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Submitted: 11-18-2013 by Harold

I have owned my fiberglass Skerray Excel for six years. I bought it in Maine and hauled it out west last year to Alaska where I live. The trip took a couple months while I got a chance to kayak the Great Lakes and coastal BC. Since then I have kayaked around the Ketchikan - Revillagigedo Island area. I was going to sell the Skerray and buy a newer Valley boat like the Aquanaut or Etain after getting to Alaska... I have no regrets because I have done some great kayaking and exploring on the trip up here.

This kayak is a good fit for Alaskan waters with the strong tides and weather that comes up fast. I am a photographer so the high primary and secondary stability suit the type of activities that accompany my kayaking. I am also a big guy at 6 ft. 2 in. and size 12 ft. I have no problem fitting into the keyhole cockpit.

The kayak has more than enough water tight storage for 7 day trips (the longest I have been on). The skeg controls the minor weather cocking. The kayak is lively enough and maneuvers easily with its rockered hull but still tracks amazingly well with the skeg partially down. It has surprisingly good speed with minimal effort which I think is important on the longer trips.

I tried the Valley Etain out when I was in Seattle but I couldn't make the adjustment. I had tried the Aquanaut back east and did not mind it. There are so many kayaks out there and I have kayaked a few of them on recommendation or research but I still have the Skerray. There is probably something out there that might be better but I really have no complaints about this kayak except maybe one. It seems most people that buy British boats eventually change the seat configuration if they are doing long hours touring. I had to have my back band changed while I was still in Maine to a more ergonomic padded full seat because of the excruciating back pain that I had experienced. I could not handle the long hours touring in the kayak until I changed the seat. The good thing is there are replacement seats available and it is an easy fix..

The basic specs on the kayak are: Length -17 ft. 8 in.. Width - 24 in.. Weight - 58lbs. Depth - 12.5 in. Cockpit - 28 in. by 16.5 in. The Skerray has two VCP oval hatches and a round VCP day hatch with a total hatch volume of 395 liters. There is a Suuntu compass mounted in front of the bow hatch. The adjustable skeg slide lever is on port side in front of cockpit. The kayak has very clean and simple rigging configuration with all recessed fittings.

This kayak has been a good fit for me. I would realistically say it deserves a nine out of ten.

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