Submitted: 11-09-2012 by Dave H.
I'm rating it as a 10 because it's the best kayak. The best all around kayak. Buy it once and be pleased with it for 10 years. There are other kayaks with more speed, capacity or whatever but no other kayak does everything so well.
I collect legendary kayaks. It's not as fast as the Seda Glider or the Epic 18X Sport. But if I'm launching into the surf I'm taking the Chatham. And still keeping pace with the group. What really impressed me was the customer support. Just email them the serial number and they'll send you an MSO (manufacturer's statement of origin, if it hasn't been previously issued) butyl rubber seals for the hatch coaming, or color matched polyethylene to make invisible repairs. All for free. I've done it.
I love the rubber hatch covers. Hatches you can access in seconds with one hand! And if you coat them with Aerospace 303 protectorant they'll last 10 years instead of the normal 5 years.
Unlike the kayaks with rudders, it responds especially well using a West Greenland style wooden paddle. Raise the skeg, lean into the turn a little and make a 90* turn with one stroke. The Necky Chatham has a real advantage over other 17 footers in creeks etc.
If I could only have one kayak it would be the Necky Chatham 17 poly. You can do anything with this boat. Explore creeks, tour, surf or pole it over oyster beds.