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Submitted: 04-23-2007 by highlander_821

I just took my new Necky Manitou Sport out for her first float. This is my first Kayak, I usually paddle a Pelican Colorado tandem or an Old Town Pack solo canoe. I really like this boat. I am using a 230 cm Bending Branches Whisper paddle, and am carrying minimal cargo.

I took the boat on a 7 mile river float on the Salt Fork in Champaign County, between St Joseph and Sydney. Once I found the best seat and footpeg position, I found it to be quite comfortable. I am 5'10", 210 lbs (gained 40 lbs after quitting smoking), and found the cockpit roomy enough, but a bit of a struggle to get in and out of. That will come with practice.

It was remarkable to me how much quicker you can accelerate in a boat like this with a double paddle versus my friend in the Old Town Pack canoe. That boat can keep up, but it takes it a few strokes before it really starts to move well. I tried feathering the paddle so as to rotate the left-hand side of the paddle (Im right handed) and found it to be OK, but I felt more comfortable with it not feathered for some reason.

My only complaint is that this boat is 44 lbs. My Pack canoe is only 33 lbs. For some reason I was thinking this boat would be easier for me to move around on land than it is. I am going to have a blast with this boat this year, that's for sure. Mostly rivers, but I got the "Fire" colour scheme in the anticipation that I will try it on some lakes, some with larger powerboats.

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