Fleet Renewal and the Perfect Kayak

Gary Jacek

Dec 11, 2009
Victoria, BC
Today I had occasion to list the kayaks that have come (and gone) during the past 15 years of Jane's and my paddling.

CD Solstice GT
CD Gulfstream
Another CD Gulfstream
CD Sirocco
Tahe Greenland T
Feathercraft Wisper
Feathercraft Khatsalano
Trak (Version 1)
Nimbus Telkwa Sport
Delta 15.5 Expedition
Another Delta 15.5 Expedition
Delta 17

We have not yet found the one perfect kayak that is fast, a great camera platform, camps in luxury, is bulletproof in rock gardens and playful in conditions.

The quest continues.
I've been paddling just over 3 years now, and my fleet list over that time is as follows:

Necky Eskia
Necky Zoar Sport
Unbranded chinese prototype
Ace Voyager
Nimbus Seafarer
Nimbus Solander Plus
Nimbus Njak
Nimbus Solander
CD Solstice GT
Necky Zoar
Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140
Necky Looksha 14
Seaward Tyee

Still haven't found a kayak I like more than the Solander, even if it's a bit tight on legroom for me, and not counting the SOT barge that got me into paddling in the first place (as I don't consider that a 'real' kayak). I try to keep at least 2 or 3 kayaks minimum, then I can take friends or kids out.
Nimbus Puffin rotomoulded
Northwest Kayaks Esprit
Eddyline Eskimo 22' 6"
Northwest Kayaks Discovery XL
Seaward Kayaks Tyee HV
Valley Etain

The last two (bolded) are my current boats, the others previous ones I owned.
Fifteen years takes us back 2007 so:
Pygmy Arctic Tern 14 (Sold to Dignity Memorial)
Pygmy Coho (Sold to a local sports psychologist who uses kayaks as his counseling couch)
Necky Chatham 18 (Sold to gentleman who used to post on this site)
Tempest 170 Pro
Zephyr 15.5 Pro (Sold to a friend who paddles it regularly)
Sterling Illusion (Sold to a local paddler who uses it regularly)
Sterling Progression (Stolen 6 weeks ago)
Soon to take possession of Sterling Grand Illusion.

Following Philip's format above and bolding boats that I currently own.
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One benefit of this thread is to point out to people looking for, "the perfect" boat that "perfect" changes with the skill level, intended use, and, darest I say it, age of the paddler. Many things are in a state of flux - a moving target.

Seda Swift
Dagger Vesper
* Mariner Express
Mariner XL
* Mariner Max

* Still own
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Nimbus Telkwa - red
Outer Island stripper -clear
Romany -orange
North Shore Atlantic LV plastic - red
Necky Chatham 16 plastic -yellow
Tahe Greenland -black
NDK Pilgrim Ex - green
Black Pearl stripper - black
NDK Pilgrim -red
It'll be a bit of a test for the old memory. This is both Lila's and my boats. Will bold the current fleet.
2 Necky Manitou sports. Poly
Seaward Cosma, FG
Seaward Luna, FG
Nimbus Telkwa Sport, Kevlar
P&H Cetus, FG
First SOF build
Valley Nordkapp, FG
NDK Explorer LV
2 more SOF
Valley Anas Acuta, FG
Tahe Greenland, FG
Valley Aleut II, FG (2 piece)
Since I started this, and never listed our current fleet for Jane and I, here it is:

Nimbus Telkwa FG yellow
Nimbus Telkwa FG red
Nimbus Telkwa Sport FG yellow
Nimbus Telkwa Sport FG purple/white
Wilderness Systems Zephyr 16 rotomolded green
Wilderness Systems Tempest 165 rotomolded red

It is good to have a hangar bay.
How would you compare the Tahe to the BP when it comes to rolling? Do you have a little less freeboard in the BP?
That kind of depends on which rolls you are referring to. If you are talking about any norsaq roll, or a front to rear hand roll I would say they are equal.
The BP was made for a slightly heavier person, so the Tahe sits lower - which is better for the harder rolls.
The BP is much lighter so easier to carry & slightly easier to induce momentum.
Thanks. Still looking to build a BP. Lila's TG OC is a little too small for me. Clearstream used to have different sized kits available but I can't find them anymore. Will probably order a kit or plans for a BP this year.
The Ocean Cockpit on the Tahe Greenland kayak makes it harder to lay on the back deck. IMHO the regular cockpit is better for the difficult layback rolls. This may not matter so much if someone is young & very flexible.