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Submitted: 10-20-2009 by Alan_Gage
I normally wouldn't make a review of something I've paddled so little but since there are only a couple posted I'll give me impressions of the boat. A quick test paddle in some strong wind before buying the boat and a few miles tonight on a little lake.
I found the boat very stable, both primary and secondary felt good to me. Felt very comfortable putting it up on edge, which needs to be done to turn the boat efficiently. No skeg or rudder means the boat has to track straight, which it does. That also means turning isn't real swift unless you get it on edge. I was surprised how little it weather cocked even in 20mph side winds. It did weather cock some but better than I'd expected. I wouldn't want to paddle in very far in strong winds though. It was hard to turn when the wind was blowing.
Boat was faster than I expected when I grabbed the GPS. 4mph was too easy, 4.5 was my cruising speed, 5mph was a good workout and 5.5 was about as fast as I could paddle for any distance. An all out sprint was 6.5mph but that only lasted 10 or 15 seconds.
I'm 6'1" 165lbs. and the footpegs were nowhere near far enough forward for me. Even my girlfriend (who actually owns it) wanted them one notch forward (she must be around 5'10"). It was easy enough to drill a couple new holes and move them ahead about 4 inches. They feel like really cheap pedals, I don't think they'd stand up to a lot of abuse but I might be wrong. The seat and thigh braces feel comfortable.
Some complaints are that the rear deck bungees won't hold a life jacket and the hatches don't seem to be exactly water tight. Kind of a mickey mouse strap system over the hatches. No perimeter deck lines either.
In the wind and waves (small whitecaps on a small lake) it was a fairly wet ride. The V bottom seemed to cut through the waves and throw the spray out to the side, which the wind blows back at the paddler.
The boat is very lightweight for a fiberglass boat which is just what my girlfriend was looking for, but this comes at the expense of a less rigid hull. It flexes when pushed on and I think I heard it oil can a couple times while paddling when I'd quickly put it up on edge for a turn.
This is not a boat that I'd buy for myself but I think it will be a great boat for my girlfriend. For her straight tracking is more important than quick turning, light weight is more important than a stiff abuse taking hull, absolutely dry hatches aren't necessary. It's a nice boat to paddle in good conditions and should be able to handle some rougher stuff if necessary.
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