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Submitted: 08-08-2011 by Wingnutt
Picked Up a 2011 Looksha 14 from Outdoorplay.com. UPS lost it and it traveled the country for 2 weeks.. hope it had fun, anyway it finally arrived.
I guess I will start with the BAD, as that is what most people read reviews for before they buy a boat, the potential downers.
Overall it is a very good boat, the gripes I mentioned are in no way deal breakers.. even the annoying as hell hatch gaskets. I'm very satisfied with the boat.
- The thigh braces are foam, and held in with a rather ignorant system, its a Phillips screw that runs through the hull into a smooth round tab about the size of a quarter neither end is fixed, so you have to be able to put tension on the smooth, hard to grab end in order take the screws loose to adjust the pads. In my case 2 of the 4 screws had foam/debris in them and because there is absolutely no way to grab the other end with any force, they couldn't be unscrewed, both ends would just spin. I had to drill the screws out to replace them.
- The crimp fasteners that hold hold the loops in the rudder cable both pulled loose 10 minutes into the first trip. Had to be replaced.
- The seat has side to side give, so under hard paddling it can wobble back and forth as You paddle.
- The hatches have to be absolutely the biggest pain in the ass of any kayak hatches ever. the top cover is just a hard plate, and in and of itself offers no waterproofing whatsoever. Underneath it is a neoprene gasket, which, while being absolutely and totally waterproof, is also very very VERY hard to put back on, especially the front one. I dread having to open either hatch. The first time I took them off it took me around 15 minutes to get them back on, perhaps over time my technique will improve and it will become easier, but as of now its by far the thing I like the least about the boat.
- Because of the cockpit shape, the boat will not fully drain if you flip it over.. rock it, seesaw it.. do whatever ya want, no matter what you will have to sponge out the last quart or so of water.
Ok, so grumpy pissy BAD side over, now for the GOOD.
- Boat looks sexy, very neat looking low profile cockpit.
- First touring boat I can actually sideshift into.. I.E. drop my butt in from the side and then swing my legs into, I love this about the boat, no more bracing with my paddle and all that crap, you can just drop in.
- While it is stable enough to get into easy, you can still edge the boat enough for proper keel break maneuvers, I don't know how they pulled that off because it really is a best of both worlds situation. bracing while using the rudder and edging will snap turn the boat VERY quickly.
- Coming from a 16.5' touring boat I was quite pleased with the speed and glide, and that was my biggest concern. I was ready for a compromise, and granted it does not have the same hull speed as a full on 16+ foot sea kayak, it is still very fast.
- the optional rudder has the sliding rudder pedals, which is fine for some, but many prefer the pivot style rudder controls, thankfully Sea-Lect does make replacement controls that bolt right in using the existing holes, and they are only $50 So you can have it either way if You want.
- The seat is very very comfortable and does have a cup holder, the adjustments are nice and easy to get at and use.
- the grab handles are bungy sprung so they stay sucked up against the boat, having grab handles slap and bang on the boat annoys me, so I like the Looksha handles.
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