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Submitted: 11-29-2007 by Jim Farrelly

Built the single baidarka and decided to try the double. The build is very similar but requires quite a bit more room. We built it without the rudder just to see how it would handle even though the designer reminded me that it would need a rudder. He was right so after a few water trials I returned the boat to the shop and installed a Smart-Track rudder system which I purchased from Kelly at Pygmy boats. It is a very nice rudder system that comes with a special bracket that allows a seamless installation onto the wooden stern which is a bit different than most kayaks.

Paddling the double in the ocean off Tybee Island, GA was fun. This boat will go very fast with both paddlers using a normal touring stroke. At a relaxed pace it is a wonderful photography/fishing platform. The cockpits are far enough apart that clacking paddles is impossible and eliminates this kayak from the dreaded divorce boat label that so many doubles earn.

We got out after a while and looked for fossils near the mouth of the Savannah river by Fort Pulaski then had lunch. Returning to the water we surfed a bit on small waves and crashed through some bigger ones. The rudder gives this very long kayak excellent responsiveness and agility. It edges well given the fact that there are two of you which makes the kayak feel a bit different than a single. When the other paddler does something unexpected it is instantly made known to you. This only matters when you are doing something technical like slopping through confused swells or sliding down a breaking wave. All fun and part of paddling a double.

I rolled it easily at the end of the day after asking the other paddler to exit the kayak. It is very buoyant and comes up easily. The empty cockpit took on less than three inches of water which is better than any other boat I have rolled minus a sprayskirt. It sculls well and allowed me to rest a bit with my back in the water. This really surprised me given the width at 26 inches.

This kit/design is very well thought out by the designer and performs well. The rudder will allow anyone to use it even if conditions start to sour a bit. Bring lunch and a camera and let the fun begin!

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