West River 18 questions

I'm planning to build my second kayak this winter and I have some questions about the West River 18.  I'm happy with my CLC 17lt, with regards to handling and size, but I would like something faster.

Can anyone who has paddled the West River 18 compare it to the new Shearwater 17 or the Petrel (i know it's not s+g).




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RE: West River 18 questions

I can't compare it to the two you mentioned, but I built my WR18 a few years ago and I love it.  It is very fast, tracks very well and handles any sea conditions with no problems.  I have not had any boats paddle past me, with the exception of the racing type kayaks.  The only issue I have had with it is that it is difficult to turn in the surf.  It really needs to be leaned hard to turn quickly and even then at times it is not quick enough.  I have been washed up on the beach sideways a few times :-)

RE: West River 18 questions

Jae, thanks for you input.

Did you put a rudder, skeg or "none of the above" on it? I built my 17lt with a skeg, but I've almost never used it. 

RE: West River 18 questions

Neither rudder nor skeg.  I would say it certainly doesn't need a skeg.  A rudder might be handy at times to turn quickly, but not necessary.

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