Submitted: 04-09-2008 by Peter Kaverud
I have owned a plastic Avatar 16 for the past three years. Being over 6 ft and 185 lbs, I am approaching the upper limit of size for this craft and there the only real issue is my size 12½ feet as the deck is low. Even then, it is not a big issue other than for long days on the water when my feet start feeling a bit cramped.
I have used this boat in a variety of conditions on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It is a great all around small sea-kayak with pleasing lines. The traditional hull shape is at odds or shall we be kinder and say that it contrasts with the colorful plastic used in the construction (my craft is red-yellow fade). Construction is good and there are no leaks in to the front or rear bulk-head compartments.
It is a great play boat, very maneuverable and easy to roll. Credit for the maneuverability goes to the excellent fit you can achieve with the adjustable thigh braces in addition to a hull with rocker, etc. If available as an after-market item I would buy thigh braces like these for my other kayaks!
In light conditions and low speed the Avatar glides very easily and you can travel far with a low effort. The shape does not provide for a great deal of course stability and even relatively small wakes from passing boats has a noticeable effect particularly when coming from a quartering rear direction. A slight amount of skeg deployment counteracts the tendency to turn in to the wind quite well.
The Avatar ride can be a bit wet in confused seas and paddling in to wind and steep waves as the ends and not very buoyant. Getting wet is not an issue for the most part as I have a tough time being out on the water without practicing a few rolls anyway.