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Submitted: 07-30-2007 by JAS
I recently bought a Puffin II to use as a center hull in a trimaran sail rig. I bought it mainly because of the light weight (26 pounds), not so much because it can be taken apart. It took me over an hour to put it together the first time, so I'm glad that I won't have to do it more than once a season.
I don't think that there is another 14 foot kayak or canoe (in any material) that is as light as this and it is really amazing to load it on my rack after struggling with 65 pound sea kayak hulls. It is just in a whole different league when it comes to weight.
As far as paddling goes, it doesn't track very well and isn't very fast compared to a 14 foot hardshell boat. It's really for rec paddling for two people who want to travel with their boat in a duffle bag. I set it up as a single and since I'm 6'4 and 220 pounds, it doesn't seem at all large for me. The stock inflatable seats are comfortable, however they have a fairly low back.
If you are looking for a sleek, shapely boat, this isn't it, as the hull is a bit lumpy to my eye when the inflatable side tubes are pressurized. The engineering of the boat is clever and the quality of the fit and finish is good, although it isn't a Feathercraft in that regard. The bottom material looks to be very rugged and can probably stand a lot of abuse. The topsides are a thinner material that helps keep the weight down.
Overall, this boat does what it is advertised to do and does it well at a price that's competitive with rotomolded hulls of the same size. You can't beat the light weight and small storage when folded.
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