Submitted: 10-23-2007 by thomaslb
I've paddled the last year in a Necky Manitou 14 "transitional touring" boat. I go out on Florida lagoons, rivers and the ocean--twice a week for about 4 hours each time. 2 weeks ago picked up a Tracer. I had read all of the reviews below. *I fully intend to post back on this boat after a few more months (maybe a year) of paddling it. But I wanted to add some comments now.
First: I LOVE the boat. Everyone loves their new boat. But I already have several, so I don't have to 'love' this boat. But I do. Yes, yes, it does yaw a bit and weather cock a bit in calm water--totally eliminated by just a little skeg. I was concerned about the posts about this as I waited for shipment. But I understand why this is so--it is (duh) a consequence of the design of the hull. It is a sea kayak, and it was obviously designed to excel in rougher conditions. I've had mine out in a variety of conditions in just short time I've had it. Yesterday I headed into a 15-20 knot head wind, 2-3 rolling waves on the Indian River and it was GREAT! Love the hull design--it spears (only word for it) through waves and was tremendously stable in this bad weather (raining/nasty and all). *The other day I had it on the Banana River in calm conditions and it needed a little skeg. Yesterday in bad weather it wasn't necessary until heading home with a following sea. What a great boat.
Very good construction. I may have given the impression that I'm able to buy boats on a whim when I said I had several. Not so. So I value good build quality. I love Hurricane's plastic/Trylon composition. It's 2 1/2 feet longer than my Manitou but 3 lbs lighter. And it is very durable. With less UV damage to worry about, I may never get another type of boat (less you give me one or I win one!).
Very maneuverable, turns on a dime, and I think it's handling characteristics will even change again when loaded. I've never paddled it (or my Manitou for that matter) loaded as a long marathon paddling day trip so far is the extent of my travels. But I bet the Tracer gets even more stable with some weight in her holds. I think I'll toss a sack of rocks in there once just to see.
I love my Tracer 165.