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Submitted: 09-30-2013 by kayakerdon
I purchased the Trinity II USA Model from Lee Arbach of The Boat People a year or two ago and with the exception of a slightly slower bailing rate in big surf and heavy breaking seas than my Sea Tiger, I could not possibly rate this boat higher.
I'm a little biased toward this boat more of late than ever since recently it was a contributing factor to the preservation of my life and the life of a swimmer friend in seas for which it was NEVER intended to paddle. If you want to know what this boat can handle and still bring you back to safety, read my swimmer's account the swim for which I paddled the Trinity II:
If this link gets trimmed from my review, search on the keywords Claudia Rose and Cape May New Jersey
The Trinity II USA Model is quick, clean, and graceful on the water. It is comfortable, durable, and as capable of a hull design as I have ever paddled be it hard or softshell. I have owned and have paddled at least a dozen inflatable kayaks off the coast of Southern California and the Great Lake Michigan over the past decade.
The light blue makes the boat easy to see in most light conditions and when hit with a flash or a spot light is very visible on the open sea at night even w/o reflective tape. I originally purchased this boat to support a swim relay intended to cross the Bearing Strait from Russia to Alaska. When the logistics for the swim fell apart I was left with a GREAT BOAT that I still needed to learn and master. Since then I have spent many days falling in love with the Trinity II USA model design and its performance.
The only meaningful changes I've made to the boat are that I no longer paddle the boat with the original seats and I've added thigh straps from The Boat People. The original seats are comfortable and very nice, but I needed a foot brace and I broke a seat adjustment buckle once on a particularly challenging swim support paddle across the San Pedro/Catalina Channel (4 - 6' and 6 - 9' close frequency swell with winds 15 - 20 mph). I now use a lightweight and very comfortable Manta kayak seat for my main seat and an inflatable TomCat seat for my foot brace.
The boat shines in all sea conditions and glides like an angel on calmer waters. I always paddle with the BEEFY SKEG that I wonder if you couldn't cook a couple of eggs and a small sausage upon in a pinch. I routinely paddle this boat in wind and big swell and chop as that is what my swimmer friends train in year around when they can find it.
I have to agree with the earlier reviewer's comments that the boat does need a little extra attention when it comes to drying it after use. Still, this boat is worth it; and, like the previous reviewer, this is my favorite boat of all the boats I've owned be they soft or hard shell.
As I mentioned earlier in this review, I recently traveled to Cape May New Jersey to support a swimmer friend in the 15.1 mile Cape May Circumnavigation Challenge. At least one of the reasons I am alive to write this review is because I was able to travel with this boat by air transport. When I arrived on the Atlantic coast for the swim, the winds were blowing 20 mph at 5:30 A.M. and never let up.
After 13 miles my swimmer and I approached an area the locals call the RIPS which is a confluence and/or tidal race that forms where Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic ocean and the Jersey coast. Before we knew it the RIPS had gone from a dangerous 3' - 4' tidal race to a monster 6' - 10' avalanche of waves (per USCG). Before the swim race was over, there was a USCG helicopter scrambled to search for a missing swimmer, we'd nearly sunk a 20' USCG Aux. boat rescuing my swimmer friend, and more than 14 persons had to be rescued or had chosen to self rescue and remove themselves from the seas, and the Trinity II had seen me safely to the beach. While I hope and pray that I never need to ride another tidal race like I encountered off of Cape May New Jersey, knowing that this boat was able to ride it like a giant longboard gives me great comfort and confidence in this boat.
When all was said and done at the end of that day, I just rolled my boat up and went to the after party like everyone else. The race committee and the USCG were so impressed with the performance of the Trinity II that day they are considering banning sit on tops and only allowing inflatables and cockpitted boats due the potential water hazards along the course.
In short, I love this boat. The light weight for air transport and the 10-year warranty are just icing on the cake so far as I'm concerned.
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