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Submitted: 05-18-2006 by natural_wonder
After decades of canoeing, I wanted a lighter boat for easier soloing. When a Feelfree Loma I turned up in the local classifieds at a good price, I briefly sat in it and instantly bought it. What I found was that after just 2hrs on the water, I was wishing I'd done more research into small kayaks. The Loma didn't have room for my size 12 feet to be comfortable on the pegs, so my legs and feet were always contorted. The molded seat wasn't adjustable at all, and became very uncomfortable after a couple hours on the water. In fact, the 2nd time I used it, I had it out for 4hrs, and nearly couldn't stand up to get out of it at the end, because my back hurt so much from the seat.
The 1st time out on a medium sized lake in the wind, with just 6-8" chop, the bow continually dipped down into the chop, and with such a low bow, that was a recipe for a very wet ride. Also, the boat really didn't track all that well in the wind on the open water. This is to be expected in a boat this short and wide. However, I later got to try a friend's Pamlico 100, and realized that these short boats don't have to be such miserable experiences. The Pam maneuvered better, was faster, and significantly drier. Compared to the Pam 100, the Loma was quite a bit less responsive, and more sluggish.
Initial stability on the Loma is extremely good. In fact, it's so good that I never did get to find out about it's secondary stability.
Another positive note, is that while there's no store presence for these boats in the US, yet, calling the FeelFree US dealer got me prompt courteous service and a discount on both a decent spray skirt and a cover. I never did wind up using the spray skirt, but it was surprisingly well made for the low cost.
Initial stability 10
Secondary stability N/A
Customer service 9
If you're looking for a safe, wide, stable boat for the kids to play on the lake, this one merits consideration. But, for little more money, there are far more capable boats in this class. Those considering this boat should also consider the WS Pamlico 100, WS Pungo 100, Perception Swifty 9.5, and OT Loon 100.
After just 6 hrs on the water in 2 trips with the Loma, I put it up for sale. It had taught me what I want and don't want in a small boat.
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