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Submitted: 10-23-2006 by BobLeDuc
I recently took my new Puffin Sport 10.5 out with the Boy Scouts as we worked on Canoeing Merit Badge. I bought the boat to carry in a motor home and, very honestly, I was not expecting much from it. I thought it would get me out on the water, but I really didn't think a light weight folding 10.5 foot long canoe shaped boat would perform very well. I was wrong!
The scouts were in a variety of canoes made of Roylex, fiberglass and Crosslink 3 and we were working on the "wet" parts of the merit badge, which included swamping the boats, boat over boat rescues, reentries, etc. I thought I would try the Puffin out. I was very impressed at how stable the boat was and how well it tracked. It was much faster than I ever thought it would be and I was very impressed at how far I could lay it over on its' side with out taking on water and how quickly it would turn when I did lay it over. I WAS IMPRESSED! In fact, I was so impressed that the next week I took the boat down one of the Pine Barren Streams in New Jersey and tried a section that is very seldom paddled. These streams have sections that are very tight with lots of twists and turns. There are lots of obstructions and a strong current to push you into them. There are many downfalls and old submerged cedar trees that have pointed stubs sticking out like spikes where the branches come off the trunk. I had my concerns, so I brought the repair kit which is included with the boat and the pump,...just in case! I did hit a couple of these and it didn't affect the boat at all!
What a great little boat. It is much tougher than I had hoped. There were a few very low trees that I could not get through while ducking down in the boat or climbing over ( this was not a trip where I sat quietly paddling down the river) and I was forced to get out in the water. The boat was very stable and easy to climb in and out of even though the water was a couple feet deep. I paddle every week, all year long in a variety of boats from whitewater to open water, and this was a very fun boat to paddle. All I expected from this boat was something to get me out on the water when we traveled in the motor home. A boat that wouldn't cost much, would be lightweight and would fold-up to fit into the compartments on the RV. I didn't expect it to perform very well at all. I was very pleasantly surprised. It does everything I wanted the boat to do and soo much more. Nice job Pakboats !!!
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