Submitted: 11-05-2008 by mdpaddler
I was looking for an all around boat that I could use on rivers with a variety of conditions, from moving flatwater to class II for the most part, and the occasional class II+, III- rapids. My friend had bought a WS Pamlico 100 recently, and I had tried it out, and liked it, but I wasn't keen on the rear hatch, which I've heard leaks, and really seems like it's just for show. Overall the boats are very similar, but the cockpit of the Prodigy was more centered, and has higher, more rounded sides. I believe they both ride about the same height in the water, the Prodigy only appears to ride higher due to it's slightly higher cockpit sides. The hull and profile of the two boats is nearly identical otherwise, so being nearly 100 dollars cheaper, I went for it.
Positives include that it tracks fairly well, even in current, but of course suffers as all rec boats do when it comes to maneuverability due to the rudders at each end. The seat was quite comfortable for me, and the cockpit was roomy. I took it though some class II rapids, and it was very stable and maneuvered quite well. It's width makes it difficult to paddle against current, but that is a trade off for stability. I used a seals sprayskirt, which I highly recommend, it does a great job of keeping water out. In comparison to the Pamlico, it seemed slightly more stable to me, as the Pamlico has lower, edgier sides that can be grabbed a bit easier and cause you to flip.
Some negatives I see are, as with the Pamlico, the width of the cockpit makes it difficult to use the kneepads with your knees under the edges when in any kind of situation that you'd want that(i.e, aforementioned class II rapids). The overall size of the cockpit would make it difficult to stay in the boat if you flipped and roll back up, but honestly, the main reason for a large cockpit is so that you can get out easily in the case of that.
Overall, I think this makes a really nice all around type of boat as long as you don't go into anything rougher than class II, II+.