design.
     
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  9. chodups

    chodups Paddler

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    "For me at 6'2 a butt first entry isn't realistic without re-drilling the seat an moving it way back and I'm sure that would change the boat quite a bit. "

    BigandSmall, I was concerned about that issue as well but I redrilled and moved the seat back as a test.. No difference in handling. But I wanted more space in front so I got rid of the stock seat and carved a foam seat that bought me more forward space and still no difference. I was sure that there had to be so I tried to find issues but there were none. Zero. Zilch. I am talking about at least a 2" aft movement of the seat.

    I have a lot of miles in this boat and I honestly feel that 2" in a Tempest 170 is a non-issue.
     
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  10. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    That's good to know.

    Some of the more 'hydrodynamically-aware' (Mick?) should correct me, but I think that generally a bit 'too much' weight aft is less detrimental to performance than having a bow-heavy kayak.
    And, the paddler CenterofGravity (a.k.a.butt) moving a few inches back can be mostly balanced by putting lunch, first aid kit, water bottle and a few other things in the forward compartment.
    My friend with the Seda Glider sometimes stops to put a few rocks in the front of his boat on day paddles! :)
     
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  11. chodups

    chodups Paddler

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    I used to move gear around thinking that I was making a difference in the handling because such a big deal was made out of moving the seat. I'm not talking about lunch but more like 5-10 l. of water. I'm sure that it matters with some boats but it doesn't matter with my Tempest. I know how much my gear weighs and I do pay attention to shifting things around as food gets lighter and water weight changes throughout a trip but overall I don't believe that moving a 185 pound paddler a couple of inches in the cockpit is not going to be noticed except for the added cockpit space getting in and out.
     
  12. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Good info.

    Did you mean:
    or, similarly:
    If I were looking for a skeg boat for tripping, the Tempest Pro would be at the top of my list. Yves Aquin and Patti Stevens (gokayak.ca) have done a lot of trips in theirs, and recommend them highly, so for me that's convincing.
     
  13. Thetraveler

    Thetraveler New Member

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    Hi Swimmy Tim, I am new to Kayaking, in about the same age demographic and have been looking for the “perfect boat” I have been really impressed with what I read and watch with regards to the P&H boats, especially the Delphin 155 MKII. Very good in all kinds of sea’s https://seakayakphoto.blogspot.com/2013/01/p-delphin-155-long-term-test-and.html and . I’m looking for a boat that will take me from a beginner to at least a novice and maybe to a more advanced novice. Something I can take on a multi-day trip or Rock Garden or Surf a bit in. So far this looks like the boat. Also with P&H’a Corelite X it seems to be a great cross over between the typical RM boats and the Composite boats.
     
  14. chodups

    chodups Paddler

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    I don't think the change in center of mass by 2" in a Tempest 170 is noticeable.
     
  15. JKA

    JKA Paddler

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    Where as when I got my Chatham 16, as a swap for a Tempest 170, I found it handled like a swine. Lee cocked like crazy, requiring a water bag in the bow full time.

    I took the seat out to replace it with a carved foam block and discovered that it had been moved aft, to fit the long-limbed students who had used it at a school.

    Building the replacement seat back where it was designed for changed the boat. It now handles very neutrally, with my 70kg balancing it nicely.

    Hard to believe that a couple of inches could make such a difference (!)
     
  16. designer

    designer Paddler

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    I asked Mariner about that once - when I saw the moving seat just moved a little with a "bunny hop". Matt said to image a heavy beam balanced right at the fulcrum point. Now move that same beam a few inches forward or back and see what kind of leverage it puts at the end of that beam.

    Maybe not a perfect example - but it did point out that a small adjustment "here" can make a larger impact "there".
     
  17. chodups

    chodups Paddler

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    Good analogy. It just didn’t play out that way in my experience with my Tempest. It matters with my Progression but not the T170. If a person is really concerned with whether it will matter and their seat is removable as it is with a Tempest they can pull it out and experiment.
     
  18. designer

    designer Paddler

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    I was educated one windy day. Because our intended launch point was gated and the person responsible was no where around, we headed to the "Day 2" location. That put the launch ahead of time with respect to tide and current. We didn't "recalculate". With the incoming tide, I quickly stuffed gear in the boat. Usually, because of past reading, I focus on "weight to the stern". This time, I shoved a dry duffle bag of heavy-ish camp gear just ahead of the foot peddles. Boy, did that improve the handling in the head on wind.

    Unfortunately, such adjustments can't be made on the fly - too bad boats aren't made with an interior line and pulley at the bow so one could pull a dry bag a little to the bow or stern. But of course most boats have a forward bulkhead so that wouldn't work.

    A second lesson learned was not to position the duffle bag with metal camp gear under the deck compass; just say'n. :)
     
  19. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Designer's experience jives with mine. We moved the seat back two inches on an Eddyline Sea Star to improve access to the cockpit. Paddled the same, loaded or unloaded, unless ... we put excess weight in the forward hatch or the rear hatch. THAT caused big changes in weathercocking. Sometimes, we did that purposely. Other times ...
     
  20. Swimmy Tim

    Swimmy Tim Paddler

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    Hey gang, great insights on boats! I just pulled the trigger on a lightly used 2017 Tempest 170. It was quite a good deal. Love it!

    It goes without saying that a lot of the feedback here has to do with specific user preferences, as people have implied. To this end, I'll add a few comments that should put some perspective on the sizing/fit/seat discussion. Firstly, while I am 6 foot 4, slim (185 pounds), with size 12 feet, I come from a whitewater kayaking background where boat fit is quite snug. Secondly, I am still a limber lad and flexible. As such, with the seat in the middle position of the tempest, I find the boat comfortable and have no issues getting in and out of the boat or with the foot or leg room.

    While not something I've observed so much on this thread, I'll add that many kayak reviews on the interweb ignore the effectiveness of good technique in kayak performance, and thus many reviews out there are not reflective of what the boat can actually do on the water. I say this mostly as a comment on paddle stroke and particularly on edging as it affects maneuverability. For the tempest, these techniques are key in being able to turn the tempest. On edge, it spins easily with a solid sweep stroke. Other boats do this better no doubt, but edging really makes a significant difference in this particular boat.

    Check this out:

    FYI to the Traveler, P&H Delphin sounds like a good boat if you're focusing on playing in the surf and rock gardens. As mentioned, I'm into sea kayaking for exploration and seeing the coast. I get the thrill of playboating, and then some, from whitewater kayaking.

    Good times in the water! Thanks again. Always get good feedback on this site.
    T.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
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