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Submitted: 01-20-2010 by Marshall
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Originally my wife and I were introduced to the North Shore Kayaks by Ben Lawry. We were impressed at the performance and finish of the kayaks. Enough so that we brought the line into our Instructional Fleet and Showroom at The River Connection in Hyde Park, NY, following our philosophy of we only carry what we enjoy paddling. So like my review of the P&H Scorpio, I have a bias towards these kayaks as I thoroughly enjoy using them.

My Specs:
I am 6', 188lbs, size 11 shoe, 33" inseam and 34 waist. I paddle with a very high angle style and usually use a Mitchell Black Magic 215cm or a Werner Cyprus 215cm paddle.

North Shore Atlantic Specs:
Length 16'11"
Width 22"
Volume: 95 gallons
Weight: 54lbs w/3 VCP hatches on.

Water Conditions: Hudson River freshwater at Hyde Park, NY. Enough ice has thawed out today to allow me to actually move around without dodging floes. 3 miles to the north the river is still socked in with ice. Slight breeze from the north at 4-6mph. Flooding tide at approximately 2mph current speed.

Performance: (using Garmin Oregon 400C gps unit) {YMMV}
Fast Maintainable Cruising Speed = 5.4-5.9 mph traveling abeam of the current
Sprinting Speed = 6.4-6.7mph traveling abeam of the current
Weather Cocking negligible influence at these wind conditions
Skeg Performance makes the kayak track extremely hard and dead on at full deployment. Minimal influence on speed.

Stability:
Overall the Atlantic has a very civilized primary stability and extremely smooth transition up on edge to secondary stability. The kayak was very comfortable to keep at a 45 degree heel and a maximum of 60 degrees before passing secondary stability. Recover with a low or high brace felt effortless when bringing it back from capsizing.

Maneuverability:
The Atlantic will perform a skidding turn (heeling to the outside of the turn) underway with very little initiation from either a sweep stroke or a stern draw. Moving forward the tightest turn with 45 degrees of heel with just a forward sweep stroke was a 25' diameter and on the reverse a skidding turn of 17' diameter with a reverse sweep and 45 degree heel. The tightest turn I was able to execute was 16' diameter moving forward with a 60 degree heel holding the paddle in a bow rudder and completing with a bow draw at the end of momentum.

Construction and Outfitting:
As I mentioned in my Introduction the North Shore line is very nicely finished and appointed. Fiberglass with gel coat is the only available layup with a palate choice of Red, Tangerine, Yellow or White Deck with Black seam and White Hull or Royal Blue Deck with Yellow Seam and White Hull. The North Shore label is amid ships either side of the freeboard hull and highlighted by a "Color Flash" which is a splash of color the same as the deck color.

Starting at the bow, the seam flares out wider around the tip of the boat making for a protective sort of cap at either end of the kayak. Rescue toggles are tethered so as not to dangle but have bushings around the cord to make the toggle stand above the deck for easy grip while in the water. The toggles can unclip from a convenient stainless ring that held by the end recessed deck fittings (rdfs) which I find handy for bow/stern tie downs while cartopping. Low profile rdfs are used through out the hull with stainless Phillips head machine screws that set into glassed in lock nuts so there are no additional penetrations through the hull. A 70P compass recess is standard on all models. A 10" VCP hatch is forward of the front bulkhead which has a drilled pinhole for pressure equalization. Aft of the cockpit is an 8" dayhatch and a larger 11"x18" oval VCP hatch. All hatches are tethered on to the perimeter lines. The cockpit opening measures 30x15.75 inside of coaming,with a 27" measurement from the rear of the seating surface to the front coaming, which is plenty for my 33" inseam legs to clear without contacting my shins against the coaming edge. Thighbraces are part of the coaming and provide good coverage allowing for contact and control. The edges of the thighbraces are not curved dramatically so I did not find them impinging on my legs (23" thigh circumference). The front deck clearance is 12" and the rear is 9" from the seat pan to the top of the rear coaming. (9.5" from the hull to the top of the rear coaming) The lip of the coaming is 3/4" off the recess on deck so it takes a bungee randed skirt just fine but caution should be used if a rubber randed skirt is used. The coaming lip is 1" deep. The seat is moderately contoured with a seat pan covering of nylon/thermoformed cushion and a 15.5" width for the hips with the same cushioned hip pads in place. These are on quick release straps so they can be adjusted or removed quite easily. The backband measures 5.5"x14" with a covering of the same style cushioning that does not rise above the coaming edge so as not to get in the way of entries into the kayak. While I usually don't use a back-band I found that I liked this one as it kept me forward in the seat and my tailbone off the rise at the back of the seat. Adjustment for the back-band is by a broad Velcro strap that is best adjusted before getting on the water.

The pricing on the four solo kayaks by North Shore is $3200 which in comparison to other prices of similar class kayaks is several hundred dollars less.

I am looking forward to more warmer days to put the North Shore Atlantic through more miles as I have thoroughly enjoyed it to date

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