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Submitted: 09-25-2013 by jamoaque

This is likely the best solo recreational yak I have used! (Note: original purchase date was December of 2010.) Some of the things I like best:
  1. Large, sealed bulkheads BOTH at the bow and stern with very easy-to-use top covers with levers which you simply flip over to open up the lid it is so much easier than the typical covers which you have to pry around half of the surface to open up, then stretch them forcefully all the way around to re-seal them. Note: I have not yet had opportunity to verify if they are truly watertight (I have no reason to doubt it, but just have not had the circumstances occur to prove that yet).
  2. The speed capability is very good for a 14-footer and for a 28-inch beam. It achieved in the range of 4.2 to 4.9 mph with steady to firm paddling, and up to 5.7 mph at a sprint (which matches its theoretical maximum hull speed, which is not always the case for a given boat). You can even keep it cruising at around 3.5 mph with a rather easy effort.
  3. Tracking is excellent.
  4. Plenty of cockpit room and leg room even at 6'3".
  5. There is a "console" that mounts at the front, top of the cockpit. It includes a smaller sealed compartment that is handy for things like a cell phone, camera, etc., plus has other open storage areas in its top tray too. It is also nice that this cockpit console is removable in case you want open space above your knees instead.
  6. The small storage area just behind the seat is handy while paddling.
Foot peg adjusters are easier to use than most. The seat seems nice and has a reasonably high back; however, I did find that I needed to adjust the height of the backrest down a bit or I got a sore lower back (maybe because when the backrest is higher, it leaves a gap at the lower back). The backrest height is easy to adjust w/ the pull-handle down underneath your legs. Only has a moderate amount of padding on the seat.

Since I have not had the boat a long time, and it was not used a lot before I got it, I cannot comment on durability. A drain plug would be nice, but not critical. I realize for a boat of this size w/ this many features that it will cost me something, but at the $969 MSRP, I did not purchase one until I found one that was lightly used, but at a much lower price. Also for a boat in this price range, it would be nice if there were a good, solid place to run a cable through for locking it up; you can run a cable under the side of the seat, but simply with a screwdriver, you could take out the two side screws that hold seat in place and slip out a cable.

All in all, an outstanding boat, both in performance and in features. I debated between a 9 and a 10 for the rating and ended up with a giving the benefit of the doubt based on these assumptions:
a) the durability will be good
b) the boat price is justified.
If over time the durability is less than I am giving credit for, and if I find other boats that are better in the same class and price range, then I should have given it a 9 instead.

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