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Submitted: 09-21-2000 by Mike VanOrden
This is my first boat. I've been renting for years (both touring boats and whitewater) and have paddled Perception, Necky, and Dagger boats. I have to admit the primary factor leading me to buy this particular model was the price (I purchased it as a demo from a local shop cutting the cost by about $1,000), however I've been hooked from day one.
The boat is a nice mix of length for decent speed and rocker for maneuverability - with a slight lean the boat carves a fair turn. It does seem to take some time to get up to speed however, making it feel slightly less responsive than other boats I've paddled. The rudder is easily deployed and even with the good maneuverability, in strong winds I have occaisionally appreciated having the it.
Initial stability is good, though I've been out a few times in choppy waters where I took some time to feel stable. Secondary stability is great. I've leaned the boat to where my ear is in the water and easily skulled/braced back up. Purposely capsizing takes some effort. Rolling is hampered somewhat by spongy footbraces and a high seatback, but after a few times I was getting up easily (adding hip pads and knee braces improved stability and ease of rolling even more).
The seat and seat back are comfortable and provide good support during long paddles.
Cargo space is good. A large rear hatch makes it easy to get sleeping bags, tents, and othe large objects in and out, and the front hatch and cargo area are more than adequate. Both front and rear hatch covers are have double seals and have kept the compartments mostly dry during rolling and wet exit practices. The stern deck is flat with bungees to make paddle float rescues fairly easy.
Northwest Kayaks Inc. seems to have the small company feel and is very responsive to emails and phone calls.
I've been using this boat for everything from paddles on the city lake, to week long camping trips. Other boats may be faster or more stable (though not likely both) but this one makes a good effort to get a little of everything.
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