Name: crackerbat

Most Recent Reviews

I'm 225lbs, 5'10" I would say barely intermediate experience. I purchased my 2020 14.5L new a little over a month ago, but have paddled one on a demo a few years ago. I've mostly had 17 footer dedicated sea kayaks as I live a few blocks away from Lake Michigan. I've had this thing on open water on Lake Michigan in some big chop, surfed it (as best as my relatively newbie butt could), lazy rivers, shallow class 1-2, and calm inland lakes. It performed brilliantly in all situations. Very stable, but quite agile with a minor lean. The skeg works great, without it it does like to weathercock a bit as it sits pretty high in the water. The 2020 update to this boat made some pretty great improvements. Bulkhead style foot braces instead of sea kayak style foot "pegs." And they added a rigid plastic pillar in front of the cockpit. Fantastic multiuse boat. If you can only have one kayak, i'd seriously consider looking into a stratos 14.5. My only gripe: PLEASE DAGGER.. PLEASE PLEASE make these available in some of the whitewater coloration combos. I'd buy another if you'd make it in whitewater style with the curved stripe on top (i.e. Phantom in Aquafresh)

Purchased used. Man I love this boat! Carves great and plenty fast enough for my Lake Michigan morning paddles. As others have said, the low deck reduces the storage capacity. As a beginner, it's not the most stable yak while just sitting there on glassy water, but plenty fine once it's moving and in rough chop.

One of the greatest pros on the Chatham 17 is also it's biggest peeve for me, the low aft deck. I don't feel comfortable, even on glass, going out without a spray skirt. I'm also 220lbs, so it sits preeeety low for me (it sits low regardless).