Submitted: 07-05-2006 by Sloth
I have had the Solstice GTS in kevlar for two seasons now and have nothing negative to say about the boat. I've used it in Baja and the San Diego area, offshore and in flat water. As everyone points out, it tracks very well and has excellent stability, particularly when moving. When I was deciding what to get, I did time trials with a number of the competitors with the same waterline length using GPS out and back runs and was astonished to discover the Solstice had nearly a half knot edge over the others with paddling effort as closely controlled as I could manage...really. And it is very quiet through the water, not surprisingly. The boat rolls easily using the standard technique. It handles 1-2 foot surf well, but will pearl if you don't concentrate, especially if the wave faces are steep. Although the entry is fine and forward buoyancy looks marginal for handling travel with the waves, on a plane the hull shape generates surprising lift to help keep the bow up. In bigger waves, coming back to the beach, I've had good luck dragging a small canvas bucket from the aft grab loop attach point to keep the boat straight. Workmanship was defect-free, the hatches don't leak, the rudder setup is just what you need. For those studs who don't much use the rudder, I say fine, be that way. I use it whenever I want some maneuverability, which the boat lacks, or in quartering winds. I'm 5'7" and 155 pounds and the boat fits well. I only wonder how long the paranoia about scratching it will last. By the way, this site had the most useful reviews for me when I was in the market. I don't expect to be looking again for a long time.