Submitted: 05-11-2006 by pamyak
I've had a 17 foot Arctic Tern for about 3 years now, bought it already put together. I find it very stable and a good boat to start paddling in. I would say that you need to carefully work on fitting it for yourself, even consider getting an after market foam seat and backband. The inflatable seat makes my legs fall asleep.
The Tern rides high in the water (ok, I have never paddled it loaded and I am not a giant) and bobs like a cork in intersecting waves. It goes straight like a dream and is reasonably fast. It turns with less than grace. Even leaned, a lot of muscle is needed to get this boat to turn.
I took it to a class on rolling and decided this is definitely NOT the boat to learn to roll in. I'd love to hear from from someone who has rolled these! On the other hand, it's so stable it won't be an issue for most people.
Your enjoyment of this boat will be determined by your size and shape, and where you paddle. The light weight makes it a joy to move and load, even onto my vehicle. And, it's strong like a brick wall! I left the end of my front rope dangling this weekend, ran over it, and BENT the roof rack without damaging the kayak. Wow. Glad it wasn't my fiberglass boat.