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Submitted: 09-20-2006 by Mac Oliver
My wife and I recently purchased this tandem inflatable kayak to explore Lake Tahoe and the surrounding lakes. This is the new yellow kayak with the drop stitched floor. This may be the first review of this updated model. Overall, we are very pleased with this kayak. However, it does have several deficiencies. The 3 chambers blow up easily. It took about 10 minutes to fully assemble. It comes with a pressure gauge for measuring the two pressures, 3 psi in the side chambers and 7 psi in the floor. The side chambers come with boston valves. One of them leaked and had to be replaced with one of the two spare valves that came with it. The floor has a different valve that is far superior and worked well. The bailing ports on the bottom were deformed from the folding process and it was difficult to put the caps on to close them. We found that these leaked and I'm considering trying to close them with silicone sealant as we only plan to paddle on flat water. One our first two outings we had great difficulty steering in a straight line. The two one inch deep stabilizers are very inadequate and get warped in the folding process. For about $8, I bought a 15 inch by 3 1/2 inch piece of aluminum. I bent this in half and folded out 2 inches of the top for a flange forming a T shaped skeg that is 5 1/2 inches deep by 3 1/2 inches wide. I drilled 4 holes in the top through which I put the ends of shock cords and tied knots to hold them. The end hooks on these cords I attached to the two D rings on top of the aft end of the side chambers. This made a world of difference on the following outings. It steered easily and was a joy to paddle. It deflates very easily. I can deflate, fold it and have it in the trunck of the car in 5 minutes.
Except for the boston valves and the bailing ports, this kayak is very well made. It's extremely stable and rigid. The seats are comfortable, well made and come with very heavy duty brass hardware to attach them to the many D rings. Velcro secures them to the inflated floor. For the price, I think this is an outstanding value. We hope to get many years of paddling pleasure from it.
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