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Submitted: 06-18-2012 by Kev (Brisbane Australia)
I've had my 145T (with rudder) for a couple of years now and have used it frequently. It has served me very well. I paddle in flat waters mainly. I find it very stable but a foot or two short for two people (have to synchronize strokes to prevent clashing paddles). For best results put the experienced paddler in the rear seat, so as to be able to steer better. I found steering from the front difficult (without the rudder), and simply won't entertain it. It is difficult to steer with a moderately strong cross-current without a rudder. I got caught in treacherous conditions once (very strong cross current with 1.5m swells). I ended up paddling for 8hrs straight (never been so stressed in my life). The boat withstood some pretty severe wave pounding that day but was almost impossible to steer without the rudder. I find the boat a bit slow (get passed by other sleek kayaks), but it doesn't really bother me as I paddle for fitness and leisure. I find the T145 serves its purpose very well (never intended for rough conditions).
My kayak lives on top of my Toyota Hilux ute (on top of the ladder racks). It slides on and off easily. I it a little heavy to carry to the water without a kayak trolley (not worth damaging your back for the sake of a few hundred dollars).
QUALITY - Build quality of kayak is quite good generally. Seats are comfortable. Small fittings on rudder didn't survive their first use - best to upgrade (wouldn't want to get caught out in treacherous waters with bung fittings). Storage compartments leak (unless properly resealed), so don't put any valuables in there thinking they will be dry. The company I bought the kayak off didn't want to know about any of my problems (even though it was only a week or so old) -a bit typical of kayak shops here.
TIPS - If flying tandem, put inexperienced paddler in front; if going in other than flat waters, get a rudder; don't think of going out in rough conditions without a rudder.
Verdict - Great kayak for what it is designed for. Generally very good quality. I paid top dollar for it but I regard it as being good value for money. I was glad I paid the extra $400 or so for the rudder (it saved me once and makes life very simple when there is a moderate/strong cross-current).
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