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Submitted: 08-01-2000 by John L
If you're a big (very big) person, this boat's for you. However, it's huge – so I only recommend it if you can't fit comfortably into another model, or if you want an extremely stable boat and not concerned about speed/efficiency. This thing is a barge, in roominess, stability and in efficiency. I only figured out how slow this boat is when I started attending a local paddling club's weekly outings. I cannot believe how hard I had to work to keep up with the group – and I'm a strong, fairly efficient paddler. The boats inefficiency is largely due to its extreme beam, combined with its moderate length and two reverse keels that are dubbed "tracking channels." It does track fairly well without the rudder, but weathercocking is considerable. Don't get me wrong, this is a very nice boat at a very reasonable price – and served me well as my first kayak. The materials, outfitting and overall quality are excellent. Definitely purchase the expedition model with the rudder, as it is invaluable in breezy to windy conditions, and helps combat the weathercocking. This boat is comfortable and has a lot of room to stretch out and to stow gear. When you try it on, keep in mind that the Captiva's huge cockpit is equipped with substantial thigh/knee braces, so trying another boat with a narrower beam, shallower depth and no braces may fit just as well. I found this out recently when I tried on a Dagger Atlantis that fit me like a glove and should be a lot more efficient on the water considering it is narrower, longer and has a smooth hull (no reverse keels/tracking channels). I traded in the Captiva and bought the Atlantis!
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