Submitted: 08-17-2010 by Ishmael
I test paddled this boat with the idea of using it as an open deck alternative to my kayak to use primarily as a lake paddler. My primary concern was weathervaning, and whether I could compensate for the effects with a double bladed paddle.
So...I got in the boat the same way I get in my kayak (using the paddle as a brace), got seated and adjusted the foot pegs. The adjustment is pretty neat. It is engaged from the front side of the pegs by a mechanism that is very easy to reach from the seat. I paddled this boat with a 230cm kayak paddle, and with the first few strokes kept banging my hands on the gunwales, but after a few minutes, I had my stroke modified such that this was no longer a problem.
Two things that a canoe needs to do are: Go straight, and then turn on a dime. This boat seems to do both. While paddling along at a normal cadence, the boat goes pretty straight. You can watch the bow turn away from that paddle side with each stroke, but once the opposite paddle enters the water, the correction is pretty immediate. So, Yes the boat paddles in a straight line. So what about turning? A forward sweep on one side followed by a reverse sweep on the other, was enough to turn 180 degrees. Which, in my opinion means that it does what a boat needs to do!
It is a really fun little boat to paddle, and I do get the impression that it can cruise at a speed that is comparable to that of all my friends in their plastic kayaks. So overall, I have to say that this is definitely a nice little boat. Easy entry, easy exit, lots of room for your stuff, and paddles beautifully.