A couple years ago in the pages of this magazine (read: Long Live the Homegrown Boat), columnist Alex Matthews argued for an end to the black and white separation between British and North American boat designs.

“Let’s keep Brit boats British and take what we learn from them and others, and put it through our own unique filters in order to make something that is truly ours,” writes Alex.

Seaward has answered his call for a mashup. In stealing from the British to create the Quantum they opted to abscond with the skeg but took an “if it ain’t broke” approach to hatches, resisting the temptation to slap on a day hatch and rubber covers just because that’s what they do in Britain.

Seaward Quantum Specs
Length: 17.3′
Width: 21.75″
Depth: 13″
Weight: 54 lbs
Cockpit: 31″ x 16″
Bow hatch: 96 L
Stern hatch: 128 L
Total storage: 224 L
Total volume: 408 L
MSRP: $3,855 CAD fiberglass; $4,445 CAD Kevlar


Seaward’s design team is clearly a restrained and thoughtful bunch, and it shows in the Quantum’s on-water performance too. Initial and secondary stability are moderate.

The multi-chine, shallow-V hull edges more predictably than a single hard-chine, shallow-arch hull.

Surfing a following sea is fun because you can rock the boat from edge to edge to steer without ever feeling like you’re going to overdo it and capsize.

On the level, the Quantum tracks rail-straight despite having more rocker than Seaward’s other multi-chine offering, the Chilco.

In wind, she gives you just what you want from a skeg boat—weathercocking mildly with the skeg up, trending mildly downwind with the skeg down, tracking across the wind with the skeg deployed halfway.

The Quantum is slim without being cramped, predictable without being dull, responsive without being skittish. Neither completely British nor completely North American, it’s a cultural identity complex waiting to happen.

In other words, it’s Canadian, and who wouldn’t love that?

Comfortable, eh? (top)

We’re always struck by the comfort of Seaward’s simple foam seats, er, we mean Seaward’s exclusive SRS™ (Self Rescue System). That’s right, the seat cushion pulls out and doubles as a paddle float. Handy, but did we mention that they’re darned comfortable?

Parts of a yellow sea kayak
Photos by: Tim Shuff

Newer Quantums may features a flashier fiberglass bucket seat and Immersion Research backband, but we hope the good ol’ SRS remains an option

Nice compromise, eh? (middle)

The multi-chine, V-bottom hull edges predictably like a soft-chine hull, yet grabs the water to carve a turn like a hard-chine hull. It makes edging performance accessible to paddlers of all levels.

Hoser proof, eh? (bottom)

One of Seaward’s many proprietary features, the safeHATCH™ system is both functional and foolproof. The fiberglass outer cover and airtight neoprene inner cover—which is labelled with “bow” and “stern” directional arrows—are both tethered to the boat so you can’t lose them. And if you do, the hatch seals with a plastic bag instead. Beat that, Brits!

This article was first published in Adventure Kayak‘s Fall 2006 issue. Subscribe to Paddling Magazine’s print and digital editions here , or browse the archives here.

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