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Submitted: 06-12-2013 by AK_Sea_Kayaker
Just a few thoughts on the Khatsalano, including addressing some of the comments mentioned by other reviewers:
Because it can be packed up, the Khatsalano has allowed me to paddle in areas that few others have accessed - Aleutian Islands and remote areas of the north Pacific coast.
The boat has been described as being tippy. I weigh about 175, generally pack for longer trips, and never noticed this. However, if I take the boat out empty on flat water, it feels like it will move suddenly from one chine to the other. This is due to the hard chines and and insufficient weight in the boat. Add a little extra weight and the tippiness disappears.
Rolling up is easy in this boat. Ironically, rolling down can be difficult. Unlike other boats that I've used, this boat can get stuck upside down in the middle of a roll if you don't enter the water with enough umph. This can necessitate rolling back up on the same side you went in on.
The boat comes with a sea sock. I live in Alaska and kayaking often makes for a cold water experience. The sea sock is an amazing insulator. The Khatsalano is far warmer than any composite boat. This can be a real advantage after a long day.
The design of the boat and quality of construction are second to none. Feathercraft asks for a lot of money, but they do not cut any corners on quality of materials or manufacture. The boat is a pleasure to paddle in rough conditions. It has just the tiniest bit of flex that adsorbs the chaotic water and smooths out the bumps.
I find the Khatsalano to be as fast as a hard shell boat. It takes about an hour to assemble, and is more difficult to set up than other Feathercraft kayaks.
All in all, a very fun boat.
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