Chinook NW

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Chinook NW Description

The Chinook NW is a kayak brought to you by Perception. Read Chinook NW reviews or submit your own review to share with the paddling community. Check out a few other kayak recommendations below or explore all kayaks to find the perfect one for you!

Chinook NW Reviews

Read reviews for the Chinook NW by Perception as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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Beautiful kayak that paddles…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/28/2020

Beautiful kayak that paddles like a dream. Love this boat.


As of 2018 I still have my…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/22/2018

As of 2018 I still have my Aquaterra Chinook which I purchased new in 1986. After 30+ years it's still an enjoyment to get it out on the water. I've since moved on to faster, sleeker composite sea kayaks but have kept the Chinook as my spare beater boat for visitors. Storing it inside out of the sun and weather was key to keeping the plastic in good shape after all these years. Also transporting it upside down to keep saddle depressions off the hull. I have an exterior removable skeg I utilize for better tracking in crosswinds and also bow and stern flotation air bags. The original Chinooks had no bulkheads, a major improvement on the Chinook NW, and getting one filled with water was a hassle to get emptied. While certainly not a speedboat, I wouldn't exactly call it a barge either. With a length over 16', it moves along well with a steady paddle and can easily be edged on turns. A 24" beam makes for a good compromise on stability and speed. With a higher bow than current sea kayaks, the Chinook does tend to weathercock in stiff crosswinds. Hence my reason for fitting a skeg. The hull bottom does tend to oilcan a bit but I've never noticed it as detrimental to paddling performance. When not using my flotation bags, this kayak holds lots of gear. I've stuffed in lots of camping gear....coolers, stove, tent, sleeping bag, collapsible chairs etc. Last year I replaced the deck cords, neoprene rear hatch cover, and have added a set bottom pad and padded backrest. The front plastic porthole hatch screw cover has also shrunk slightly, I have a new one on order. After years of scraping rocks the hull has plenty of scratches but nothing has ever cut through for a leak. Its as watertight as the day I bought it. I would not recommend this for a small or weaker paddler. If you happen to see one for sale in decent shape it would make for a great first inexpensive kayak to learn on until you spend the big bucks on your dream kayak. Check the hull for deep scratches, the integrity of the rear neoprene hatch, and the fitting of the front porthole hatch cover. Also if the footrests adjust. Deck bungee cords can be easily replaced. Still a great kayak if taken care of and stored properly. Truly a great old classic.


My first kayak was a Chinook.…

Submitted by: gchambers on 9/2/2016
My first kayak was a Chinook. Bought it used and having never paddled before, set out on a multi day adventure from Wilson's Landing on the Santee to Georgetown. My intended destination was Myrtle Beach, but I was out of time at Georgetown and did not have the additional 15 to 20 hours to paddle to the final destination.

I covered a great many miles in this boat, but unfortunately I did not know the things I know now about making a kayak handle. For example, I cannot comment on how well the boat edge turns. Back then I turned with paddle strokes and in some cross wind situations found myself paddling mostly on one side of the boat to keep her on course.

My boat had a large stern hatch and a smaller bow hatch. This boat was an extremely stable gear hauler and the hatches were large enough to easily fit a tent or other bulky items below deck.

The Chinook handled chop well and was confidence inspiring. It did tend to weather cock and could be frustrating in a cross wind or when paddling with the weather. When loaded with camping gear the boat handled a lot better.

The cockpit was roomy and there was ample room to move around and get comfortable. My one complaint was my back started hurting after a while in the seat and I could never seem to adjust the back band to fix this issue.

This was a good first boat and I would say pull the trigger on it if you can find one for a few hundred dollars that is still in decent condition.


Most comfortable, smoothest,…

Submitted by: paddler234619 on 6/25/2012
Most comfortable, smoothest, dependable and forgiving boat I've ever had. I bought it new in '85(?)and still use it on Lake Huron. I've kept it stored out of the sun and that's helped it to still look pretty good.

The Chinook was my first…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/6/2011
The Chinook was my first paddle craft. I paddled it almost exclusively in the ocean in dead calms to 4 foot swells. It has a lot of secondary stability and took the edge off of being miles out at sea. It was pretty easy to surf it into shore once you got the nack which is why my next paddle craft was a waveski. The Chinook is a good solid all purpose boat with a lot of reserve stability.

I bought the original Chinook…

Submitted by: paddler233203 on 6/30/2009
I bought the original Chinook in 1984 and paddled it for over 15years mostly in big lakes. The boat required a rudder for dealing with tailwinds or cross winds. With the rudder it handled great. At the Sea Kayak Symposium in Castine Maine I paddled lots of other boats and would not trade for most of them. I paddled with lots of other boats and kept up very well. Maybe I'm just strong. I put a LOT of miles on this boat and loved every minute. There are prettier boats but the Chinook is safe, stable, comfortable and pretty fast. Kayak snobs make fun of it.... till I pass them or rescue them.

I picked up one of these over…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 10/6/2008
I picked up one of these over this past summer and paddled it a few times. Used I paid $300.
All things considered this is a good boat. The one I bought was made in the late 1980's and was in fair shape. It had an unusual rudder system that I quickly removed and fashioned a skeg from the remaining materials. The boat paddled very well. It tracked well without the skeg, but in windy conditions the skeg was helpful.

I have seen several people trying to sell these for $700 to $900. This boat is not that good. If you want to try kayaking and are on a tight budget this is a good boat to start with IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT! the boat lean-turns well, tracks well and moves quick enough through the water. It is not barge like a Carolina or a short wide rec boats (Pungo and the like), it paddles more like a kayak should, but forgiving.


I purchased one of the…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/1/2002
I purchased one of the original Chinooks in 1987 when many still thumbed their noses at plastic boats. How times have changed. This kayak has held up well over the years. I now use it as a secondary beater boat. Have added flotation bags for safety, the early ones had no bulkheads. Very stable and an excellent entry kayak. The plastic has held up well over the years with some indentation from the saddles. Bounced off rocks, drug over gravel, dropped from a rack, it's turned out to be extremely bullet proof. Not as fast as my composite Sea Lion but I've more than gotten my moneys worth out of this boat.

This boat introduced me to…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 5/13/2002
This boat introduced me to sea kayaking. It is a great beginners and intermediate boat. She is reasonably quick because the waterline is about as long as the boat. She has little rocker to suck up energy, she has a uniform hull design that moves the water in a smooth way from the bow to the widest crossection then back to the stern. The rear hatch is huge. The one we had used a tiny front utility access as a front hatch, if you like bear you can put them in there;one can at a time. She had excellent initial stability and fair secondery stability. She is not hard to roll but she is not a high performance boat either. The front deck lacks the beauty of a shear line, the seat is comfortable, thy bracing is not great. she oil cans but not as badly as some. She is OK in weather and even surfs reasonably. Different problems and different strengths I would put her on par with my Sealution 2.

I am a 115 lb. female kayak…

Submitted by: paddler229083 on 1/29/2001
I am a 115 lb. female kayak guide out of Kenai Fjords/ Resurection Bay area (living in Kodiak Alaska) and used a Chinook last season. I absolutely loved it! It handled GREAT in ocean swells and rough conditions, was awsome to launch by sliding down steep embankments into crashing surf. Held an unbelievable amount of emergency gear and could handle a week long camping expedition! I would love one of my own... They have been replaced by the Captiva.

I guess I'm the guy everybody…

Submitted by: paddler229005 on 11/19/2000
I guess I'm the guy everybody is talking about. I'm 6 ft. tall, 50 years old and 280lbs. The Chinook NW is, by far, the best boat I've ever had the pleasure of owning. I've paddled two of the Great Lakes and a good portion of the Northern Mississippi River in this boat as well as many of the rivers of Wisconsin and Minnesota. I also have a Scimitar, Sea Lion, and an Arluk III, but I prefer the Chinook for easy, relaxed, all day paddling.

Just bought it and tried it…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/17/2000
Just bought it and tried it out ! Its very good: fast enough, easy to handle, comfortable to sit in, excellent secondary stability and good initial stability. The only thing i don't like is front hatch cover - its too small to load anything significant there. Also, I must disagree with a person here who said that "it is a good boat for a beginner or a huge person". I am not a beginner, and I am most definitely not huge, but I like it very much.

Tracks and handles well with…

Submitted by: paddler228672 on 6/12/2000
Tracks and handles well with a load. Plenty of room and even roll fairly easy!

I've had my original Chinook…

Submitted by: paddler228255 on 8/25/1999
I've had my original Chinook for a few years now. Great beginner's boat or for a humongous person. I'm neither, and that's why I recently upgraded. But I plan on holding on to my Chinook as a great boat my friends can use or when I want to bang against the walls of the sea caves at the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior. No huge complaints about the Chinook- it kept me afloat for a few years and really turned me on to the sport.

I have owned a plastic…

Submitted by: paddler228250 on 8/24/1999
I have owned a plastic Chinook for 8 years and it's a great starter seakayak. Very stable. Not the fastest in the world, but I got it so that I could take it anywhere and go most places I wanted. A good solid boat. The straight prow makes paddling in following seas a bit tricky. When the following wave lifts the rear of the boat, the nose tends to dive into the water. Don't even try to ride this boat into the beach through the surf!

I bought my Chinook NW…

Submitted by: paddler228235 on 8/14/1999
I bought my Chinook NW without test paddling... something I will not do again. I compare this boat to a late '70's model station wagon. Its huge, takes a lot of oomph to get moving, is as maneuverable as a school bus, but is stable enough for fishing or sleeping, and holds a TON of camping gear. I should also mention that I am a rather small woman, that may have something to do with my feelings here. This is a very large boat. I would recommend it for larger folks, especially beginners, and people who like to camp.

This is not a review of the…

Submitted by: paddler228138 on 6/19/1999
This is not a review of the NW, but of the original Chinook, I bought it in August 1984 and it's still going strong! I've used it with and without a load of gear, on the tidal Potomac and Rappahannock rivers, crossed the Chesapeake Bay many times with it, and paddled it out into the ocean along the Virginia Barrier Islands in seas (and breaking waves) up to 6-8 feet. It's a champ!The plastic is still in great shape and I hope to have it for another 15 years.

Great touring boat. Tons of…

Submitted by: paddler227999 on 2/22/1999
Great touring boat. Tons of storage, stable, tracks fairly well, and it's fast. Can even be used on some Class II rivers if you watch where you're going.