Submitted: 07-18-2008 by Gil
This is my third Necky product. I started with the Spike, then the Dolphin and now the Chatham. Necky makes them simple and well engineered. The SOT were short lived in my Kayak days. It took little time to graduate to the sit inside boat. I tested many other boats.
I would have preferred the Valley Aquanaut, but I found a real good deal on a Chatham as a demo sale and grabbed it. Call me ignorant and perhaps rookie, but after testing some of the Valley products as well as Wilderness Systems and Old Town, I have concluded that the Chatham handles and resembles the Valley's features and craftsmanship as a true western made British style boat. This is my conclusion as a rookie kayaker.
I had the opportunity to test my friends boats from other manufacturers and I could not have gone wrong with the Chatham 16. It's a boat that will allow me to apply to many styles of outings. Highly recommended. In fact, it's hard to go wrong with just about any Necky product. The Chatham 16 is a little tight on the hips. I am not overly heavy but a bit on the out of shape side.
I would have given this boat a 10 had it been a little wider on the cockpit. The Chatham 17 was too big for me. I am 5'9", about 185-190 pounds.
My Necky Chatham is the plastic model. I look forward one day upgrading to the glass boats. It's a matter of funds.