Submitted: 02-12-2012 by rjimlad
No boat should ever get 10/10 for a score. I've had the Assateague for about 3 years now. I am 6'1" tall and 110kg, an ex weightlifter. I fit pretty well in the cockpit but due to my solid legs, can't go bum first.
What I like about the Assateague is its indestructibility. It is tank-like in the glass layup and I don't look after my boats very well so this toughness has been a blessing. Initial and secondary stability are very good and I've had this boat in rough Australian coastal seas and had no fear of losing control (mostly). It weathercocks badly and needs a little skeg to track true. Not a fast boat but I can keep up with the Mirages and Nordkapps with a little more effort. It surfs well but strong initial stability means you have no finesse when carving a wave so once the boat makes up its mind where it wants to go, you are committed.
Things I don't like: IR seat is rubbish. The backband is hopeless and there are countless better seats on the market. Get rid of it. The footpegs are an abomination. Seriously, when these boats get designed doesn't anyone paddle them before going to market? They are uncomfortable and fatigue-inducing. Surely an adjustable bar across the rails would be a better bet. This isn't restricted to Impex boats but you only have to sit in a Rockpool for 30 seconds to see how it's done properly. Also the bulkhead behind the seat is curved inward to give better day-hatch space but leaves no room for a rear mount bilge pump. This means a glass mod to the boat. Deck rigging is sufficient but hardly complete. A little more thought into these things would mean a more awesome boat.
I don't have any major negatives to say only attention to detail matters, although the seat and foot posts really are major issues but fairly straight-forward to fix but shouldn't have to. All in all, the Assateague is a bullet-proof big man's boat that will get you out of some serious scrapes and into big water. I will keep mine forever because we've been through a lot but don't expect it to be a comfortable expedition craft or speedster. There are much better boats for this.