Submitted: 06-29-2012 by Stratified_nomad
I've had a chance to paddle my friend's AT several times. It's one of the most versatile yaks I've ever paddled. If you're an average-size paddler and want to build your own boat, it's the best option I know of. The materials and durability are excellent, and I'm told the construction process isn't too difficult.
The AT is 17' long, with a 23" beam, and moderate rocker: As such, it strikes the (seemingly) perfect balance between speed, stability, manueverability and volume (cargo capacity). It's plenty fast and spacious enough for expedition touring, and nimble enough for recreational day paddles. (Though it's not ideal for the latter, no yak will be perfectly suited for everything).
I've paddled it in everything from calm weather and flat water to winds of 15 mph, and swell about 5'. It seems to handle everything well: It's plenty fast and the rocker makes it gives it good primary and secondary stability. It's size and characteristics are suitable for average-ish size paddlers (about 5'6"-6').
So you're probably wondering why I'm not giving it a 10. There are two minor issues I have with it:
1) The stock seat is mediocre, and 2) The cockpit is a bit too large. Fortunately, these issues are pretty easily rectified:
It's easy to replace the stock seat with something better, and install thigh braces.
The versatility and outstanding quality of the AT make it once of the best choices for anyone, regardless of whether you're building it yourself or not. It's a better yak than most production boats which cost 3-4 times as much.