Submitted: 07-16-2007 by extractor
I've only had the T16 for two weeks, but I am so pleased with it, I had to write this. I previously owned three sit on tops, and had been a customer of Mike's when he manufactured Tribalance Kayaks.
I am a fisherman and free diver, and the Tribalance had fit the bill for a couple of years. I always felt like the odd man out, with real touring or cruising kayaks, although the Tribalance was pretty fast due to its narrow beam. The limitation existed in the fact that you had to have the outriggers in place at all times. I wanted to be a real kayaker too, so I went for the T16.
I am a large paddler 5'10 and 223 lbs., former college athlete, but at the tender age of 65, I had some doubts about balancing one of these sit ins without outriggers. I have the outrigger and fishing package, and now have had the opportunity to use both. I practiced in my pool here in Jupiter, FL to get the feel for the boat. The initial stability surprised me! Next I taught myself to do a wet entry with a paddle float after intentionally dumping the boat. No problems exiting the cockpit in a roll and with Mike's rescue paddle slot, I soon mastered the re-entry.
Today, I did my first sea trial without the outriggers, in the intracoastal waterway, its very wide and beautiful green water from the proximity of the inlet. Lots of boat traffic in the channel provided lots of wake practice. Secondary stability seemed even better than my wide sit on tops. I never felt out of control regardless of my tack angle in the wakes as they rolled into the shallows. Even did a little wake surfing, and had a very nice 5 mile paddle. I can't wait to get this boat to the keys for touring, fishing and diving. I have to thank Mike for giving me an entire new venue to pursue. My only negative thought on the boat concerns the seat acting as a giant sponge if you roll the boat, but it is the first seat that has allowed me to paddle in comfort with no numbness, sciatica, or leg pain. I have to give Enlightened a big thumbs up.