Submitted: 09-18-2000 by Steve Frazier
This is a truly great tandem boat, especially here in the South where the sea water is pleasantly warm for six months. The first day out was in 3 - 4 ft. swells with light whitecapping and it NEVER felt unstable on any point. While not the fastest boat, it is rigid enough and of good enough hull design that it acquits itself well against wind and tide, and its speed is suprisingly good considering its ample stability. Tracking is exceptional but correction effort is required on quartering waves & wind. I have about 10 yrs. whitewater experience (bow paddler only moderately experienced) and found it no problem to keep on course with paddle strokes and leans even without a rudder. More than a rudder, I strongly recommend you get at least one set of thigh straps (I used the ones from a Torrent). They are critical to properly control lean with this hard-chined boat's huge secondary stability. With gear, we had a combined weight of about 400 lbs. and it would easily take 100 lbs more. Both paddlers very tall -- leg room and carrying capacity is not an issue. Great storage for day trips through the deck hatches and deck straps, forward storage is accessible, dry, and secure. The only downside is that it is heavy at about 85 lbs. but it's probably a necessary evil to account for its other outstanding properties. A perfect boat to paddle with your girlfriend without closed deck concerns ("tandem roll, or deep-water tandem re-entry anyone?") and it's a boat with plenty of capability for new-to-boating couples as your experience grows. Looks like we'll be adding an extra set of cold water paddling clothes to extend the season even further (exposure to the elements is often a criticism of SOTs, but anyone who paddles a decked boat without proper cold water protection in case of a swim is a Darwin award candidate, so... if you gotta wear 'em anyway...) I understand that Perception may drop this boat from their line, and I hope they will reconsider or redesign it even better if possible.