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Submitted: 08-08-2013 by canu4fish
Although I have owned and paddled a canoe for many years, I am new to kayaking. After selling my canoe recently, I began looking to replace it with a solo kayak, and after some research, I chose a Perception Sport-Patriot, which is actually a 2012 model, and no longer made. I chose it for several reasons, and WITHOUT actually paddling it before buying it. I DID have an opportunity to sit in it, and several others, and doing this cemented my decision on this boat. I am 6'3" tall and weight about 230 lbs, so I needed a boat that had a good capacity, and one that was easy to get into and out of, since I had decided on a sit-in as opposed to a sit-on-top. The Patriot has a huge cockpit, and a capacity of 400 lbs, for it's 11'10" length, and 29.5" beam, so it was perfect in those respects.
Another aspect that I required was a dry storage compartment, and the Patriot obliged with a watertight bulkhead about a foot behind the seat, and the enclosed compartment extending all the way to the stern, and with a large, tightly sealed hatch. It also has two molded-in fishing rod holders behind the cockpit, although it isn't specifically designed as a fishing kayak...a nice feature. There is also an almost identical model designed specifically for fishing available. Other features include a paddle-holding bungee on the starboard side, comfortable seat w/adjustable back and integrated bottle holder, and a deep combing around the cockpit to accommodate various spray skirts/covers. There are carry handles at both ends. The color I chose is a marbled blue & white, which is very easy on the eyes.
Now for performance. Because of the relatively short length and wide beam, I expected the boat to be rather slow and not track too well. I was pleasantly surprised when I paddled it for the first time, as it responds quickly to commands, moves relatively fast, and tracks beautifully. I credit this to the hull design, the bottom having deep chines moulded in for nearly the entire length, which give it great directional attitude as well as providing additional stiffness and strength to the hull, and I suspect contribute to it's awesome stability.
The boat handles very well in rougher water, holding it's line well in waves, and if left relatively uncorrected, actually turns her bow into the waves. Because of the short front deck, she does ship some water, but not excessively, but for frequent use in rougher water, I would recommend a spray skirt to deflect some of the bigger water coming over the deck.
All things considered, I found this boat to have many positive attributes, and relatively few drawbacks. I am enjoying it immensely, and would recommend it, or the model Perception has replaced it with to anyone wanting a well made, comfortable, great handling, and fun kayak. Finally, at 48 lbs of roto-molded polyethylene, it is easily handled by one person.
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