The Baffin is built for the rigors of rough seas. Its unique hull design provides paddlers with a lively yet stable boat compared to other Greenland style kayaks. The three models in the series are well suited for a wide range of paddlers who demand immediate control and predictability. The generous sized opening of the hatch allows paddlers to load up adequate amounts of gear for up to two weeks, while the day hatch keeps your essentials handy while on the water. The Baffin comes with a full complement of deck rigging and a comfortably outed cockpit.
After five or six years of paddling my Wilderness Systems Sealoution II XS I decided to upgrade to the Boreal Design Baffin P2. My research coincided with taking formal training and achieving a Paddle Canada Level 2 certification. The Baffin is a fine design which fits me very well, (5'-6", 180 pounds). I find it edges extremely well and is very stable when on edge instilling a confidence I didn't have with the WS boat. Initial stability is good and secondary is excellent. The P2 is a 17 foot boat but handles well on edge for turns. The Baffin handles lumpy water very well and is ok in surf. Probably very well for a more proficient paddler. It tracks straight and the dial control keg is simple to use and effective in winds/ seas on the aft quarters. I have found the Baffin likes to have a moderate load at all times which greatly enhances the performance. The low back deck makes wet entries easier. I cannot roll yet so will not comment other than to say it get good reviews for this. It is not a high volume boat but suits my paddling perfectly. I do mostly day trips and plan to do some light touring/ camping which with some judicious packing it should easily accommodate. The seat is lightly padded and quite comfortable while the adjustable back band provides just the right amount of support. The plastic thigh braces are adjustable but could use some foam padding. The adjustable foot braces provide adequate support but I find them difficult to adjust. Once locked in they are solid. The overall quality appears good but I have had issues with the rear hatch leaking and the rear bulkhead sealant separating. I also went around the boat and tightened all the fasteners which had not been done at the factory. I have spoken with one other paddler who had similar issues and have heard rumours of the same from others. It is my understanding that these boats are no longer made in Canada and that the quality control has suffered. I took this up with the dealer and he said these were maintenance issues not covered by warranty. Disappointing for a 6 month old boat. I also sent an e-mail to Boreal Designs but have yet to receive a reply. All in all I really like the Baffin, it paddles like a dream but am disappointed in the company support and quality control hence the 4 stars.
The Baffin 2 was the first touring kayak of this type that I ever had the chance to test. Up to then, I had only paddled kayaks more suitable for white water paddling in the mountains of Arkansas & as well as a fishing kayak that I use for birding in the swamps & lakes in the eastern part of the state. I had no idea what to expect. At first look, it's length seemed to overwhelm me. However when I got it launched it took off with the speed & ease of one of my white water kayaks. I was paddling on a large freshwater reservoir on a rather windy day. It had the stability of my fishing kayak. It's a beautifully handling & stable kayak that I would like to use for extended float trips. I would definitely buy the Baffin 2.
The Baffin 2 has handled the ocean effortlessly. It tracks well and extremely easy to maneuver. It's light compared to some other kayaks. It's very high quality built.
Live and love everything on the kayak! The freedom when I'm on the lake is amazing.
Great for open water and big lakes. Glides through the water even when it may be a little rough. Used it on Lake superior. plenty of room and storage. comfortable for a bigger person
This kayak is stable & handles well.
Best. To. Explore. Lakes. Shore. Lines. With. Camping. On. Small islands. And. Out. Of. The. Tourist. Trap. Camp. Grounds
The Baffin 2 is a very sleek kayak, sitting high in the water, does very well in fast water, and with the dry compartment full it does not throw off the stability, love the day compartment so you're not turning around to get something. I would definitely recommend this kayak.
One of my favorite kayaks and my most recent purchase. Very smooth ride, not too bulky, handles the water very well. I may want to upgrade soon but this kayak, for this price, is a great deal
I really enjoyed using the Baffin 2 kayak on the Shenandoah River in Virginia last week. The normally placid water was exceptionally high and fast due to heavy rains. It was a real comfort to paddle a stable kayak under these conditions. The Baffin 2 rides high and naturally levels itself, compensating for the rough water. My 30-lb of gear stored comfortably in the water-tight compartment and did not throw off the boat's stability. The kayak was fast and responded quickly when upcoming rocks showed themselves in the current. I would highly recommend the Boreal Baffin 2 for technical fast water conditions on big rivers.
I have owned my Baffin for a year now. This hard chine Greenland style kayak have been a joy to paddle. I was bitten by the Greenland paddle bug two years ago. I was looking for a boat to replace my WS Tempest. I have the opportunity to demo a Baffin. Rolling this kayak is extremely easy and it fit me perfectly. This boat has allowed me to push my edging further then I ever thought possible. I have been able to add 8 new Greenland rolls to my quiver. The boat has more then enough cargo room for long trips. I tend to not use a skeg and rely on edging to keep my boat going in the direction I need it to. The dial-a-skeg is accurate and in conditions keeps me on track. The boat is wonderful in the surf! This Baffin have me the confidence to get out in waves that I did not even think about prior to owning it. I am an L2 coast kayaking instructor and I use this boat to teach with. Boreal Design really hit the nail on the head with this boat. There are three size options and many material options. This is a great boat for the money!
After several attempts at buying this model from a friend who rarely ever took his out, I finally managed to get it from him for 500.00, which was a steal. Having owned Boreal Kayaks, and knowing their quality, you can't blame me for bugging him until he folded.
My son uses this one more than I do. Simply because it fit him a bit better, we've both taken out the Baffins we own. I use a Baffin 3 and he has taken to the Baffin 2, but we do switch off and I have taken his on a few runs.
I would state that in one 2 day outing in Cape Cod, I traveled due North and covered 25 miles of coastline in this without any issue. If you know those waters, you can imagine the run I had.
It proved to operate flawlessly and comfortably, without any issue.
Storage is ample and adequate. Plenty of space for longer excursions.
Now that my son has taken it to Florida, I expect he's enjoying his outings. Its a great kayak and well worth every dime. Luckily I got off the hook on spending the full amount on a barely used one. Still, if I had to buy one brand-new, I would. Great quality and a dependable worthwhile investment.
Boreal Design Baffin is Faster that the Boreal Design Storm
On my last trip I was plowing through 6-foot breaking waves, it couldn’t be stopped. With its soft lines and hard chine, the Baffin is not an ocean playboat. It’s a full-on ocean-going sea kayak that is sporty enough to allow intermediate to expert boaters to also play with it. This is a really fun, sporty sea kayak. Though prone to weather-cocking (like nearly all Greenland-style boats) dropping skeg alleviates the problem immediately The outfitting feels like a whitewater boat. It’s a really snug fit. The Baffin is a perfect for someone looking to push their rough-water sea kayaking chops to the next level, while still having a great touring option.
This boat is great. It handles so well even in the swells and some chop. Tracking is a bit iffy when wave coming from behind with an empty boat, but fully loaded it is not a problem. For my size I would fit a bit better in the C1, but I went with the C2 for a bit more packing room. I think anyone would be very happy with this kayak.
You'll notice my review below. I've changed the rating to an 8. The reason for this is because the previous 10 was given out of excitement of a new toy that I was (and am still) very happy with. Though I have not had any issues with my boat I have heard that there are some issues with the bulkhead seals not being 100% from factory...just need a bit more silicone.
So with a bit more time in the boat, here is what I feel about the boreal design baffin poly;
1. It weathercocks quite a bit, which requires not only edging to correct it but usually a sweep or pry (this is once it is already weathercocking, if you edge in time your ok, if you drop the skeg your golden)
2. It rolls wonderfully, even with poor form
3. Surfs very nicely
4. When edging I found it takes a pause before there is a reaction, but once she bites in you can really carve well
5. The baffin handles very well when loaded, much better in the rough stuff when you have a load verses an empty boat. As nearly every sea kayak it is designed to be loaded.
6. The hatch seals are very dry, I have not been in huge surf how ever I have had some heavy 5-6 ft. waves breaking over me and the soft hatches stay sealed and dry.
7. The foot pegs are very strong, I have been practicing allot of P.E.P. (power efficient paddling) were 100lbs of pressure can be applied to the pegs with each stroke, and I have not had one of them pop off yet
8. I have spent allot of time sitting in this boat over the last 8 months and I still have my legs falling asleep within about 20 min. The hard plastic seat mold is angled up, which seems to put too much pressure on the backs of my legs. I have put some foam under the back of the seat to decrease the angle, but it still happens.
So if you're looking at this boat, take it for a test paddle for at least 1/2 and hour. It preforms wonderfully in all conditions, and is definitely a boat that will increase you paddling abilities. The weathercocking is a non issue with the skeg down or with edging. The quality is fantastic.
Just picked up a red Boreal Design Baffin (poly). I have so far only paddled the Baffin twice, first was the test drive which made me fall in love and the second was today in the Chezzetcook inlet. Its mid December and on the Atlantic so I had to break through some ice to get out and paddle. I will have more to add at a later time once I have a few more miles on her. So far it is a fantastic boat, fast, stable, agile, beautiful to look at and out of. A real pleasure to paddle. Looking forward to see how it does at surfing and rough water.
PROS: build quality (Canadian made), features are the same as the high end comp boats, fast for poly, handles nice, skeg boat
CONS: the compass doesn't come standard, that's the only one I can come up with.
Conclusion: if your looking for a sea worthy kayak, try one of these out. I am not disappointed and doubt anyone could be.
First, some background on me. I like rock hopping and surfing more than paddling flatwater. In the last two years I have been spending more time paddling my sea kayaks on the ocean and tidal rivers when I can. But living inland, I find myself surfing standing waves of local in-town rapids, paddling the Thousand Islands (looking for the odd bow wave), and large lakes in a variety of conditions. I still enjoy a nice relaxing exploratory paddle once in a while.
I bought the Baffin in May 2008. Got a fantastic deal on it as it was one of Boreal's demo boats (still "new" though). I had contemplated building a skin-on-frame boat similar in size to my Ellesmere but with lower volume. However the need to re-skin depending on how hard I use the boat put me off. With the Baffin, I pretty much don't need to build a kayak unless I want a significant weight savings.
The Baffin is outfitted with Boreal's dial-a-setting skeg. It has the plastic version of the backband seat with the hump. The nice thing about the Baffin is that the rear part of the coaming is now further away from the backband. You can stuff your paddlefloat, pump, sponge and even a nalgene repair/first aid kit all behind the seat.
The decklines have the reflective ribbon weaved in. There is an indentation just ahead of the front coaming lip that serves as a paddle park while resting and possibly for self rescues (although I personally hold my paddle against the back coaming and park my paddle across the boat, just in front of my abdomen). I'll have to try the front the next time I'm out to see how well that works.
It's a heavy boat. It's 1-lb heavier than my Ellesmere (61-lbs). But the Ellesmere feels heavier because lifting up a fibreglass boat by the coaming isn't as comfortable(?) as lifting a plastic one. Being a low volume boat, it has less storage than the similar Ellesmere. With careful packing and sharing of resources, a week long trip is realizable. Along those lines, you had better make sure you put your skirt on when surf launching as the lower fore and aft decks will allow copious amounts of water into the cockpit.
It weathercocks a fair bit. Lowering the skeg or edging alleviates that. There one interesting observation when going skegless. You need to be mindful and anticipate when it begins to weathercock and edge. Once it starts weathercocking, any edging or leaning only causes the Baffin to carve and turn more aggressively. Only when using a stern rudder in a pry or draw puts you back on course.
The beautiful sheer line makes storing long greenland paddles somewhat difficult. Euro paddles are not a problem. In fact, there is some extra rigging on the foredeck like what you see on NDK boats that does a better job of securing splits than the Ellesmere.
Common to all Boreal Design plastic boats, they lack that cool banding along the hull and deck seam that distinguishes Boreal Design from other composite kayaks. But that's a minor cosmetic detail.
Like my Ellesmere, the Baffin has a day hatch. I became addicted to using my day hatch and sold off my generation one Capella partially because of that. However, Boreal Design uses foam bulkheads. I was used to having thinner bulkheads (welded in the Capella and glass in the Ellesmere). To my surprise, I have slightly less room in the hatches because of the thickness of the foam bulkheads.
The stock bow toggle rope is too short for my tastes. I lengthened them and added bungies so the toggles wouldn't hang loose and throttle the hull when surfing. It should be noted that because of the upswept bow and stern, a two person carry already had the boat low to the ground. With lengthened toggle lines, it's that much lower. But it makes it easier for swimmer rescue.
The skeg is dial-a-setting skeg. Works well, but the way it's put in the rear hatch can be a pain when packing the kayak. It runs down the side then veers diagonally and down to the skeg box. You have to pack your stuff around the plastic sleeve protecting the skeg rope. You need to be careful that you don't damage the seal at the sleeve/ skeg box junction. Otherwise you might end up with a leaking skeg box.
It's a beautiful looking boat. Holding an aggressive edge is very easy. I found the secondary stability better than my Ellesmere in moving water. Then again, I haven't paddled my Ellesmere since getting the Baffin. The reverse hard-chine is present in the Baffin like the Ellesmere. There seems to be slightly more flare in the Baffin. That could where the extra 1/8" in width comes from. That combined with the lower rear deck allows for easy cowboy scramble rescues.
The low rear and fore decks make rolling a breeze. It's a great boat for greenland rolling.
It is a very snug fitting boat for my size (5'8", 145#). Adjusting the footpegs gives you phenomenal control over the boat. The weight range allows for my friend who is 6+' and 210+ lbs is able to paddle it. However, he has a harder time getting his legs under the thigh braces. When demoing the Baffin, having a 200+ lbs of swimmer on the rear deck causes it to submarine.
The quality of the plastic used in construction has held up over two weeks of hard dragging and paddling in rock gardens and surf.
There was one construction issue I had, there wasn't enough silicone used on the rear hatch ring. It leaked like a sieve. Once that was fixed, all hatches have been dry. When surfing on the Shubenacadie, there was some mud infiltration between the hatch ring and bottom the the hatch cover. But none of that ever migrated past the hatch ring lip. Perhaps that's one plus of Valley hatches.
It should be noted that all the Boreal Design has now taken to making their own rubber hatches. The Boreal rubber is softer than the all-rubber Kajaksport hatches. An added bonus is that the Boreal and Kajaksport hatch covers are interchangeable as they use the same sized hatch rings.
I'm not sure if it's present, but the Ellesmere had pin holes in the bulkheads to alleviate pressure due to hot air expansion. I've noticed on the odd occasion that the hatch covers ballooned (e.g., when driving 1500km or having the Baffin on the roof rack in the sun). Not to the extent that popping off was imminent. But enough to concern me and add it in the review. The Boreal hatch covers unlike the Kajaksport hatch covers only have a tether on the inside. The pull tab is too short and fat to accommodate a tether plus clip on the outside.
The Baffin is not too bad of a boat for surfing. I think (no, I know) I need more practice.
If you look at my picasaweb album comparing my Ellesmere and Baffin (http://picasaweb.google.com/qajaq8/Ellesmere_Baffin_Comparison), you'll see that my particular Baffin has more rocker than my Ellesmere. I had originally thought that the Baffin was supposed to have less rocker than the Ellesmere. The reason being was that the Baffin's stern drops down more vertically unlike the Ellesmere. However, I like the way my Baffin behaves.