Submitted: 07-10-2000 by Michael Heikka
I just bought the V2.0 Vizcaya (they've recently remolded it). I've paddled the V1.0 and V2.0 boats, and numerous other plastics from Necky, Perception, Wilderness, Eddyline, Current Designs. 2.0 is now 24" beam and 16.0 long. Here's how I see it:
Value: 10 of 10. You probably won't need to add rigging, backbands, thigh brace pads, or other customizations.
Ergonmics: - 10 of 10. Great for larger people. Huge cockpit opening (for butt first launches from shore), good thigh braces, excellent and adjustable one piece seat. Recessed deck rigging won't scrape your knuckles. Soft grab handles won't bite your hands. No stupid, heavy hull stiffening steel bar down the middle (unlike the Eclipse).
Handling: 8 of 10: The narrow, low volume bow makes for a wet ride. The boat tends to plow through wakes and waves instead of riding over them. Wind waves get sliced by the narrow bow and splashed back into your face if you are going straight upwind. The boat turns on a dime (with or without rudder) and is very responsive to trimming. I'd rate hull speed a 7 out of 10, and tracking an 8 out of 10 (generally good for a 16 foot kayak, and 9 of 10 when rudder is down. Good initial stability and good secondary. Very stable when hit with moderate beam waves. Holds speed reasonably well for a 16, and can keep a good pace with little effort and a big paddle (Werner San Juan). No noticeable weathervaning in light winds (unlike Eclipse).
Looks: - 10 of 10. Most "shapely" plastic on the water.
Cargo hauling: 7 of 10. The narrow bow and stern look great, but will limit capacity. You can't stuff a tent or sleeping mat all the way into either end of the boat (too narrow). It does have a neat day hatch, which is separated by a mesh divider, which can be removed. It also has a second "tie down" strap over the rear hatch cover for extra gear.
Materials: 9 of 10. Hull is made of stronger plastic than some other boats (e.g. CD boats), and has molded in keel line to keep shape and resist oil canning. Seat is new tech, one-piece foam covered plastic, and is very comfortable and strong. Seatback will not fall out and get in the way (or get broken) like CD or Necky boats.
That said, the "professional" magazine reviewers will probably pan it (loose handling). Other boats are faster (CD Storm, Eclipse, Looksha IV - all 17s), or track better (Storm, Eclipse, Narpa, Zoar, Looksha), or have more precise turning (chined Looksha IV).
The other boats have seats that break (Storm/Squall), or are heavier (Eclipse, Storm/Squall, all Neckys) or are slower (Narpa, Zoar). The others do have more cargo room, and the Neckys will probably last another 5 years longer. So its a question of what you want.
If you want a fun, comfortable, lively and well thought out 16, try it out.