Submitted: 08-06-2009 by rwb2
This is an update on the review immediately below.
Having the boat for three summers now, not much has changed my mind on the earlier review. The combing is splitting in the back along a production seam, but it's not bad -- I JB Welded the crack, so I'll see. The rest of the boat has stood up nicely. I dropped it off the step ladder last year (ankle still hurts a little) and take it exclusively onto Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River. Try to paddle in 2-footers -- anything less just doesn't cut it, so boat doesn't take a great pounding, but slams and plows enough for my excitement. Don't use the hatches, so no further comment. I had to move the thigh braces to give my legs more room -- the demo did NOT have the factory-installed seat cushion, but the new one did -- thus the depth was off a little. I figured I'd leave the cushion on and move the braces -- not perfect, but okay (I can go about 8-10 miles before I get squirmy).
The boats performance is very good. I quickly learned that I could trust it in big water and don't worry about flipping -- unless you count the constant worry of getting run over by the power boaters -- and I generally cross the open bays and the lake itself without much trepidation. I use a Boreal Design Aloonaq paddle, which is a carbon version of a Greenland stick.
The biggest drawback is that the boat turns very slowly in big wind and waves. But I don't possess great skill at edging, so maybe it will turn better for those who are good edgers. It weathercocks readily, so combined with the slow turning, I have to dial in the skeg. (Without the skeg, my boat would be very taxing to paddle in big water.) Again, check my body measurements against the boats specs. for a better understanding of my review.
All in all, still rate the boat an 8 -- a strong 7 for the nit-pickers. One last thing. My next boat will be fiberglass and either a Greenland style or British style. (I really like the Current Designs Suka, Cypress and the Endeavor by Seaward. I'm leaning toward the Suka because it closer matches my body size, but the Cypress is a faster boat. The Endeavor blows both of them away, but it might be too long for me both on the water and especially out.) For those new to the sport -- matching body size to boat specs is the BIGGEST factor to weigh (period).