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Submitted: 05-19-2014 by one-half-wuff
Wanted to post this while it was all still fresh in my mind. My wife and I are just coming out of Rec boats. I just purchased a 2006 Necky Elaho that had been well taken care of. At 22" across the beam it is definitely the narrowest kayak I have paddled. When we took our kayaking lessons last summer I was in a 14' Wilderness Systems Tsunami. Found it to be not much less stable than the Rec boats we had purchased. Picked up the Elaho one week ago and today was the first time on the water with it.
Wind was high and water was rough on the lake, not the kind of conditions I was hoping for to undertake my first outing with the Elaho and frankly I was a little apprehensive. My wife was in her Jackson Ibis and launched without issue.
Coming out of the 29 inch Ibis I found the Elaho a little tippy trying to get in and get it launched, but managed to get it done and keep the dry side up.
Turned it into the wind and discovered a whole new world of kayaking. After a few minutes of paddling I looked around to discover my wife, who has paddled that ibis in some pretty stormy conditions, to be struggling with the quartering wind. Never deployed the rudder until my wife reminded me to try it out. Didn't like the fact it made the boat hard to turn.
Like many folks on this site have stated before after a few minutes I didn't think about the stability issue any further. It was interesting to learn to trust the secondary stability and not over react. After a little while I was liking for rougher water. As I don't have anything to compare it to I still have to say I can't believe how much faster it is than our Rec boats.
After the paddle I discovered a leaky day hatch but discovered it was the bulkhead behind the cockpit. This was also my first experience with a spray skirt. This one must have been left over from the Carter administration. It was in decent shape but the seam at the waist leaked like a screen door and hi could feel it running down my sides. At least the water wasn't too cold.
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