Submitted: 09-11-2006 by hogwild
NOTE: i'm relatively new to kayaking but have canoed much, so the following impressions are based on my limited experience, also, i have since taking the kayak out on small, meandering, class i rivers and a mid-size pond. the first time i paddled the perception sundance 14 was at a kayaking class. i was surprised at how effortlessly it paddled and how well it maintained its glide.
i'm not sure how to judge how well it tracks since it'll go where you point it and will maintain its heading as long as you paddle correctly, but isn't that so for all kayaks? there is a slight bow movement away from the side you're paddling but nothing like what you'd get on a canoe, not even close. once when i was out on a pond, the wind kicked up but i didn't find tracking to be a problem at all.
turning is fine but not as fast as on a canoe with two people drawing on opposite sides, but that could be due to my lack of mastery with the proper stroke. i have taken it down a couple of small, winding rivers and turning hasn't been a problem. rudder is an available option so if you're unsure with either tracking or turning, get one that has it.
stability is great. haven't ever felt tippy. don't have enough experience with kayaks to judge 2ndary stability but i have edged it and it felt fine. i've flipped it on purpose to practice wet exit and self rescue but i had to really try to do it.
the cockpit is huge! paddle drip could be a problem with turning strokes. however, the cockpit size was a major determing factor for me in buying this kayak because i wanted to be able to bring my kids (4 and 6, one at a time) on the trip and there's plenty of room for both of us.
it weights somewhere in the mid-50 lbs., can't remember, so it's no problem getting it on or off a minivan roof by myself. the front will oilcan if you transport it upright and tie down the front lead line tight, so i transport my upside down.
my 3 choices for kayaks were this one, old town loon 138 or old town adventure xl 139 (all with big cockpits.) in the very brief time i tried the loon, it paddled about the same as the sundance, didn't try the adventure. i like the loon's hatch much better than the sundance's, but went with the sundance because i got a good deal, and the option of adding the rudder in the future if i ever feel the need.