Submitted: 04-24-2009 by James NomadRip
I have had a Tahiti since somewhere around 1994. It has seen calm fresh water only once in the Sierras, the rest of the time it has been a saltwater boat for me. I have fished from it many times. It has been in a swimming pool twice for leak-finding, and it has only had one leak. A tear from me dragging it fully laden across the asphalt when I got lazy one day at the boat launch 2 years ago. I have had it in 3-4 foot swells off the coast, and it is extremely stable.
Believe it or not, I got the boat from a cigarette promotion back then, 15 years ago. Smoke up a bunch of cigarettes and turn the proofs of purchase in for a kayak, a tent, a sleeping bag, or an iron lung! I picked the first 3 and still use all 3 to this day (and quit smoking).
This boat absolutely sucks as a sea kayak. It is twitchy as heck. It is supposed to be maneuverable like it is, though. I have not tried the skeg, but I am going to do that after seeing the reviews here, since it's only a few bucks. It does take some getting used to in order to get proficient at steering it, and it is especially frustrating in even moderate winds.
Compared to a proper Kayak, this is the worst option...but for the price! If you are on a limited budget, don't need anything professional quality, have easy and frequent access to water you'd like to float about on, and no place to store a larger boat, then this is an easy and usable solution. I have had no end to the fun I have had on this boat, even just exploring harbors. It's a great, no-cost way to go out and enjoy a nice day on the water, and it holds plenty of gear to paddle out to someplace to camp or fish, or to bring a (reasonably small) friend along with you.
For the price and what it tries to be, you really can't beat the Tahiti.