Submitted: 03-07-2007 by MF
I paddled a Tahiti down the better portion of 84 miles on the San Juan in Utah--Bluff to Clay Hills takeout. There is some class III here but most of the river is flatwater. This boat does not track well because it's not supposed to. A boat cannot be expected to turn on a dime, and also be expected to track well on flatwater. The Tahiti is designed for whitewater, and maneuvers like a whitewater boat should. You don't want to put the skeg on if you're doing many rapids because it will hinder your ability to avoid hazards. This is a good boat for anyone on a budget, but keep in mind that if you were to spend for an Aire Tomcat $550, you could get a boat 20 times better--but heavier. The Tomcat is more durable, bails itself without leaving you sitting in a puddle, and is more stable. It is so rigid that you can stand upright on the pontoons in flat or riffle water and paddle it like a gondola, and the boat will not bend even with all your weight in the center, provided that you have the balance to stand, of course. The Tomcat beats every inflatable kayak that Sevylor has to offer, even the River X series. Aire says the Tomcat tandem will hold 450 lbs, but I've put really close to 500 lbs and was still maneuverable in moderate whitewater--class II and III. Sevylor says their boat will hold a lot but it can really handle no more than a single person with moderate gear, and even with that you will be sitting in a puddle because it doesn't bail above the water line.