Submitted: 07-18-2011 by vdg
This would be a short review, as I still need to use the boat a bit more to form a better opinion. I've used the XT17 on about 3 trips so far, with the longest trip being of 8 days on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. Conditions paddled: 8-9 foot swells, 5-6 foot choppy waves, strong winds of about 25 knots, calm lake conditions.
I have to say that overall I am impressed by this foldable kayak: it can hold tons of stuff and it is quite easy to assemble.
I will focus more on the negative aspects:
Overall, I like the boat and only time would tell how durable it is, although for something made in China I don't have many hopes...
- Tracking in high winds is a bit of hit or miss as I've run into sideways winds where this kayak was very hard to maintain on the normal course: a rudder would probably help in this conditions.Paddling on one side only did not help much so I had to be very inventive with course...
- Durability: I've run into some rocks on my last trip and I had to patch the boat already, so I am NOT impressed with the thickness of the material.
I am not sure as well about all the plastic hooks that are all around the bottom of the boat. Time will tell, I guess.
- The cable system sucks. Running the cables through this boat makes it impossible to properly disassemble afterwards, unless you are VERY creative and use lots of hooks -and break the cable- that are NOT provided. I have yet to figure how to do it as the instructions that come with the rudder system are a joke. Sorry but after spending 5-6h I gave up on it...
- Customer service: my attempts to get some proper instructions in installing the control cables were NOT successful, being directed to read the very badly written manual.