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Submitted: 06-21-2006 by yhiggs

My Pachena is a 1996 model, fibreglass, with front air bag. I bought it secondhand from a Kayak Tour operator who felt the fibreglass was not tough enough to withstand his customers and was moving into plastic boats.

My primary reason for buying it in 1998 was to be able to stow it on the side deck of my 40' sailing ketch. It was perfect for that need.

My paddling experience has been varied, but mainly sea around Vancouver Island and mostly on the inside waters of Georgia Straight. Wind and wave conditions can vary from glasslike to howling gales. I have paddled this kayak in winds up to 25 knots in rough sea against tidal current.

At all times I have felt safe and stable in this delightful boat. At slightly more than moderate exertion I can keep up with my companions in their faster 17' - 18' kayaks. Into wind and wave I can easily stay the pace.

I consider the small extra effort required to maintain speed of the faster kayaks to be a plus; I feel I get a better workout and I have learned to improve my paddling technique.

As I frequently paddle in waves and current, I always use the rudder. The Pachena tracks well. I do notice when I paddle hard, that the kayak corkscrews, but watching others, they all seem to do the same when paddling hard.

The biggest plus for me is the storage capacity of the Pachena. I purchased an inflatable bow storage bag to replace the airbag. On a recent camping / kayaking trip, I found I had more storage capacity than my friends with their 17' kayaks. I took a tent, thermarest, bag of clothes, food, stove, pots and wine. It all fitted with room to spare.

There is plenty of room behind the seat to store a semi-inflated paddle float, 8 litres of water and a dry bag of clothes, sunscreen, camera etc..

I love my Pachena. The only thing I would like to add is a hammock or small watertight container under the deck up front to store the essential items like sunglasses and sunscreen.

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