The Inuk Ultra 18 is a fast expedition sea kayak (FSK), but has not been designed as an ‘elite’ kayak. It’s fast and efficient but doesn’t sacrificing precious stability in rough water conditions making it suitable intermediate to advanced a paddlers. It handles perfectly with full expedition kit or just a few essentials for a short day trip.
Kirton Kayaks Inuk Ultra 18
Building on the successes of the Inuk 20, the 18 has been refined an overhauled in almost every regard and is much more suitable for day-trips as well as extended expeditions.
There are a number of tweaks, like the recessed the uphaul cleat and super-clean deck layout, but the most striking features are the extreme paddle cutaways that extend right down to the waterline.
The Inuk Ultra 18 has been a long time coming! Led by world-renowned kayak designer, Rob Feloy, and over a year in the making, the Inuk 18 was a true collaboration in its creation, with Kirton bringing CAD and manufacturing expertise and Mick O’Meara offering his many years’ experience as a performance paddler.
The aim was to bring all the best features of our sea kayaks in one concise package. The Inuk Ultra 18 is designed entirely around the paddler for the best paddle entry possible and therefore 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 dramatically 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, flatted D mid section, and deeper V sections running aft to a small transom. The Inuk 18 readily catches following seas and swells – it’s truly fantastic for paddling down wind in big seas.
The flat mid sections and chines allow the kayak to edge and carve well in turns, and it will readily catch surf and ocean 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.
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. We have added new tabs at the knees, that extend down from the cockpit rim for a more positive lock when bracing, although it is not desirable to hold this position for any longer than is necessary. The tabs are padded for your comfort, but some additional personalisation of the tabs may be required for your comfort but it’s worth the effort for the occasion you need that extra contact. The re-deigned seat is adjustable forward and aft and 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.
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.
The Inuk Ultra 18 is available in two constructions at launch, using our most technologically advanced vacuum process. Choose from the No.1i (Expedition spec) a tough infused diolen reinforced glass fibre construction weighing approximately 26kg. Alternatively splash out on the No.14 light-weight construction (full carbon/kevlar) weighing approximately 21kg. Colours, flash designs and fit-out can be configured to suit your requirements however with the No.14 we recommend white for the most long-lasting and light-weight kayak.
Total carrying capacity 82-135kg
Cockpit (external) 47cm x 86cm
Bow Hatch: 111ltr
Sweetie Hatch: 4.7ltr
Day Hatch: 47ltr
Stern Hatch: 96ltr