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Submitted: 10-10-2008 by benzech
I have been paddling my Pamlico 120 for about a year and a half. It is a great all-around boat. I have not seen the cracks in the hull that another reviewer has seen. I think that can be caused by storing the boat in the sun all the time or maybe under the stress of a very heavy paddler.
The boat is a good combination of speed, comfort, stability and price. It is about as stable as one can get, yet it is surprisingly good on speed. The seat, a phase 3 lite is actually more comfortable than my other boat with a phase 3 because the open nature of the cockpit allows you to sit many different ways to combat stiffness and fatigue. You can sit with your feet on the pegs, sit indian style, bring your knees up or even put your feet up on the deck. I outfitted mine with plumbing pipe insulation over the coaming to pad the knees but I think the newer models come with padding on the coaming.
Wilderness systems rates the boat for class 2 rapids - it can be done but I would not recommend it. The boat can take a beating and be OK but it is not designed to do well in rapids because it is so long - you will likely end up broaching and water will pour into the cockpit. Likewise it is unwise to take it out on the big open water on windy days because the cockpit is so wide that even with a sprayskirt big enough, a big wave could easily come down and punch right through it. On the other hand, small riffles are no problem and the boat is ideal for slow rivers and lakes.
It's a great boat to fish from because you have room to maneuver with your gear. It has enough room to camp for one or two days out of it. I have had this boat ALL OVER the place and I trust it. The price was right for what I could afford and I would not want to go cheaper. I don't care how non-committal you are, don't buy a cheap inflatable kayak from Dicks unless you want to be disappointed. This is a good boat to start on and you won't outgrow it either.
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