Submitted: 02-07-2007 by Easkydude
I bought the Pacific Blue RM166 to replace my Easky in Sept 06, and am happy in general with the boat. It's a good intermediate boat- I like the low maintainance/cost aspects of poly boats. I found the seat and thigh grips set up a bit wonky for me, and have had to make some changes- I'm 5'7", 200lb, and maybe it's my frame that's to blame but I had to move the whole seat setup back about 2", and add an Immersion Research Reggie backrest. I moved the seat as it felt too far forward(if you put a neoprene deck on and look down over the opening you can see the backrest is way out of alignment with the back of the deck opening-it's bang on now)and this hindered self rescues the cowboy/ladder way. The backrest is naff, and while trying to self rescue in the above ways the height of the seatback ensures you end up sitting on it, fully ratcheted forward! It had to go and the IR one is lower, more supportive and generally brilliant. These changes have not messed with the balance/handling either.
Anyway- the boat is fine stability wise unladen, and laden it is brilliantly stable- it lowers the freeboard quite a bit which means less weathercocking. The kayak is very strong, the kajaksport hatch covers fit tight and the skeg is excellent.
The only major gripe I have with it's actual performance relates to the rough textured finish all over the boat. I feel the boat should be quicker, and recently tried a Current Designs Scirocco, which has a highly polished finish in comparison, and this felt much quicker(even though it has terrible outfitting and the hull flexes way too much...)
I'm currently on a few websites trying to work out if it's possible to somehow polish the boat to make it smoother- I don't want a composite yet, as I haven't had a full season with a "real" sea kayak of any sort and would rather wait a year or two to POSSIBLY make that change.
A polished Capella would be ideal- outfitting is expected so I'm not bothered about the changes there, it's a personal thing!