Submitted: 07-17-2000 by Tim Stone
I bought my Carolina used(once by the original owner) based on the affordable price and the excellent reviews posted here. Having already bought a brand new kayak first for my wife, I was more opportunistic than picky on buying a second kayak. I was somewhat disappointed on not being able to pick out my own boat. The Carolina has erased all of that disappointment. Although shorter and wider than other, sexier(and pricier, I might add) touring kayaks, this boat performs admirably. First, it fits like a glove. I am 5'8", 220 lbs. The seat is comfortable and the padded thigh braces hit in exactly the right spots. I am able to comfortably brace my knees in the cockpit to aid in balance and tight turns. With the rudder it tracks straight and is very responsive to turning(unable to comment on tracking without the rudder - have not tried it, ocean kayaking only). It's easy to paddle and quick in the water. This boat is also very good in both initial and secondary stability. I've already been out in 20-25mph winds and felt no anxiety as the boat handled the waves beautifully, even with whitecaps breaking over the bow repeatedly. I've had no issues with the deck rigging as I suspect I have the upgraded version. The hatches, though, are still hard to put back on. A minor inconvenience easily overlooked with regards to all of this boat's good qualities. It handles so well my wife and I take our friends(all newbies with no prior kayaking experience)out in it and they have no problems at all. All said, this is one great boat - affordability and performance combined. If you're thinking of buying one, you will not be disappointed.