Submitted: 05-07-2007 by jbead
he Montour 11 was my first kayak, purchased one year ago. Purchased from Dick's, it came down to a decision between a Perception America or the Montour. Glad I went with the Montour - while definitely a rec boat, it has some attributes that will make the transition to touring boats easier. I like the tighter cockpit, harder chine which makes it easier to edge and deployable skeg. The first time I paddled my Montour, I could not keep it from turning circles without the skeg - a year into it and the only time that I use the skeg is when the wind is really blowing. Compared to other rec boats I've paddled - Pungo, America, Aquasport, etc; I find the Montour to be more responsive.
What don't I like - at 6'0, 205 lbs I am pushing the upper size limit on this boat. The Montour has moved on to be my wife's boat and it rides much better in the water at her weight than mine. That said, the cockpit fit me pretty well with little adjustment - again compared to other rec boats I was able to "lock in" much more. One really annoying trait made worse by riding low to the water is the bow wake and general noisiness of the hull. This is not the boat if you dream of silently sneaking up on wildlife, at least not if you plan on doing that with much speed. I also wish the seatback was lower or it was easier to swap out for a backband. Carefully consider your PFD and how it interacts with the seatback. This is a real problem for my wife with her shorter stature.
I've paddled the Montour up and down my local lake, on rivers with Class I and II rapids, through salt marshes, inlets off the Chesapeake Bay and very briefly past the entrance to Murrell's Inlet into the Atlantic - okay, this was inappropriate. The Montour allowed me to experience all of those things, taught me a lot and made me much better prepared for my next boat purchase. Not bad for $349.