Delta Kayaks 16

Sea kayak playboat put to the test at the Skookumchuck tidal rapids

This review first appeared in the March 2009 edition of C&K, as part of our review of Skook-worthy sea kayaks. The Delta 16 has since been updated (read about it HERE), and check out our latest Field Tested review on the Delta 14.

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The Delta 16 in testing on the Skookumchuck wave. Photo by Robert Zaleski.

AS THE LONE PLASTIC BOAT IN THE FLEET (albeit a lightweight, thermoformed ABS with a high-gloss finish), the Delta 16 certainly held its own on the wave. It helped that Skookumchuck was the inspiration for this new 16-foot, 50-pound kayak. While developing the 16, Delta’s Mark Hall made frequent test trips to Skook, which is not far from the company's Maple Ridge, British Columbia, base. Hall doesn't like to cite the boat's Brit influence much (if at all), rather pointing to his own rough-water design tweaks, including a longer waterline and less end rocker. The 16 scored points in stability, speed and snug outfitting ("It was comfy—'couchy'—a good, solid ocean boat," one tester said) and performed well on the wave. Some testers said the plastic hull had a softer feel on the wave than the more rigid fiberglass boats, while others raved about its surprising speed and maneuverability. That, and a price tag that compared to 'glass boats leaves you enough cash for 20-some round trips on the Skook ferry, makes the Delta 16 a tempting package.

Specs: $2,350 in ABS plastic, 50 lbs., deltakayaks.com. Length: 16'; Width: 22"; Depth: 12.5". Four hatches, retractable skeg, produced in Maple Ridge, British Columbia.

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