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Submitted: 09-20-2007 by Stewart Midwinter
My comments are pretty much in line with the previous reviewer's. I also bought a 12.10 a couple of days ago. Prior to buying this boat, I paddled (and have reviewed a few) an Impex Mytic, Necky Looksha Sport, Venture Kayaks Orca 14, Old Town Loon 120 (I own one of these), Delta Fourteen Five, Seaward Cosma TX, Current Designs Kestrel 140, Seaward Passat G3.
I find the 12.10 tracks well, particularly, say, in comparison with the Necky Looksha Sport, while still being maneuverable with body leans or paddle sweeps or draws. In a 20 km/h crosswind, I didn't find any real weathercocking tendency; I have the seat about in the middle of its on-the-water-adjustable range. I don't think this fairly short boat needs a rudder or skeg, and so far I don't miss the lack of one.
I was initially confused on how to adjust the footpegs. I flipped the locking lever arm and tried pulling it or pushing it without success; finally I realized that I had to use my feet or hands to move the pegs and all the lever did was unlock them. Doh!
The molded and padded seat was comfortable, and I appreciated the in-flight adjustable seat-back. I also liked the padded thigh braces. I rolled the boat several times and found it fairly easy; only a little harder than the much narrower Impex Mystic that has rounded chines (21.5" beam versus the 12.10's 25" beam).
The primary stability of this boat is higher than, say, the Mystic, but obviously less than a wide recreational kayak like the OT Loon 120. Due to the hard chines, the secondary stability is great. I felt at ease in the boat.
The hatches were bone-dry after my rolls, and a T-shirt I'd put in the rear was not even slightly wet. The gasket system seems quite good, and the hatches are held down by double bungees.
There's a groove just aft of the cockpit that holds a paddle blade for ease of kayak entry or maybe rescue.
I raced a friend in a Seaward Tyee 17' for a while, and of course he eventually pulled ahead of me. But while we were paddling around a wetland, his longer length didn't confer any advantage, and in fact he was less maneuverable than I was.
The finishing of this boat is superb, and it looks like a much more expensive fiberglass boat. I've heard that the price will go up next year, so grab it while you can! This is a very capable, small, sea kayak that will be ideal for day trips or some overnights on a variety of water conditions.
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