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Submitted: 09-07-2011 by jfitton

I have owned my Khatsalano for many years now and I do love it. The skin boat lets you feel every riffle and eddy in the water in a way no hard shelled boat can. It has poor initial stability, but the flex in the frame means that it fits itself to the waves and is more forgiving than a glass boat. It is also tough enough to land on or be dragged over rocks.

But there are drawbacks, too. I am a small man but I am strong and in good condition; nevertheless, I have a devil of a time keeping pace with paddlers in hard shell boats who are less fit and strong than I am. Another issue is the limited storage capacity. The Khats looks small even from the outside, and the inside is crammed with ribs and tubes. Very hard to pack gear and food for a week. On one extended trip, I was cadging food from fellow paddlers. And like other reviewers, I take about an hour to assemble it, even with all the complex directions right in front of me. So now I have it hanging assembled in the garage above my car.

Many happy hours and days spent in this boat, but I am looking for a hard shell boat for my next extended trip.

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