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Submitted: 07-11-2008 by zijlstra
I own a glass Tempest, which I picked up from REI a few weeks ago. Let me start off by saying that the Tempest is a very good looking boat, which handles very nicely in the water. It tracks well and I would rate primary and secondary stability as 'good'. It could be a tad lighter for a glass boat, but oh well.
Now to the flaws. The manufacturing of the boats seems to be lacking in quality consistency. The original Tempest that I bought had an obvious flaw in the glass work - the black band that goes around the boat along the seam had a gap at the stern tip of the boat. While this was only cosmetic, I don't think that a $3000 boat should have a dime-sized flaw coming from the factory. the next issue I had with the boat was a leak into the rear bulkhead, which I suspected came from the skeg housing, which showed two little holes right by the pivot point of the skeg. Since I didn't really want to start 'fixing' a brand new boat, I exchanged it at REI for another one of the same exact model.
After paddling the new one a few times now, I've come to the conclusion that this model ALSO leaks into the rear compartment, and it's from the exact same spot - the skeg housing. I filled the bulkhead up with water to confirm that that was where it was leaking from and could clearly see the water run out of the skeg underneath the boat. I don't think that this is 'coincidence' that two boats have the same exact flaw. WS needs to do better quality control and figure out how to solve this issue, since it's not acceptable to me that a boat this expensive leaks a quart of water into the rear compartment during a two hour paddle on a totally flat lake. It's unfortunate, because the Tempest is a great boat other than this significant leakage issue.
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