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S16 Touring Kayak

by Stellar Kayaks and Surfskis

The Stellar 16 (S16) Touring Kayak was designed for speed and stability for long distance tours. We added a moderate concavity along the keel of the bow and stern to help with tracking in rough conditions. For windy days and following seas, a drop-down rudder off the stern will help keep your course. Higher decks allow for a dryer paddle in rough conditions and a large stern and medium bow compartment provide ample storage for your longer tours.

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Reviews

I purchased a Stellar S16 Advantage for Adventure Triathlons. I have…

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I purchased a Stellar S16 Advantage for Adventure Triathlons. I have been very pleased with my purchase. The first race I used the Stellar S16 I finished 6th overall and won my age group.

The S16 has very good stability and speed to match. It tracks well with or without the rudder. The cockpit is a little small and slow to enter and exit compared to a surf ski in race transition but provides a nice tight fit with a responsive feel. The seat is comfortable and the foot position is very easy to adjust. Lots of storage area to pack gear for a weekend or day trip.

The composite finish makes the S16 light, easy to transport, and store. The downside to a composite boat is that it is easy to scratch the gel coat on the bottom hull. A cautious paddler won't have an issue with that aspect.

I would recommend the S16 to anyone wanting to go fast in a conventional kayak.

"After spending last summer in a very used kayak off of Craigslist…

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"After spending last summer in a very used kayak off of Craigslist, I decided I'd found a new hobby to invest in. Spent much of the winter evaluating tons of options.

I wanted something that was fast enough in case I did some adventure racing or even longer distance stuff (I'm a former ultra runner passing into middle age), but comfy enough if I just want to have fun on the water, too.

I think I made a great decision on the S16.

It's very light, very comfortable. While it's probably not as fast as the 18, I'm probably nearly as fast in it as I would be in the 16, because it's so comfortable to me.

The rudder is perfect when the winds kick up or when I want to be lazy.

It's gorgeous with a two-tone red and gray top, and a sparkling white bottom and I shed a tear when I got my first scratch on it, but I live on the Susquehanna - that's going to happen (I keep telling myself).

Stability is perfect for me, but that's likely because I learned on a very tippy old, kayak last year.

I'm going to rate it a 9, simply because I periodically wonder how I would've felt in the S18, but truth be told, I could rate it a 10 for the paddler I am right now."

I bought a new Stellar S16 Advantage in May of 2014 and…

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I bought a new Stellar S16 Advantage in May of 2014 and continue to love the boat. First of all, its great-looking, with a red deck and white hull. Fit and finish is outstanding, inside and out. I've owned many kayaks and this is my favorite so far. Weight is amazing, only 38 lbs for a 16 foot sea kayak. Seems to be pretty tough too, with three layers of fiberglass on the bottom. Hatches are very roomy and really like the concave hatch covers; easy to remove and put on. All fittings are recessed with drain channels around the hatches.

It feels "tippy" when you first get in due to the rounded hull, but that design contributes to the great speed of this boat. It leans very smoothly and you can easily bring the cockpit coaming right down to the water's edge to facilitate turns. Seat bottom is very comfortable for several hours on the water. The backband is adjustable fore and aft using adjustable webbing; I just wish it were somewhat higher. It's great being able to adjust the foot braces while seated too.

Nice to have a rudder; I've used it in rough water in Long Island Sound and it really does the job to keep me on track. Still getting used to the SmartTrack rudder system, with the peddles above the foot braces, but seems to work well; takes some effort to deploy since its spring-loaded, but easy to raise. Sitting in it I seem to be closer to the water than other kayaks I have owned, but a standard spray skirt fits very well over the cockpit.

All in all, the Stellar S16 is the lightest, most responsive, and fun to paddle kayaks I have ever owned, and for a very reasonable price.

I paddled the S18 advantage and found it a little long for…

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I paddled the S18 advantage and found it a little long for me. I ordered a S16 fiberglass advantage without even seeing one from Headwaters Kayak Shop in Lodi, Ca. While awaiting delivery I discovered my boat was in Washington so being retired and an "enthusiastic customer " I drove up and picked it up from the Stellar booth at a kayak show (nice helpful people).

I have paddled it many times now at several places. I am really happy with my purchase. The fit and finish is really good ,and the strength and appearance of the layup reminds me of my last Kevlar boat. The hatchcovers seem to work better than most I have used. I find the seat very comfortable, but I have replaced the backband with a seatback from an Eddyline Skylark. I have a bad back and always have to change my seatback.

The rudder works really well and causes less drag than my last ruddered boat. It tracks good and I will say that I find myself using the rudder a little more to correct for windage than I'm used to, but it does work well, so. Primary is good, but my back keeps me from exploring the secondary, but I know it's there. Sorry, I don't roll.

This boat seems a little quicker than my last, which was a 17' Tempest Pro. Which reminds me, I had the used 07 Tempest pro for only a short while as I discovered it weighed 56 pounds when I got it home. I liked the boat, and have a cart, but my back and age made it difficult to move it around. My previous boat before the TP 170 was a Kevlar Perception Sole, 41 pounds, and I wanted to stick close to that weight. I looked at Valley, Seda, Qcc, Epic, and they all have great boats but in Kevlar most were over $4000, and still were lucky to be under 44 pounds. WoW, my S16 advantage was under $2700 and weighs 38 pounds. When I paddle at my local lake I seem to be less tired and sore, and I am paddling more. Have you heard the saying a good kayak is one you use?

Last Saturday I met with Drew Harrison at the Alder Creek Kayak…

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Last Saturday I met with Drew Harrison at the Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe store on the Columbia River to test paddle the Stellar S16 and S18. I weighed these boats with my bathroom scale, the S16 Advantage at 39 lbs and the S18 Excel at 34 lbs. The seats and back bands were comfortable and the 32" long cockpits made getting in and out a snap. I then paddled these boats on the river south of the store. This is a no wake zone, with heavy power boat traffic. The current was approximately 2 mph with a good breeze blowing against it. The result was a mixed chop, which would have been very unsettling in my WSBS EFT. I found both boats to be very stable in these conditions. The S18 was slightly faster and the S16 was slightly more stable. The rudders on these boats did not work well and I could have used them in these conditions. These were 2010 models, they are switching to SmartTrack rudders and pedals for 2011. I would rate these two boats at a 9 out of 10 because of their rudders. I am placing an order for a 2011 S18 Excel.