Passat by Seaward Kayaks

Fast, graceful and a delight to paddle, Seaward’s Passat K2 is setting new standards in the racing and kayak touring industry. The Passat’s Greenland-style bow, semi-V hull and 26″ beam enable you to paddle quickly and comfortably.

With over 233 litres of storage space, it allows enough room to pack gear for extended trips. The Passat’s performance and great looks are the direct result of Seaward’s design team, encompassing feedback from paddlers across North America who were interested in a double with these exceptional qualities, without the typical drawbacks of most doubles on the market.

Even in solo use, the Passat is truly a remarkable kayak to paddle.


TE 6′ 1″, 200-pound male. Day trips with 175-pound and 195-pound partners. Winds 10 to 12 miles per hour. Wind waves at 11/2 to 2 feet, ship wake at 4 feet.
GL5′ 11″, 165-pound male. Day trips with 140-pound partner in conditions from calm to winds at 25 knots and wind waves from 1 to 2 feet.
HE 5′ 1″, 105-pound female with 145-pound partner. Day trips in winds at 10 to 15 knots and wind waves to 2 feet.

Passat Kayak Review:

“With its upswept bow, the lines on this narrow-beamed double appear quite sleek” (HE). The Passat has a “long, beautiful profile, clean lines and a solid feel” (GL). The hull-to-deck seam is glassed inside and out and the workmanship was excellent.

“Toggle locations make for a relatively easy tandem carry” (GL), although, “because the toggles are set in from the ends, you can’t switch hands without putting the boat down” (TE).

The deck bungies are “all in useful locations for easy-to-grab paddles, deck gear and chart bags, and for securing a paddle to free your hands for another task”(HE). The bungies are laced through padeyes that are bolted to the deck and “won’t tear or grab if you’re crawling on deck” (HE). Behind the aft cockpit there is a strap-and-buckle system for holding a paddle float outrigger. Two of the bolts securing the strap were slightly long and could snag dry bags stuffed below deck.

The cockpit openings are “long enough for us to get in seat first, but the boat is not too deep or wide-it feels very much like paddling a single”(TE). HE, the smallest of our test paddlers, would need more foam installed to give her a tighter fit in the cockpit. There is “plenty of foot room” (GL) in both cockpits. The distance between the cockpits “works great if the paddling gets out of synch. We rarely clashed paddles and if we did we were sprinting, not paying attention, and out of synch” (GL).

The seats are fabric-covered foam wedges that can double as paddle floats. They were comfortable for GL and HE, but for TE, “the foam begins to feel rather hard after a while. There is not enough support for my legs on the forward edge of the seat.” The back band, a padded sheet of plastic, was “quite comfortable and gave just enough support” (GL) and “didn’t interfere with getting in and out of the boat”(TE).

The thigh braces are flanges molded into the coaming and are padded with foam. TE and GL liked them-“excellent, they worked perfectly for me” (GL)- but HE needed some foam to get a solid fit for her small frame.

The foot braces in the forward cockpit slide in tracks and are held by webbing and buckles that give the pedals a very spongy feel. The aft cockpit has locking foot pedals that provide solid purchase for bracing and pivoting foot pads for steering. A weld on one of the rudder pedals had failed. Seaward promptly replaced the pedal with a new one that had a larger weld in the area that had failed.

“The rudder system is nice looking and compact” (GL). “There are separate lines for raising and lowering, which are easier to operate than a rudder control line that is looped on one side. The lines have large handles that are easy to find and comfortable to pull on. “(TE).

The Passat’s initial stability is “moderate, greater than most singles, but less than other doubles. Secondary stability is good. The kayak can be put up on edge in order to perform a leaned turn” (GL). TE “felt very secure in the Passat taking cresting waves from any direction.”

“With the rudder up, steering the kayak is easily accomplished with a little lean and/or a steering stroke” (GL). GL and TE thought the Passat tracked “great with or without the rudder”(GL), although HE “would not want to paddle too long without the rudder.” “The rudder functions perfectly. It did not seem to slow the boat or need to be set at strong angles to effect a turn” (GL).

With the rudder retracted, TE and GL noted a slight tendency to weathercock; with the rudder deployed, “turning any direction in wind was not difficult” (GL).

HE noted that it was a wet ride for the bow paddler, but TE reported that “the bow parted most of the waves without taking a lot of water on deck. Larger waves coming over the deck didn’t throw spray.”

All of the reviewers gave the Passat high marks for speed: “very fast, impressive upwind speed” (GL). TE and partner “motored into the wind at 5 knots and could sprint at 61/2 knots in choppy water. On the downwind leg we caught some exciting rides at about 9 knots.”

“In waves and swell the boat is quite playful” (HE). “Great fun in a following sea. We were able to catch wind waves easily. Caught some wild rides on a steep, fast-moving ship wake” (TE).

GL and his partner “did seven rolls without a miss and our coordination wasn’t perfect. This kayak would be a blast for perfecting tandem rolling techniques” (GL).

The Passat has three caulked-in fiberglass bulkheads, two creating watertight end compartments and one separating the cockpits. The hatches have neoprene covers and fiberglass lids, both tethered to the deck rigging. Only GL reported water getting into the compartments: a mere teaspoon in the forward compartment after a day of taking waves over the bow. In rescue drills with flooded cockpits, “there was enough flotation in the end compartments to float the kayak with both of us aboard with about two inches of freeboard below the sheer line” (TE).

“The Passat is a rewarding boat to paddle. With a strong partner we could cover a lot of miles at a fast cruising speed. It had none of the bulky feel of many other doubles. It is a very comfortable boat to paddle in rough water and, with the exception of the spongy forward foot braces, a well thought-out and sensibly equipped double”(TE).

“This is a very fun boat to paddle and it would be great for cruising. Overall handling is responsive and fast” (HE). “This is a fast, performance-oriented double that’s easy to pack with enough space for minimalist expeditions. This kayak will kick the pants off of other doubles and tempt a pair of motivated paddlers to perfect tandem rolls, braces and other advanced kayaking skills” (GL).

Designer Response

Thank-you Sea Kayaker test paddlers, for the impressive review. Seaward Kayaks’ intention is to build strong, aesthetically pleasing kayaks with functional design and innovative features. The viable information we receive from these reviews helps us analyze our stringent quality control and performance standards.

To address some of the finer details while manufacturing kayaks, we at Seaward have an extensive checklist which has to be completed before any kayak leaves the manufacturing plant. Included in the checklist is a procedure to check that bolts do not exceed the bottom surface of the nylock nuts (oops). In the event a component fails or is installed incorrectly, we would promptly send a replacement part. Seat bottom styles have historically created discussion, as nobody fits all seats the same. Because of this, Seaward Kayaks’ seat bottoms are designed so that the padding inside them can be easily accessed and customized (as described in our owners manual). The seat bottom can also be removed and used as a backup paddle float for a self rescue.

Seaward Kayaks prides itself on being able to provide the consumer with exactly what he or she requests. By offering three styles of foot pedals (sliding rudder control foot pedal system, locking foot brace rudder control system and the Yakima locking foot pedal-all the same bolt patterns to install), we can accommodate all paddlers’ preferences. Our philosophy is “Ask and Ye Shall Receive !”

I am personally pleased with the Passat and I am even more pleased with the review. Thanks to Sea Kayaker magazine and all of the test paddlers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *