Submitted: 06-21-2005 by kbf
This is a British styled fiberglass touring kayak with a skeg. This boat is designed for the larger peddler and it accommodates me very well. I am 6’ 2” 235 size 13 shoes. My feet did not touch the top of the inside deck even with my NRS wet shoes. The seat and back band are the most comfortable I have experienced in a kayak.
The foot pegs are adjustable by manipulating a rod near your knee area. No need to reach all the way down to your feet.
It has a 10” forward hatch an 8” day hatch and an 18.5” x 12.5” oval rear hatch. The skeg does take up some cargo room. I didn’t think I’d use the day hatch but now that I have it I use it all the time. Other Tempest reviewers seem to have trouble with the hatches, but I have not. After 2 hours of rolling practice I found about a table spoon of water in the rear hatch and the others were dry.
This boat handles chop and surf well the nose sinks a little and pops right back up, a dry ride even loaded. The Tempest also responds well to lean turns.
Due to my size I have limited choices the Eddyline Nighthawk 17.5 and the Seward Navigator 17 were other serious choices of mine. These boats were exact opposites of each other. Nighthawk 17.5, unbelievable primary stability easy to turn terrible tracking even with the skeg deployed. Seward Navigator, fair primary stability unbelievable tracking very difficult to turn even with the rudder. Both were unbalanced boats in my opinion.
The Tempest has good primary stability (not as good as the Nighthawk, but better than the Navigator) better secondary stability, tracks well, and for an 18 foot boat turns incredibly well. I feel like I’m in a shorter boat. With 15mph wind the boat weathercocks but the skeg helps keep it on course. I’ve read that all kayaks are a compromise, tracking vs. maneuverability the Tempest is the best compromise for me. This is a smart well balanced boat.
I have had two problems with this boat; the skeg cable termination in the cockpit is anchored in fiberglass. This material was very sharp and when I tried to shoulder carry my boat I received a nasty cut on my hand wrist and knuckles. I have since sanded these areas down. My boat had a curved skeg it looked like a Pringles Potato Chip. When I deployed it my boat would turn.
I contacted the dealer and have received a replacement skeg it took about 5 weeks. I did the replacement myself in about 30 minutes.
The skeg also rattles in the skeg box in rough choppy conditions. It took me a while to figure were that sound was coming from. I think I’ll install a plastic washer on either side of the skeg.
I would have rated this boat a 10 but due to the skeg problems and the cuts I received I give it a 9.