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Borealis XL : the kayak for larger paddlers

Borealis XL


17' LENGTH | 25.5" BEAM | 13" DEPTH | 43 LBS.

Wood Kayak kit for big people

Best kayak for tall people

Kit Price: $1259


Cockpit Opening: Resin/Hardener:

Boat shown with optional bulkhead and hatch kit and deck rigging.

  • Description
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  • Reviews

Borealis XL Review, in Sea Kayaker Magazine Oct. 2010

The Borealis Xl "is really the big guy's dream: a quality kit touring kayak that combines a grand size with great looks and good handling."(TW)

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Borealis XL:
Our XL Design: The Borealis XL design complements our line of multi-chine hull shapes, combining the raked stern and sweeping sheer line of a Greenland style kayak, with the performance and beauty of our famous multi-chine kayaks.


Design Features: The Borealis XL is a high volume solo touring kayak suited for paddlers weighing 230-300lbs. At 17', with a 25.5" beam, 13" deck height, and extra large 19"x36" cockpit the Borealis provides the volume, stability, and ease of entry that bigger paddlers need.


More comfortable fit for everyone: Originally designed for heavier paddlers, we were surprised to discover what a pleasure the Borealis is to paddle for anyone wanting a roomier more comfortable boat with increased stability for a more relaxed feeling on the water.  Paddlers wanting more foot and leg room will love the Borealis XL.  It's 13" deck height gives you more foot room and allows your knees to be bent more. Our experience is that this sitting position can reduces foot and leg cramping.  Pygmy's signature cambered decks cut away the sheer enabling you to maintain a high paddle angle and ergonomic stroke, despite her extra width.  For those that prefer a smaller cockpit size she is also available with our standard 17"x33" cockpit, and can be fitted with our keyhole knee braces.


High Volume and High Performance: John's new Borealis XL design is by far the most stable solo kayak we manufacture, yet its sophisticated multi-chine hull design has only 2.8% more wetted surface than our highly rated, award winning Arctic Tern 17' design.  This means you get the benefits of a dramatic increase in initial stability, more space for gear, and a roomier, more comfortable cockpit without sacrificing paddling efficiency and performance.  The Borealis XL tracks solidly, and responds quickly to edge turns. 


Great for long distance touring: High performance, high volume, and high comfort equals a great boat for long distance touring.  If you want to carry lots of stuff with ease and comfort the Borealis XL should be considered a great choice for ocean touring and extended camping.


Watch a Video of the Borealis in Motion:




To check out Dave Elliott's photographic blog of building a Borealis, click here.

To request a Pygmy catalog, click here.



leaned turn in the Borealis XL sea kayak


leaned turn in the Borealis XL comfortable roomy cockpit a great sea kayak for large people touring in the borealis xl



Borealis XL Specs:
Beam…… 25.5”
Height…… 13”
Weight…… 43lbs
Cockpit.…. 19”x36” or 17"x33"
*Initial stability……15.4
Carrying capacity (……15.80
**Standard cruising speed……19.70
Loaded waterline length……14.7'
***Top cruising speed……5.33 mph
Available as kit……yes
Available as plans……no

*The transverse Metacenter, in inches, is a measure of a kayak's initial stability. A higher number is more stable. All single kayaks computed with same weight person.
Kayak cruising speed is proportional to the boat's wetted surface, which is the area of frictional drag of the water on the hull, here expressed in sq. ft.
***90% of theoretical hull speed (THS) in mph. A boat's theoretical hull speed is a function of square root of its loaded waterline length (LWL). at approximately 80% to 90% of its hull speed a kayak will start to produce a bow wake longer than its LWL and the effort required to continue acceleration rapidly increases



Borealis XL Features:
Hull type… Multi-chine
Deck type… Pygmy multi-chine cut away deck with patented rear cockpit recess
Best used for… Day paddling, Kayak touring, Kayak fishing
Paddler experience level… Beginner to Advanced
Shoe size….Up to men’s 15 (depending on shoe and personal comfort)
Cockpit size…19”x36" (also available with a standard touring cockpit opening of 17"x33")

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