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Submitted: 08-06-2013 by jbessman
I have taken the Necky Amaruk out on various lakes and rivers, and am constantly impressed with this tandem. I have several other kayaks that I use for other purposes, with this one serving as the recreational/family boat. It is relatively heavy to portage, and I don't get much help from my small kids. But with a handmade wheel cart I can easily manage to get kids, paddles, PFDs, and all the necessary gear wherever necessary, and get this on top of my truck. While it's relatively heavy, the weight is pretty similar to most plastic tandems and most slightly longer glass tandems. The difference is that the cockpits actually provide a location to hold on to which makes it much easier. And unlike the glass kayaks, with the indestructible poly build I don't have to worry too much about gelcoat stress cracks, rocks, or bumps while transporting.
Build quality is exceptional. Hatches do not leak, and multiple bulkheads really provide an unparalleled level of safety and dry storage. The seats are very comfortable, and also durable. While Wilderness Systems has moved to the cloth seats, I have found these are too flexible and too much of a pain to maintain. These plastic seats provide ample space, very easy to clean, and they allow the kayak to be wiped dry before storing. I've never had an issue with the support, but I also paddle with my PFD on.
Stability is top notch. I have no issue getting in or out of this kayak with it fully on the water. I've enjoyed playing in the motorboat wakes too, as this kayak just climbs right over the waves with very high initial stability. Whether the waves come head on or from the side does not matter, it has never even been close to tipping on me.
Performance is also great. While most all plastic kayaks (particularly tandems) paddle like miniature barges, this one actually cuts through the water quite well. It even tracks well, and with the rudder turns sharply.
Overall I would say that after owning, paddling, and pedaling other plastic kayaks (including Hobie, Old Town, Wilderness Systems, Mark Twain, Ocean Kayak, and other Necky tandem models) this one is by far the best. Yes, aside from the Hobie (which isnít the best comparison) it does cost more Ė but it actually paddles and performs like a real kayak and not a pool toy. Definitely a step up from Necky's Gannett line both in terms of build quality and handling.