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Submitted: 04-28-2008 by TacomaJay
I recently purchased a used version of the Carolina 13.5 in airalite. As a larger paddler (6'1" 185lbs)I was a little worried that size might be an issue... quite to the contrary, I found this boat to be comfortable, stable, and extremely maneuverable.
As the waters I frequent are often unpredictable and bitter cold, I needed a boat that could handle well in three and four foot swells and severe crosswinds. Perception's Carolina 13.5 fits the bill. Our first adventure together found us deep in the Puget Sound, caught in the middle of a spring storm a mile and a half from shore. With the rudder down she ran circles around the longer boats of my companions,(17ft) its light weight still allowing me to keep up. I actually had the opportunity to perform two assisted rescues on a current designs Squall who was forced to wet exit in the rough waters.
All in all I have found this boat to be a dream and would recommend the airalite version to any paddler, beginner or advanced. Limited storage and relatively short length compared to other touring and day touring models is the only thing that kept me from giving this boat a 10 but a careful packer could easily stretch a three day tour.
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