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Reviews for Gulfstream Kayak by Current Designs


Rated: 9.08/10 Based On: 38 Reviews

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07-03-2014
Submitted by: NickSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I am on my second Gulf Stream, just purchased. The first one I had for many years and finally battered it to unseaworthy ness. What I like about the new one (I got this one in Kevlar not glass) is the device that changes the position of the foot pegs without crawling inside. It's a good fast boat and I thoroughly recommend it
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08-28-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     For reference a little background. I consider myself an advanced beginner, I'm 6'3" 210 lbs with a 36" inseam and size 11.5 feet.
I picked up a used Gulfstream a few months ago. It's unique in that it's a carbon fiber layup. Possibly special order or a prototype. It has no H-channel and weighs in around 42 lbs. The bulkheads are composite so I have not experienced any of the issues with plastic bulkheads.

I have padded the thigh braces with 1/4" foam. This went a long way to give me a more connected feeling. I would agree with others who say this is not a boat for slight builds though I've seen them very thoroughly padded out in hips and thigh pads to accommodate slender builds.

Overall, I would agree with the consensus that this kayak is a very good all-arounder and fun to paddle. It's very responsive to edging, it is quick though not fast (but not a tub by any stretch). It is a pretty high volume craft that sits quite high in the water, in spite of this it behaves fairly well in wind with any issues being easily remedied with a little skeg.

I wouldn't categorize it as a 'roller' but it comes around quite easily for me and I have only this summer developed a layback roll. The back deck is quite high as it characteristic of CD kayaks.

Initial stability is very good with the secondary being very solid and predictable. It is not as 'locked in' as some harder chine boats, but I've had very inexperienced paddlers use edging to steer for the first time in the Gulfstream. The boat inspires confidence.

If you are new to the sport, or thinking about an upgrade from a rec or transitional kayak...I would certainly give the Gulfstream (or roto version Scirroco) a whirl. It really does have a nice blend of favorable characteristics as far as speed, acceleration, and handling.

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07-06-2012
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I am new to Kayaking, last year I purchased an old Wilderness Sealutions to try things out and I liked the sport. So I sold that and upgraded to a great used CD Gulfstream. I've had a few back problem so the back band was bad news, I changed the entire seat to a Dimension. CD said the Dimension seat would not fit in the Gulfstream but I'm an engineer and was able to make it work, that huge backrest is incredible and it's made my boat extremely comfortable. I'm a big guy, 5'10", 250 lbs. I fit into the seat great and with the foot pegs adjusted correctly I'm nice and tight yet comfortable. It's taken me awhile to get used to the stability, where others have said it's very stable, I've found it to be more tippy than the Wilderness, I attribute this more to my being a novice vs. the boat, I need to practice reducing my upper body motion(s). First time out in rough water I dumped it 3 times..... great practice for getting it pumped out and back into it. But all in all I really like that Gulfstream and feel I will be very happy with it once I settle down and become less nervous and jittery, we had gear in all 3 hatch's and none leaked.
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06-29-2012
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I've had my Kevlar Gulfstream for 4 years now. I've paddled a number of different designs and each has some advantages and some disadvantages. Here are a few of my observations on this great jack of all trades boat. I haven't had any problems with the hardware fit or finish of the boat, the Kevlar set up is stiff, light, and tough, and my hatches don't leak!

The Good:
Great initial and secondary stability, you can edge comfortably, it will help beginning paddlers start to feel comfortable in a true sea kayak, but is playful enough for advanced paddlers to practice new roll styles and impress nieces and nephews with existing ones... most of the time.... I digress. It holds enough for good long weekend trips, it is fast for it's size (it is wide) and it handles and responds to paddle strokes very well. In short it is a very good kayak. You can take it out in the surf, rough open ocean, and the Lilly pond out back and it will be fun and functional.

The Bad:
I think another review points this out, Look at a picture of Derek Hutchinson, It was made for his frame. wide, stocky (and brilliant!) I am 6' and 200lbs and I need a pile of foam to fill out the cockpit to feel tight in the boat, thinner paddlers will be challenged to fit the boat properly. The back band CD puts in is horrible, but here I'm just nitpicking. It is not especially fast or nimble, it isn't the best surf boat (landing in heavy surf can be a challenge, it has a tendency to pearl). Otherwise it is a very good boat.

This is a classic boat and a excellent design. If you can only have one boat, get this one.

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05-06-2010
Submitted by: DB
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have been paddling a CD Whistler for two years and although I love the safe versatility of this transitional boat I want to go to the next level and have decided to ditch the rudder and go for a British design skeg boat...just paddled the Gulfstream at a demo day...was aware that this boat was a cult classic but I had been eyeing up the sirocco as a financial compromise and 'non-flinch' (worrying about a composite boat scraping on rocks and shoals) compromise...I want to have a true all-rounder...good enough speed, maneuverability, fun in waves on a play-day, and enough volume for a 3-4 day getaway....this is the boat, just as many of the other reviewers have said...it is truly a classic and I knew it after 2 minutes...I also had the opportunity to paddle the sirocco minutes before...I still have not made my decision...I paddled the sirocco first and thought...yeah this is what I want...until I paddled the Gulfstream as the difference was noticeable... more nimble but more stable at the same time (maybe became to the extra 3/4 inch in the beam)... I will have to make my decision... am afraid to 'settle for the sirocco' although I know I won't be unhappy either way... I am still looking at testing the P and H boats (capella and scorpio in poly)...if I go composite, the Gulfstream will be the one....carpe diem.
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08-15-2008
Submitted by: SJDSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Iíve owned my glass Gulfstream for about 2 years now and itís time for a review.
The Gulfstream was designed by the iconic Derek Hutchinson. With its upswept bow and stern, the Gulfstream is an attractive boat. Iím 5í11" and about 220 lbs. and I feel Iím a beginner to intermediate paddler. The boat fits my fat butt quite well.

Overall I am quite pleased with the performance of the Gulfstream. As others have mentioned, this boat is a true all-arounder. Having an almost 24" beam, itís not the fastest boat around. However, once up to speed, it seems to have decent glide (because of its Swede form hull I presume). That beam width also translates into some very good stability (both primary and secondary). You have to lean over pretty far to capsize. I canít speak to its rolling ability as I have not yet acquired that skill. Likewise, I havenít gone camping with the boat yet but, it appears to have adequate capacity if I pack smart. The skeg box might get in the way a little bit.

With its generous rocker, the boat is very maneuverable and responsive to both sweep strokes and leaning. Of course this comes at the expense of tracking and, as a result, the boat weathercocks quite a bit. However, if the skeg is deployed, the boat tracks well. I try to rely on corrective strokes and boat lean to hold course but, the skeg is absolutely necessary in any significant beam wind.

The Gulfstream seems to prefer rough water to calm and itís most at home in 1-2 foot wind waves and chop. The features that make it slightly slow (width and rocker) contribute to its excellent rough water performance. The only conditions the Gulfstream doesnít seem to like are large quartering or following seas. I find I must fully deploy the skeg in those conditions. Even then I find I must occasionally brace or rudder to stay on course.

The quality of construction of the Gulfstream appears quite good both inside and out. Likewise the skeg system seems to be well designed and sturdy. Unfortunately, my 2006 model has the plastic bulkheads and plastic H-channel seam with a glass strip on the inside. I understand newer Gulfstreams have glass bulkheads and can be ordered with the optional glass outside seam. As for the rest of the boatís features, I like the looks of the minimalist deck rigging, deck lines and end toggles (BTW Ė theyíre not for carrying). The seatís pretty comfortable although Iíve replaced the stock back band with a more comfortable one from NSI. The Kajac Sport hatch covers seal very well and are easy to work with.

All in all, I believe the Gulfstream is a high quality boat well suited to larger kayakers paddling in somewhat rough water. Iím only giving it a 9/10 because I wish I had the glass bulkheads and glass outside seam. Nonetheless, I am quite pleased with the Gulfstream and hope to paddle it for many years.

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06-23-2008
Submitted by: DC
Rating: 9 of 10

     Excellent boat. Does everything I ask of it very well.
I am 6'1" 210 lbs size 12 shoes fits very well with no additional foam. Although I am thinking of adding some for a real snug fit when rolling and surfing. The boat is beautiful, quality and craftsmanship are excellent. Far better than other brands I have seen offering similar equipment. The bulkheads are now glassed in (I heard that was a complaint on previous models).

Fastest? Maybe not. Narrowest? Maybe not. All around do everything very well boat? Definitely. I love mine so far.

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10-26-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     The Gulfstream is a great boat. It does everything well.
I was concerned about the plastic bulkheads though. I had an issue in a previous boat with leaky bulkheads and found that by removing the plastic bulkheads and adhesive and re-sealing them with a generous amount of 3M 5200 marine adhesive they can be made very strong and resilient. This is quite a bit of ďsweat equityĒ to put into such an expensive kayak but once done properly I was completely confident in the boats integrity.

Bottom line, I absolutely loved the boat, but alas at 170 lbs and a size 33 waist the cockpit was just too large for me to feel comfortable in. Foaming out the major points of contact didnít really do the trick for me so I sold my Gulfstream and moved on.

I still find myself comparing every kayak I paddle to the Gulfstream. Even after moving on I am still amazed at how nice this boat was to paddle.

Oh Current Designs, if only you would have glassed in the bulkheads on ALL of the Gulfstreams I could have rated the boat a 9, but you didnít, so you get an 8! (Iím reserving my 10 rating for the perfect boat which I am still searching for)

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10-12-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have a fiberglass Gulfstream. Like a couple of others I was thinking of it's plastic twin the Scirocco when a used one came along. For me its strongest point is neutral steering. I've been in 30+ knot wind and can steer any direction without the bow getting pushed either to wind or lee.

I get some leaks in the for and aft hatches, between the ring and hull. My guess is it's just time for new gaskets. It can be hard to turn until you put it on edge, more than just a little. If I lean it until the cockpit rim is just about in the water it will spin on a dime.

For day tripping I might like something a bit narrower and lower, but as others said, if you can only have one, this is a good one.

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10-02-2007
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Current Designs Gulfstream (FG) Derek Hutchins is still THE MAN and the Gulfstream is still the "If I could only have one boat" boat.
A lot of sea kayaks will go straight when you want them to and a lot will turn easily when and where you want them to but very few sea kayaks will do both well. The Gulfstream is the exception.

I wanted a boat that was light, nimble, quick, easy to turn yet capable of supporting my weekend camping habit. Previously I had several kayaks to pick from. I finally gave up my poly CD Scirrico and my Kevlar CD Solstice and purchased the Gulfstream. I'm still having expedition kayak capability withdrawl having given up the Solstice, but the joy I get out of the turning performance and ease of use of the Gulfsteam seems to make it all worthwhile.

THIS BOAT CAN DANCE. It performs more like an extension of your mind and body than something you put in the water and sit in. It may not be the individual best boat in each category, (i.e., fastest, lightest, quickest turning, stablest, etc.) but it's definitely the best when you combine all of the categories together. It's the fastestlighteststablesteasiest turning boat I've ever paddled.

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03-26-2007
Submitted by: ED
Rating: 9 of 10

     I almost bought a Gulfstream about ten years ago, but tried a Nimbus Telkwa. That was love at first float. After a few years, I found the limits of the Telkwa and started thinking it was time, as my wife put it, for something smaller and squirrelier. I tried lots of other boats, but kept coming back to the Gulfstream. Iíve now had my fiberglass Gulfstream for about three years.

Stability and handling: The initial stability is light enough to make it easy to edge the boat into a wave or to carve a turn, but it doesnít feel twitchy once youíre acclimatized to it. The secondary stability kicks in about when the coaming gets down to the water, so the boat wonít embarrass you for not paying attention every second, and there is a confident point you can push it down to when carving a turn. Maneuverability is very good in all conditions, and it responds very well to carved turns on the inside edge Ė much better than many British-style boats. In a following sea, I find I need to lower the skeg most of the way down to avoid broaching. I sometimes use a little bit of skeg in a beam sea. In flatter conditions I donít use the skeg at all. The Gulfstream doesnít roll itself, but it comes around effortlessly when my form is right. Punching into the chop in a 20 mph wind a little water comes over the bow, but it flows off the foredeck in front of the hatch cover and doesnít spray up into my face. I havenít had it out in anything more serious than a 20 mph wind, but at that level of intensity it seems to have no vices.

Fit: Iím 5í7Ē and 175 pounds. I have size 10 feet, but wear size 12 booties to fit over the Gore-Tex booties in my dry suit. Foot room is comfortable. The cockpit felt a little bit loose until I added about an inch of foam in the thigh brace area.

Cargo capacity: The soft cooler and Dutch oven that fit comfortably into the Nimbus Telkwa had to get left behind when I moved to the Gulfstream, but all the other camping gear fits comfortably. My only camping trip with this boat was in mild conditions. It handled the load so well I could forget I was carrying cargo until it was time to carry the boat up the beach.

Build quality: The only quality problem I had was with the original equipment backband. It was fastened in with bolts run through grommets set in a loose-weave webbing without any reinforcement. The grommets pulled out the first time I used the boat. Current Designs should know better. Iíve had the boat three years now and nothing else has gone wrong with it. The skeg is controlled by a solid rod of some amazing alloy that doesnít corrode in salt water and doesnít kink the way cables often do.

Little quibbles: The position of the skeg slider allows me to nick my fingers on it occasionally. Itís also right in the area where I needed to add outfitting foam, which complicated shaping the foam. Both these problems would be solved if the slider was located about six inches aft of its present location.

There are four small bungee cords that stabilize the backband. There are two holes in the bottom of the lip of the coaming that the bungees run through, where they are secured Ė sort of Ė with cord locks. Two cords go through each hole. The cord locks donít hold up to the pressure put on the backband when I do wet re-entries. Itís also a nuisance to figure out which bungee you need to adjust to fine-tune the backband position. I solved both of these problems by drilling additional holes so that each bungee goes in through its own hole, then comes out through another hole. This makes it easy to find the bungee you want to adjust, and the additional friction keeps the cord locks from slipping.

The seat pan is the right shape for my butt, the top back edge of it has a sharp edge. After my butt got pinched between the edge of the seat pan and the backband a couple of times, I moved the attachment points for the backband forward as far as I could to allow me to adjust the backband far enough forward to prevent this. The manufacturer could mold a curve into the top edge of the seat pan to prevent this problem.

Summary: The Gulfstream is a good, well-rounded choice for a serious paddler or aspiring intermediate looking for a boat large enough to carry camping gear. There are other boats that are trendier, flashier, and have a trimmer waistline. There are boats that out-perform it in some particular attribute, but only at the expense of some other important characteristic. The Gulfstream is my boat and I donít care what the fashion police say about it, Iím well bonded with it, and weíre together for the long haul.

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08-17-2006
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Over the last ten years I have owned many Sea Kayaks such as the WS Tempest 170, Nimbus Telkwa Sport, P&H Capella, and tried many more. Each boat has had its strengths and weaknesses. As a SK Guide the CD Gulfstream has been my main boat and the one I will not be separated from. I have paddled it in the Artic, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans without any major issues. I have had faster boats and ones with more space as well. Yet this Sea Kayak has been the best at having a good amount of all these things. When the ocean gets rough the Gulfstream consistently comes through.

Some people seem to take issue with the plastic bulkheads. Two things should be mentioned here. First every boat needs to be outfitted to be perfectly suited to your individual tastes, style and also for safety. As a guide I always change and modify things. Every boat I have had has needed changes. Personally I have liked the plastic bulkheads since it is easy to repair them. This is especially true when out in the wilderness. Second, fiberglass bulkheads can always be added if you really wanted, but one should always inspect your boat before and after each trip. As a guide I have seen a lot of abuse and use of kayaks. I've even had fiberglass bulkheads crack and leak.

Back to the Gulfstream. Yes things can be better. I have had to rig the handles with elastic cord so they don't knock about in the wind and the CD safety line with those plastic clips has to go. What I have not had are seam and gel cracks, broken skeg boxes and faulty hatches.

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05-03-2006
Submitted by: CBFSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     Very disappointing - took two attempts to get a FG boat without blems. Even the dealer was disappointed. As to handling, turning was definitely better but found it entirely too slow to keep up with most of the pack. Given the rocker and so much width, I sold in a few months.

I know some folks rave about this boat. For playing in a cove or surfing, I suppose it would be fine but for long, fast crossing where you're going to do some mileage, I'd consider a different boat.

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10-19-2005
Submitted by: SMSend Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     I cannot believe a sea kayak has glued-in bulkheads that come loose with heat or strapping! See the review below for someone this happened to. What would happen to you in a wet exit in a tidal race in 45-degree water in Juan de Fuca Strait? Death--that's what. Bulkhead failure can lead to a Cleopatra's Needle and death in frigid waters. What an irresponsible design to an otherwise well-designed hull! Yuck! Avoid this boat and go with a boat made by people who care about your safety.
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10-21-2004
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had my Gulfstream for about five years and in fact it's the only kayak I've ever had. Over the years I have acquired the necessary sea kayaking skills in it (I still haven't learned to roll) and have had it out in terric seas with nary a pang. I am 65, weigh 174 and am five six. I would like to buy an 'Eskimo' kayak, and feel closer to the water, say and 'artic hawk' but everyone say's stay with what you've got.
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10-15-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've paddled a glass Gulfstream for 2 years and find it to be a terrific kayak. It has an excellent combination of good tracking (gliding in a straight line) and maneuverability. Easy to make sharp turns by edging the boat. With interest, I noted that several other reviewers mentioned a leaky hatch problem. The Gulfstream usually comes standard with KajakSport hatches and covers, which are among the finest in the industry, in my opinion. However, the paddler must make sure to add a bungee cord around the groove of the hatch cover for a water tight seal. I've paddled in rough water, executed some 15 or 20 rolls in a day, and, as an instructor, demo assisted and unassisted rescues in which the kayak is upside down for periods of time, and have never experienced a leaky hatch on my Gulfstream with the hatch cover bungee in place. Great boat!
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09-22-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     I'm a first-time kayak owner, though I've paddled rental boats a fair amount. Was about to buy a new Sirocco (the plastic version of the Gulfstream), but came across a used fiberglass Gulfstream 2000 for only a little more money, and couldn't resist. It's one of the few boats I can sit in comfortably (I'm 6-2 and not very flexible at age 58). Plus I love the skeg. (Rudders are so 20th Century now.) Overall, I'm very happy with the way the boat performs, and as my skills progress, I'm confident it will do anything I want it to. It's truly a lifetime kayak for me. But I've had a problem that makes me wonder about its structural integrity. I heard some water sloshing around in the front compartment, opened the hatch, and found that the front bulkhead had just popped completely out and was lying on the floor. The bulkhead, which was very flimsy, had been attached by a silicone-type sealant, which was still firmly stuck to the fiberglass hull, but had completely let go of the bulkhead itself. What bothered me even more was Current Design's blase attitude when I called . "Oh yeah, that happens sometimes," I was told. "If it sits out in the sun a lot, or if you tie it down too tight, the bulkhead can pop out." Kind of a casual attitude toward what is potentially a life-threatening failure, it seems to me. I'm told that other high-end kayaks have glassed-in bulkheads.
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06-08-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Gulfstream is the Flagship of the Kayaking world. If you want to paddle a true classic, this is your craft. If you are looking for a 17' Skeg boat with great secondary stability, this is your boat. If you want a Kayak you can be proud of for many years to come, this is your boat. My '04 Gulfstream is Fiberglass. I find it to be playful and very accomodating. It has all the storage I require for 2-3 days of camping, and plenty of room for my 5'11 205 lb. body. For the Kayaking purist this Derek Hutchinson design is outstanding and the good people at Current Designs gave it thier usual close attention to detail. It is a very solid well built boat. Just look around. A large number of instructors and Intermediate-Advanced paddlers use Gulfstreams. Just ask one of them why and witness the passion & fierce loyalty in the response. This is Gulfstream. - Joe Bowen Deep Cove, B.C.
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05-19-2004
Submitted by: Rich RSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     First boat was a Wilderness Systems Sealution XL, like others demoed Gulftstreams and Caribou S a number of times, loved both mainly for the handling as contrasted to the battleship gallactica Sealution XL. It was hard to decide and I am still not sure if I made the best decision but choice between Gulfstream and Caribou is splitting hairs, few would be disappointed with either. I will say this though in contrast to my initial impressions, the Sealution has significant plusses. If you want to be out in big water you would rather be on a big ship, Aircraft carrier not a PT Boat. The Gulfstream is like the agile tin can destroyer compared to a aircraft carrier. You want handling you got it. The same thing that makes it great can make it just a bit squirrely in the rough stuff. Sealution is very stable, at least primary stability is high, nice wide flat hull shape, Gulfstream is a bit rounder, a good bit less initial stability the issue for me is it takes longer to get comfortable in the Gulfstream but all the while it is rewarding you with predicatble handling. But for the inexperienced in open water seas it may be a bit more than you bargain for. It is not a kayak for a novice...it is something you graduate up to as an intermediate. I will keep the Sealution XL for those days when I just want to make a dry crossing and not worry about stability. It will get me there, albeit with full use of rudder. I think only a very skilled paddler will find the Sealution XL not needing of rudder. Whereas Gulfstream just goes whereevr you want it. Rich
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01-14-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I've had my Gulfstream for about 3 years now. I agree with other reviewers, it fits me well, I love paddling it and have tried many other boats, but always came back to the Gulfstream. On a 5 day trip in October, I ran into my first problem. We encountered heavey winds and 3-4 foot seas. The boat handled terrific. the boat had a tendency to plunge into the water. When we finally made it to land, the front hatch had leaked. I had about 2 inches of water in the bow. Luckily everything was in dry bags or I would have been sleeping in a wet down sleeping bag. On the last day we encountered following seas. Once again, when we landed the rear hatch had leaked and the water intake was worse. Everything was packed below the hatch line, but the leaks continued. Even on day trips, if I encounter any rough seas, I find water has invaded my hatch. That's the only negative I have about the boat.
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06-23-2003
Submitted by: BCSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I think it is about time I gave my favorite kayak a review. I am a kayak instructor, expedition paddler and author. I have paddled a fiberglass Gulfstream a lot over the last 3 years. I have owned 7 other kayaks and when all is said and done I keep coming back to the Gulfstream. I am not a big guy, 5'8", but I really appreciate the little extra room the Gulfstream gives me when I sometimes spend 6-12 hours in the cockpit without getting out. The beauty of this kayak is that it is so predictable in all conditions. When I want it to turn quickly it will respond. When I need it to track in wind or waves it will hold its course as long as you do my part. The skeg operation is excellant. I feel the aluminum blade is superior to the plastic blades on some kayaks. The hatches on mine are watertight except for the dayhatch. It will somehow end up with a little water in it each time I go out. I do like the Gulfstreams rubber hatches better than other styles that are available. I have taken a 1,700 mile, 42 day expedition and carried all my gear and food in the Gulfstream. I guess you could say it was packed full. But it is possible.

As far as speed. Yes there are faster kayaks but this boat is not slow and it will hold a good speed better than some longer boats that are thought to be fast. I would suggest that anyone looking for a great kayak to check out the Gulfstream. I feel that it is one of the top 10 sea kayak designs there is.

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05-19-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     Own a fiberglass Gulfstream in yellow with a creme bottom.Great boat overall. Stable,especially with the skeg down otherwise it does weathercock slightly. Fast once it gets moving and handles big waves well. Boat likes to surf on any quartering or following seas. Have had to be careful there as it can get very close to broaching if you are not attentive.Only fault with mine and the next years model Gulfstream 2000 is that the hatchs leak just a little. You will need to check them in a pond, submerge parts of the boat and look for air bubbles. Very strong construction.
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03-12-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I love my Gulfstream in Kevlar lay-up! It has plenty of room for 4-day camp-outs, yet is a very nimble, playful boat the rest of the time. The primary stability is a little weak, though on-par with the Romany. Secondary stability is quite good. I seldom use the skeg, but have deployed it in winds and cross-seas. It is of significant help, but I figure I can use the practice ďstaying on lineĒ and pull the skeg up after a minute or two. It is comforting to know that it is there and works so well!

The cockpit is quite loose, though I have no trouble rolling it with the wonderful thigh bracing. I am not particularly large; 5-11 and 168#. I have not outfitted it with any additional foam. I find the seat to be the MOST comfortable one that I have ever sat in. This is the fourth kayak that I have owned and I have paddled many, many others while assisting with classes (including whitewater boats).

My paddling consists of the Puget Sound, Lake Washington, Lake Union, and the Pacific Ocean (including surfing). The boat handles well in surf (though not nearly as playful as a WW boat!). The boat does tend to give a bit of a wet ride in swells. This is a trade-off with choppy water handling. What allows it to slice through chop is also what allows it to ďplungeĒ a bit powering down the backside of a swell. The hatches, however, stay bone dry. Itís not really a complaint, just a ďheads-upĒ.

If I had one complaint it would be the day-hatch. Being right-handed, I would prefer it to be on my left side so that my ďcontrol handĒ could remain in control of my paddle in rougher conditions when I want to access items. It also is a bit voluminous for a day hatch; but I am nitpicking now! A wonderful boat that anyone would love!

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03-05-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Ahhhh..the joy of paddling a Gulfstream. I'm in my 3rd year of paddling mine and this is the year where I am finally able to roll effortlessly from sitting still to paddling speeds. As others have stated, it really does "fit like a glove". I tried several other boats at demo days and kept coming back to the Gulfstream because it "just felt right". It has the ability to carry plenty of gear for an extended trip of 4-5 days. My instructor / paddling mentor, Mike Aronoff, recently purchased a Gulfstream and just loves his as well. If you're having problems deciding on which boat to buy...give thei Gulfstream a chance...you won't regret it.
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01-29-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 7 of 10

     For a large paddler, I would rate this boat a 10, but if you are averge or smaller it has volume and cockpit size that you probably will not need. It is a very stable and well made boat - but check out something narrower and with a smaller cockpit if you are not a 6', 220 pound paddler.
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01-28-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     If Jack wants to be nimble and quick he better get a Gulfstream. I ordered mine in fiberglass rather than kevlar because there wasn't enough of a weight difference between the two to make me spend the extra money. It handles any surf conditions I've encountered exceptionally well and is surprisingly fast for a boat this length. The thing I like best about this boat is the comfortable seat. I used it in the Rum Runner race (as part of a team) this past year and did very well. I have also camped out of it. Overall I can't find anything to complain about so it gets a 10 from me.
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03-27-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought a Gulfstream in glass after looking at a lot of boats. I am on the larger size 6'2" and aboat 240 lbs so most of the smaller performance oriented boats just were plain to small. I was looking for a british style boat with a day hatch and skegged. My fit problem is my upper thighs, to many years of weight lifting (along with to much beer) .The Romany is beautiful, but way small. The Poisidon (sp) is supposedly a large person Romany, but again was way to tight. The Gulfstream fits like a glove. I have enough room, even with my wetsuit and size 12s with footwear have plenty of room.

The boat has great initial and primary stability. It tracks well with out the skeg, but in windy conditions or choppy water the skeg puts the boat on rails. It is very nimble. The only negative is the wet ride, I was out today on Lake Washington winds were 15 to 20 mph with waves 1 to 2 ft and I took a lot of water over the bow. The hatches were bone dry.

The quality is excellent from what I can see, nice finish, smooth gel coat, no flaws or quality issues that I can detect. I replaced the stck back band with an Imersion research back band. The stock band is ineffective in my opionion. The boat is beautiful to look at and a pleasure to paddle, just what I was looking for. Overall rating 9.5/10.

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12-10-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have been paddling a Gulfstream in kevlar for 3 months and a Solstice GT HV in fiberglass for over a year. I am an intermediate paddler from NY and I paddle regularly on Long Island Sound, occasionally in shallow bay waters. My review is essentially a comparison of the two hulls. Both are excellent boats for the large paddler. I am 6'1", 235 pounds, size 14 shoe. The cockpit and fit of the Gulfstream is slightly more snug than the Solstice. I switch between boats depending upon the type of conditions I anticipate encountering. For straight distance, I seem to prefer the Solstice, as the tracking is excellent. At this point in my confidence level, if I think the seas will be heavy, I also will opt for the Solstice. As I develop beyond an intermediate paddler, I feel the Gulfstream will be the one I use and enjoy the most, because of the playful nature, excellent tracking with the skeg under necessary conditions, and light weight. 46 pounds vs. 56 pounds doesn't sound like much, but in the morning, carrying the boat on my shoulder, 10 pounds=30 pounds, if you know what I mean. The Gulfstream is an excellent boat. I give it a 9.75 out of 10.
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10-30-2001
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Gulfstream handles as if it is an extension of my body. It manuevers just the way I want it to. I have paddled in SKIV conditions and with a brace or an edge got myself out of a condition which could very easily have been a capsize. I attribute the fun and graceful handling of the Gulfstream to its design. I frequently paddle in windy conditions in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and find the skeg a great advantage. I have paddled the Gulfstream as much as 40 miles in one day, and the next day I was ready to paddle some more. It is a comfortable and enjoyable boat to experience the wonderful sport of kayakying--I can't think of any other I would rather have.
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07-06-2001
Submitted by: SD RobertsSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Last year I started kayaking with a friend (using his plastic Sea Lion). After the first time out, I was hooked. On our 2nd trip he let me try his Gulfstream. What a difference!!!! It was like it was custom made for me. It fit me like a glove and handled beautifully. Now, not only was I hooked on the sport, but I had my eyes on a more expensive boat. But, I had to have a Gulfstream.

In Feb. of this year I was able to get my hands on a used Gulfstream that has changed hands many times and has obviously had some repairs. It still doesn't leak (including the hatches) and it handles like it just came off the shelf. I had it out this week in 20mph winds and 2' seas, and it tracked like I was on a lake. I was told that I might have trouble rolling this boat because of its width and the high rear deck (being an older Gulfstream). But, I was rolling it (after some instruction) on my 4th time in a kayak.

I am 6'5" 220lbs and I still have some extra padding in the knee braces. I like the storage capacity and I prefer the skeg over a rudder. I love this boat!!!!

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05-11-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I love this boat! After demoing 7 boats this was the winner for comfort, performance and looks. I narrowed it down to 2 boats, the caribou and the Gulf stream. In the end I liked how responsive the Gulf Stream is.
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03-19-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I'm fairly big 6'0 & 235 lbs. so not every boat fit well. I did a lot of extensive looking for the particular boat that appealed to me. I tried out every boat available at kayak seminars, shops etc. before deciding on the Gulfstream. It was a toss-up between the Gulfstream & Romany but I was more comfortable in the Gulfstream. I almost went with the Romany because I did notice a lot of the instructors seem to favor that boat but most instructors weren't my size. The Gulfstream has everything The Romany or any other boat I tried. It tracks well, has good speed, turns well. It has very good secondary stability & is almost hard to turn over. I wanted a boat with a day hatch to carry camera equipment or whatever so I could have a place to stow anything that would stay dry but still be very accessible. I like the looks of the boat too. Well Designed. The cockpit is big so that I can easily get in and out. The skeg is a real big plus compared to rudder designed boats. The rudder design type I had before this always had the habit of catching on something & was difficult to control & added more weight to a boat. The boat also is a mere 50 lbs. Much easier for me to portage than a lot of other boats. The only drawback to the boat has been the fact that they did not design an area into the boat for a recessed compass so You either have to cut a whole in it for the compass or get a compass that straps over the top. Since they do make a kit for cutting a hole in the boat for the compass I went with that although I would have preferred a design where the compass was easier to install. I am very pleased with the boat & would recommend the boat to anyone.
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03-12-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've paddled the Gulfstream for about 3 years now. I live in RI and go out almost every day in the summer and at least monthly in the winter. I'm 6'1", weigh 235 lbs and am 52 yrs old. The boat is great in all weather / sea conditions. I really have used the skeg very little. The only problems that have occurred are (1) the skeg cable has pulled out of the skeg. This is due to contact of dissimilar metals (stainless and al) under a boot which keeps salt water there which can not be rinsed off. I had to clean and re-crimp the joint with epoxy in the joint and shrinkable tubing over it. (2) The other problem is that the front hatch seems to always take on some water. I've tried many boats and still thing the Gulfstream is tops for me. My wife just got a kevlar Perception Shadow. Her 2 requirements were that it must have a rudder and she could get it off the car roof by herself.
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07-06-2000
Submitted by: Bruce J. HowesSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased my Gulfstream on May 13, 2000 as an early birthday present for myself. Prior to purchase I did a great deal of research, both reading and asking for feedback from others, to narrow down my search. I am have been nothing short of delighted. I had wanted a boat with a skeg and day-hatch, as some other reviewers have noted, and the Gulfstream was one of the few to offer both. Having paddled several boats with moving foot braces, used for rudder control, the solid braces in the Gulfstream are a delight. The hatch covers seal great, and after much rolling practice, only a small trace of water was evident in the bulkheads. The cockpit, although a bit large for myself, is comfortable and easy to get in and out of. It is a very comfortable to boat to sit and paddle in for hours. I have found it very forgiving in letting me back in once capsized. Although I have not quite mastered unassisted reentry for the rear, with practice that should be no problem. With a paddle float self-rescues are a snap with the lower rear deck. So if you ever see some guy with short blonde hair and an army cap paddling a yellow and white Gulfstream, wave hello!
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04-27-2000
Submitted by: RussSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just an update since buying the Gulfstream, you can read the other review before this one for more info. I finally got the kayak in saltwater last weekend. FANTASTIC! Tracked well in runoff going across the bar,was taking waves(4'to 5')sideways and handled a boiling pot(where the waves hit a sandbar at incomming tide)very well. Had time to turn into the waves pull out the camara from the day hatch and shoot off two frames without any trouble. Did a little surfing on small waves, broches waves with little effort. Fun! Quick! Roomy.
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02-15-2000
Submitted by: RussSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I recently purchased a Gulfstream after extensive research for about three months of ready about hull designs,speed,volume and other aspects of kayaks to find the one that best suited my needs as I have outgrown the Kyook that I have been paddling. I tried many British boats because I wanted the day hatch and skeg. Other then the Valley Aquilla the Gulfstream took top honors. It is excellent in rough water(columbia river) and stable enough to shot photos from. It is not on the top of the list for speed, but paddles smoothly and tracks well w/o the skeg. I am waiting for weather break to take it in the ocean which is where it is designed for.
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10-08-1999
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I just got this boat recently (within the week). As a result, my review is going to be somewhat superficial. However, I got this boat for several reasons -- I was looking for a British style kayak; I wanted a boat that used a skeg; and, I got a pay raise (so I had a bit of money available). Given my other boats and two unique requirements (I am big and I wanted something that a beginner like myself could use), the search was narrowed to two boats - P&H Sirius and Current Design Gulfstream. I could fit in both boats but was more comfortable in the Current Design. Finally, based on total cost, I decided to go with the Current Design. I am now glad that I did.

This boat is beautifully made -- it is almost flawless in construction. I took it on the water today (where we experiencing a 10-15 kph wind with gusts up to 25. The boat performed beautifully. I was surprised (pleasantly) by the initial stability. The reviews had led me to believe that it was a tippy boat with great secondary stability. This boat has more than adequate initial stability. However, it loves to be put on its edge. The impact of the skeg is very noticeable. With the skeg down, the boat tracks -- it is hard to turn it; with the skeg up, the boat is highly manuevrable. It took small beam waves with an unbelievable ease. I was fighting the wind and the waves, but not the boat.

I am very pleased with it and would strongly recommend it to anyone who wants a boat that they will hard pressed outgrow. Lets put it this way -- if I had only one boat to own, this is the one that I would keep.

It beautifully marries the best of North American and British design. Finally, for the record, it is a Derek Hutchinson designed boat -- I now see why there is such a mystique about these boats.

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01-18-1999
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've been paddling my Gulfstream since 3/98. The boat is fairly light (50 lbs. in glass) and easy to handle loading/unloading etc. It tracks well and turns well. I rarely have needed to use the skeg. It has a roomy cockpit (15.5" x 28.75") and a swede form hull. It handles chop and heavy seas extremely well. Although a fairly wide boat (23.25"), it is still quick! Construction is light due to vacuum-bagging. My only complaints are that the deck finish scratches easily and that there is not a built-in recess option for a compass.
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