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Submitted: 04-25-2009 by Robin

The Carbon Capella 163 is the newest addition to my collection. Most of my other kayaks are longer, narrower, and are hard-chined. I bought it at the Charleston Kayak festival after paddling many other boats.

Quality is first class. Finish and all components are as good as any, better than most. The seat and backband are quite comfortable. Quite light of course it is well-balanced for a shoulder carry.

Conditions for the evaluation were: South wind at 15-20mph, confused chop and clapotis apx.2-3ft., current at 1.5 knots. The Capella 163 has only moderate speed. It seems ideal for sightseeing, fishing, and photography. By far more stable than a Legend or Outer Island; thought slower.

The skeg worked well, convenient actuator, but was unnecessary. No weather-cocking. I had to work hard to catch wind waves to surf. Slight broaching was slow and easily controlled by lean and paddle stroke. The boat turned easily with only slight lean.

All together a great kayak for a beginner or intermediate paddler. Only its lack of speed kept me from rating it more highly.

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