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Submitted: 04-14-2010 by Sajawa
I purchased two boats from Dicks Sporting Goods in 2006. They carried the name Dicks Voyageur, but we were later able to confirm that they are Old Town Solitude models being sold under a proprietary name.
The official blurb reads something like: "The Solitude is an ideal combination of light weight and compact size with the added benefits of Old Town's patented 3-layer Polylinkô hull. The styling of the Solitude is influenced by the popular day touring design, giving it a contemporary look. The Solitude is lightweight and easy to handle..."
These boats are wonderful beginning kayaks. They weigh in a just under 42 lbs., making them easy to handle outside the water. The models that we purchased (the Dicks Voyageur proprietary model) included a drop skeg that permits this small boat to handle and track more like a 12 footer.
The just under 10 ft. length makes them easy to transport to the local river. I have a 6' bed on my truck, and can secure the boats in the back with a couple of bungee cords. That's all it takes.
The Solitude has a large cockpit measuring 18" x 38". The carrying capacity of the kayak is listed at 225 lbs.
Two words of caution on this model: secure storage is limited to a "canister" about the size of a half gallon jug that is molded into the rear of the boat. It has a secure screw top lid, but the secure carrying capacity is very limited. The other thing to be aware of is that this boat sits very low in the water (which I like). Because it has a low vertical profile, it may be uncomfortable for paddlers with very large feet - above a mens size 10 or so. My husband has no trouble with his size 9.5 feet, but if you are a size 11 or 12, you may find your foot positions to be limited.
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