04-28-2013Submitted by: hughkayak
Reviews for Sirocco Kayak by Current Designs
Based On: 42 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have owned two Sirroccos - one I bought 18 years ago second hand and the other 4 years ago. After they sold the company to Wenonah the quality is a lot different. The black taping came off after 2 years of paddling. The bulk heads are made completely of foam. The old Current Design was much better built.
That being said. I have enjoyed my Sirrocco very much. I am 6'1" and about 200. Fits very well for me. I have trained a lot of beginner paddlers in this boat and they all love it.
02-25-2013Submitted by: JP
- Rating: 9 of 10 I wanted to paddle around for a few months before reviewing this boat. I picked it up in July '12 along with a Werner Shuna paddle. My first impression was: I'm going to get very wet very fast, but it never happened. You get very used to this boat quickly. I've had it in horrible weather with fairly large swells and it was great so long as the skeg was deployed (hence the 9/10). I am 6' 200lbs and fit this boat like a glove.
My only issue is tracking, without the skeg out this boat responds highly to currents and weather. But once in the surf it will punch through anything and surf just like a it was no ones business. I've since carved myself a Greenland paddle and keep the Shuna on deck as a spare. I highly recommend switching to anyone as it makes this boat even more fun.
01-18-2013Submitted by: MCC
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have had a Scirocco since 2004 and wanted to comment on a few issues raised in the reviews below. This was my first boat when I got into kayaking. I had every intention of replacing it when I retired and moved to coastal SC - but I have not because I love this kayak.
I actually used one the first time I took a lesson and agree that it has some initial stability issues if you are new to kayaking or even new to the Scirocco. (I never let novice kayakers borrow it.) Now I hardly think of stability and I can't remember the last time I had a stability issues under normal paddling conditions. I seem to have the most stability issues when I am stopped to get water or rest and just get a bit careless, but I don't recall going over. Just a small quick scare that is quickly corrected with a bit of knee pressure. I did have one wet mis-entry shortly after I bought the boat on an awkward boat ramp - but that was my carelessness.
While a long boat - it is very responsive to leaning and turning as others have noted. I have had very small amounts of water get into hatches when I was doing a lot of rolling or wet-escape practice, but not otherwise. Since I keep anything I want dry in a dry bag - it wasn't an issue.
The only thing I would say about the boat is that it is relatively heavy and not all that easy to car-top. I now have Thule Hullavators so it is not so much of an issue but for many years I used rollers on back and a simple cradle in front. However, the boat rides well on a car - I once carried it for over a month on a trip from SC to northern MI, WI and back to SC without a problem.
09-17-2012Submitted by: Ragic
- Rating: 10 of 10 Twitchy, fast, and fun! That's how I describe my new Sirocco. I took it out this morning for a few hours to get to know it. It fits me like a glove. A few extra small pads here and there will make it perfect. It's longer by 1' 10" and 2" narrower than my other kayak (Necky Kyook, 15' by 25")and this makes it more like a jet fighter compared to a stable passenger plane. It took me almost 1/2 hour to get used to the twitchy, almost ready to tip over feeling but once I got used to it, WOW! What a ride.
I can do leaned turns and lean all the way over. I was never able to do that in my Necky Kyook as it was wider and didn't have that "secondary" stability that helps the kayak maintain it's stability when leaned over. I scored this 2010 model white Sirocco in brand new, never been in the water condition for $700.00! Now I can really learn what a kayak is capable of. I'm going to take rolling classes this winter so I'll really be ready to play hard next spring. I can't wait to take it out in some tasty waves on Lake Ontario and have some fun!
07-30-2012Submitted by: Darc2011
- Rating: 9 of 10 Follow up review.
I am new to rolling, but I can say this yak rolls very easy. I do a C to C and yak rights itself very easily. Of note thought are the hatches which are not water tight, they are rubber with a bungy cord around the outside which I might look at replacing with tighter cord. Nothing major and I guess that why we have dry bags. Still loving it and it fits big guys great.
04-30-2012Submitted by: Darc2011
- Rating: 10 of 10 Recently purchased a Sirocco after hunting for a rockered longer boat as compared to my Wilderness System 14' Tsunami. I wanted to move up in skill level with a boat that would allow this ..WOW is this the boat.
Other reviews had prepared me for the "30 mins to get use to it" and this is right actually I looked at my watch and at 26 min I said hey I like this. The first trip I pushed off and thought I was reselling the boat due to its twitchy feel compared to my Tsunami. But this would be like comparing a race car to the family station wagon.
Not a boat for your first time but once you actually hook into the boat vs just sitting there it handles, like an earlier review stated, like a jet fighter. I have paddled in 2' chop with strong winds and the rougher the water the more stable this boat becomes. The adjustable skeg allows you to go from super maneuverable to on a rail tracking by moving a lever.
The overall feel is a yak that wants to play and by my fourth trip I feel as confident as my tsunami. I would not recommend this yak as a first time boat if you big like me 6' and 215lb but if you want to move to a higher skill level boat that you will really have fun with this yaks for you. I also love the low back deck and low front very little wind effect. I can roll C to C but have not tried this yet (water still very cold in Canada eh.
Thank you for all the other reviews in helping me make my final decision.
ps the mermaid on the front is also a really cool touch
02-08-2012Submitted by: Jonboy
- Rating: 7 of 10 Well, I am a moderately experienced paddler. I have been on the water since I was a kid, so I didn't think twice about the soft chines or chilly water today... I bought this boat today, the Sirocco 17' orange beast. Anticipating the joy of paddling this boat, I put her in the water straight away. It's February in north Alabama. Mild as it may be this year, the boat wanted me to feel every bit of that water. So she flipped me right in. I must admit I felt a bit sheepish, for being so anxious, I failed to put on my wetsuit. The bulk heads leak like a steal sieve. I am currently drying my phone and wallet that SHOULD have been safe in the compartment in a plastic bag. Nevertheless, lesson learned. This boat does NOT like 2 knot river currents. I am suffering from buyers remorse. I'm sure I will get over it and hopefully enjoy many miles of warm water paddling in May-September
11-25-2011Submitted by: DB
- Rating: 9 of 10 First things first....no kayak is perfect...they are like vehicles....gaining an advantage in one area or performance gives up something in another area of performance....so therefore this kayak is not perfect (nor is any other)...but I'm thrilled with my purchase....once I decided to go with plastic skeg boat I looked at and paddled all of the popular options....Wilderness Systems Tempest, P and H Scorpio and Capella, Necky Chatham...
I went with the Sirocco. Why? It fit what I was looking for...I'm 6'2 200LBs so I wanted something a bit wider (but not a tub) than a 22 Inch beam....I wanted to favour responsiveness and turning ability over hard tracking...I wanted a durable looking and feeling poly setup (in my opinion way better than wilderness systems and Necky Poly)....and I love the look of a Brit boat with lots of rocker...and I love the mermaid on the bow as it sets this kayak apart from the others...
What did I give up? 2 to 3% sprint speed compared to some of the other options mentioned above... but those of us that have been paddling for a few years know that top end sprint speed is almost irrelevant... this boat will still cruise at 6.5 Kmph (4mph) loaded and 7.5 kmph unloaded... and its performance characteristics make is a blast to wave hop, surf, carve turns, and even paddle in the river...
This boat was the perfect purchase for me... newbies might not like it as it is not a hard tracking boat but trust me after awhile you will want one that will respond to your wishes.... I don't even use the skeg that much anymore as it takes away from the fun... if you want a boat that tracks hard but does not respond as well or you are under 175 lbs consider the Scorpio or the Tempest...they are good options... I'll be the one out in the waves in my mango boat will the mermaid on the bow...even if you beat me to the campsite by a 30 seconds or so: Carpe Paddlum
09-21-2010Submitted by: Mike
- Rating: 10 of 10 I recently purchased a second-hand Sirocco kayak and am delighted with it.
I am 6ft 2in and 100Kg and this fits me like a glove. Although it is about three years old and well used, there is no sign of "oil canning" and it feels so solid and well built. The initial stability is low which allows easy edging and turning while the secondary stability is good. The seat has little padding, but remains comfortable for long periods. I have had many kayaks and am now an old retiree who paddles several times a week in sunny Queensland Australia where we paddle all year round. If you want some bang for your buck and it fits you I hope you will be as happy as I am
04-20-2010Submitted by: PW
- Rating: 5 of 10 After viewing the excellent DVD "Beyond the Cockpit" with Derek Hutchinson several times I thought would like to try one of his boat designs. My budget would only allow a plastic model so I picked the Sirocco. I bought one from a large dealer two years ago - it was priced right as it was idle stock that was stored outside for two years and looked good except for a dried out hatch cover that he replaced as part of the deal.
This is a cool looking boat with sweeping lines, a nice blue color and of course the mermaid artwork on the bow. I presently own six kayaks and while not an expert I do a fair share of paddling with my family in creeks, small lakes and in open water on Lake Erie and have taken rescue and rolling classes.
I am 5'10" tall and weigh 250 lbs. and wear a size 12 shoe. On the plus side this boat fits me well and is very maneuverable as advertised. It is easy to roll and easy to paddle on flat water. I like the simplicity of the skeg however, I really have not used it enough under all conditions to form an opinion of it. I get many positive comments about the mermaids.
On the down side I have many complaints with this boat. I can feel the hull bending when I get in. The seat brace is molded to the hull and not adjustable, the seat padding is very thin, the bulkheads leak and my biggest complaint is this boat is very unstable - at least for me. I paddled this thing in Alexandria Bay on the St. Lawrence river in heavy boat traffic and it required constant bracing to keep upright, I have not experienced this as much with any of my other boats in similar conditions.
If I had paid full price for this boat I would have been very unhappy after comparing the quality and features to other boats in it's price range and would have brought it back to the dealer. I would not recommend this boat to any one and I am reluctant to sell it to any of my friends - unless you really want the mermaids you can find a much better boat for the same or less money if you shop around.
02-09-2009Submitted by: smithfield_paddler
- Rating: 8 of 10 Iíve been paddling my Sirocco for almost two years now. I go about 200# and 6í with a 31-32" inseam. I was looking for a boat that I could plant my bum in the seat and still be able to swing my legs into the boat. The Sirocco was just able to pull this off. Unfortunately I was not able to demo the boat prior to purchase. Upon my first outing I thought I had made a mistake.
The chines are quite soft and the bottom of the boat is fairly round despite Current Designs calling it a "shallow V." CD also rates the stability the same as the Storm kayak. Iíve paddled the Storm and it is NOTHING like the Sirocco in terms of stability. The Storm has loads of initial stability, the Sirocco considerably less. The Sirocco, for me, lacks initial stability to the point that I really had to pay attention to what I was doing. Now she will edge and turn like a champ, but be ready for a swim if you push her too far.
Iíve had a hard time feeling the end of the secondary stability so I always keep a low brace on the ready when making sharp turns. I suspect this may be partly due to me having more height above my hips than below. Derek Hutchinson, whom I do respect, did design this boat and heís not exactly a real tall guy. The primary stability does improve significantly when the hatches are loaded and Iíve taken to bringing 8 lbs of ballast for the front and rear hatches during day paddles. That said, Iím still not comfortable enough to bring my good digital camera with me on the boat. Sheíd probably feel great with 40 lbs of gear. Being like most boats, she feels more stable moving then sitting still.
She tracks ok with the skeg up and just fine with skeg down. Iíd never say itís a bad tracking boat. Remember she is a great turning and very playful boat. While being playful, she still maintains a fine cruising speed for most any situation. Of course, if youíre looking to do really long paddles on a regular basis you should be looking for a different boat.
I found the outfitting to be decent but probably still sub-par to most of the boats it competes with. I like the foot braces and I hated the stock back band (it was replaced after the first summer). The thigh braces are so-so and also definitely sub-par compared to the competition. Other than that the boat has held up very well with no leaks or skeg problems. Most importantly, the plastic used for the boat seems to be as good as or better than the competition although not in the same league as Prijon and P&H. I paid $1100 for the boat new in í07 and that seems about what itís worth.
Iím now looking very hard at the P&H Scorpio, hoping to find more initial stability without giving up maneuverability. Iím sure my old Sirocco will make someone very happy...
12-31-2008Submitted by: jaws
- Rating: 7 of 10 I owned a Sirocco for 4yrs. and paddled it quite a bit. It handles rough water very well. Might broach a little easier than I would like. Turning and secondary stability are definitely its best features. But here the praise ends as it is outclassed by other kayaks. Before I sold the Sirocco I paddled many hours in it always reaching the launch thinking that it's a good kayak but not as good as the others I own. I have yet to find myself out paddling wishing I were in the Sirocco.
08-07-2008Submitted by: JeffA
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought a Sirocco this spring after selling my CD Storm. I wanted to get away from a rudder and get a boat that was more versatile. I am 6'2", 195 lbs and this boat fits perfectly.
I have read that some find it a bit tippy at first. For beginners it may feel that way, but once you have some time in any kayak, you come to realize that this boat is just very responsive. It is easy to edge and can spin on a dime, in the surf, when put even slightly on edge. Speaking of surf, this is where this boat shines. I paddle the Great Lakes and regularly take it out in 3-4 foot waves. This boat is totally at home in rough water and is very easy to surf (for a sea kayak). The hatches are all secure and dry with no implosion problems.
The poly that CD uses seems to be a bit more abrasion resistant than many other manufacturers and this boat really stands up to rough landings (voluntary or involuntary). This is a great boat for a competent beginner or an intermediate looking to take their skills to the next level. I feel that rudders degrade paddling ability and the skeg on this boat functions smoothly and reliably. It will allow you to increase your paddling skill and has helped me become a better kayaker.
Why did I rate it a "9"? The thigh braces are dated. CD should join the new era and add the adjustable outfitting like Wilderness Systems, Perception and Necky. I have had to foam out the thigh brace and hip area, a little bit. If they put in something similar to WS phase 3, this boat would be head and shoulders about anything in its class. Take one for a test paddle. It may not be for everyone, but for those that it fits.....what a ride!!
10-08-2007Submitted by: marvinsson
- Rating: 10 of 10 I just bought a used Sirocco, after having tried over a dozen boats, ranging from WS Pungo's to Eddyline Fathom's, and lot's in between. The big problem I encountered was my size. I'm 6' 3", weigh about 270, and have size 13 feet. Most of the listed capacities of the boats ruled them out, and were backed up when I tried them. I almost sunk a Chatham 17, just by sitting in it, much to the amusement of several onlookers!
After reading reviews, I found tow sirocco's at a local dealer, and tried one. At first, it was the tippiest boat I'd ever been in. as I've read, it likes to be moving, forward or backward. Under way, it feels great! The specs list a total capacity of 375lbs., which I'm sceptical of, but plan to test. It is, as others have mentioned, a wet ride, compared to my wife's Tempest 170. I've leaned over so far that water pours over the side, and haven't tipped.....yet. The secondary stability seems very good. I'm taking a re-entry/ self-rescue class next week, and I plan to find out exactly how far I can go before it tips.
Being a novice, I'm sure I'll get more accustomed to the boat, but even as it is, I think I made a good choice for a first boat.
08-21-2007Submitted by: boner
- Rating: 10 of 10 I purchased my Sirocco nine months ago and I am 100% pleased. I live right by the Atlantic Ocean and one of my greatest pleasures is taking my Sirocco out in the surf, just prior to the peak of high tide. I love to face right into a breaking wave, watch my bow go airborne and then splash down the other side. Another one of my greatest pleasures is taking my Sirocco on long distance day trips to remote locations. The Sirocco is perfectly suited for both.
My previous kayak had a rudder, which hindered me from learning good paddling skills; very much like training wheels. The Sirocco has forced me to become a much better paddler. With the skeg down, I travel straight as an arrow. The Sirocco is so sleek, so aerodynamic and so hydrodynamic, I glide effortlessly through the water as my friends in wider / more stable kayaks are clearly working harder.
The Sirocco is a great looking and very well designed boat with plenty of storage for a multi day / night camping excursion. Two thumbs up!
07-06-2007Submitted by: magooch
- Rating: 10 of 10 There have been lots of reviews of the Sirocco that describe its performance and its various pluses and minuses, so Iím going to talk about its style.
As I began to look at sea kayaks, naturally the long slender sleek designs were very appealing. At that point I didnít realize that there are several definite and very different categories of design. Iím not sure how I gravitated toward the British style, or design, but I did. I think the Necky Chattams were the first real sea kayaks that I got to actually touch and see up close. I even got to sit in one at that time. To say the least, I didnít like the fit at all, so I immediately started to look elsewhere. By luck there just happened to be a Sirocco sitting on the floor of the store and I was invited to try it on. My reaction was, ďthis is more like it.Ē
This initial trial sitting in sea kayaks, limited as it was, got me to thinking that Iíd better do a lot more research and looking. The short version is that I narrowed my sights down to a P&H Cappella; I liked its looks and it got very positive reviews. Finally, the day came when I got the chance to try one on. Just like the Chattam, the Cappella didnít fit. No matter how I squirmed around and tried to adjust, I couldnít find room for my legs. There were a few other points that discouraged any more consideration of the Cappella, but the bottom line is that it got crossed off my short list.
Again, by pure luck, or providence this store just happened to have a brand new Sirocco on hand. And it was the color (white) that had caught my eye in the CD brochure that I had picked up from the previous introduction to the Current Design brand.
When the Sirocco was brought out and sat down on the floor next to the Cappella the looking was all but over. However, being a non-impulse kind of buyer, I tried to be coy and act like I was only mildly interested. The salesman took the bait and offered me a deal that I couldnít refuse, but I managed to keep my cool composure and said, ďyeah, maybe Iíll give it a test paddle.Ē Maybe my rear end; I could hardly wait ten seconds to get that sweet looking beauty on the water.
I knew from having read all the reviews I could find, that the Sirocco would feel a little tippy at first. I was somewhat surprised that it really didnít feel all that tippy to me at all. I also was aware that there would be some inclination for the Sirocco to cock to windward. Nothing revealing about that, but I was taken with how adding a little skeg, instantly changed the Siroccoís attitude.
07-02-2007Submitted by: Yooperblock
Two other things that occurred to me during this demo were how very little evidence of velocity through the water there is and how easy it is to maneuver this boat. On the first point, I mean that it cuts such a minimal bow wave that by just looking at the water you donít realize just how fast youíre moving. On the second point, the Sirocco isnít the longest sea kayak, but at 16í-10Ē, I was all prepared to have my hands full getting the thing to bend to my will. To the contrary, the Sirocco complied with my guidance without any hesitation, and with almost no effort on my part.
I started out to talk about style, but I had to lay the groundwork. If youíre looking for the absolute fastest thing on the water, the British style probably wonít be your choice. If youíre looking for an expedition boat, youíll probably want something with more volume. But if youíre looking for something that has curves and graceful lines in spades, in my opinion, nothing tops the British style. In the Sirocco/Gulfstream case, designer Derek Hutchinson has blended form and function into a package that I find simply gorgeous. The fact that the Sirocco is amazingly seaworthy, comfortable and competent at everything I ask of it is all pure bonus to its good looks.
Finally, in addition to all the above, I have found no reason to argue with CDís assertion that the Sirocco is ďthe finest rotomolded British Style kayak available.Ē
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have had my Sirocco for one year now (see review below for 7-7-06) and can say that some things have changed for me in that boat due to experience. I have become a somewhat better paddler and don't use the skeg as much anymore, yet I still do drop it now and again in wind. The boat is a real weathercocker, but I think most boats in the 16+ foot length class are. The skeg helps here. The boat rarely feels tippy anymore, save for in 2-3 footers from the side. Even this is becoming easier for me; this boat takes the surf nicely, but it is a wet ride as it knifes through waves more than it rides up over them. It's actually kind of fun!
My front bulkhead leaks some, but I am nothing more than a day tripper anyway so I don't even use any hatches but the day hatch.
The backband has turned out to be more than adequate; my back is never sore and I am quite comfortable with the whole seating system. I really like this boat and plan to keep it for quite some time as my skills need to continue to develop.
03-26-2007Submitted by: DPH
- Rating: 5 of 10 First, my personal info: height just under 5'7", weight (at the time) was 182 pounds. I test paddled the Sirocco on a small lake; the water that day was smooth as glass. Boat seemed to fit me well, and I liked the speed and the way it kept gliding after I stopped paddling. Also, I loved the look of it with that upswept Greenland style bow and the little mermaid. (Call me superficial...) I bought it.
When I got it out on the open water of the big lake on a day with wind and waves, it was a different boat. Weathercocked severely, and I kept having to adjust the skeg to various increments of up/down to try to compensate for the wind without overcompensating. It was a quite frustrating.
The boat may have also been too high volume for me because on a choppy lake it seemed to bounce around on top of the water rather than slice through the waves. When I experimented by loading it with some water jugs in the bow and stern hatches, it behaved minimally better but still wasn't what I'd call an enjoyable paddle.
The quality of the boat seems good overall; plastic is probably no better or worse than average (not as good as Prijon, Riot, or P&H, in my opinion).
I sold my Sirocco after having only paddled it a few times. I seem to be in the minority here, but I really didn't like the way the boat handled on anything except very flat water. In that circumstance, it is fun, fast and glides well. I'm rating it a 5.
03-07-2007Submitted by: JDR
- Rating: 10 of 10 The Sirocco is the best plastic boat I have ever paddled. As other have mentioned, with the skeg down it sticks like glue to a cours and I have found that varying degrees of skeg can make a big difference in a long crossing with variable conditions. The boat responds immediatley to paddle strokes and body lean and can cope with some very intricate coastal work. I paddle the coast of the islands and Highlands of Scotland and have had some long trips out in the Sirocco (9days ) and have found it a great expedition boat but at the same time a real pleasure to take out for just a few hours roch hoping. I've had the boat about 1 year now and can't imagine being without it. Well done CD - this ia a classic.
12-04-2006Submitted by: CLN
- Rating: 9 of 10 After paddling the Sirocco over three weeks, I am very pleased and I concur with many of the previous reviews. It tracks very well with skeg down, even in the sometimes choppy Atlantic Ocean. I agree with at least two of the previous reviews, which mentioned the low backrest. As previously stated, it's really a white water "back band." It doesn't provide the back support that I need on a long distance day trip. Not having proper back support causes my abdominal muscles to work overtime and makes the trip less enjoyable. I'm looking at installing an "after market" full backrest. Another option that I've seen, is a small inflatable cusion, placed behind the back band.
11-16-2006Submitted by: CLN
- Rating: 9 of 10 I just purchased a CD Sirocco. On it's maiden voyage, I took it out on the Atlantic Ocean, with 15 MPH winds and choppy conditions. It tracked very well with skeg down. With the skeg up, it seemed to veer to the side and I had to constantly compensate. My previous kayak has a rudder, so now I have to improve my skills. At the completion of the maiden voyage, I found some water in both rear compartments. Further investigation revealed that water was leaking through the rear bulkhead, between the two storage compartments. How it initially got in there, I have still not concluded. My dealer has agreed to re-seal all bulkheads and inspect the hatches. To finish on a positive note, there is ample storage area, for all my camping needs, which I will keep in airtight bags. Great looking boat. I choose red, because I spend most of my time on the ocean and I want the boaters to see me.
07-07-2006Submitted by: yooperblock
- Rating: 9 of 10 After learning to paddle in a Necky Zoar Sport, I felt a need to paddle a longer, narrower kayak. I wanted to feel like I was in a true kayak. After much research on the internet, the Sirocco caught my eye. I liked the british look and the lack of a rudder on the stern. I found an orange one in Minnesota for a great price (brand new factory-second)and bought it. I haven't paddled it much yet, but my first couple trips out were definitely more fun than the ones with the shorter, wider Zoar Sport. I quickly got used to the tippy feeling and learned to trust the stability. I tried correcting with edging and it does that very well! I was not impressed with the tracking with the skeg up, but I attribute that to my lack of skills and learning in a barge like the Zoar Sport. I look forward to becoming a better paddler that the Sirocco will force me to become. The skeg, when dropped just half way, really helped me handle the boat. When deployed all the way, the skeg tracked the boat right on. Again, edging with sweep strokes really works well with this kayak. It wasn't particularly fast, but it did paddle smoothly and cruised at a good, consistant speed. It is very responsive to body movements which will be a plus as my skills increase. I love the look of this kayak and it is easier to carry and car-top than my Zoar Sport was. I am 6'3" and 225# and the cockpit fits well for me. I was able to stretch my legs (34" inseam)and hold my feet straight up with room between the footpegs when I needed to. The knee braces work well in conjunction to the pegs for me. I did get a bit stiff in the back as the back band could be a bit higher for me. After 2 hours though, it was very tolerable. I wasn't sore when I got out of the boat though. I haven't paddled in any "big" water yet, or in any wavy conditions, but I look forward to doing so soon! I think I am going to love my Sirocco!
12-08-2004Submitted by: capsized_Thomas
- Rating: 8 of 10 I have now owned my sirocco for 6 months and feel comfortable making a review. Oddly enough, I was not looking at the Sirocco when I went to buy the boat. The boats on my shortlist were: VCP Avocet, Necky Chatham 16, P&H Capella, Necky Elaho Skeg. I wound up eliminating the other boats as being too big, too expensive or too hard to find. I wound up paddling a Sirocco at a demo and feel in love within minutes. I like the low back deck for rolling and sculling, the solid bracing of the footpegs and the hatches. The boat really comes into its won in rough waters - I paddle on the SF bay as well as the Pacific Ocean, and feel very comfortable in larger swell and confused water. Tracking is okay (good with skeg down) but the trade off for maneuverability is more than worth it. I wanted a boat I could surf, roll, day trip and camp out of for a few days. The Sirocco does all this, and reasonably well. It is not speed demon, but will certainly not leave you behind. The weather cocking can be balanced quite easily by dropping the skeg.
What I don't like - it a big boat for my 6í 3Ē 180 pound frame. I have added minicell foam for a tighter fit, but would like a slipstream fit better. I have had a warranty claim already (foam bulkheads separating from hull, was resolved quickly and to my satisfaction). I'd also like a recessed compass mount.
Slipstream will be my next boat (wish they offered it in plastic).
09-11-2004Submitted by: jrdbassman
- Rating: 10 of 10 After a lot of research, wanting a stable sea kayak, one that I could continue to enjoy for many years, I purchased the CD Sirooco. I compared the Wilderness Systems Cape Horn 150, and the Necky Chatham 16. The WS had several bad reviews, so it was easy to eliminate, the Chatham by Necky was very nice. Just too small for me. I'm only 5'5", 165, and felt cramped. Having just fallen in love with kayaking and having bought a small fishing yak, I took several classes that opened my eyes to to the wonderful world of sea-kayaking. I took the Sirocco for a test run for about an hour, and knew immediately this boat was awesome! It helped talking with my sales-gal, who turned out to be an instructor, not a sales person. Went out into the tidal Potomac River near DC, with lots of wakes and wind, and this boat just gobbled it all up! It's seemed to excel in these conditions. Out on some local lakes, I found the boat to be fairly quick, and waiting for me to challenge it.
I love the classic Greenland lines, day hatch, and lots of storage. The skeg is the only way I was going to go, rudders seem to me like training wheels that you never take off. Although someday, if I live long enough, I might need that third leg to stand on. I installed a flush mount fishing rod holder just aft/portside and a paddle clip,(one with a bungy type port-side clipping device), so better to fish/photograph with. I am very pleased with this boat, and already have my eyes on the Gulfstream!
07-07-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have been sea kayaking for quite awhile now. over time I felted that I needed to update to a longer kayak to handle the ocean. the sicorro does just that, it handles the open ocean with ease. I live here in southen florida and have both fresh water and the ocean to choose whenever I go out and play. the sicorro lets me play hard and still have the confidence to be able to play in open water were the swells can sometimes get a little rough. overall I love my sicorro and how it handles, the volume capcity and the secondary sabilization is great. for the most part, the sicorro is a great kayak for the open ocean and intercostal here in florida. overall it's "HOOAH!"
06-28-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have had my Scirocco now for two years and still love it. It handles wonderfully in calm or rough conditions, surfs well too. I have been on a few multi day trips with it and was able to take enough gear without any problem. I had some problems with the original bulheads (ABS?) but CD replaced these with foam ones which work great. I like the little day hatch. The skeg works well when you need it. All in all I am still delighted with this boat.
05-18-2004Submitted by: AA
- Rating: 10 of 10 I had to add my review of the Sirocco after reading the very positive reviews from so many tall guys. I am a 5 foot tall woman and I love the Sirocco! It is not just for the big guys. I am a novice paddler and if I noticed any tippy feelings (mentioned by other reviewers) in the Sirocco I adjusted to them quickly. I tried as many boats and styles of boats as I could before I bought one. The Sirocco is just so much fun, it does not feel initially tippy to me at all, it seems to move forward on its own, it does not take huge effort for me to keep it going and, with my shorter arms, I don't have a huge reach to the water. My five foot 2 inch son loves it too. I got an excellent car rack that allows me to load and unload it by myself and my next purchase will be a wheeled trolly so I can get it to the water on my own over rough ground. I just love my Sirocco and know it is a boat I can grow into as my paddling skills improve.
02-05-2004Submitted by: redmond
- Rating: 9 of 10 I've got a Sirocco and its an outstanding kayak. I generally do flat water, but I had it in some good sized swells in Lake Michigan and it really shined. Found out that its a better boat than I am a paddler! I would go into those swells and get nervous, it would just ride through them. Maneuverability is very good. If you want better tracking, drop the skeg. I would rate the initial stability as moderate and the secondary as high. Its very easy to lean and that secondary stability gives me a lot of reassurance on edge. It feels like its very efficient at cruising speeds, i.e, low effort. This is at 3.5 to 4.5 mph. Above 5 or 5.5, I feel like I've hit the wall, but that might be a problem with the motor!. The only objection that I have is that the cockpit feels so big. Small price to pay for a good boat. I also like the lower fore deck. It doesn't feel so cavernous.
10-27-2003Submitted by: bub
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have just finished my very first season of paddling my Sirocco and I am very pleased! This is my first real year of serious paddling and the sirocco is my first boat. At first, it seemed a tad tippy for my large frame at 6'3" 220#. It did not take very long for me to learn all the limits that the boat had for me. The initial stability is great, but the secondary is out of this world! I can lean so that half of my combing is underwater and still feel incredibly stable. I like having the skeg instead of rudder so that wind does not push me around too much. However, with small quartering waves, tracking gets a little annoying. Nothing huge, just a little lean and a sweep stroke and you are right as rain again. On that note, the response is usually a stroke behind in many conditions, so be wary.
Rolling is easy as pie in this boat. I have learned 5 different kinds of rolls, and it seems that the boat wants to help you roll. One thing to be cautious of is when you roll, the soft chines do nothing to keep you from stopping when you are upright. So, if you have a strong hip snap, take the time and learn to SLOW IT DOWN!! It did not take much lake water to learn that lesson.
The sirocco cuts through large waves like a dream. I have been on Superior in some very rough water and my boat not only rode the waves, but attacked them. Another thing to remember is that you ar low in the water, so if you are like me and like to play, you are going to get wet. Not a warning, just a heads up. But why are you in a kayak if not to have fun?
The hatches have had no leakage whatsoever with all of the abuse that I have heaped on my boat. I do have quite a bit of trouble opening my rear hatch quite often due to the lack of a pull tab on the hatchcover.
The one complaint that I do have is on very sharp turns, the stern drags over the water pretty hard and creates a lot of resistance, which is kind of a bugger when you are leaning over onto your shoulder already, WET!!
Overall, the Sirocco is by far one of the best plastic boats on the market for a person my size. I am so enthusiastic about it, my first glass boat will probably be the gulfstream, the glass version of the same boat. If you have any questions, feel free to write me, obviously, I love to talk about my sirocco!!
09-19-2003Submitted by: lars
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have owned my Current Designs Sirocco for almost a year now so this is not a first impression review. Having camped out of this kayak for 6 days on Ross Lake and paddling my usual haunts on the Columbia River I have found that the Sirocco is the kayak for me. Tracking and handling in current and wind are confidence inspiring. Stability is fine as long as you are moving, but it might feel a little tippy off center if you are used to a wider kayak when just sitting, but its nothing that can't be gotten used to. As far as materials the Sirocco is made of high density plastic which is just fine by me because most of the local river is loaded with sharp basalt. The hatch covers are by Kajak and after using them I would not want to go back to the old neoprene cover, hard plastic, and strap type. The bulkheads are glued and siliconed minicell foam and other than condensation no leaks have appeared and there has been plenty of opportunity for this to occur if it was going to happen. I am 6'3" tall and weigh 225lbs and have size 14 feet and I can say that this kayak fits great for me but there is no room to spare in the foot area but hey I am in Sasquatch territory as it is so Harry Henderson could paddle this boat ok. The seat for me is just fine even unpadded I've sat in cars that were worse and the backband is a whitewater type which after getting used to I now actually perfer. The Sirocco rolls very easily, leans to the extreme, and seems to be the kind of craft that gets better as the conditions get worse. For my money this is the best plastic kayak on the market bar none and I checked out most of the others before settling on the Sirocco. If you don't like plastic there is always the CD Gulfstream in Kevlar or fiberglass. My thanks to Derek Hutchinson and Brian Henry for bringing this kayak to the market for the kayaking public to enjoy. Bullseye a perfect ten.
06-16-2003Submitted by: jhall
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought this boat used a year ago and like it a lot.... maneuverable, but also tracks quite well with little weathercocking, reasonably quick for plastic. I also have a glass Formula Serenity which is a very nice boat, a bit bigger than the Scirocco, but I wanted plastic for some of our rougher beaches in Newfoundland. The only problem I have is that I inevitably find a couple of cupfulls of water in the cockpit when I get out. No, it's not a personal problem, and the hatches are completely dry. Can't work out where the water's getting in. Any ideas out there?
05-20-2003Submitted by: LeeG
- Rating: 8 of 10 A year later at the same demo location. I like how the Scirocco handles more than the Gulfstream. The Gulfstream has more primary stability, the Scirocco is a little easier to lean,,whether that translates to better turning or handling I'm not exactly sure but the Scirocco is more to my taste regardless of cost.
10-18-2002Submitted by: Brent322
- Rating: 9 of 10 I just spent four hours in this boat and I am sold. I've been through a dozen poly boats in the last year looking for the one that I'd purchase and this is it. At this point, I'd consider myself a novice. However, I want a boat that I can become an expert in without being initially intimidated.
This boat handles very well. It took me about half an hour to become comfortable with the initial tippy fealing. But the more I worked my technique, the boat really inspired my confidence. With my lack of skills, it supprised me that I came to trust the secondary stability so much. First boat that I've gotten to that point with. With the skeg up, the boat turns on a dime. Applying different depths of skeg ranged from just enough handling to dead on tracking. While I wouldn't call the boat fast, certainly not as fast as a Looksha, it was satisfying. Furthermore, it glides very well and it seems to hold it's handling characteristics even in a good chop.
I think the plastic could be stiffer or more substantial, but then again, the boat already weighs 60lbs! The seat was comfortable as was the band. But I agree with another reviewer in that the rigging could be sturdier and more of it up front.
Overall, I've never had so much fun in a kayak as I had in this one.
09-03-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 Well, after a good test paddle, I chose to purchase a Current Designs Sirocco. I'm not quite ready for a glass boat yet. While I continue looking at glass boats (and finding the money for them) I wanted at least one plastic boat that I wouldn't mind for day trips, surfing and playing in rough water. The Sirocco fit the bill. As far as I know, the Sirocco is Current Design's first poly Derek Hutchinson design. It's essentially a plastic version of the "Gulfstream". Overall, if you are looking for a plastic kayak that's going to handle rough water well you're going to want the Sirocco.
Construction: The British design is very attractive. And you have to love the dual mermaids on the bow. The flared bow and stern are sleek and the Current Designs colors are attractive, but not pastel. I have a yellow boat and most kayaks in yellow have that crayon yellow color. Not the Sirocco. The yellow is slightly faded with black speckles and there's a nice black trim line between the deck and hull. The modified Greenland design, with a flat back deck, soft chines, and shallow "V" make this kayak highly maneuverable but a bit unstable for a novice paddler.
Hatches stay very dry and keep a good seal. The hatches are the "Kajaksport". The day hatch is a nice feature. I initially had some leakage but found I did not close the hatches properly. Some of my fellow Sirocco owners have had issues with the bulkheads. But mine have to very watertight with little or no penetration and I've been paddling the Sirocco consistently since June this year. Current Designs has resolved issues regarding the bulkheads. Perhaps I had no issues because I normally put an extra bead of silicon outdoor sealant on all my kayaks' bulkheads. But I do this to every kayak I purchase.
I wouldn't call this an expedition kayak, but it will pack enough gear for a couple days out of town. I fit all my standard camping supplies in it with no problem. Deck lines are very nice, though I would have added a few more on the forward deck. Grab toggles are built into the kayak, in the English fashion, and are secured very well.
Skeg control is the slide-bar type. Skeg can be adjusted and operates easily. Overall, the plastic is very strong. I'm 6'1, 253lbs and I sat on the back deck. I gave a little but not too much. I would rate the plastic well above a Dagger, Perception, or Wildness Systems poly. The plastic has a very solid feel to it that reminds me of the stuff Valley uses on their plastic boats. It's not a light craft either. It weighs in at approximately 60lbs. When I consider my Kodiak was 17'1 and 58lbs, and the Sirocco is 16'10, this is a little heavy. But there is one plus, I hit a rock hard on my test run and was only left with a slight blemish when I expected a deep scratch. I've also had this kayak up on the rugged rocks of Maine and damage was minimal. This plastic holds up well and throughout this "heat wave" summer the oil canning was minimal. Though I would recommend a J-rack to keep the kayak on its side. This type of rack will prevent oil canning.
The only thing I wasn't nuts about was the back band, which I replaced with an Immersion Research back band. I'd actually recommend the smaller, whitewater "Reggie" back band for this kayak because the plastic seat rose slightly. The whitewater back comes right up where the seat flares making it a very nice fit! CD's back band was a little too low for a tall person, it probably works well with someone about 5'9, 5'10 max, any taller and it doesn't provide maximum support. I was happy with a whitewater type back band, but if you have back problems I would recommend something a little higher.
Comfort: At 6'1 253lbs, and a 42 waist, I fit well into 16X31 cockpit with room to spare. I have size 11 feet. And that seems to be the limit to this kayak's capacity. A 14- inch deck height probably helps out too. I have the back band back a little farther than most would like. But it's in a position where I can keep the foot pegs slightly forward. This gives my feet a little more wiggle room. I've also thrown down a PADZ foam seat cushion and another one in the cockpit for my heels to rest on. Seems to do the trick.
Definitely take this boat out for a spin for at least four hours before you buy it. Just to be certain. What is nice about the flat back deck, the back band, and the space under the deck is that you can take your feet off the foot pegs and get a nice stretch if you get tired. When I first tried the kayak with he Current Designs back band I didn't have it adjusted right, so I developed back pain has I paddled. I stopped in a secluded area and fixed the back band that helped a little. The IR back band is so comfortable that I have zero back pain now. Finally, the thigh braces are just shy of a little tight for me. Larger paddlers may find it useful to modify these braces with a drummel tool to get the right fit. Smaller paddlers will require a little outfitting, especially along the hips, to get the required feel for the kayak.
For the larger paddler, be sure your feet are comfortable. I think anyone who is 6-feet plus with size twelve and above would have problems. Also, make sure you can stretch you feet out beyond the pegs.
Just one more thing, this kayak does sit rather low to the water. It's usually a wet ride. Always expect to get wet. This good thing is it has great secondary stability. That means you might get wet but, if your skills are decent, you'll stay right side up!
Performance: Stability: I'll go right for the most obvious thing once you enter the water. If you are a novice you might not like this kayak's secondary stability. It will feel slightly tippy to the new kayaker. But I would say it is not as tippy as, say, the Perception Eclipse, when you first try it.
I have three years experience and have gotten used to narrower and narrower kayaks. This one is just on the border to feeling too tippy. But here's the hitch! The Sirocco's secondary stability is very impressive. I've had this kayak out in rough, boiling waters with plenty of wake-chop and reflecting waters. I this kayak out on large swells and on bays with 20-25knot winds blowing and white-capped three-foot waves. The Sirocco cuts right through this mess without slowing down and without making me feel like I was going to go over. I even stopped in some turbulent water to see how it handled staying still. Some good low bracing and slight edging in the waves kept me stable. The main thing, you keep this kayak moving and it will keep moving and stay stable. This is typical of most British boats. They like to keep moving.
When I first paddled the Sirocco I found that it got thrown around in rough water and it seemed hard to keep on track. But as I augmented and enhanced my paddling skills and learned to edge my turns properly this issue disappeared. A smooth, efficient paddle stroke will move this kayak through the water with ease. The Sirocco is like a piano. It takes the paddler a while to get used to how it performs, but once you've familiarized yourself with its characteristics you're on your going to enjoy this kayak.
Overall performance. The Sirocco is extremely maneuverable. Slight edging or correct forward sweep strokes will change course easily. Course changes are extremely fluid and slight. Once again, it takes time to get used to but once you've got it your going to love it.
You also need intermediate skills to paddle this kayak correctly. The smoother, and more efficient the paddle stroke the better. Know proper forward and reverse strokes, forward and reverse sweeps, know proper rudder strokes, edging turns, and know high and low braces. You don't have to be an expert at this stuff, just have some knowledge of how they are performed. I have gotten to the point with this kayak in which I hardly need to use corrective strokes, I simply "edge" the kayak a little to make corrections. An intermediate to expert kayaker would enjoy the "smooth operator" aspect of this kayak.
The skeg is very useful and performs well in strong winds. Not unlike other kayaks, quartering winds are the hardest to deal with. In any wind I found that "trimming" the skeg up or down just slightly assisted in the performance of the kayak. You don't need it all the way down or all the way up to get the best results. Slight "trimming" of the skeg a little bit up or down provided great, efficient tracking.
Another tidbit, this kayak can lean way out there. I can lean back on that flat deck with a good low brace and put nearly half the cockpit in the water. When you can get that much of the hull out of the water...I consider that a good thing. When you're hit broadside by heavy seas the waves have a tendency of washing over the kayak rather than pushing it up or to the side.
Rolling! I've just started to perform screw rolls with this kayak. It's an excellent boat for rolling. The flat back deck allows a taller paddler to "lay back" on the roll. If you think you'll be rolling in the future this kayak is for you.
Speed: This is not a fast kayak, but it is an easy one. What I mean is the kayak will reach a maximum velocity around 5.5 to 6 knots full paddle (or throttle). But the kayak WILL MAINTAIN at 3.5- knot speed with little effort. Paddling the Sirocco feels more like flying. Though I could see myself moving it took very little effort to move this kayak through the water. Better yet, the Sirocco does not lose speed in rough waters. The most outstanding performance characteristic of this kayak is its ability to slice through the most turbulent of conditions without losing efficiency.
Overall rating isÖwell it's a 10! I think I have enough experience now to rate a kayak so. Big thanks to Current Designs for finally coming out with a poly model based on Derek Hutchinson's great designs. From what I understand this kayak has become a hit. And it deserves to be a hit!
06-20-2002Submitted by: Kevin
- Rating: 9 of 10 I purchased the Current Designs Scirocco as my very first kayak. I wanted a poly kayak that was well made and that I could grow into as my skills increased. I have paddled few other kayaks so I really don't have a great deal to compare it to. Though I had little experience when I first began paddling the Scirroco I quickly became in tune with this boat and I must say I am thouroughly impressed. The boat at first seamed a little tippy although once I started paddling it's stability became quite apparent. The boat is very manoeverable and easy to edge. The skeg works beautifully to keep you on course when the wind picks up. Even in strong crosswinds tracking is excellent. I do find the boat tends to weathercock a bit easily. The finishing on this boat considering its rotomolded is flawless. The seat is confortable, however the back rest could be an issue for some paddlers. I am 6'2" and 180lbs and find the cockpit to be a perfect fit. I don't think I could have picked a better first kayak to purchase. I look forward to paddling it for may years to come.
06-17-2002Submitted by: Canuck
- Rating: 9 of 10 I had tried 8-9 kayaks without much luck. When I tried the Sirocco I new almost immediately that it was a great boat. I found the seat comfortable on my rear even after staying in the boat for a few hours. My legs were fine too. However, I did find that my lower back muscles became sore, I problem I did not have with the R5 excel(which has a high back to the seat). Maybe my lower back is just not used to it yet. I am 5'10 and 195IBS(muscular build) to give you an idea of my body type.
It tracked well when I had it out in heavy boat traffic (3 foot waves coming from both sides). Also, I found that I was able to go quite fast, especially when I pushed myself. For other kayaks I found that an increase in effort was often not worth the speed I gained.
06-14-2002Submitted by: Muffy
- Rating: 9 of 10 Well, this is the one I decided to buy. The Sirocco was quite frankly the most enjoyable of the boats I tried - I had the most fun in it. It is quite manueveable, but tracks well with the skeg down. Stability is comfortable without feeling like a canoe. It edges beautifully. As for finishing issues, the deck fittings are all recessed and the hatchs are very dry. The seat is comfy and the peg don't put my feet to sleep. Great Boat - My brother in law just orderd one in mango.
05-13-2002Submitted by: LeeG
- Rating: 8 of 10 Ignore the number, it's demo time, this from a short 200yd dash in gentle wind and waves at Sandy Pt. Maryland. The Scirocco gave me the impression of "if I could only have one boat this could be it" feeling. Easy to turn, efficient and fast enough, comfortable cockpit, manageable in wind and waves. This would be a first recommendation for a long rental to get to know a kayak when customers do the "I want a boat that will.....and still be able to grow into".
05-07-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I took my first trip on San Frnacisco Bay last weekend in a new Sirocco. I am partial to skeg boats so I bought the Sirocco to replace my Capella RM for several reasons. The Capella is only 22" wide with less initial stability than the Sirocco. As it turns out it is less comfortable for me in following waves than is the Sirocco. Though the two boats are of similar volume, the Capella's deck just in front of the cockpit is higher than the Sirocco's. This can be a problem for shorter paddlers since it requires them to hold arms and shoulders in a less comfortable position. I am 6'0" and 170 lbs. so the Capella has been fine for me but not my wife or kids. The cockpit of the Sirocco is slightly larger (less than 1 inch in either direction) but it allows for easier entry and lets me pull my knees up to rest more readily. The Sirocco has three bulkheads and a small day hatch off center behind the cockpit. This is the first boat I've had with this configuration and it is very handy for lunch, water, and camera storage. The skeg functions well on both boats and both are very easy to roll. It might even be possible to do a handroll on this boat with a little practice. Finish is first class on both, with recessed deck fittings and hatches that are tight and secure. Similar seats and backrests make both boats comfortable. The plastic might be a bit harder on the Sirocco which is a plus. It didn't seem to suffer too many scrapes after being pulled up on Angel Island and later the beach in Sausalito. The only thing that concerns me with the Sirocco is the forward fastener for the deckline. It is moulded into the deck and probably could be a bit heftier. No big deal.
I'm glad I made the change and look forward to hearing from other Sirocco paddlers. This is a wonderfully designed and well built boat.
03-25-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I recently purchased a poly CD Sirocco, and I must say that I am quite pleased with the kayak. I have owned a fiberglass Seaward Tyee, a poly Perception Sea Lion, a kevlar Seaward Endeavour, and now the Sirocco. Although all of my previous kayaks had certain attributes that made them an enjoyable paddle, I am having the most fun in the Sirocco. I enjoyed my Sea Lion because it carved a turn very when leaned and was quite nimble, however I sold the kayak because of tracking problems (I kayak in conditions that are often windy and with significant current), and I do not enjoy using a rudder. I sold the kevlar Endeavour because I enjoy spending time in the surf zone, in rock gardens, and exporing close to island shores, so it was too painful to run over and into rocks, etc with a $4,000 kayak. After 5 years of serious paddling, I came to the conclusion that I wanted a kayak with a Greenland style hull with a retractable skeg, and in polyethelene, thus the Sirocco. This kayak is a highly manueverable craft, and can easily be held right up on edge with a sculling high brace. Lean, and the boat carves a turn every bit as well as the Sea Lion ... something I thought that no other kayak would be able to do. Although a bit squirrly in current, dropping the skeg (just half way) straightens the track out nicely. The Sirocco is not the fastest kayak on the ocean, but nor is it a slow or sluggish paddle. I wouldn't hesitate to take the boat on longer multiday excursions where covering water was the objective (Perhaps not for a multiweek however ... maybe). I am 6'1", 175 lbs, and the kayak is extremely comfortable ... fits my body shape like a glove. It is a very well made craft, and although not the lightest (as usual for any poly kayak), it is satisfying because of it's substantial level of construction quality ... it is a very sturdy, strong boat. Both primary and secondary stability are good, so it is a good choice for a beginner that wants to advance quickly and properly by learning to use the body and paddle to handle the kayak. The intermediate to advanced kayaker will appreciate the boat's playful and responsive nature. I give this kayak a 10 out of 10, based on what it is and where it is priced. Was my kevlar Endeavour lighter, faster, and a better tracker? Sure ... but it was also over twice the money, not quite as fun to paddle overall, and it was a stressful event to scratch the gel coat! There is much to be said for well made poly kayaks!
03-19-2002Submitted by: SB
- Rating: 9 of 10 I purchased the Sirocco as my first cockpit boat after paddling SOTs for about a year. I wanted a reasonably fast and stable touring boat for (primarily) intracoastal paddling. After much research, I settled on the Sirocco. I've paddled it now for about 8 hours, so my limited experience in the boat, and my perspective must be noted. I'm 6'1", 180#, and the boat fits extremely well. The thigh braces and footpegs make for a nice snug fit, while the cockpit opening allows me to lift my knees up out of the boat for rest. The initial stability is very good, and it responds nicely to an edged turn. The skeg works well, and when down, the boat tracks quite well. When up, the edged turn with bow sweep moves the boat around quickly. I've been out in 2 foot swells and 20 kt winds. It handles the bigger water fine; responds to sprinting nicely allowing me to catch some wind waves; but does tend to weathercock a bit. Playing with the skeg seems to reduce this tendency. I've paddled with a couple of experienced paddlers in Sea Lions and had no trouble keeping up with them. I'm extrmemly satisfied with the Sirocco at this early writing and feel the boat will respond well as my skills increase. Given my inexperience, pay no attention to the numerical rating; it's the description that counts.
02-11-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is a preliminary review of the new Current Designs Sirocco, a rotomolded version of their composite Gulfstream kayak. A mild winter and early February thaw here in NJ has gotten me out on the water (Lake Mohawk) a few months sooner than I expected. I have logged about 7 hours in my new Sirocco and I must say I am impressed. The Sirocco is a British style kayak with a pointy, upswept bow and stern, a day hatch, flat foredeck, and a skeg (instead of a rudder). The boat is well balanced for a solo carry and easy to pop on to my car roof rack. The Sirocco has good initial stability and excellent secondary stability. The boat is very responsive to slight changes in paddler input and is highly maneuverable when put into a lean. Tracking is decent with the skeg up, but with the skeg down the boat tracks dead on. I haven't had it out in steady winds greater than 10 knots, so I will reserve further comment. The skeg control is outstanding-smooth, easy to reach and easy to deploy. It is also easy to make fine adjustments to the skeg to get just the right balance of tracking and maneuverability. The foot braces are firm and lack the mushy feel of those foot braces found in ruddered boats. The seat bottom is very comfortable and the backband provides a fair amount of support, although it is not as comfortable as the seatback in my CD Solstice GTS. The cockpit opening is very large and easy to enter and exit. BTW finding a non- Current Designs sprayskirt that fits properly and doesn't slide off the smooth plastic rim too easily may be a problem-I found an Old Town neoprene skirt meant for the Millennium to be a perfect fit. The Sirocco is a lot faster than I expected it to be, considering its 23.5 inch width. It paddled efficiently and had good glide. The Sirocco paddles backwards extremely well, which I have had to do a number of times to get myself out of some narrow spaces in as-yet- unmelted lake ice. I really appreciate the day hatch located to the rear and left of the cockpit. The boat is stable enough so that I feel quite confident twisting around to open the hatch. It's a great place to store a rain jacket, refreshments, binoculars and a camera.
Let me add to this review that I am 6' and 176 lbs. I paddle at least 20 miles/week. I currently own a Current Designs Solstice GTS in Kevlar. The Solstice is a very fast, hard tracking boat. I have been searching for a plastic boat that is very maneuverable, yet won't seem like a log compared to the GTS. I have owned and subsequently sold a Perception Carolina (my first boat, a great boat- my wife still has hers, I use it for fishing and for taking guests out), a Prijon Kodiak (didn't work for me at all) and a Perception Corona (not bad, but not fast enough). I think I have finally found a plastic boat that looks good, has superior maneuverability, and has decent speed. My one reservation about buying a CD plastic boat was their reputation for oilcanning on earlier (pre-2000) models. I have been told that this issue has been addressed. I cartop my boat often, so I will keep my eye open and report back to this forum if any problems develop. My Sirocco has been cartopped 5 times so far, including the 100-mile trip from the dealer to my house with no problems.
I hope to get out on the ocean soon if we get some more 50-degree days here. My lake can also get tumultuous when those March winds start to howl. I'll file a further update after I get the boat out into some varied conditions. So far, however, so good.
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