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Submitted: 06-06-2007 by Dr_Disco
I paddled this boat for a week in the Galapagos Islands. My wife also had one. For a setting like that, this kind of boat may be the only option. However, our experience was more negative than positive.
Let me start with inflation. Be sure that the tubes on each side are equally inflated. This is not an easy thing to do and if not achieved the boat will track badly. The foot pegs are attached to metal tracks along the inside of the outer tubes. They can be tightened in place or left un-tightened if the boat has a rudder and you wish to use it (ours did have a rudder and we had to use it some times because of unequal inflation). But whether loose or tight, the foot pegs are very uncomfortable. There is no way to position your feet on them that is not unpleasant. They sit at the wrong angle for your foot to rest flat whether you use your heel or the ball of your foot and your foot constantly rubs against the metal track. An hour of that is very difficult. Our boats were assembled and inflated by our guide (or crew members of the boat we were on). On at least one occasion the foot peg tracks placed the foot pegs at different angles from each other. Once the boat is inflated this is impossible to adjust. In a tropical climate they have to be deflated a certain amount after each use if they are exposed to the sun when stored. This means they have to be reinflated each time they are used.
The boats actually handle pretty well. The skeg needs to be down at all times or they don't track well. But even with the skeg down they are easy to turn and not that difficult to keep going straight. They do tend to move left and right as you paddle and consequently are not as efficient as a hard shell boat. They are not fast either because they do not glide very far and cannot be pushed much beyond 4 mph. They are stable boats but at first you may not be sure. They bob around like corks and feel like they are going to turn over with every wave. But if you relax they just bob along without a problem. It is actually difficult to turn them over if you try.
I do not recommend this boat unless you have no other alternative.
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