Shearwater 17 vs Cirrus


I am planning to build a S&G kayak for my wife over the next several months and am having a hard time deciding which one.  My wife is tall, about 6'1", and has a very long inseam even for that height.  Short torso and long legs.  I think it is around 36" or so and she wears men's size 10 shoes.

Her current kayak is a Necky Chatham 17 that we picked up used for a great price from a local shop.  She loves the way it paddles and how it looks.  I think she likes the lower deck and upswept ends of the Greenland style.  The main issue she has with the Chatham is not being able to fully stretch her legs or put her feet in an upright position, which I believe is due to the low deck.  My kayak is a Wilderness Tempest 170 with a higher deck and she doesn't have the same issue, but she doesn't like that style as much.

After doing some research online I had come to the conclusion that the One Ocean Cirrus design would be a good fit for her both physically and style wise.  Recently though, she did the CLC demo in Folsom, CA and really liked the Shearwater 17 design.  Unfortunately, she didn't get to do more than a quick spin and even then said the foot supports needed to go farther forward.  The CLC people said it wouldn't be hard to more it forward, but I am still concerned about a general lack of room and don't want to go to all that effort building a kayak that wouldn't fit.  Anyone have any experience with the two designs to comparte the relative foot and leg room?  I've heard and read good things about both designs, so I'm open-minded about which one to build.

I would have loved to go checkout the boats myself, but am currently half a world away on deployment.  So, it is difficult for me to know which one would be best.  It sucks, because this is the second year in a row I've missed the demo and I really want to try out the CLC designs myself.

Thanks for the help!


Nevada City, CA

5 replies:

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RE: Shearwater 17 vs Cirrus

I installed the foot pegs 2 inches back from the forward bulkhead in my SW17 as per the instructions. I am 5'9" so it's just fine for me. I suppose you could move them all the way up to the bulkhead. I've also heard of folks who remove the pegs and just use foam against the bulkhead.


RE: Shearwater 17 vs Cirrus

I have a Shearwater17.  I am 6-1.  I left the footpegs out and just rest my toes on the bulkhead.  You might need to put the bulkhead farther forward, especially if you want to use footpegs.

Jon T

RE: Shearwater 17 vs Cirrus

My daughter, who is rather small, built a 14.5' shearwater hybrid "to fit" by changing the deck contour of the building stations and made more room in the front storage by moving the bulkhead back. This is easy to do with a hybrid. You can make more room in a 17 by doing the reverse, and small changes can make a lot of differance in fit. SEEYA Jack

RE: Shearwater 17 vs Cirrus

Thanks for the info and tips! 

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