Submitted: 07-18-2006 by Dirty_Ed
I've had my Approach for 4 months now. This is my 22nd kayak over the last 30 years. After 15 trips on easy class II-III like the Elkhorn in KY and the New in WV, I find its a great boat for old-school, nutritional over-achievers like myself. For those that grew up with displacement hulls this is an easy yak to transition to. It is pretty high-volume and I feel you need to be at least 190 lb or maybe even over 200 lb to get the best performance out of the boat. I tip the scales at 260 and the Approach could handle another 20-30 lbs easily.
I've got mine rigged for fishing and it allows me to surf across waves to grab the small eddies where smallmouths can be found. I could see when I first bought it that the skeg extended too far down and could easily catch on rocks etc if it was forgotten and left extended while in a rapid. I knotted the cord so that the maximum extension is about 45 degrees and have had no problems at all. I expected the rear foam wall to leak as the constant flex on the hull bottom soon breaks the seal and allows water to pass under the wall on most yaks used in WW. I cured this by my normal method - cutting a 2X4 to a length about 1/2" longer than the depth of the boat, jamming it in so the bottom is flexed down and then filling the gap with marine goop. So far its been working well and my gear has stayed dry in the storage compartment.
For large paddlers looking for an all-around river boat that can handle easy WW, this is the ticket. The storage area easily holds enough gear for an overnight trip, the drop skeg helps while paddling through the long pools or positioning the yak during fishing and the boat easily handles class II-III rapids while carrying a lot of weight.
As no yak is perfect, a 9 is as high as I could rate it.