12-31-2012Submitted by: DavidMeade
Reviews for Squamish Kayak by Current Designs
Based On: 12 Reviews
- Rating: 9 of 10 Current Design kayak are superior water craft. I paddled our Squamish more than 300 trips over 5 years. She handed 4 foot swells with 4 foot waves on Lake Michigan after a squall line pushed 45 mile per hour winds on top of me while I was 2 miles off shore. Someone from shore even called a coast guard rescue chopper on my behalf. I happily waved her off. I also enjoy paddling the Squamish's sister boats Squall and Storm GT. They're each about a foot and a half longer and have larger cockpits and greater storage capacities. I'm selling the Squamish as I can't use 3 kayaks now that our boys are grown. At $700 it's a real bargan. Best Wishes to all of our fellow kayakers.
06-03-2012Submitted by: Gary Bryant
- Rating: 9 of 10 Great boat. Good initial and secondary stability. Very nimble, easy to manuever. Tracks well w/o using the skeg. The trade off is that it has lower profile so there is not much room for gear.
10-20-2010Submitted by: msgckayaker
- Rating: 8 of 10 My Squamish has seen a great variety of water/conditions and has handled them admirably. I used it this year for the 42.5-mile Phatwater Challenge and the 22-mile Bluz Cruz race on Mississippi River and was able keep up with composite/wood sea kayaks similar in length. The biggest test for the Squamish was a rough open sea crossing from Horn Island to Round Island, MS. The swells approached 3-4 feet and the winds gusted to 20 miles during that paddle. With the skeg deployed and a consistent paddle stroke maintained, the yak did just fine. Other sea trips included several circumnavigations of Deer Island, Back Bay Biloxi journeys and a coastal trip from Ocean Springs to Pascagoula MS. The Squamish has also easily cruised through countless bayou, river, creek and lake trips throughout MS, LA, AL and FL as well.
My height is 5'8"-ish and my weight fluctuates between 170-180 lbs. The yak does have a max capacity of 250lbs. I have maxed it out camping gear and the boat can get sluggish, but it is still a capable sea vessel. The boat does sit low in the water due to the low volume design and I often use my spray skirt if the water conditions are questionable. However, I personally feel that my weight nearly maxes the boat out if one wants to get the best performance out of it. The combination of being low in the water and my weight bringing it down more puts the hull farther in the water. This can make the kayak challenging in taking tight turns even with good leaning/edging techniques. That issue is mine and not an issue with the kayak. Turning aside, the Squamish is an excellent and efficient touring kayak. I've found that I'm able to do long distances without excess fatigue. Keep in mind that this is a plastic boat too.
The kayak itself is well made. The polyethylene used in its construction is solid and has held up to anything I've thrown at it. However, I do have issues with the stern/bow hatch covers and the stern hatch that still plague me to this day. Using the yak in rough water conditions the first few times, I noticed a moderate amount of water in the rear hatch. After some troubleshooting I found that some of the guide holes that the deck lines pass through had small openings to the stern hatch. Water would pool up around these guide holes and drip into the hatch. I solved this problem by sealing these openings from inside of the hatch with silicone sealant. This has nearly solved the leak issue. However, I still have a minor amount of water that gets in the hatch from time to time, which I believe is due to the hatch cover itself. It simply doesn't seal the hatch well enough. The bow hatch has been completely leak proof which is very surprising considering how many times the entire bow of my Squamish has been underwater. The only problem I have with the bow hatch cover is that the rip cord ring that holds the cover on the hatch opening separates from the cover itself just about every time I open it. The same thing happens with the stern cover too. Lastly, the decorative tape that covers the seal line of the boat comes undone frequently. CD is aware of this and has sent me, free of charge, a roll of this tape. These negatives aside, the rest of the yak works great.
Overall, I'm happy with yak and I'll rate an 8. I would give it a higher score if not for the leaking stern hatch and hatch cover construction. The Squamish is wonderful poly sea kayak for the right sized person.
12-10-2009Submitted by: drs
- Rating: 8 of 10 In SE Texas where sit-on-tops are the norm for paddlers, performance touring boats are hard to find. While the Squamish wasn't my first choice, it was only kayak from Houston to Louisiana that fit my pocketbook and paddling preferences -- so I purchased after a test fit in the showroom and no demo paddle!
After paddling the Squamish the past two years from calm lakes to slight bay swells, I have been very pleased with my choice. It's light enough to load easily, long enough to track efficiently -- especially into the wind with the skeg down, and narrow enough for good speed and handling. No problem with weather cocking - my old Perception Spectrum was notorious for that. It's cargo capacity is smaller than the Spectrum (so I still use the Spectrum for overnight river trips).
I removed the thigh brace for a more comfortable fit -- I am 5'9"; 165 lbs. Most of my paddling is day trips on local creeks and rivers so the Squamish is an excellent choice; turning is easy, especially with slight edging. But I have no problem taking it into bigger water and bays. It handles swells up to 2 ft with ease and enjoyment -- especially running with the wind and "surfing" waves.
08-06-2009Submitted by: rwb2
- Rating: 8 of 10 This is an update on the review immediately below.
Having the boat for three summers now, not much has changed my mind on the earlier review. The combing is splitting in the back along a production seam, but it's not bad -- I JB Welded the crack, so I'll see. The rest of the boat has stood up nicely. I dropped it off the step ladder last year (ankle still hurts a little) and take it exclusively onto Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River. Try to paddle in 2-footers -- anything less just doesn't cut it, so boat doesn't take a great pounding, but slams and plows enough for my excitement. Don't use the hatches, so no further comment. I had to move the thigh braces to give my legs more room -- the demo did NOT have the factory-installed seat cushion, but the new one did -- thus the depth was off a little. I figured I'd leave the cushion on and move the braces -- not perfect, but okay (I can go about 8-10 miles before I get squirmy).
The boats performance is very good. I quickly learned that I could trust it in big water and don't worry about flipping -- unless you count the constant worry of getting run over by the power boaters -- and I generally cross the open bays and the lake itself without much trepidation. I use a Boreal Design Aloonaq paddle, which is a carbon version of a Greenland stick.
The biggest drawback is that the boat turns very slowly in big wind and waves. But I don't possess great skill at edging, so maybe it will turn better for those who are good edgers. It weathercocks readily, so combined with the slow turning, I have to dial in the skeg. (Without the skeg, my boat would be very taxing to paddle in big water.) Again, check my body measurements against the boats specs. for a better understanding of my review.
All in all, still rate the boat an 8 -- a strong 7 for the nit-pickers. One last thing. My next boat will be fiberglass and either a Greenland style or British style. (I really like the Current Designs Suka, Cypress and the Endeavor by Seaward. I'm leaning toward the Suka because it closer matches my body size, but the Cypress is a faster boat. The Endeavor blows both of them away, but it might be too long for me both on the water and especially out.) For those new to the sport -- matching body size to boat specs is the BIGGEST factor to weigh (period).
06-11-2007Submitted by: rwb2
- Rating: 8 of 10 A review of the plastic Squamish.
First, a few points. I see ratings of 10 on this board quite a bit, but wonder how a boat - any boat - can rate a 10? How can a long kayak with great tracking but slow turning rate a 10? Conversely, of course, how can a short, heavily-rockered craft with limited tracking ability receive a perfect score after trying to cross frontally-diagonal a wind-chopped large body of water? NO kayak can be PERFECT in all conditions. Therefore trade-offs must be taken into consideration. I paddle Lake St. Clair - the sixth Great Lake - almost exclusively and am able at all times - with just a few strokes of the paddle - to go from traditional open water sea-kayaking to punting around deadheads and cattail islands chasing swans through miles of marshland.
Can a boat like the absolutely beautiful Seaward Endeavor respond well to this dichotomy? Or, how about a Perception Avatar? Neither will rate a 10 during these combination paddles. Now, if I owned both of the just-mentioned boats, they would each rate very high using them for each specialty-paddle. Still, each boat could only rate a 10 on some of the trips, maybe most... but certainly not every paddle. A kayak can rate a 10 in certain categories, but fall short in others. And, a 10 for a short heavy-set person, might be a 2 for a tall slender paddler each in the same boat.
After MUCH searching I made a compromise and chose the Current Designs Squamish. It wasn't originally the boat I wanted, but it has - for me - the best trade-off of features to suit my main paddling aspect. It doesn't carry much, but I don't need it to. It doesn't have a day hatch, so capacity rates a 6. It's plastic - not the fiberglass I'd prefer, so maybe a 7 for efficiency (compared to a composite boat). BUT, because it's plastic, it cost a full ONE-THIRD LESS than the composite boat I've had my eyes on - a 10 all the way! Being plastic, it will take lots of abuse, but screws and weak points in the plastic may have me chasing problems in the future - 7. It tracks okay, the skeg bringing tracking up to an 8. It turns readily - 8. It's a good-looking craft (based on my preferences, though), but I really wanted a boat with great finish and color. But I also realize the safety-enhancing faculties of an all-brightly-colored kayak. My Squamish is mango. Not as bright as yellow, but better looking I thought - a final aesthetic rating of 8. Design of any kayak rates a 10 using the parameters it was laid out to on the drawing board, so is superseded by build. My Squamish seems to be all in order, skeg works, hatches stay down, foot pegs work, seat is padded, etc. - a 9. Although most of us can lift 54 lbs. over our heads, a long package like a kayak makes it more difficult. I can just car-top the Squamish onto my Grand Cherokee by myself - 8. Add all these up and I give MY Squamish a final rating of about 7.5 - 8.
Using a formula of comparison and objective trade-offs would, in my opinion, render ANY kayak about the same. The largest ratings fall-off would be low-quality craftsmanship or using a boat contrary to its designed intended performance. Fit of kayak to body size and build is probably the largest ratings enhancement.
I must add - to help qualify any objective consideration - my body size. 5'8" 130 lbs., above-average fit and conditioning. I also have a kayakers dream build - short legs and tall torso, which allows me many more choices in kayaks than a lot of people. Almost any kayak fits me on the water. On shore, I'd need help with a boat bigger and heavier than the Squamish.
08-08-2005Submitted by: prubax
- Rating: 10 of 10 Just bought the Squamish HV kevlar and lot its ease of paddling, handling, and that at 42# it's easy to get on/off the car etc. One MAJOR problem, though: the cam locks that hold both hatches down, or are supposed to, can come undone when you flip the boat. I presume that a wave could do the same. I have contacted Current Designs about this and am awaiting word back from the design people about how they are going to correct this. They said that other people have reported the same problem. It's obviously potentially dangerous to have hatches not secured properly."
Rating would be 10 of 10 but for the hatch problem. I'll hold off on assigning a rating until I see whether/how/when CD fixes the problem.
11-09-2004Submitted by: BL
- Rating: 10 of 10 Squamish HV Fiberglass. At 46 lbs, it is very easy to car-top. The flush hatch covers are much easier to deal with than the usual round rubber ones. I haven't seen any water at all in the hatches so far. The skeg slider bar works great; the skeg stays in the position you put it. I also tried a CD Slipstream, and the Squamish is a lot less tippy. I am 5' 10" and I weigh 167 lbs, and this kayak is a perfect fit. I sat in an Impex Montauk, and my feet (size 10-1/2) were too big. The Squamish has plenty of foot room. It seems pretty efficient; I was able to paddle over 9 miles upstream recently. It turns easier than a Swift Caspian Sea I tried. With a 23" beam, I now use a shorter 210CM paddle, and it's just right. I was surprised to see that the bulkheads are plastic, not fiberglass, but it's not a problem. There is no security cleat or security bar. You have to run your lock cable around the seat area. The perimeter deck rigging has reflective patterns; a nice touch. Before buying this HV version, I rented a plastic Squamish for a day. I found that the HV one floats me a little higher above the waterline, so that I can rest my paddle on the coaming, with the blade vertical, and the blade still clears the water by an inch or so. I highly recommend the Squamish HV.
06-23-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 Squamish Fiberglass HV version. Much more room than the plastic version. I'm 5'10" tall, 171 lbs. Beautifuly built and I think Current Designs designed this especialy for me. I've tried them all and nothing came close to this boat. Good luck trying to find one this year! One more thing! It weighs only 46lbs.
06-08-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 For a beginner/smaller kayaker this kayak is great. I've paddled up to 12 kayaks of all different sizes trying to figure out which kayak would fit me and the squamish squashes the competition. I'm 5'1 and weigh 127 and a slightly moderate beginner kayaker. I've set out on day trips as if I was a pro and even kept up with the big boys. Very responsive to turns and rarely needed the skeg down for tracking. This kayak will definately last me a lifetime and in hopes I'll be able to move up to the kevlar model of the sqamish. Thumbs up Current Design on the squamish, you have my 10.
04-01-2004Submitted by: Bob
- Rating: 10 of 10 Squamish by Current Designs. Excellent kayak, Fast and stable even in rough open water. Excellent day triper or a light overnighter. Responds with a lean and a sweep to any condition. I am 6 foot tall and 175 lbs, and the boat fits perfectly, even to my size 11 feet.
04-14-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 This boat fits a niche that has up to now been open in the Current Designs fleet. There are boats for beginners that fit smaller kayakers and boats for experienced kayakers that fit grown men, but few boats out there for the experienced kayaker who also happens to be small. I am 5'5" and 115lbs and this boat fits me perfectly. I have paddled larger boats that have made me feel as if I was driving a really large vehicle like a minivan or SUV. This boat feels more like a sports car. Plus, this boat is fast! I went from paddling my old Perception Prism sit-on-top and trying to keep up with a Caribou S to paddling the Squamish and now everyone has to keep up with me! This has been real confidence booster for me and now I look forward to paddling much more than I used to. I am also a big fan of the skeg on this boat instead of the rudder that usually accompanies plastic boats of this size. However, unless the waves pick up, I've found that I rarely need it. This boat tracks really well in fair weather, but will weathercock in strong wind even with the skeg down; thatís the trade off for ease of turning.
This boat does not have a lot of storage room for long trips, but has plenty of room for an overnight or weekend trip. For longer trips, you might need to either pack light, or share the load with another kayaker that has more room. But if the bulk of the paddling that you do is day trips or weekends you will have no problem with storage in this boat.
Another issue with this boat is the toggles/handles on the ends. They are attached so that they can hang down under the boat. It actually makes portaging much easier but it may get on your nerves to have them banging into the hull with every wave. It's not hard to fix with a little modification though.
I have also seen another review claiming that the stern hatch seeped water, but I have not had that problem. The hatches are sometimes hard to open and close, but it gets easier with use (and a little armor-all).
All in all, this is a great light touring boat for the experienced smaller kayaker that doesn't want/need the extra storage room of a larger touring boat.
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