Submitted: 10-25-2007 by aarongwood
I bought a Northwest Pursuit XL used. At 6í tall 175lbs the cockpit fit was too loose for me. Ultimately my own frame was incompatible with the XL version of this boat and was no fault of the craft itself.
Initially in order to maneuver the boat I felt that I had to use too much effort in the waist to get it on edge. Also the factory back band stuck up too high and during wet re-entry I ended up sitting on the back band. I was able to correct both of these issues by taking out the stock seat (easy to do by just removing a few bolts) and installed my own customized minicell foam seat, hip pads and knee/thigh pads and installing an after market back band.
That said, I really loved paddling the Pursuit. This is a fast boat. Many friends I paddled with had a difficult time keeping up with me. Very stable and tracks well. This is a high volume boat that can pack more gear than any other kayak Iíve paddled. The extra cockpit room allowed me to stretch out when I needed which I greatly appreciated on long trips. The trade-off is that due to the boats high deck it will catch wind a bit and weathercock. This can be corrected with proper strokes/edging and/or deploying the rudder. The boat tracks well in high winds with the rudder down. In rough seas the bow stays above the waves and has a nice dry ride.
This boat shines in rough conditions and if youíve never had it out in rough seas you havenít yet been properly introduced to the boat. The Pursuit you paddle on placid water and the Pursuit you paddle on a rough Bay or Ocean are two completely different boats, I assure you. The first time I went upside down I found out the hard way that the front and rear bulkheads both leaked. I was able to repair this by removing the plastic bulkheads and stripping the old adhesive using acetone and a sharp chisel and completely resealing the bulkheads in with 3M 5200 Marine Adhesive. I also had to re-seal one rear rudder cable guide with adhesive because it had been knocked away from the fiberglass somehow. Once done this was a very watertight boat that I had full confidence in. The issues I encountered were due to neglect by previous owners and no fault of the manufacturers construction or design of the craft.
Final word: this is a great boat! Stable, fast, maneuverable and user-friendly. I enjoyed paddling the Pursuit very much but sadly will let it go in favor of a smaller boat with a tighter fit for my body type. I hope the next owner gets as much pleasure from it as I did. I rate the Northwest Pursuit XL an 8 out of 10. Would have been a 9 if it had a better seat and back band arrangement. Iím reserving my 10 rating for the perfect kayak that I have not yet found.