Submitted: 06-17-2011 by monstor
I am a novice paddler, with pool training and one day on a lake in my own boat, some time in rec boats and an inflatable, and also time in a Neckly Looksha and a P&H Delphin. I bought a used, but well cared for, 7 year old Prijon Touryak in this year as my entry into the sport. That is my baseline for paddling experiences today.
I rented the of these and paddled Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay, CA with it. My goal for the day was to paddle windy conditions and start getting comfortable with leans and braces. This boat was a charm to paddle, challenged me to improve, and was worth the time.
The winds on the harbor were between 6 and 12 MPH. The low profile on this boat made weathercocking a non issue for me, even without the skeg down. The seat design is OK. The pan feels great, but the back rest was not as strong or stable as I expected. When I adjusted it to a comfortable position on shore, dropping my rear into the seat while floating was difficult, as the seat kept getting caught under me. The wear & tear on this rental was obvious in the seat buckle adjustment mechanism. The adjusting buckle was rusted and flaky. When I tried to adjust it a 2nd time it slipped out. But even with the back rest in a loose position I had no comfort issues when paddling straight into the winds all the way across the harbor.
Turning this boat on edge was OK, as well. I am still getting comfortable with leans and edging. This boat pushed me out of my confort zone, as my Prijon definitely feels beamier, less playful, and I have not leaned in it as much. Breaking the keel free to turn tight was still a bit of work, but doable for the novice.
Raising and lowering the skeg was simple with the release line. The skeg worked well for me in tracking straight when I paddled across the harbor straight into the wind, although I did not weathercock much as all without the skeg dropped.
Water did come over the deck a lot as I paddled into the wind/waves. This was not an issue in the P&H Delphin 15.5' prototype I paddled later that day.
Aesthetically, I liked the lines of the boat, while the color, hatches and lashings were all unremarkable to me.
Overall, 7 out of 10, using my other experiences in a Touryak, a Delphin, and a Necky Looksha 14.5.
Definitely a recommendable boat.