Picking my next boat-FSK.

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by rider, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. rider

    rider Paddler

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,743
    Location:
    Coquitlam,BC
    Hey guys. Yes Yes, I know, Rider getting yet another boat...
    Here's my criteria.
    FSK class(Fast Sea Kayak), would be used for recreational racing and some day paddles,maybe the odd overnighter.Here's my priorities:
    #1 Fast hull+rudder.
    #2 Comfortable for my 6'1'' 185 or so frame with size 12 feet.
    #3 Affordable and something i can find used,i change boats often enough that I can't justify buying new knowing that i'd be losing about a grand on resale.
    #4 Solid pivoting footpegs,whether SeaDog or Seaward units, or at least enough height in the boat that i can install a set after-the-fact.
    #5 Accessible storage...a real day hatch with a rubber lid would be nice,but not a must..Having decent size hatches would be good,but also not a must.
    #5 Maneuverability, would be nice if the boat doesn't have the turning ability of a freight train. But I have realistic expectations, a long boat with fine entry/exit and little rocker won't turn like a Romany.
    So far,my top pick is a Seaward Quest X3 after paddling one. I have not paddled a Chilco or Ascente, or any of the Seda boats. The new XP18 by Point65 looks exciting but new and no idea if anyone even has one on this coast. Current Designs Extreme/Nomad is a thought but i am still unconvinced it's significantly faster than my Solstice GTS,though with more foot room. Looksha Elite, I think it has too much rocker to be particularly fast. Epic 18x is SWEET and if i find one for a price I'm willing to pay at this point.....
    So,any input on the above boats,or any to be added to this list?
     
  2. Alana

    Alana Wave Seeker

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    302
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    How about the Valley Rapier 18 (17'11.5" x 21.75") or the Rapier 20 (20' x 17.75") ? I've paddled the 18 and it's a pretty sweet boat :cool

    Or there is a 19' Poly version if you are on a budget (19' x 19.5")

    http://valleyseakayaks.com/boats/sport
     
  3. rider

    rider Paddler

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,743
    Location:
    Coquitlam,BC
    Rapier is a pretty boat, and probably one of the easiest rolling sea kayak I've tried,fast, but honestly i don't dig the cockpit. At least based on my demo paddle of the 18 at MEC paddlefest/demo day at Jericho. I think you tried that boat shortly after I did,and we agreed on excellent rolling,but you found the cockpit huge.
     
  4. SheilaP

    SheilaP Paddler

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Messages:
    1,012
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Have you tried any Tahes? My wind 535 has everything on your list. It even has a small day hatch up front which I really love. Rudder and skeg - which is weird but great because I paddle with just the skeg most of the time, but for big winds or towing I have a back up. EXCELLENT foot room, nice and narrow (21 1/4 I believe), solid foot pegs with hooks that don't slide when you roll, edges really well, manvoureable, but there isn't much rocker (it is NOT like a tank at all though - I hate boats that don't turn!).

    The 505 has a lower front deck, and the 585 is bigger. Only thing about the 585 is that it only has a small hatch cover up front. The 535 has two big ones - go figure. There is the "Spirit' line which is smaller and may suit your needs better. These boats are cheap too. :mrgreen:

    If you are over on this side of the water you are welcome to take mine out.
     
  5. Alana

    Alana Wave Seeker

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    302
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    I remember that and yes, the cockpit was huge on me... but then again most boats are huge on me :p
     
  6. rider

    rider Paddler

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,743
    Location:
    Coquitlam,BC
    Wind 585 sounds pretty good, thanks Sheila. Now just gotta find somewhere to demo one.
     
  7. SheilaP

    SheilaP Paddler

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Messages:
    1,012
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    I remember one downfall - the boats are heavy. I find my harder to solo carry than my Telkwa. My height has something to do with it too. I have to carry it backwards or else the rudder scrapes. :eek:

    Joe O'Blenis sells these things - he was trying to sell the one he took around Vancouver Island (585).
    http://www.joeoblenis.com/kayaksandcanoes.htm

    I don`t know if he has anything out here right now. Some nice boats on sale (the solo 505 looks sweet - not sure if its your color though. :shock: )
     
  8. Joe_O

    Joe_O Paddler

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    Thunder Bay
    Rider... I can put you in touch with th fellow who bought the one I had for Vancouver Island. Maybe you can test paddle his? I have an identical one here but I'm keeping that one.The Wind Solo though, it is pretty fast too and the price is low on her ;)

    Cheers...Joe O'
     
  9. Ken B

    Ken B Paddler

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    558
    Location:
    Campbell River, B.C.
    I just paddled an Impex Outer Island on Tuesday while down near Seattle...I was pretty impressed with the speed of that hull.
     
  10. mikec

    mikec Paddler

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    601
    Location:
    Sept-Îles, QC
    NDK Greenlander Pro. Understated yet deceptively fast hull. Body Boat Blade has a used one for sale at a screaming good price ($1995 me thinks). Added bonus - can still be used as a play boat or for tripping.

    *edit - yes, i know this is a skeg boat. you could always put a kick down surf rudder on it and hack the stern off (i've seen it done). Though that would be very, very wrong. You could always install a Karitek hydro-skeg, which also acts as an under the water rudder system.

    Out of that list of yours the Epic would be my 1st choice, tough to find used at a good price however. If I could have any fast sea kayak though, it would be this one;

    http://www.rockpoolkayaks.com/taran.php

    Brand new design, fast as stink, good initial reviews here and there for the few that are available overseas. If it is as fast as a Rapier 18 but more comfortable...that is the holy grail as far as I am concerned. Loved that Rapier 18, but the seat was agonizing to sit in for more than 20 minutes at a time.
     
  11. rider

    rider Paddler

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,743
    Location:
    Coquitlam,BC
    Joe,I'll message you on fb about it, thank you.
    Mike,the Taran looks very surf-ski inspired,though looks like it has a hard molded fiberglass seat that gets pretty up close and personal with your genitals.... I think I like the name('taran' the Russian word for 'ram',as in ram bow/battering ram/ramming maneuver, not the goat variety). Too bad finding one used would be impossible.
    Sheila, how's the quality of the Tahe boats? I remember your Wind having some odd flexibility?
     
  12. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    280
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Hi Rider,

    Consider the QCC Q700x. I've paddled it quite a bit this past summer and love it. Similar design to the Epic 18x - I believe it has more rocker and more stowage volume. It's fast and picks up waves easily.






    #1 Fast hull+rudder.
    Very fast hull. Great rudder - small, but foil-shaped witch seems to be effective.

    #2 Comfortable for my 6'1'' 185 or so frame with size 12 feet.
    About the same as me, and it fits me.

    #3 Affordable and something i can find used,i change boats often enough that I can't justify buying new knowing that i'd be losing about a grand on resale.
    You can only buy them factory direct, and they're quite reasonably priced (under $3000 USD). If you're patient you can get a deal on a demo model occasionally.

    #4 Solid pivoting footpegs,whether SeaDog or Seaward units, or at least enough height in the boat that i can install a set after-the-fact.
    2-part pedals with static bar for heel, and the toe presses the top pedal to adjust the rudder.

    #5 Accessible storage...a real day hatch with a rubber lid would be nice,but not a must..Having decent size hatches would be good,but also not a must.
    No day hatch. Biggest hatches I've seen. They have a unique cork-style hatch cover.

    #5 Maneuverability, would be nice if the boat doesn't have the turning ability of a freight train. But I have realistic expectations, a long boat with fine entry/exit and little rocker won't turn like a Romany.
    Surprisingly good for an 18' kayak.

    Here's links for some info:
    http://www.qcckayaks.com/kayaks/model.asp?model=q700x
    http://www.paddling.net/Reviews/showRev ... l?prod=641

    We have one at our club in Jericho. I'd be happy to take you on the water as a guest and let you try it.

    You can only buy them factory direct, and they're quite reasonably priced. If you're patient you can get a deal on a demo model occasionally.

    You can also join our club - $200 for unlimited use of the kayaks for a year, including a Chilco and surf skis.

    I've paddled the Chilco quite a bit. It was my favorite boat before we got the QCC. It's not as fast, has more stowage, quite a different feel on the water.

    Another kayak to consider is the Prijon Barracuda. It's fast, solid construction. We have one which we're selling, you're welcome to come try it. It has fairly low stability.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    280
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Does anyone know if the Rockpool Taran is being sold in NA? I've been following it's development for the past year or so, mostly on this blog:

    http://angleseypaddling.fotopic.net/

    Some great images of the Taran on the blog. Really looks like a surf ski with a closed cockpit and hatches.

    http://angleseypaddling.fotopic.net/p67462748.html
    http://angleseypaddling.fotopic.net/p66144001.html
    http://angleseypaddling.fotopic.net/p65068202.html
    http://angleseypaddling.fotopic.net/p65068209.html
    http://angleseypaddling.fotopic.net/p64461080.html
     
  14. SheilaP

    SheilaP Paddler

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Messages:
    1,012
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Good question Rider - I was most grumpy with that. My boat was flexing when I loaded it with a bit of gear when it was up on logs: Apparently this is not an uncommon problem for guides. Once I got the boat back to the reputable dealer (Ocean River) I bought it from, we had a good chat. The shop owner and I took a realistic look at what I was shoving into my boat. On water I was loading the rear hatch of my boat with four HUGE bags of food for 5 to 6 people for 5 to 6 days. And the food we use is definately first class, not your dehydrated fare. (Did I mention this boat has amazing storage capacity for its size?) Other guide boats made by Current Designs, Seaward and I imagine other companies have needed a smiliar reinforcement. TO deal with the problem the owner put a Kevalar sheet into the back of my boat and gel-coated it. You can't even tell the reinforcement is there.

    The boat some little chips in the combing as well and the skeg got jammed. I am HARD on boats and gear. Sometimes I just don't have the time to baby the boat, or I have to leap out onto rocks in the most interesting ways. My Tempest and Telkwa were in this same state by the end of a summer guiding. :mrgreen:

    As grumpy as I was, I can look back and see that I had a long and hard season. NONE of the finicky bits broke (foot pegs, bungies & bits, rudder) and the boat sustained no significant damage either (lots of scratches).

    When my boat was being repaired I had to use some others. I was very uncomfortable in the other boats. I realize that the leg position in the Tahe is nice and upright which helps my hips and hamstrings stay happy.

    Hope this info helps. Feel free to ask other questions.
     
  15. Josh

    Josh New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    I am looking at a TAHE 585. Can you give me advice about the skeg box and its effect on loading the rear hatch - does it inhibit loading. I am 177cm and 80 kg in wet undies and sox, will I fit into this boat as the comment has been passed about the size of the paddler.? I am fairly experienced in day trips and expeditions and am looking for one boat to all the tasks. How does it handle rolling and following seas? it definitely sounds fast enough.
     
  16. dut

    dut Paddler

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Sidney
    I have a boat that might meet your needs. It is a Current Designs Infinity in Kevlar. It is 17'9" x 22". The stem is quite upright and results in a fairly good water line length. It is 13.5" deep. I'm 6'1" and size 12 and it fits me great.

    It paddles nice and stability is fairly light.

    If you want to arrange a test drive let me know.

    Barry
     
  17. Reef

    Reef Paddler

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Messages:
    117
    My two cents.
    Epic 18x is likely fastest when unloaded( or QCC).
    However,
    I bet the faster of all these boats is the one that you have room for a full leg drive, racing foot pedals, and a free torso. As you know your ability to apply power is limited somewhat by fit.
    Also, the difference between true FSKs out there are not huge. (Taran/18x/rapier) Your ability to apply power/lungs for 1 to 3 hours is likely much more of a factor.
    Ignore the sea kayak designs.
    I would go so far to say that the only that REALLY matters in this situation is your fitness.
    PS. Get a wing.
    PPS. Think about a getting a surfski to learn a solid forward stroke and have more fun training than an FSK. Then when it comes to race time, race your FSK to stay in the FSK class and not compete against the big dogs.