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Submitted: 01-20-2014 by Slartybartfast
I have owned a Delta 15.5 Expedition for 6 years. I've taken it on 8 tours (each a week long) and have kayaked on average 40 day trip a year with the Delta.
The D15.5 has very good primary and secondary stability. You can edge the kayak nicely without it being 'twitchy'. Hard to tip this boat over when practicing rescues, but surprisingly easy to roll, even when loaded.
Speed is a bit of an issue. It's a wide kayak and very comfortable. However, when touring with groups that have performance kayaks, I'm not left too far behind. I've since purchased a Nimbus Telkwa and I'm now having to wait for the group to catch up with me, so I guess pushing harder in the Delta trained me well. If speed isn't an issue, the Delta is a great day or touring kayak.
The front and back bulkheads are large, and the hatches are big. If anything, there is too much space. Once loaded, the Delta tracks nicely without the rudder down.
The cockpit is large, and the seat is comfortable. It did break on me (the hinge on the back of the seat). Delta sent a new seat straight away and were fantastic to deal with.
Durability is good. It is thermoset plastic. It can take quite a beating (I've seen demos where these kayaks have been hit by a hammer over and over without breaking). It does scratch on rocks etc, so like all good kayakers, don't run up and down rocky beaches unless you have some kind of protecting (Keel Eazy is fantastic for this). In cold, cold conditions, the plastic will be more brittle and break easily, so don't go on any trips to the North Pole with a thermoset kayak.
It's also very light and easy for one person to lift onto a car (harder after a day of kayaking though).
When unloaded, it sits high in the water. When it's choppy or rough, the Delta doesn't cut through the waves. I don't like using a rudder, but it's almost always necessary when the conditions turn for the worst. However, when loaded, the Delta holds a straight line through choppy seas.
A tad slower than performance kayaks, but that's offset by it's stability and comfort. It's a bit wide for my liking. I had to really pad out the thigh braces to enable me to roll.
Overall, it's a great entry-intermediate level kayak. I use my Delta for day trips and the Telkwa for touring and days that are choppy/rough. Very durable, comfortable and tracks well with the rudder down or loaded with gear. I'll never sell it.
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