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Submitted: 07-09-2007 by gak

Update of GAK review of 6/21/07 for Straitedge II. All paddling has been solo or with a non-paddling passenger. All in the coastal area of Marblehead/ Salem harbor, MA.

Have taken the Straitedge II out x3 now. Continue to be impressed by the basic stability. Have been out in significant ocean swells with winds up to 15 knots with no problem. I have to reiterate that if you are intending doing distance paddling as a solo paddler, you will get there in the end, but it is not a fast craft and you need to plan accordingly. I have paddled this with a passenger, but only with one person paddling; Progress will increase significantly with two paddlers- it would be a light kayak with two person power. Paddling into the wind was not to bad at all- a pleasant surprise.
This kayak had no problems holding two passengers, combined weight of 390 lbs; we could have loaded her up with plenty of extra gear with no problem. If you want a very stable, load bearing sit-on kayak this is a good choice.
On the sailboat (29 ft): Easy to toss over the side, easy to retrieve back on board. This is an easy & quick kayak to inflate/ deflate on land with a flat surface, however you need to be a little creative on a smallish sailboat such as mine. Moving it around on the sailboat is a lot easier with two people. It is much easier to move it around on the boat solo if it is inflated. However this takes up valuable space, and you have to be very careful where you lay it topsides because of the proliferation of sharp ended cotter pins in the standing rigging and blocks (I keep forgetting to bring tape out to cover the sharp areas…). Consequently I usually unroll it in the cockpit and let the last third drop into the cabin; I inflate the outer shell, which makes it easier to handle, then pull the whole kayak out into the cockpit and turn it sideways so the ends are hanging over the sides (inflating the outer shell first means it keeps its shape, doesn’t fold over the side: this means the floor can be inflated without worrying about kinks). Then I inflate the floor and end pieces; the order of inflation remains the same as how their Directions suggest. Drop it in the water and off you go….When sailing I often store it inflated inside the cabin; easy to just pull it out and drop it over the side at the destination. Getting in and out of the kayak at the swim ladder is ridiculously easy; stand on last step facing the sailboat, drop butt in kayak- the thing is so stable I have had no problems getting into and out of the kayak.

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