Submitted: 07-07-2008 by Nfry
For the last 10 years Iíve owned a 17í 7Ē Current Design Solstice GT which, although a great kayak, was becoming too cumbersome to store, load, and carry (arthritis). Of mixed blessing was its strong tracking with the downside being slow to turn (I edge & never use the rudder). Iíd intended to downsize to a 14í to get into the weight range and storage dimension I was looking for but after much research, inspection, and demos of several kayaks, I paddled a Delta 12.10 (43 lbs.).
Tracking was a pleasant surprise. The 12.10 would exhibit only a slight tendency to yaw with the strongest of strokes, and once edged, will turn on a dime. A look at the underside of the hull viewed from the bow or stern explains why. The boat has a very pronounced keel to aid tracking but once on edge with its semi-hard chine, the keel loses much of its grip and the boat swings around easily. Initial stability is similar to the Solstice GT (good) but the secondary feels more prominent and itís very reluctant to roll beyond its tipping-point.
Also a surprise was the 12.10ís efficiency while paddling straight. It moves through the water with nearly the ease of my old kayak, the noticeable difference being less glide but nothing really bothersome. By contrast, the Current Design Kestral 140 paddles like a barge and would quickly lose momentum when paddling ceased.
Construction and quality of the 12.10 are superb, belying its $1,400 price tag. Reservations about the plastic material vs. composite should be put to rest after watching Deltaís YouTube hammer video and by examining the hull after dragging it across a rocky beach.
Bulkheads fore and aft, secure hatch covers, comfortable cockpit with seatback and fore & aft adjustment, comfortable adjustable foot pegs and thigh braces, perimeter rescue lines, and paddle float rescue straps all add up to one very secure boat to say nothing of the boatís appearance. Many boats of this size are classified as recreational kayaks with the classification implying a lack of serious capabilities. Classifying the 12.10 as such would be a mistake. This boat would more accurately be described as a light touring boat in all respects.
I would urge anyone looking for a smaller sea kayak with most of the capabilities a larger kayak, to demo the 12.10. Youíll likely come away with a big grin.