Re: Chesapeake vs Cape C

Posted by CLC on Feb 18, 2006

The Cape Charles has many charms; the simplicity and rectangular side panels meant that anyone with a tablesaw and a few weekends could run one out, which was the point of the design. It was very light for its volume and the deep rocker meant that it had extremely low wetted surface, so they were always fast in smooth water. A case could be made that prior to about the year 2000 more Cape Charles kayaks were built than all the other plywood kayak designs combined.

When lightly loaded all the rocker meant that they needed help in tracking, however, and the lack of volume in the bow made them wet in chop.

The Chesapeake series corrected all of these things and more, with a more traditional profile, skeg stern, and higher volume in the bow. The excellent handling of the Chesapeake series has been cited far and wide, officially in magazines like Sea Kayaker, Canoe & Kayak, and Paddler, and unofficially by builders around the world. Hatches are standard and the spec list is very complete.

The Chesapeakes are much easier to build in kit form than the Cape Charles but more difficult to build from plans due to the relatively complex shapes of the hull components.

Like the Cape Charles 18, the Chesapeake 18 is a BIG boat, so make sure that's the one that fits you best.

CLC Kayak Fit Chart

In Response to: Chesapeake vs Cape C by Ted on Feb 18, 2006