Submitted: 06-03-2004 by greatmeadows
I have ordered a new Carbon/Kevlar Currituck. I spent the better part of 2 months going out and paddling any composite seakayak that I thought might meet my needs. After sitting in many cockpits and rejecting many which were either uncomfortable or had insufficient room for my size 11 feet, I wound up paddling upwards of 20 boats and settled on a short list of the following: WS Tempest 170 pro, P&H Quest, P&H Orion, and the Necky Chatham 16. All of these boats are wonderful in their own ways and if I were stuck with any one of them I wouldn't be unhappy. So why the Currituck? The answer may be how the Currituck contrasts with the above list of excellent boats: Currituck's stability can best be described as reassuring yet lively. The boat wants to edge very easily and yet doesn't leave you with the feeling that you're in a tippy boat. Because of this I felt that ease of turning and small radius turns could be accomplished more easily that all of the above mention boats save the Chatham. Additionally the forward speed was felt to be better only to be bested by the Quest, a longer boat with less rocker. Rocker on the Currituck was felt to be ideal: enough to keep the boat tracking when you wanted it to but not so much that the boat was more stodgy to turn as was the Quest. Combination of speed, tracking, maneuverability was what won me over the other boats. Most of the other reasons were personal and might not apply to a different paddler. By the way I'm a novice paddler, 5'10" and 175lbs.with the above mentioned big feet.
While the Chatham was my second choice, its extremely restrictive cockpit width ruled it out; only 15". Gravity allowed me to get in but was almost impossible to get out. Contrast this with the Tempest's very generous sized combing and outfitting that permits you to firm out your personal contact with the boat anyway you want. The Chatham also had superior outfitting but only if you first passed through a very (for me) tight threshold: the cockpit combing. The Orion was too wide for me and the Quest a little big and longer than I wanted as well. Since the Currituck is considered a Greenland style boat, it was no surprise that I also liked the Tempest and Chatham as well.