The Delta 17 is a fast and versatile touring kayak, ideal for extended trips, comfortable cruising and play. It fills all these roles with satisfying grace and efficiency, and is a veritable champion on ocean swells and in rough conditions. The Delta 17’s V-shaped hull, pronounced chine and moderate rocker offer impressive tracking and a smooth transition to edge. It has plentiful storage for extended tours, and features a convenient front day hatch, Press-Lock hatches, multi-position Contour II Seat System, and choice of rudder or spring-loaded skeg.
I purchased my Delta 17 last summer. After one year using it, I'm still very happy with this kayak. Its 17 feet lenght and moderate rocker gives it very good directional stability. Even without the skeg down, it shoots straight like an arrow. At 22.5 inches wide, it offers good balance between stability and speed. This makes it a very good choice for day trips. I didn't get the chance yet to test it in heavy swells, but it handles well in choppy waters. The front deck rises slightly and offers room to move my legs when they get sore.
Being made of a mix of ABS and acrylic, it is fairly light at arounf 50 pounds. I have a 14.5 plastic kayak whichs weights more! I'm no strongman, but I have no problem lifting it on the roof of my car.
As far as gear goes, the seat is confortable and easily adjustable. You can move it forward or back in a second. This is really useful when you need a more snug fit in rough waters. You can also adjust the foot pedals without getting out of the boat, which is also convenient. The skeg is released with a simple lock/unlock cable on the left side of the cockpit. No knobs or sliding plastic systems. Keeping it simple is the best way to avoid unnecessary repairs.
Both front and rear storage compartments are very roomy. I didn't see any water in them yet, although I usually don't flip the boat on the water. My only complain is the strong glue odor which is still the after a year, even if I leave the hatches open when in storage in my garage (thus the minus one star). The day pod is well located on the front deck and is easy to access (and relatively big). Finally, the recessed bungee lines are a nice feature that keeps the deck's surface smooth.
As far as appearance goes, it's a lovely boat to look at. Graceful lines and great colors (mine is orange/white). The Solarkote used on the deck gives it a high gloss finish. This may not be an essential feature, but it sure gives the boat some sex appeal!
This is my first kayak and so far it has been amazing. It is lightweight for it's size and easy for me to lift onto and off of my SUV's kayak carrier. There is ample space in the bulkheads for multi-day trips and the day hatch is a great feature. The thermoform design makes this kayak durable for river use (I don't have to worry about scraping the hull off rocks) and the length allows it to rip through waves on bigger bodies of water. I have the skeg model of this boat, but it also has a rudder option. The skeg is easily lowered and makes tracking effortless. The foot braces are easily adjusted in the cockpit by hand as it has extended levers. I am 6'1" and fit into this boat nicely. A nice feature is that the deck lines are recessed into the body, making the boat more streamlined. One of the best qualities of the Delta 17 is the adjustable seat. The padded seat itself moves forward and back allowing shorter (and taller) paddlers the ease of reaching the foot braces, which is normal for most higher-end boats. However the back rest also moves up and down (and back and forth) so that you can adjust and re-adjust on long trips. I can't wait to see how this feature helps my back on long trips. The Delta 17 is priced higher than a typical recreational kayak, but lower than a composite. So far, I don't have any cons for the Delta 17, but I hope to have a better review once I take it on a few trips. Stay tuned.
The boat is well made with enough thickness of the material to be quite sturdy. The rudder, hatches, footpegs, seat, etc. are thought out and function quite well. Its carrying capacity is commodious. It's very stable and the rudder does a good job of keeping you on course in adverse conditions. Everything is a trade-off and, in this case, you give up a little speed compared to a kayak with performance as a priority. If you're looking for a boat that will haul a load and take good care of you, definitely test this one.
We bought two delta kayaks in July of 2017 from Frontenac Outfitters north of Kingston Ontario, the Delta 17 and Delta 15.5GT with rudders. They are both great. This is our first time owning kayaks. We have taken them on two, one week trips (and about 5 day trips) and there is nothing to complain about or that I can think of improving. Love the tight dry hatch seals, lots of room for gear, like the day hatch for my camera and binoculars. Everything on the kayaks works well and is properly designed, good comfy seat. Having rudders leaves more room for gear inside. Very happy with them. The 15.5GT has a slightly higher cockpit and does not need a sprayskirt as soon as the 17 in windy wavy conditions (or waves from not so bright power boaters who don't slow down). I strongly recommend these kayaks.