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Submitted: 09-04-2013 by David Hillman
I bought the solo version of the Mercury modular kayak -- like everyone else -- because of the modular design and ease of transport and storage.
If anyone tells you the 14/18' Mercury will fit in your car trunk, they have probably never seen one in person. The three pieces are 5 feet, 5 feet, and 4 feet, and nearly 30" wide. Even nested, they filled the entire bed of a Ford Ranger pickup. It fills the entire cargo area and backseat of a Subaru Forester. It does offer some convenience over a traditional kayak, but it is not small. The tandem, obviously, is worse.
Once on the water, the kayak is great. Stable, comfortable and large, while not being slow (not really fast either). The seating position is very laid-back compared to, I think, any other kayak I have been in, but it is comfortable for me.
Unfortunately, the construction of the kayak leaves a lot to desired. The pieces of the hull attach with chintzy plastic ratchet straps that do not release easily, and worse, are probably not going to last very long (the teeth on my straps are already showing wear... in a week). I am going to replace all of mine with some stainless tensioned clamping latches, since ratcheting straps are the wrong choice for this application. It is very disappointing that I have to swap out parts on a new boat.
Also, the solo Mercury middle section ships with rudder control strings that are long enough for the tandem model, so you have to shorten them. The adjusters do not have enough travel to take out all that slack. I am going to make my rudder strings modular, like the kayak, with a few cheap carabiners inlined. Would have cost Point 65N about $2 to do this at the factory, but I guess they couldn't be bothered. Finally, when Point 65N manufactured my boat, they didn't bother to thread the rudder strings into the pedals, so I had to do that myself... which was fun with my head nearly inside the kayak. I could've removed the pedal assemblies, I guess, but I already had to do way more work on a brand new boat than I think I should've had to... and I still need to replace all the cheap ratchet straps. Again, on a brand new boat, I expected far better quality for the price.
This is my first, and will be my last Point 65N boat.
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