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Submitted: 05-28-2008 by laura

After researching for a year I finally decided on the Kestrel 140 SOT.
My criteria was a SOT that was as fast and efficient at tracking as possible for as close as I could get to $1000. The boat retails for $1650 but I was able to get it for $1500- well over my budget but I think worth it.

The PROS: fast, light, tracks in a nice straight line and glides for quite a ways after removing paddle from water. The boat has front and back hatches, the 2nd hatch is double sealed for very dry storage. It also has several hook points and bungee lines. AND it only weighs a mere 39 pounds!

The CONS: It does not have foot pegs therefore you miss a bit of the custom fit and comfort. My 6'1" husband could not use this boat as his long legs laid on the foot ridges and was immediately uncomfortable for him. I'm 5'5" and was OK with them.

The boat feels very tippy when I get in but only takes a minute for me to feel settled in. I guess if it were a more stable boat it wouldn't be so fast! I can't wait until we get some really light ergonomic paddles so we can really enjoy longer paddles.

Note: If you're looking for a nice, non-rotomold plastic SOT for much less $$, look at the Hurricane Phoenix 140. My husband bought this boat. It has the foot pegs and the benefit of both closed and open storage, looks great and retails at just under $1000. It's not quite as fast as the Kestrel but that's a good thing for my husband and I. Since he is a much stronger paddler, the fact that my boat is a bit faster enables me to keep up with him.

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