Submitted: 03-30-2010 by kaulua
This is the 6th kayak I have bought. I have owned several SOT's, a surfski, and a couple touring kayaks. I still have my very first kayak, a Seda Swift, and while I remain most smitten with my "Cadillac", I am very happy to have this new edition.
After knowing the constant worry that comes with paddling and transporting a large glass boat, you just can't beat (literally) a plastic boat. I got into plastic SOT's with an 14' Ocean Kayak Scupper. The Scupper did a good job at keeping up with other touring boats but it is so heavy (a 2 person job to lift and carry) and I also thought it would be nice to have something that I could just pop in the back of my truck.
So along came an add for a 10'ish Nomad with a "wheel in the keel". What the hey is that I wondered? So I checked it out and was convinced on the spot. Along with the molded-in bow and side handles, the wheel makes this the most easily transported kayak ever! Seriously, someone who has been kayaking for a long time must have designed this boat. My fellow kayakers always gawk at me when they see how easily I can lift her out of the back of my truck by MYSELF, grab the handle and roll her where ever I need to go again by MYSELF. No messing around with a wheel cart or other such nonsense, this boat is ready to go anywhere anytime, land or sea. Total independence if your aim is to paddle solo.
Granted, if I'm going the distance I want my Seda, but I've done some 6+ mile paddles in my Nomad no sweat. If you are a decent paddler, you can even keep up with the sleek boats. I don't find tracking to be a problem either--it's what you would expect of a kayak this size. On the contrary, this boat is so easy to maneuver in the mangrove mazes of the Everglades.
Some other features of note, instead of having pad-eyes bolted to the hull, there are sturdy brass bars inlayed into the mold that the seat and other things attach to. I've had pad-eyes rip out before, but this design is rock-solid. Also, there is a watertight hatch right between your legs in the cockpit...easy access to you camera, lunch and such. Ingenious again. The open hatch in the back is perfect for a drybag or cooler. And the deluxe seat that it came with is the best I have ever seen in a SOT.
This kayak is so stable that I routinely stand up and paddle like it's a paddleboard. I guess the only downside is that like all other SOT's, the scupper drains often let the water in too, leaving you sitting in a puddle much of the time. But I bought some Ocean Kayak brand medium size scupper plugs and solved that problem. This kayak is the perfect fit to my needs when it comes to day-trips, local transports, and introducing friends to kayaking. Now I just have it and my Seda...quite a combo.