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Submitted: 06-20-2011 by jay045

I'm rating this a 10 based on the class of kayaks the Martini competes with - short recreational kayaks. I've had it now for about six weeks, and taken the kayak out about 15 times (including a few test drives before I bought it).

I am a condo dweller without storage space. I previously used an inflatable kayak (advanced elements AdvancedFrame), and for the first six months I diligently pumped it up and took it on the water two or three times a week. Then I started hesitating and putting off going out on the water, and being lazy about launching. And I hated cleaning the kayak; don't get me started on cleaning sand off of the inflatable.

The Martini solved that problem. I keep it in my car, ready to go. It takes 5 seconds to set up. While a short kayak, it has a rudder. It has a lot of dry storage, and some bungees on the front side. I've taken the kayak out on bays and oceans (did ten miles of ocean paddling today). With the bulkheads, this boat will be buoyant in ocean waters. The wide cockpit also will make it fairly easy to reenter.

Unlike kayaks like the Bic, which apparently folds right in the middle of the seat, in the Martini you sit in a self contained seat. Thus, you don't get your butt wet sitting in this boat.

Again, this is going to perform like a slow, short recreational boat, but it can do longer trips if you are patient. And you could kayak camp with it thanks to the storage.

I get a lot of interest when I'm assembling the kayak, and people are impressed by the product (I went from using an "uncool" inflatable to something with a cool engineering concept). The owner of Point 65 was kind enough to quickly answer my questions via email when I was considering a purchase.

    Pluses:
  • Stable
  • Lots of storage
  • Tracks well with the rudder (and generally tracks fairly well).
  • Works well in bays and on ocean waters (but see below).
  • Takes 5 seconds to assemble.
  • Fits inside my car
  • Smart design
  • Great for someone without storage, or who doesn't want the hassle of car topping your kayak. With my recreational paddle group, I'm always the first one to have my kayak stored.

    Minuses

  • Not for ocean use if you're beach launching on a day with high waves (three foot waves would be the limit)
  • Slow (but see above; it is a short recreational kayak, not a sleek sea kayak).
In closing, this is a good recreational kayak that can definitely make life easier for us condo dwellers, or those who don't want to car top their kayaks.
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