Submitted: 05-27-2009 by NEPdlr
I'm male, 5'9", 150. Bought a used RM Avocet from about 2000 after many demos at a dealer (I felt bad going to craigslist after all that, but hey, it was less than half the price). Fits me very well I think, deck isn't too high, cockpit isn't too tight or roomy for my skinny frame. I narrowed my search down to the Avocet, the Valley Aquanaut lv, the p&h Capella 160, and the Necky Chatham 16 (all plastic), and this one turned up as the best deal used.
Not as fast as the Aquanaut lv or Capella 160, but not far off. Little less rocker than the Chatham 16, but a drier ride and almost as maneuverable. Tracking really isn't bad at all in lower winds, and with some skeg it does quite well. I'm not sure if they've replaced the wire skeg with a rope design, but despite the worry of running it aground my wire version operates very well.
The older hatches require a little muscle to fully fit on, but haven't let a drop of water in after numerous tests. Plastic is as good as any other boat I've paddled.
My backband isn't great, and it's worn out, but a small cushion makes it perfectly acceptable, and even good for lounging in the shallows.
Foot pegs are a the type you can pull back towards you with only your feet, and using both feet I don't need to use my hands to push them back either.
Overall a great boat. A compromise as any other boat, but a great compromise for me.