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Submitted: 10-31-2011 by boxer

I visited Ted and Zac Warren's shop in Salem two years ago and left with a 2006 Little Wing 18 that they had used for test paddles. Ted and Zac were generous with their time and showed me around their operation before sending me down to the water with the 18. It is great to see people pursuing their passion. It is also nice to see a product that is designed and built in the US.

The boat's shape is certainly very different than conventional kayaks. The boat weighs only thirty six pounds, a real achievement for an 18 foot boat. While the Warren's claim it is as fast as a QCC 700 and an Epic 18, I'm not so sure. I haven't paddled the QCC or the Epic boats but I have had a Seda Glider for 15 years and the 18 does not feel as fast. The Glider just seems to have a better top end even if it takes a bit longer to get there. The LW is far easier to paddle than the Glider in stiff quartering winds. It has tremendous stability both, initial and secondary. It is also a lot easier to car top than the Glider which is about twenty pounds heavier.

The 18 has room for plenty of gear. I don't think it is a boat that will win many races against Epics and QCC 700 but I find that I prefer it to my Glider for touring. Over all, a very good boat. Unfortunately, they have stopped building the 18. It looks like they are focusing more on their sailing trimarans. I have watched their videos. They look like a lot of fun. I may need to take another drive to Salem.

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