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Submitted: 12-11-2006 by KAYAKOZZY
In defense of the Vista- I own 2 of these and have for 4 years now. The seats that came with them back then are bad. But, so was every other kayak seat at the time these were made. The padded seats Walden added later are much better. But still not a WS Phase 3. Capacity is low. Both weightwise and Volumewize. Your not going to go much longer than a weekend with the gear you can bring. They tend to weathercock some in a crosswind. The bow submerges in a 2-3 foot chop. OK now that I've proven that I do not see my Waldens through rose colored glasses here's what's right about them.
They are LIGHT...really light. The Hull material is not just a single layer of poly like my WS boats. There is a degree of insulation and sound deadening there. Not to mention they are RIGID. You can stand on them and they won't dish. They are fast. Speed is based on waterline length nt overall and they are all waterline. So a 12'6" kayak with a Greenland style bow will have a waterline length of about 11'6" as an example. The Vista cutwater is in the Aleut style and yields a true 12'6" waterline. This is why she seems so much faster than other 12 footers. She has poor initial stability which makes it possible to lean turn her. But secondary stability is good unless you get cocky and nothing a good hard brace can't fix. And she CAN be rolled. But my biggest compliment is that this IS A LIGHT TOURING KAYAK! It is NOT a REC boat. Enough with the snobbery that anything less than 14' is a rec boat. Using that logic my battleship of a yak 160T Pamlico is not a rec boat. Which is completely untrue. The Vista is a "pocket" Touring Kayak. Easy to fit on the roof rack. Carries enough for a weekend if you pack carefully. And small enough to gunk hole into the out of the way spots that a 17' Fiberglass would'nt dare to go. And everyone who has enough time off a year to go on a week long expedition with a 10 mile open water crossing please raise your hand.........yeah that's what I thought. She's the right boat for 80-90% of us. So let's stop bashing her and accept her for what she is. A fine light tourer.
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