Submitted: 05-30-2008 by J Graham
I purchased the Carolina 12 because I was looking for a boat that had storage for short trips, was short enough for easy transport, had a roomy cockpit and was reasonably fast. I paddled every 12' boat I could find (10-15 different models) and the Carolina 12 was the only boat that I felt achieved the compromises I wanted.
Basically, every other boat that was faster than my Prodigy 10 had such a tiny cockpit that my enjoyment of my time on the water would have been limited. I like to be able to have free access to cooler and camera, wiggle around, and hop in and out to swim and explore. I'd actually like this cockpit to be a bit larger, but I can live with it in return for the greater speed and fore and aft bulkheads. I've paddled 8-10 miles each of the last four days in conditions varying from calm to 2' powerboat wakes to 15 mph wind, and must say it has met my expectations well. I like the adjustability of the seat, but I'm not sure I've found the right spot and actually think the fixed Prodigy seat might have been more comfortable, but I'm sure a pad or something will resolve this problem if I can't find the right adjustment.
My top speed in the Carolina 12 is 5.2 mph, compared to 4.3 mph in the Prodigy 10. Those are sprint speeds that I couldn't possibly maintain for more than a few minutes, but the comfortable cruising speeds are comparable, about 3.8 vs 3.2 depending on wind and energy level.
Again, if you are looking for a rec boat that can easily handle short trips, and can't live with a tiny cockpit, then I think the Carolina 12 is the best choice!