Submitted: 04-06-2009 by AMS
Picked up my Patriot on Tuesday but could not get it in the water until Friday. I am 67, somewhat overweight. I sold my Sealution about 10 years ago and recently decided to buy a new boat that was light enough to handle and cheap enough to afford. After doing a lot of research, particularly on this site I bought the Patriot. This boat is perfect for me with the caveat, "You get what you pay for."
It is light enough for me to handle, tracks very well and its broad beam makes it very easy for me to enter and exit. The seat is certainly comfortable enough, certainly more comfortable than my old sea kayak. This is a bare bones boat. It has no deck webbing. The foot rests are easily adjusted and sitting in the boat was quite comfortable. There are short lines on both sides of the cockpit, so it is easy to attach a paddle leash or whatever you wish. The hatch in back is large enough and there is a rear bulkhead, something I really wanted. Whether or not the stuff in the rear storage area will stay dry remains to be seen.
The first day I took the Patriot out on Lake Murray (near Columbia, SC) was a good day for kayaking. Water temp. 51, winds 5 to 10 mph. I marveled at how fast the kayak was (compared to my old boat), how well in handled including how well it tracked.
Today was another story. Cloudy and by the time I got out on the lake the winds had picked up to 10 to 15 mph. The forcast was for winds 5 to 10. Light to moderate chop. The boat handled well but paddling into the wind took some effort. The nice large open cockpit which is perfect for me, did take on a little water over the bow. Certainly to be expected. Legs got pretty wet and that 51 degree water is cold. If I can ever figure out how to use the mini spray skirt I bought with this boat, I imagine I will stay dry.
Paddling directly into the wind or with the wind at my back, the kayak tracked quite nicely. Again I highly recommended the Patriot as an inexpensive entry level kayak.