-- Last Updated: Apr-16-13 8:11 AM EST --
Generally rocker makes more of an impression on maneuverability than any other aspect. Generally hard chine keeps a boat higher in the water with the same load as an equal soft chine boat. It's popular for boat designers to use hard chine on some very rockered boats because it will help counteract the speed loss by keeping the boat higher - since rockered boats are slower. Hard chine gives more initial stablilty than a soft chine given the same width boat. Hard chine also has more wetted surface than a soft chine boat = slower. (same width boat)
The trend in kayak design seems to be more and more semi-hard chine boats desperately trying to get a little of everything.
I still like soft chine boats but you have to try them and formulate your own opinion because the differences can be very slight since so many other variables get tweeked. If two boats were the same width/length/rocker, the soft chine would be the stronger tracker since it would sink deeper and have more centerline holding direction.
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