Inuk Ultra 18
The new Inuk Ultra 18, FSK. Rob’s latest design, developed with Kirton Kayaks.
A really versatile FSK “fast sea kayak”.
Probably the most refined sea kayak we have ever made, the Inuk Ultra 18 is joy to paddle, a great day boat and an exceptional expedition sea kayak.
The Inuk Ultra 18 has been a long time coming ! We have spent several years developing this kayak. The design is an evolution of several of my previous boats, notably the Inuk 20 but others as well. During this process I worked closely with Kirton Kayaks, Kirton bringing their CAD / CNC manufacturing expertise to bear.
Mick O Meara was also key in the collaboration bringing his experience and many years as a performance paddling to the design.
The design objective was for a “fast sea kayak” but not an “elite” boat. A sea kayak designed for speed without sacrificing precious stability in rough water conditions. A kayak that is suitable for day paddling by an average “intermediate” club paddler yet a boat that can be loaded with full expedition kit.
Building on the successes of the Inuk Ultra 20, the Inuk Ultra 18 has been refined and overhauled in almost every regard and is much more suitable for day-trips as well as extended expeditions.
The Inuk Ultra 18 is designed entirely around the paddler, from cockpit layout to the deep deck “cut aways” enabling maximum paddling efficiency. It’s an unapologetic pedigree design, stripped down to the essentials, to bring you a focused performance boat that has everything you need and nothing that you don’t.
We’ve improved the handling of the hull to allow excellent control with and without a rudder. Although we would always recommend the use of a rudder, the Inuk 18 is both manoeuvrable and easily controllable with the rudder up and clear of the water. The hull has a fine shallow V form forward, flattened D mid section, and deeper V sections running aft to a small transom. The rocker line is optimised for forward paddling, but turns well and behaves itself impeccably when the conditions get wild. The Inuk 18 readily catches following seas and swells – it’s truly fantastic for paddling down wind in big seas.
The Inuk Ultra 18 has good initial and secondary stability giving the paddler some reserve which is especially important when nearing the end of a hard days paddling. The increased stability allows for a better paddling technique, less fatigue and therefore excellent speed over longer distances. On time trials this has proved to be the case with the Inuk Ultra 18 already setting some records.
As standard, the Inuk Ultra 18 comes fitted with the “Smart Track” rudder and our newly designed foot plate & butterfly steering system – a half-hight full-width plate with a pivoting tiller control. The rudder is transom mounted with control cables all run internally. The up-haul control is recessed behind the cockpit.
A lot of time has been spent optimising the cockpit layout to facilitate an efficient paddling style. The high fore deck and key hole cockpit gives a comfortable and dynamic paddling position, either knees-together (K-boat style) or bent outward under the secure thigh braces, when conditions are rougher. The pronounced “cut aways” on the fore deck, extending to the waterline, allow a close paddle entry enhancing the all important initial “catch”
We have added new tabs at the knees, that extend down from the cockpit rim for a more positive lock when bracing. The tabs are padded for your comfort, some additional personalisation of the tabs and padding is possible.
We will shortly be adding an adjustable knee/ thigh brace system that can be retro-fitted if you feel you require an even greater degree of “lock in”.
The re-deigned seat is adjustable forward and aft to allow you to customise your seating position and modify the fore / aft trim of the kayak. An adjustable backrest is fitted as standard.
The Inuk Ultra 18 has a spacious four hatch deck layout, with three large hatches and three bulkheads, giving ample storage, especially in the cavernous bow compartment. There is plenty of opportunity to reposition your kit and trim the boat to suit the conditions on the day, and on lighter trips we suggest adjusting the seat forward a notch or two for superior handling. The small day hatch mounted in front of the cockpit is a welcome addition for expedition paddlers and allows for convenient access for small items. On deck, there is a perimeter life line and bungees with deck balls for the easy storage of paddles and gear.