Submitted: 06-29-2012 by Stalker
I've had my Kevlar Gulfstream for 4 years now. I've paddled a number of different designs and each has some advantages and some disadvantages. Here are a few of my observations on this great jack of all trades boat. I haven't had any problems with the hardware fit or finish of the boat, the Kevlar set up is stiff, light, and tough, and my hatches don't leak!
Great initial and secondary stability, you can edge comfortably, it will help beginning paddlers start to feel comfortable in a true sea kayak, but is playful enough for advanced paddlers to practice new roll styles and impress nieces and nephews with existing ones... most of the time....
I digress. It holds enough for good long weekend trips, it is fast for it's size (it is wide) and it handles and responds to paddle strokes very well. In short it is a very good kayak. You can take it out in the surf, rough open ocean, and the Lilly pond out back and it will be fun and functional.
I think another review points this out, Look at a picture of Derek Hutchinson, It was made for his frame. wide, stocky (and brilliant!) I am 6' and 200lbs and I need a pile of foam to fill out the cockpit to feel tight in the boat, thinner paddlers will be challenged to fit the boat properly. The back band CD puts in is horrible, but here I'm just nitpicking. It is not especially fast or nimble, it isn't the best surf boat (landing in heavy surf can be a challenge, it has a tendency to pearl). Otherwise it is a very good boat.
This is a classic boat and a excellent design. If you can only have one boat, get this one.