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Submitted: 08-28-2009 by knickerbocker

This s a follow-up to my 9/15/08 test paddle of the Zephyr 160...
After what seemed like endless test paddles I finally purchased a Zephyr 160 in the spring of 09... And I could not be more pleased with the boat!!!

As a retired WW paddler of 20 years (shoulder injury/surgery) I like rougher conditions... And the Zephyr fits the bill perfectly. I paddle an average of 3 days a week on the Chesapeake Bay; at times in 4 foot swells and breaking waves and it handles great. This boat loves rough water. At 16 ft and lots of rocker it is very nimble with only slight edging. It also responds almost instinctively to light corrective sweeps/strokes. I also agree with the previous poster who stated despite being so nimble it is also quite stable, yet also tracks very well.... Even in rough water I have yet to drop the skeg. The Zephyr rolls very easily as well and is moderately fast. I've paddled faster boats but have no trouble keeping up with composite boats in the groups I paddle with.

Now for a few complaints.... I also agree with the previous poster about the foot braces.... They are flimsy plastic and tend to slip out of place easily....
The other complaint I have is with the bulkhead sealant. Every one of my bulkhead seals has bubbles in them... around the entire seal... and while I have not had any leaks yet (it is a surprisingly dry boat), I'm expecting to have to do extensive re-seals of all of the bulkheads in the not-so-distant future...

Other than that I think the Zephyr is a winner for Wilderness System. It is a great day paddler as well as a rough water play boat...
Oh... I would like to see Wilderness System add security loops to their boats; most other kayaks have them.

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