Submitted: 04-17-2009 by kenwilson
I have owned a 145 for about 18 months. I like the boat a lot. I am 64 and have paddled mostly rivers for the past 30 years, moving from canoe to kayak about 7 years ago.
I bought this boat for week-long river trips. Some of these trips are flat water like the Green in Utah, and some have whitewater. We just ran the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande about two weeks ago -- ran some IIIs. This boat is not a whitewater boat, but it did okay. It won't make those quick turns in a rapid, but it's not meant to. It is comfortable and stable, and reasonably fast, and I can put a lot of gear and supplies in it. I am 5'10", 195 lbs. and not the most agile person in the world, but the cockpit fits me fine and the seat & thigh braces are just right. I never used a rudder before, but it's very helpful on flat water with a cross wind.
My main complaints are: The boat badly needs a place for my water bottle and snack/sunscreen bag that is convenient and not just bouncing around on the floor between my legs, and the back hatch cover doesn't fit well or seem secure -- I had to put clips and shock cords over it. My other complaint is that in standing waves or small white water the boat takes too much water over the cockpit edge under my arms where the cockpit edge is lower in the back. I know I can wear a skirt at those times, but most of the hours of those days are spent on flat water in warm climates, and I find the spray skirt uncomfortable and difficult to put on -- you know the drill -- the other end pops off, and I envy my smaller friends who have spray skirts with large zippers that they can leave on the boat and enter thru. I have one like that, but I can't enter the boat with it on without popping it loose, and it's still too confining to leave on all the time -- so, there I am free and comfortable, and then here comes a bend and a bit of white water! The water goes right through the back bulkhead (I reseal it but it still leaks) and into the back hatch, which means pulling out gear to get at the water later.
Does anyone have a line on an easier spray skirt for me? I had a "1/2" skirt on the old yak, but it's not the front of the cockpit, but the back that takes on water. I don't need (or want) to roll the boat, I just need to repel most of the spray. I can imagine a skirt with two or thee zippers that radiate out from the center. I could open it way up, get in and zip up. Anything like that around?
Thanks for listening. I am paddling rivers until I can't put the yak on top of the truck. That's when I'll know to quit. My four grandsons can take over the boats then...