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 Easky. 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 surprise, was worth the time, and gave me confidence. I think the version I paddled was a prototype, as was the seat. The renter mentioned it and I believe he meant the boat and seat.
The winds on the harbor were between 6 and 12 MPH. This boat weathercocked a lot for me at first, as the area ahead of the cockpit was much higher than the lower profile of the Easky. Once I got the feel fopr the boat and got the skeg deployed she tracked better.
The skeg on this boat uses the UK sliding lock design on the port side of the cockpit. The mechanism was very stubborn to use. Once the skeg was down, tracking in the boat was excellent!.
The seat design is OK. The pan feels OK and the back rest did not adjust easily. I mentioned this was probably a prototype, so enough said on the seat. I had no issues with it.
Turning this boat on edge was brilliant and easy. As a novice I got this boat to turn on a dime in windy & chppy conditions. I am still getting comfortable with leans and edging. This boat pushed me out of my comfort 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 easy work compared to the Easky. I went to a zone of the harbor with 1' breakers and stayed sideways to them, bracing through them for practice. The responsiveness of the boat made the practice session well worth the risk of getting wet.
Water did not come over the desk at all as I paddled into the wind/waves. The bow is well cut for quartering or straight approaches on small waves without shipping any water.
As with the Easky, aesthetically I liked the lines of the boat, while the color, hatches and lashings were all unremarkable to me. The day hatch in front of the cockpit is a welcome and familiar feature for me.
The boat was light and easy to carry on my own, as easily I lifted it out of the water and carried it uphill and back into the rental area. My Prijon is a bit heavier and harder to manage.
Overall, 8 out of 10, using my other experiences in a Touryak, a Easky, and a Necky Looksha 14.5.
I would buy this boat new or used, but definitely customize the seat.