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Submitted: 07-10-2006 by Vince
While this boat has some good qualites, we pretty much ruled it out after renting one a couple hours for a 6.5 mile paddle. BTW, I am a very experienced kayaker but mostly in singles.
Fist I will say that it is very stable and seaworthy.... at least in terms of capsizing. However, with a total payload of about 450 lbs. we had almost zero freeboard. It was one of the wettest rides I've ever had because the deck which slopes up to the cockpit guides every wave right into the boat. I don't ejoy using a spray cover on hot days in relatively tame waters so this is a big negative.
The cockpit is also much less roomy than you might guess from the dimensions. Some would like it but I found it confining because it is shallow and it has large leg braces. Again, some would call this a plus. In the stern, there is one more surprise. There is a large foam pillar located right between your legs.... where I usually keep a small dry bag with a camera etc. The seats are OK but have low backs so not much support.
Cockpit spacing makes it unlikely that you'll bang paddles with the other person but, if you have a long stroke, it'll be close enough to make you flinch. It's probably close enough to pass items back and fourth though.
We were only able to do about 4mph (GPS) in this boat which seemed a bit slow and it tracked poorly in spite of having a rudder. I'm wondering if the hull could have been warped or something but we couldn't spot anything obvious when we took it out of the water.
I'm sure a lot of people could be happy with this boat, especially considering the price, but it certainly is not the ultimate double. Definitley try other boats (like the Kestrel 170T)and consider carefully before buying this one. ....and if you paddle in choppy waters plan on getting wet.
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