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Submitted: 09-09-2013 by pmichaeljordan

I've been holding off on writing this review for a quite a while to put it "through the ringer" and give it a thorough review. I purchased the kayak in January 2012 and have put in a good number of different trips; anywhere from shorts trips down the river, to 20+ mile day trips, as well as a 4 day expedition through the St. Regis Canoe area in the ADK's.

Having never owned a "touring" kayak, this boat has been a pleasure to own. It tracks great and has decent speed through the water (although I've been in faster boats) and the seat is very comfortable and highly adjustable. That said I do have a few gripes about the boat.

  1. The seat (back).
    The back seems too high and interferes with rolls. I will admit that I'm inexperienced with doing rolls, and could probably do them in this boat without changing the backrest with more practice but I'm currently looking into replacing it (It also touches the back of my lifejacket and gets in the way of my spray skirt). Another reviewer elsewhere complained about not being able to re-enter after a wet exit. This is NOT an issue for me. I'm 6'0" and 175 pounds wet, and have been able to re-enter first time, every time after a wet exit (with a paddle float).
  2. The seat (bottom).
    The "leg lifter" straps that run under the leading edge of the seat bottom follow though two plastic guides on either edge of the seat. The second time out on the boat, all the sudden the seat bottom just dropped and would no longer raise up. Upon inspection, the guides bent under the weight of my legs and the straps were no longer in place. I tried putting them back in, but they would come right back out every time. I modified the seat so the straps no longer have this problem. I drilled two holes in the area where the straps pass through and threaded on two split rings. The leg lifter straps now pass through the rings (just remember to spray WD-140 on them to keep from rusting).
I still give it a good rating despite its shortcomings. It has everything I need (but wish it had a day hatch), tracks well, and holds enough gear for a multi-day expedition. If you're looking for a great priced boat that's a step above the recreational kayaks this might be the one for you.

I've replaced the seat back with a touring type seat back. Still can't roll it, but my spray skirt fits much better and my lifejacket is no longer rubbing the seat back.

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