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Submitted: 09-26-2013 by mikeknauf
Although it may be useful to some to see a review from someone who has owned the boat for a length of time, I see those are already there and I'd like to give my impressions as a new solo canoeist.
I didn't spend much time shopping around for solo boats because Hemlock is so close to me and I could paddle them as often as I wanted at demo nights. My first time in a Peregrine I had no interest in even buying a solo canoe. I took it out just to go out for a paddle with someone else who was in a Kestrel. I was a bit underwhelmed by my first paddle in the boat but I quickly learned it wasn't the boats fault. I wasn't very proficient with a solo stroke or heeling a narrow boat so I found it a bit hard to get good speed and turn. That said, I spent a good two hours out in it and never felt compromised. I got around where I needed to go and was able to switch between kneeling and sitting. I had been in this boat for a short time before this and also paddled the Eaglet solo, a larger and wider boat than the Peregrine.
After a month or two I began to get the urge to seriously consider buying a solo canoe. I'd paddled my tandem solo and felt more comfortable doing so. The attraction was a lighter and sleeker hull that I could use on long carries without as much effort.
When continuing my testing, I decided maybe I should try a Kestrel. This was based on my lukewarm feeling for the Peregrine based on earlier paddles. I am a bit large for a Kestrel, weighing in at an average of 200lbs and standing 5'-1O". Dave assured me that larger paddlers than myself could handle the small boat no problem. After my first test with the Kestrel I was in love. The boat did everything I wanted it to! It turned, accelerated fast and handled wind and waves with ease. Because of my lack of experience in a solo boat I was urged by others to keep trying the Kestrel or consider a Peregrine for extra stability.
My next test day I soon found out why. I found it difficult to maneuver myself around the cockpit of the smaller craft and soon found myself in the water! It was then I decided to give the Peregrine another look.
I soon found that I had come a ways in terms of my stroke and confidence in a solo boat and the Peregrine seemed to do everything very well. I also found I could be quite aggressive with moving about in the cockpit and switching between sitting and kneeling with no concerns of falling in... this was an added bonus.
Another day of testing with the Peregrine and I decided I would buy one. It is a very good beginners boat I would say. When you are a bit green it won't bite you too hard and it rewards you when you push it a little farther. I thought the boat was slow at first but it is actually rather quick as has a sick glide. It is, as others have said, secretly fast.
All in all, an awesome solo boat for any ability level and for those who are larger and/or want to carry a big load. Not quite the sports car that the Kestrel is, but a sleek cruiser none-the-less. I opted to pick up a new-old-stock Kevlar hybrid weighing in at 33lbs that Dave had listed on his website.
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