Submitted: 04-30-2008 by Michael Day
I have had the Ultimate 14.5 tandem for about two weeks now, and have had the chance to take it out a few times with my daughters (3 and 6 years old) for some quiet paddling on a local lake. I had decided that this was the kayak for me even before I went to the dealer to check it out, and I bought it after floating in it in their small wave pool.
I really love this kayak; it is my first, however, so I cannot compare it to much (unless a comparison to the 16 foot aluminum canoe we used when I was a kid is fair!) I can hoist it myself onto the top of my SUV, and it is very comfortable, so much so that I imagine I will need to remember to sit up to improve my paddling form. I agree with reviews elsewhere that the molded cupholders and trays are really un-useable, they even collect water from the paddle after you're on the water a while.
I plan to use this at the GA coast and the FL panhandle as well, so I imagine that the bow skirt would be a good addition. Based upon the amount of flotation foam in the bow and stern, it seems that if it were completely swamped that you would have no way to pump it out or otherwise empty it unless you had someone along with you in another boat (I have not tested this, however).
For the paddling I plan (lakes, river floats, coastal "backcountry") it is perfect. I haven't tried to stand yet, since I have always had a little one along in the front seat. I am very happy with my choice at this point; I can't see that changing.