Submitted: 09-18-2007 by Jim D
I'm a 2 year paddler who's prior experience was all in Wilderness T-160i, a boat I'm very fond of. I'm 6'2", 210lbs, size 13 feet, 34" waist. Bought the Elaho HV last fall as my first "real" kayak....I paddle mostly alone. Took it out and found that 1. The boat pulled badly to the left, and 2. The boat had very poor initial stability. I put it up until this spring when I could teach myself to self rescue... still tippy and still pulled left. The nose appeared to be physically bent to the left. I then discovered the tail was also badly bent to the left... I'd been paddling a big "left hook" through the water!
I sent pictures of the defect to Appomotax River Company and they dealt with Necky. Bottom line, I just took receipt of a brand new replacement boat yesterday, totally @ Necky's expense!!! Thank you Tom @ Appomatox, and thank you Necky!!!Report to follow on this new boat. It's also significant that the initial stability improved significantly after I replaced the stock seat with a very thin "hot seat". This lowered the cg and made a huge difference, especially headed into or directly with the swell/waves. It is still very tippy when exposed to any significant broadside wave action. However, I am an intermediate paddler at best so I'm hoping this instability will get better with more time in the new boat.
As far as QA on the first boat....it was obviously badly warped when I got it....Is there someone sober at Necky QA'ing these boats? Also, the backpad ratcheting device (I hate it) broke about the 4th time I took the boat out, and the cable stay popped off on the right rudder cable. Again QA ain't what it should be. I'll be submitting a report on the replacement boat after I take it out 3-4 times.