Submitted: 04-19-2010 by Paddleboy84
This boat is very bitter sweet. When I read the first review of the Whisky 16 from Canoe and Kayak magazine, where they tested out a few "play" sea kayaks on the Skooks wave, I was very intrigued by this progressive hull design. It looked like a Nigel Foster Legend and a Dagger Mamba made a baby. After seeing this original review I searched the internet trying to find more information on the boat as well as some non bias review to give me a good idea of what others thought of the boat. Everything I heard about the boat was very positive with the one down side being the slap that occurs when going into waves due to the flat hull and increased bow volume.
So as a sea kayak dealer I got a hold of the local rep who was kind enough to let me borrow a Whisky for a while. (By the way everyone I have dealt with so far from Point 65 has been helpful and professional.)
After selling and paddling Nigels kayaks that were produced by Seaward, I was expecting a similar sort of heavy duty flawless lay-up, and when I saw the boat I was a little bit disappointed. The gel coat was thin and when you press on the boat hard it tends to make crackly noises and flex. Even with that I was still very anxious to paddle it. The first night I took it out on flat water on a local river by my house.
The first thing I noticed was the skeg box right in the side of me knee. Which is a deal breaker for me if I'm getting serious about a boat. The second thing that bummed me out was the triangle shaped cockpit tended to let a lot of water in under my spray deck when I was on a hard edge. (This can be easily fixed by a little foam and a Snap Dragon Lip Lock Skirt.)
Other then those three issues the boat preformed flawlessly. It edges like a dream with a very solid secondary. It responds well to bow rudders, sweeps, etc. I felt like I could run gates in this boat!
The next couple of weeks I was able to paddle it on the American River is Sacramento Ca. Here we paddle up stream against the current and play in eddy lines, surf standing waves, practice rolls in rapids, etc. Again besides those few deal breakers the boat has been awesome. It's fast while climbing shelves due to the planing hull, it holds a beautiful line while crossing currents due to the hard chine, it turns on a dime in eddy lines. The hull design was everything I hoped it would be but unfortunately the lay-up leaves a lot to be desired. I will say that I had no leaks in any of the hatches. But it was like paddling a open canoe on the river. You try to be really clean with your lines because otherwise you get a cockpit full of water.
Each time after I leave the river I take the boat home and put it on saw horses and check for cracks. So far I have done a bit of gel coat repair due to the thin coating, but I haven't had any spider cracks.
So here is my conclusion:
I love the boat and the only reason I write this review is because all I read about the boat led me to believe it was something that it was not. This is a great boat for rock gardens unless there is the chance of hitting a rock if you know what I mean. I will say that it is a total joy to paddle and I really hope Point 65 gets the bugs worked out and gives this boat the lay-up it deserves. If they do I will be the very first one to lay down the bucks and paddle a Whisky 16.