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Submitted: 09-09-2008 by NateHanson
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I've been paddling a Tempest 165 pro in kevlar this year and last, probably a total of 2 dozen times. It's my mom's boat, and I've borrowed it at various times because there are a number of things I really like about it.

I'm 6'0" and 175 pounds, and I really like how this boat fits me. The factory outfitting with hip pads and all has worked great for me, and I feel a very tight connection to the boat. The size of the boat is nice for playing around in, as it turns quicker and is lighter than my longer boat. I've been working on bracing and rolling and have kayaked in reversing tidal falls in my area, and the tight connection between boat and paddler has given me a lot more security and a more reliable roll.

However, while the boat may roll well, it comes up extremely wet! During a day of playing in the tidal rapids, with the deck awash frequently in standing waves, and being upside down probably 5 or 6 times, the bow compartment had about 2 inches of water in it. The day hatch had about 1/2" of water, and the stern hatch had a few inches. All hatch covers were seated the best they could be, (although the stern oval hatch cover never seems to seat well, and gives the appearance of being poorly seated even after thoroughly trying to get it to sit flat).

Additionally, during a stern deck rescue of a swimmer (swimmer riding on the back deck of my boat while I paddled him in), the stern compartment completely flooded, which made the rescue almost impossible, since my stern sank and my bow was 2 feet clear of the water.

That did it for me. I will never take this boat in rough water conditions again, because it's a safety liability. There's no reason for hatch covers to seal so poorly. I have read reviews about the wildy hatches leaking in the past, and the susceptibility of the rear hatch to get lifted by a swimmer during rescues. This just proved it for me, and I won't be looking at Wildy boats during my boat shopping.

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