Submitted: 06-27-2007 by Jason T.
This review is for newbies like me who have only paddled canoes and some kayaks. I agree with some of the other reviewers in that you have to ask yourself what you want to use the boat for. I picked it because I wanted something that my girlfriend and I could go out in on the lake or river and have fun on as well as something I could take fishing. I have to say I am very pleased with it so far.
Unlike a kayak or canoe I can jump out of it into the lake and swim around and then climb back in with relative ease. You pretty much cannot flip this boat. In fact I stood on it and dove off without flipping it, though I am sure the manufacture would not approve of that...
Setup is smooth and easy. 10 min till you're in the water. The high back seats are comfortable. This boat is stable in rough waters but is much faster in smooth waters. Since it is an inflatable, it is more susceptible to wind than a hard shell. Tracking is pretty good, about what I expected. Almost as good as a canoe. But again wind affects your tracking a lot more. The skegs on the bottom really help I think. I think with two people canoe paddles might be easier though I haven't tried them and the kayak paddles work just fine, you just have to get a rhythm. We have no problem paddling it but I would not want to go on a weeklong expedition with it as it is not as easy as a long kayak.
The material seems quite durable but time will tell as to the quality of the construction and the seams. I like the metal crossbars on it as they allow you to attach stuff to them. The boat also has a bunch of D-rings and the company sells them as well so you could add more if needed. In fact the company appears to be a marketing machine with all their attachments and add-ons which makes me a little nervous, but there are a lot of options if you want. I'll probably end up getting the sail rig for it. It also has an optional motor mount for a small motor which is a nice plus.
The boat claims to be able to hold 650 lbs though I think you would be severely hampered with that kind of weight in it. You certainly aren't going to be paddling long distance with that kind of weight. Also if you weigh over 225 your butt will be dragging in the water which will create a lot of extra drag and slow you down so I would choose a different boat if you are a larger person. My friend is right at 220 and small wakes were smacking the bottom where his rear was. That said this thing can hold a lot of gear. Plenty of room for a weekend worth of backpacker style camping gear.
All in all I am very happy with the boat and it serves the exact purpose for which I bought it: Swimming, fishing and short overnight trips. I would have no problem recommending this boat.