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Submitted: 09-25-2007 by rt3395

I bought my Royalex Explorer 16 in 1988. This was the best all around boat, one could buy at the time. I bought mine for camping and fishing. Though its service in my fleet it was a fish platform for ponds and small lakes. It served as a gear platform while diving off the New Jersey coast. In the fall, she was armed with twin 12 gauge guns and sometimes a center 10 gauge and retrieval lab. Rabid as she was known has seen the Delaware River from Hancock NY to Washington’s Crossing in NJ plus many weekend trips. She has also done a many a local runs down near by streams and creeks.

I feel this boat is best suited for two man down river trips. It can be paddled solo with minimal skill, but you do have to work. Don’t listen to stability or hard to control complaints, those paddlers just need to learn how to paddle. If any one thinks a boat that is almost 3' wide is unstable, I might suggest they take the ferry. As for the width being so wide, it does make the Explorer sluggish.

Then you hear the complaints it is tipsy while paddling solo. Yes it is, this is a 2 man plus gear boat to reach the manufactures recommended displacement. If you want a solo boat, buy one. You want a boat to handle 2 adults, gear, kids and the dog this is the boat. Sure, there are a lot of new models around that are perfect for a particular type of water, but none will handle the large array the Explorer can. The briefest description is they are the Jack-Of-All-Trades and the Master of none. They are simply a rugged workhouse that gets you home.

Conditions seen:
Winds 20 knots, broke through 2-3 foot waves at the beach. Class 2 rapids and maybe a few yards of class 3, calm ponds, tight twisty creeks, log jam ridden rivers, wind swept lakes and acted on occasion as the ice bin for the back yard barbeque.

Gave a 9 since nothing is perfect.

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