Submitted: 08-29-2006 by JML
Just bought last night the Carolina 14.5 with rudder. I had tried a few boats previous to the 14.5, but none had the combination of speed, design, stability and overall appearance for the price.
The first thing that struck me was the glossy finish. In my opinion, the solid colors look much better than the combo colors - much more glossy and resemble the duralites. I wanted yellow but had to settle for red. Now I match my wife's Pungo 120 and feel like a dork.
I liked the boat during my demo, but man-o-man, my new one really impressed me. I've been paddling in the Delaware lately and there's nothing like a gigantic oil tanker riding up your butt to make you appreciate a decent kayak, especially when your last few adventures were in a SeaEagle inflatable (don't get me started on that). It sits nice and low to the water, the seat is comfortable and it tracks fairly well. Although, when I first got in it, it was pulling to the right alot. I spent some time fidgeting with the seat and footpegs and think I got it right. The rudder makes a huge difference in the wakes and wind but has you compromising speed when in use. For that reason, I usually keep it up so my friends with the $2000 kayaks keep crying that mine is faster than theirs.
Overall, for what I picked this baby up for, I'm pretty satisfied. Now I can cruise for chicks along the Delaware in a decent whip...holla at ya' boy!