Submitted: 05-11-2010 by Cheryl
I've owned the Java for five years. It is the perfect kayak for the warm tropical kayaking I do. I love the fact that I can dangle my feet in the water to cool off on a leisurely paddle through the mangroves. I also like that I can assemble or break down the kayak in minutes. I can leave the boat assembled and tote it on the roof of my car or assemble it at the paddling site, I can pack it up and throw it in the cuddy of our powerboat when we go to the islands, or I can take it up to the St Lucie river or the Keyes. Assembled, the kayak is rigid enough to carry on the roof of my car without difficulty.
The Java paddles true with the skeg up or down and the surf rudder is a worthy addition. A second seat can be mounted for twin day trips or cargo can be securely fastened to the deck for longer single trips with the multiple anchor points. The kayak handles well in moderate wind and points well upwind and downwind. Other reviewers have mentioned the high CoG, but if you consider the inflatable SOT a separate category the Java is an exceptional boat. The price is high but so is the quality, after five years my java is still in great cosmetic and usable shape with a minimum of maintenance. Whenever I store my kayak I spray the aluminum frame joints with Boesheild T-9 and hose the hull down with fresh water, that's all it takes.
The Java assembles in about 15 minutes without tools, breakdown is quicker, but it usually takes a few hours in the sun to dry out the hull before I can fold it up and store it. I don't do much hard paddling, but when I do the Java skims along the water nicely. The submerged part of the hull is quite streamlined with most of the inflated sponsons above the waterline. the boat has more freeboard than traditional kayaks, but the inherent buoyancy of an inflatable hull brings a sense of security on trips away from a suitable beach.
In conclusion, this is a great recreational kayak with some serious capabilities. This boat shines in a warm climate when you want to just jump in a boat and paddle. If it's in your budget I highly recommend the Java.