Submitted: 03-02-2010 by hpcv14
I've had my Bahiya for only a short time but have spent a good number of hours in it. For reference, I have owned and or paddled the following boats: Necky Chathams 16,17,18, Elaho, NDK Explorer, Night Heron, Arctic Hawk, Valley Nordkapp and some SOF boats.
I would rate my paddling skills as intermediate but focus a lot on greenland rolling which I would consider myself advanced at, so some of my critiques stem from the lack of a traditional ocean cockpit and smallish thigh braces... at least for my size 6ft 195lbs.
The boat is quite fast and for me comes up to speed rather quickly even in 2-3 ft confused seas. I would rate the initial stability as somewhat low in flat water but that being said, it firms up nicely in rough conditions and can be edged til the cockpit coming is in the water without bucking me.
On flat water it seems to turn very quickly when placed on edge but in rougher conditions the high volume bow seems to get pinned and pushed around when I try and bring the boat around. I think for that reason it may be bit hard to maneuver quickly inside breaking waves especially when they are breaking close together. It also has tendency to broach quickly in a following sea but this is controllable with bow rudders and a little skeg if need be. There are better surfing boats out there for sure.
Gear capacity is good. Should have no problem on trips up to two weeks. Hatches are water tight and the seating system is uber comfortable. It rolls well but is not really a boat for all the fancy greenland rolls. I feel like there is not enough bite to the thigh braces. I have meaty legs though. Construction is great but I have one gelcoat blem near the stern. Looks like an air pocket. It will crack and peel but its an easy fix.
All in all a fast and fun but challenging boat. It will make you a better paddler.