Submitted: 07-23-2010 by GuyVieira
I've owned my Illusion for a few months and it has exceeded all the hype. I met Sterling Donaldson quite by accident and after listening to him talk about fiberglass and composites, I decided that this was someone who was obviously not only an expert at materials, but someone with a real passion for performance kayaks. It was almost a couple of years before I finally demoed a boat and right away found myself in 38 knot gusts. The boat tracked like it was on rails. I thought I was dreaming. The balance was absolutely amazing. Not only did the boat turn tighter than my Chatham 16, but the speed was in a whole other category!
After getting used to the boat somewhat, I've found acceleration is effortless and the seating definitely the best I've found in any sea kayak. But the most impressive thing about this boat is its responsiveness. Not the nervous kind of response you might expect from a narrow hulled boat of 17' with dramatic rocker, but a feeling that boat almost anticipates your next move! Talk about reassuring when you are in the soup--this is a no-compromise performance boat! Something to take you to the next level, whatever that is.
Did I mention that this boat weighs in under 46 pounds?! And that is the heaviest layup. The materials are probably the best in the industry, and that is nice from a manufacturer here in the USA. It is nice knowing that you can pay the same prices you pay for a boat made in China of questionable quality for a custom made boat of the highest quality and integrity. Yeah, I'd give it a 10. Easy.