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Submitted: 07-21-2010 by fffri

My wife and I have now had our Scorpios for a year and I thought an update of my review from 8/4/2009 is in order. Since buying the kayak, I have paddled some 400 miles on Narragansett and Buzzards Bays in diverse conditions from calm marshes to ocean swells, chop, and surf. It handles all very well, as expected. As other reviewers and I have already noted, the Scorpio is a nimble kayak with excellent primary and secondary stability. Everyone who has tried either my wife's or my Scorpio has remarked on how easily and quickly it turns. It is also a very comfortable boat, and once you've adjusted the seat, backband, and pegs optimally, you can paddle the boat for hours without feeling any discomfort. In sum, the boats have served us well during the past year.

Although it may not seem as fast as a lighter, longer composite boat, I wouldn't describe the Scorpio as slow or even sluggish for a plastic kayak. If I fall behind other paddlers on a longer paddle, it's because I'm tiring and my technique is off, but I won't blame the boat.

However, two things I still don't like are the leaky forward day/knee hatch and the skeg. Despite efforts to caulk the hatch housing, it still leaks when practicing wet exits and rescues.

The so-called "revolutionary" skeg system needs improvement. The skeg itself is flimsy, with more lateral play than I'd prefer, but fortunately you don't need much skeg to track well in conditions where you want to use it. As delivered, the original bungee cord used to lower or raise the skeg would swell over time, so that you could lower the skeg, but not always raise it. Other Scorpio and Cetus owners I know also noticed this soon after they bought their boats and paddled them for a spell. The remedy included substituting a thinner and different type of cord. So far, it has worked well on my wife's boat, but she hasn't paddled nearly as much as I have. On two recent paddles, I noticed that the boat was not handling well at all when I paddled in a strong outgoing tide and in cross currents and wind. Moreover, there was no difference in how it tracked whether the skeg was deployed or not.

The problem, I discovered, is that the skeg did not lower when I slid the mechanism back. Yet it raised fine when I slid it forward again. Meanwhile, until I'm able to fix or replace the system, I now lower and adjust the skeg by manually reaching under the stern and pulling it down after I put the boat into the water.

Since the Scorpio is among the highest priced plastic kayaks on the market, I think P&H needs to do a better job to address and remedy hatch and skeg issues that I've described. Otherwise, it's a great, dependable, and versatile kayak.

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