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Submitted: 09-30-2013 by Atlantickayaker
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I submitted my original review for the XP18 under the name "Uiscemac" (08-10-2010). I've had this boat now for a few years and I can add a few more details to my original review. First of all I would point out that the XP18 is my only boat and is therefore heavily used. In fact I am an all year round paddler. I'm out every week hail, wind, rain or snow. As someone once said to me there is no such thing as bad weather just bad kit. So my boat has clocked up hefty mileage, and it looks it. I've installed a keel strip to protect the bottom and I've had to make a few repairs here and there from bad impacts on beaches and rocks.
Recently I was rammed coming off a wave, so that needed a lot of fibreglass and gelcoat. But if you paddle fibreglass it comes with the territory.
    Here are my observations;
  • The bodywork on the boat is still holding up wonderfully including the gel coat. There are no I repeat no spider cracks on the gel coat anywhere.
  • The rudder system was never that great, saying that I always preferred using the Skeg. There has been no problems there, no Skeg rattle or persistent jamming.
  • I do a lot of off shore camping. The XP18 is unsurpassed here. I can carry a 4 man tent, camp seat, the kitchen sink if I want and all can be done in a fraction of the time it takes someone in a Greenland to pack.
  • The boat is remarkably stable even in a Force 7 with a 3 metre swell. It's very forgiving of mistakes, God Knows I've made plenty and have lived to tell the tale.
The downside of this boat is surf landings. In anything over 2 feet put your going to have problems. It will broach!
However like all problems there is a solution. I can land in heavy surf while maintaining my dignity by backing the boat in. The bow if the XP18 due to its volume is excellent at getting over big surf. By backing the boat in you take advantage of that. Looks strange but works.

I have had this boat almost 3 years now and I'm glad to say it has looked after me. I've no regrets buying it.

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