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Submitted: 06-21-2011 by wildwaterc2
I bought a Deuce Coupe about 2 weeks ago before heading to the coast for a week with my family. I'm an experienced canoeist (mainly C1 and C2, wildwater team several years in C2) and this is the first kayak to join a fleet of various types of canoes, though I've paddled a number of kayaks over the years. I have kids 4 and 7.
What a fun boat! We took it out every day we stayed on the North Carolina coast at Emerald Isle. The first day out we had decent swell and my brother in-law and I did some nice surfing runs - the boat is very controllable coming down a wave face, and will side surf smoothly if you screw up. Something interesting was water shooting up at least a foot out of the drain holes on fast rides. We had one near ender on the outer bar where the nose stuffed but rose back out, and one on the inner bar where we tumbled out almost vertically when it met the bottom.
My novice paddler wife has also enjoyed surfing the boat in smaller swells, and my kids have enjoyed swimming off and on of it - it is very stable and they had no problems standing up, jumping into the water, and then climbing back on. It is really a cool boat.
The only similar boat I'd paddled before was an Ocean Kayak Malibu Two - overall I like this one much better mainly due to its better maneuverability. I've not used the rudder any and really enjoy the ability to bring the back end around on a wave. It is also very forgiving sideways in a breaking wave - notably more so than the Malibu which I think was hampered by the big rear keel. In some soupy white breakers you can bring it around from a side surf to straighten out again.
Regarding the comment about not tracking without the skeg down, I'd just add that it depends on what you expect.
I'd originally planned to buy a Malibu Two XL, but ended up with this one after closer review.
Speed is relative - all sit-on-top tandems are slow (except maybe the Oceak Kayak Zest), and that slowness is due to their shortness and width. This boat did not feel notably more or less slow than the Ocean Kayak, though I'm used to fast boats.
The only negative I had was that the bow does not rise over waves as much as I'd like - it simply does not have enough buoyancy to avoid pinching off a chunk of any breaking wave as you paddle out. As such, even solo, it is not hard to fill the boat up when paddling out. It does drain pretty quickly. The boat is also pretty water tight - each day the boat was in a lot of breaking waves and at the end of the day we never had more than quart, and most days less than a pint. I think most of the leakage was due to the 3 hatches that are standard on the boat.
The stock seats are very comfortable, and the taco paddle holders work well. The bow one hits my right foot when I solo and I'll move it forward a little I think. The seat molding has more depth to it than the Malibu Two, so even solo with no outfitting I had no problem staying in the boat, even side surfing.
The rear wheel works well on hard surfaces and ok on packed sand. I bought a Wheeleez beach cart also, which we used extensively as we had probably 125 yards from parking to the beach.
Build quality seems good, and the boat is made in the US.
Overall, the boat fully meets my expectations and I'm very pleased with it.
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