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Submitted: 05-05-2011 by wasabi11
Bought my 2008 Zoar Sport in late 2007. I have logged many, many miles in this boat, and I have enjoyed 99% of them. The only complaints I have are that thigh braces should be standard (you can buy Necky brand braces and DIY), and the Extrasport seat can be a little trying on long trips.
It is an awesome boat for a 3-5 day trip, and I have had no leaks with the rubber hatch covers. I prefer these to the beret-style with plastic covers and cross straps. Stability is amazing- I can see why an Angler version of this boat was made. With this much stability, it is not a super-quick handling boat unless you have some skills at bracing and good paddle technique (which I do hee hee). I have paddled it on slick bayous and rivers and in wicked chop and surf and like to deploy the rudder in chop, as it improves tracking.
I don't think the rudder is standard anymore, so if you are buying this boat, I would suggest having a rudder installed and thigh braces. I am 5 ft 8 and 145 pounds, so I definitely need thigh braces in this boat to maximize the fun. I may be insane, but I have paddled this baby in 4-6 ft seas without a spray skirt and stayed pretty dry. Only time I came out of the boat was due to my own stupidity- lots of chop, no skirt, and heavy winds in the Gulf of Mexico. I was cutting up in the waves and zigged when I should have zagged. Re-entry is easy using cowgirl/cowboy method and paddle as an outrigger. Even when I had to deliberately do wet exits WITH a skirt, the rear deck is ample enough to get you back on board fairly easily.
The boat is roto-molded poly and mine is the sunrise fade- colors are still beautiful and all the fittings are like new- even after salt-water use. There is a neat little spot to install a compass on the front deck and I did put one on.
I would definitely recommend this boat to anyone with a $1K budget. I will ALWAYS keep this boat, but I am a fairly advanced paddler, so my next 'yak will be something more along the lines of the Looksha Elite or Eliza Composite- something faster and more agile in heavy surf. I have been using a Bending Branches Journey paddle with my boat, have a basic Aquabound paddle as a back-up, and a Surge Carbon. I prefer the BB for touring and the Surge is brand new, so I am excited to get out on Lake Michigan and see how that works out.
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