Submitted: 01-11-2012 by Dave
The Glider is one durable kayak!
I bought a '95 a couple of years ago. It had been keelhauled over so many rocks etc. that there was a 6" hole in the keel at the stern. I ground off the gellcoat, patched the hole and re-gelcoated the entire hull. It was perfect! At the first traffic light the Glider came flying off of the roofmount carrier and sailed the 8' down to the street! It did amazingly little damage. The worst was because it hit bow first, it buckled the boat between the cockpit and the bow hatch. But only the thinner deck, not the hull at all. I added some fiberglass patches to the areas, buffed out the new spiderweb cracks on the deck and touched up the scuffs in the gelcoat.
Although I'm not taking it whitewater kayaking, I'm sure it would survive.
I have 3 kayaks. The Glider is for weather forecasts of "light to moderate chop". It's kind of susceptible to wind & currents. Though it would perform better if fully laden with camping gear.
My 17' Seaward Tyee is 24" wide and is a more stable touring boat, but averages 1/2 MPH slower than the Glider.
My 17'Necky Chatham is for weather forecasts that include "small craft advisory" and is about a full MPH slower than the Glider.
If I could only keep one it would be the Glider. I call it my telephoto kayak because it brings distant objects into focus. I can spot a speck on the horizon and an hour later I'm there. And it'll hold a lot of gear.
Any issues I have with my '95 have been addressed with the current model. The sliding rudder controls. (I prefer the "gas pedal" controls) Mine has no forward bulkhead plus the new model has recessed hatches & deck fittings. That's got to help with the wind issues. Plus there's the deck recesses to keep your hands from hitting the deck when paddling.
I've demo'd an Epic 18X and it'd be fun to speed across "calm inland waters" but with that low bow it's got to be more susceptible to "pearl diving" into waves. Besides, if I bust an Epic, I can't fix it like I can a fiberglass Seda.
So for me, a flatwater-touring kayaker the Seda Glider IS the best boat. It's fast, handles moderate weather, and holds a lot of gear. It tracks like an arrow. With an Epic winged paddle to maximize my forward stroke, I can close my eyes and stay on course. Arriving at a beach I feel like I'm berthing the Queen Mary, but I'd choose tracking over turning any day.