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Submitted: 05-17-2011 by chad9477
I purchased my SeaYak new in 2006, and since then I have used her primarily for long-distance solo touring. I haven't paddled many other boats so I can't offer much in the way of comparisons, but for my purposes she's been great. She handles well in waves and wind, and with the addition of a rudder she steers well without weathercocking. Without the rudder this was a problem, so I'd highly recommend adding a rudder if you get one.
Her fore and aft compartments are quite roomy and I have no problem getting two weeks' worth of gear and (dehydrated) food inside. The hatches have plastic covers over neoprene seals, which are quite secure. Once you master the technique of sealing them -- similar to getting a sprayskirt adjusted -- you'll never have to worry about wet gear.
The cockpit is fine for a 6'1"/185 cm guy who weighs 190 lbs/87kg, which I am. As others have mentioned, the seat is not the greatest piece of engineering on the boat, as its backrest tends to pop out when entering and exiting the boat, but once you're settled in it's comfy. The dayhatch leaves a bit to be desired, as it's not super easy to open, but its neoprene-bag interior is about the size of your head and can hold your map, snacks, water bag and camera easily.
The construction overall feels very sturdy. It's easy to quibble over little details, but my bottom line is that I've trusted this boat with my life several times and she hasn't let me down. I expect there are faster and lighter boats on the market, but get me above the 50th parallel and this is the boat I want with me.
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