Submitted: 09-18-2003 by PHILIPJEDLICKA
I recently moved up to a Cape Horn 17 from the Cape Horn 15. Although I tried and like the Tempest 170, I did not like the fact that is does not have a surf rudder, as the skeg was not that effective for tracking in a strong cross wind.
First thing I notice is that the cockpit is a bit harder to get into than on the 15. Once in though, there's plenty of leg room. Also the new Phaze3 seats are a huge improvement over the old ones and you can stay on the water for many hours without having leg cramps or ass aches.
On the water, I initially found it a bit more tippy but got used to this very quickly once I realised that there was plenty of secondary stability. Tracking is not as good as the 15 with the rudder up, I think the 17 has more rocker, but on a positive note it's real easy to turn. With the rudder down, cross winds and surfing is a breaze. I thind though that the rudder system on the 17 is more sensitive to slight adjustments from the pedles than on the 15. Something else to get used to!
I took it out a few times on Lake Ontario around Toronto in what are rough conditions for the region: 60 kph winds and 1-2m waves. It is a much drier ride and almost no water gets into the cockpit or hatches.
On average I can manage 6-7 kph without having to strain myself, so it's quicker than the 15.
One last thing, I'm happy that WS offered the kayak in orange because now I am a lot more visible to traffic (unlike my grey-white 15 that blended in with choppy waves).
The only thing that could be improved upon is if they used a rubber hatch system like that on the Tempest 170.