17FT Necky Chatham Polymer Touring Kayak

17FT Necky Chatham Polymer Touring KayakThe 17FT Necky Chatham Polymer Touring Kayak is a high-performance kayak designed for experienced paddlers. It offers excellent stability, tracking, and speed, making it suitable for long-distance touring. The kayak has a narrow beam, providing strong primary stability and decent secondary stability. It is also easy to maneuver and responsive to hip movements. The Chatham 17 has a low profile, minimizing weathercocking and offering a smooth ride in choppy conditions. The boat is known for its easy rolling capabilities and predictable performance in rough water. It comes with adjustable thigh hooks, a comfortable seat, and watertight hatches. Overall, the Chatham 17 is a versatile kayak that excels in a wide range of conditions.

Stay tuned for more detailed information on the performance, tracking, stability, and handling of the Chatham 17 in the upcoming sections of this article. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or looking to take your kayaking adventures to the next level, the Chatham 17 could be the perfect choice for your needs. Don’t miss out on our comprehensive review of this exceptional touring kayak.

Performance and Speed

The Chatham 17 kayak offers a balanced blend of performance and speed, making it an excellent choice for touring and long-distance paddling. While it may not be the fastest kayak on the market, it provides efficient cruising speed and excellent glide, allowing paddlers to cover long distances with ease. The kayak’s design prioritizes stability, tracking, and maneuverability, which results in a comfortable and less tiring paddling experience. However, achieving maximum speed may require increased paddle strokes compared to high-speed kayaks.

The Chatham 17’s efficient design and decent top speed make it well-suited for long day trips and touring adventures. It may not be the first choice for those seeking high-speed performance, but it offers a good balance of speed and stability. Compared to its sibling, the Chatham 16, the Chatham 17 provides faster cruising speeds but sacrifices the ultimate speed for enhanced stability and maneuverability.

In summary, the Chatham 17 kayak’s performance and speed capabilities make it a reliable choice for paddlers looking for a comfortable and enjoyable touring experience. While it may not be the fastest kayak, its efficient design, stability, and maneuverability make it an excellent choice for long-distance paddling and day trips.

Table: Comparison of Kayak Speed

Kayak Model Speed Stability Maneuverability
Chatham 17 Efficient cruising speed Excellent Responsive
Chatham 16 Slower cruising speed Excellent Responsive
High-Speed Kayak Very fast Variable Variable
  1. The Chatham 17’s design prioritizes stability and maneuverability.
  2. It may require increased paddle strokes for maximum speed.
  3. Suitable for long day trips and touring.
  4. Offers an enjoyable and comfortable paddling experience.

In conclusion, the Chatham 17 kayak delivers reliable performance and speed for touring and long-distance paddling. Its efficient design, stability, and maneuverability make it ideal for extended trips and comfortable day excursions. While it may not be the fastest kayak, it strikes a good balance between speed and stability, providing paddlers with an enjoyable and efficient paddling experience.

Tracking and Maneuverability

The Chatham 17 excels in terms of tracking and maneuverability, making it a standout kayak in its class. Its strong tracking capabilities allow for effortless paddling and straight-line navigation, offering a smooth and efficient experience on the water. Paddlers transitioning from kayaks with looser steering may need some time to adjust to the Chatham 17’s precise turning style, but once familiarized, it becomes a joy to maneuver.

What sets the Chatham 17 apart is its exceptional hip-turning responsiveness. The kayak’s design allows for easy and effective turning using hip movements, giving paddlers full control and agility. This feature adds an extra level of versatility to the kayak, making it suitable for navigating tight waterways or maneuvering around obstacles with ease.

While the Chatham 17’s strong tracking is a definite advantage, it may not be the preferred choice for paddlers who enjoy a more responsive and delicate feel. Some paddlers may prefer a kayak that offers a higher degree of maneuverability for dynamic and intricate movements. However, for those seeking stability and precise tracking, the Chatham 17 delivers exceptional results.

Stability and Surfing

The Chatham 17 kayak offers exceptional stability, making it an excellent choice for paddlers of all skill levels. Despite its narrow beam, the kayak provides strong primary stability, instilling confidence even in beginners. Its secondary stability is also impressive, allowing for controlled edging and maneuvering. The Chatham 17 feels lively and responsive when transitioning from edge to edge, providing a fun and enjoyable paddling experience.

When it comes to surfing, the Chatham 17 performs admirably. Its speed and agility enable paddlers to catch swells and ride them with ease. While it may not be a dedicated surf kayak, it excels in providing an enjoyable surf experience. Paddlers will appreciate the kayak’s stability and predictability in varying wave conditions.

To visually summarize the kayak’s stability and surfing capabilities, refer to the following table:

Stability Surfing
Strong primary stability Allows catching and riding swells
Good secondary stability Provides controlled edging and maneuvering
Lively and responsive feel Offers an enjoyable surf experience

As evident from the table, the Chatham 17 excels in both stability and surfing, making it a versatile kayak that offers a reliable and enjoyable paddling experience.

Rolling and Handling Rough Water

The Chatham 17 kayak is widely recognized for its remarkable rolling capabilities, making it a popular choice among paddlers who prioritize ease of rolling. Its British-inspired design, reminiscent of Greenlandic kayaks known for their rolling prowess, features a low stern deck that allows for quick and efficient rolling maneuvers. Whether you’re a seasoned expert or just starting to master the art of rolling, the Chatham 17 offers a smooth and responsive experience.

When it comes to handling rough water, the Chatham 17 truly shines. Its predictable performance and gradual arc turning provide a sense of stability and control even in challenging conditions. The kayak’s constant secondary stability further enhances its handling capabilities, offering a reassuring and connected feel to the paddler. Whether you’re navigating through choppy waters or encountering unpredictable waves, the Chatham 17 remains solid and reliable.

Experience the confidence and control that the Chatham 17 provides. Its exceptional rolling capabilities and ability to handle rough water make it a versatile and dependable choice for paddlers seeking a kayak that can handle a variety of conditions with ease.

Key Features Benefits
Efficient Rolling Easy and efficient rolling capabilities thanks to its British-inspired design
Predictable Performance Offers a stable and predictable performance, even in rough water conditions
Gradual Arc Turning Smooth turning ability with a gradual arc for enhanced maneuverability
Constant Secondary Stability Provides a connected and stable feeling for the paddler, enhancing confidence in rough water

Fit, Finish, and Customer Service

The construction of the Chatham 17 kayak is of the highest quality, reflecting Necky’s reputation for excellent craftsmanship. The materials used are durable and designed to withstand the rigors of paddling in various conditions. The kayak’s fit and finish are top-notch, guaranteeing a comfortable and secure experience for the paddler. The deck layout is functional and well thought out, providing easy access to gear and ensuring that everything stays secure during your paddle. The watertight hatches offer ample storage for your belongings, while the addition of a day hatch provides convenient access to frequently used items.

When it comes to customer service, Necky stands out for its responsiveness and commitment to customer satisfaction. If you have any questions or issues with your Chatham 17 kayak, the Necky team is readily available to assist you. They are known for their prompt and helpful responses, ensuring that you can get back on the water as quickly as possible. Necky’s dedication to excellent customer service sets them apart from other kayak manufacturers and is one of the reasons why many paddlers choose their products with confidence.

Table: Chatham 17 Fit, Finish, and Customer Service

Aspect Description
Construction The Chatham 17 kayak is constructed with high-quality materials, ensuring durability and longevity.
Fit and Finish The kayak boasts a top-notch fit and finish, providing a comfortable and secure experience for the paddler.
Deck Layout The functional deck layout offers easy access to gear and secure storage options, including watertight hatches and a day hatch.
Customer Service Necky’s customer service is responsive and committed to ensuring customer satisfaction, providing prompt assistance when needed.

While the Chatham 17 provides an excellent fit and finish, some paddlers may find that the included hip pads are not sufficient for their needs and may choose to replace them with aftermarket options. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the kayak’s storage capacity is not as extensive as some other models on the market. However, the focus of the Chatham 17 is on performance and maneuverability, and its streamlined design allows for better handling and responsiveness on the water.

Overall, the Chatham 17 excels in terms of fit, finish, and customer service, making it a reliable choice for paddlers who prioritize quality and support when choosing their kayak. With its exceptional construction, comfortable cockpit, and dedicated customer service, the Chatham 17 offers a premium kayaking experience that is sure to impress even the most discerning paddlers.

Gear Storage and Usage

The Chatham 17 kayak offers suitable storage capacity for go-light camping and day-trips. While it may not have a large volume for packing a significant amount of gear, its streamlined design prioritizes performance and maneuverability. Paddlers can expect a snug fit and a sense of connection to the boat and the water. However, paddlers who require a larger storage capacity for extended trips may need to consider alternative options.

Despite its limited storage space, the Chatham 17’s practical deck layout and watertight hatches provide convenient storage solutions. The kayak features a handy day hatch, allowing quick access to essentials without disturbing the main storage compartments. It is recommended to pack strategically and utilize dry bags to maximize the available storage space. Paddlers can store camping equipment, food supplies, and personal belongings within the kayak’s compartments, ensuring a comfortable and organized experience on the water.

Table: Chatham 17 Gear Storage

Storage Compartment Capacity
Main Hatch Approximately 80 liters
Day Hatch Approximately 10 liters
Front Hatch Approximately 15 liters

The Chatham 17’s gear storage capacity is ideal for day trips and weekend getaways, allowing paddlers to pack essential items for a comfortable adventure. It is recommended to prioritize lightweight and compact gear when planning to use the Chatham 17 for camping purposes. By selecting gear that is efficient in terms of space utilization, paddlers can make the most of the available storage compartments and enjoy a rewarding kayaking experience.

While the Chatham 17 may not offer extensive gear storage, its performance and overall capabilities make it an excellent choice for day-trips and shorter expeditions. Paddlers seeking a kayak that prioritizes maneuverability, stability, and comfort will appreciate the Chatham 17’s design and practical storage solutions. It provides a reliable platform for outdoor enthusiasts to explore scenic waterways, while still allowing for essential gear and supplies to be packed for a memorable adventure.


The Chatham 17 is a highly versatile and well-rounded touring kayak that caters to a wide range of paddlers and conditions. With its exceptional stability, solid tracking, and maneuverability, this kayak is a reliable choice for day trips, rough water handling, and even occasional weekend getaways.

While it may not be the fastest kayak on the market, the Chatham 17 more than makes up for it with its overall performance, high-quality construction, and comfortable fit. Paddlers will appreciate its easy rolling capabilities, ability to surf swells, and predictable handling in rough water.

With its emphasis on performance and feel, the Chatham 17 offers a snug fit and a sense of connection to both the boat and the water. Although its gear storage capacity may not be the largest, it is sufficient for go-light camping and day trips. Paddlers seeking a streamlined design that prioritizes maneuverability and performance will find the Chatham 17 an excellent choice.

In summary, the Chatham 17 receives high marks for its all-around capabilities and enjoyable paddling experience. It is a versatile kayak that excels in various conditions. Whether you’re an experienced paddler looking for stability and control or someone who wants to explore scenic waterways, the Chatham 17 is a reliable and satisfying choice.

Richard Dodds

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