Submitted: 06-07-2010 by MP
You get what you pay for.
There is a reason this kayak is so cheap: It's a cheap kayak. As long as the buyer understands that, then I suppose that's okay.
I am kayak instructor in the Great Lakes region. A client recently showed up with one of these boats for a full day course, so I had a chance to inspect it up close and personal. It's a thin rotomolded boat with a rotomolded seat that essentially consists of a backrest screwed to the seat stansions which are part of the mold of the boat. Because the mold is thin, the bolts holding the seat in were already stressing the plastic. I recommended that the owner put in larger stainless washers to back up the screw holes and hopefully prevent a crack.
The kayak itself is a pretty run of the mill design. The hatches are flimsy and leak, although it's kind of irrelevant because there is no rear bulkhead. The boat needs to be equipped with airbags in the front and rear or it will **entirely** swamp with water during a capsize.
There are no perimeter safety lines, simply a set of bungees on the front deck that are attached with plastic eyelets screwed right through the deck. The handles on the bow & stern are also screwed in. As long as the boat is dry, I suppose it's not an issue, but if you were attempting to haul a swamped boat (keeping in mind that the entire boat would fill with water) out of the water, then I wouldn't trust the grab handles to not pull through. The boat itself is a pretty run of the mill hull design. It's short, stable, and tracks moderately well.
The most distressing thing about this boat (besides the thinness of the construction) was the fact that the client called the manufacturer to ask if it had a rear bulkhead and was told it did. These aren't kayak designers. They make plastic things. Maybe at $200 (like the schillers for Dicks are promoting) the boat is worth it. But if the retail on this thing is really $400, I'd save up the extra $200 bucks and buy look at a boat like the Dagger Blackwater or Venture Flex.