Submitted: 03-10-2008 by Brammy
I have a Shearwater in the Expedition Kevlar layup. It is 49 pounds with the removable yoke. The woodwork and quality of the layup is as good as I have ever seen on any boat by any manufacturer, it is nearly flawless. The boat is very robustly built, yet not terribly heavy. It is made for larger paddlers and will handle a good amount of gear. I routinely travel with a total weight of 280 to 310 pounds. The boat likes a load. It has great glide, and once you have built momentum from a stop, it is nearly effortless to keep her at cruise.
The Shearwater is a boat that inspires confidence as it is so comfortable and stable. I use her to fish walleye on large lakes with a heavy chop, and fish blue gills in snakey shallow creeks. She exhibits uncommon maneuverability for and nimbleness for such a long craft. I can turn her within a boat length. The Shearwater is agile, yet tracks well. It has good speed for a boat that is built to carry extended tripping loads. The sliding seat gives a lot of trim possibilities, and the asymmetrical hull is quick and efficient.
The only problem I have is in extreme wind off the stern quarter, it is difficult to trim the boat out. That said, with ballast aft and the seat back as far as possible it is easier to control.
The Swift company has been good to deal with and my boat is a dream come true. I have found Bill to be very personal and a gentleman to talk to on the phone when I have had questions.
I would recommend the Kayak foot braces for your boat, they are awesome and leave tons of room for gear.
If you trip with a ton of gear, and or are a larger paddler who kneels and sits both, and if you fish often and like a safe stable efficient boat ... if longer solo trips are your thing, this is the boat for you! I love my Shearwater!