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Submitted: 06-09-2014 by Greg Williams
I paddled the S18 advantage and found it a little long for me. I ordered a S16 fiberglass advantage without even seeing one from Headwaters Kayak Shop in Lodi, Ca. While awaiting delivery I discovered my boat was in Washington so being retired and an "enthusiastic customer " I drove up and picked it up from the Stellar booth at a kayak show (nice helpful people).
I have paddled it many times now at several places. I am really happy with my purchase. The fit and finish is really good ,and the strength and appearance of the layup reminds me of my last Kevlar boat. The hatchcovers seem to work better than most I have used. I find the seat very comfortable, but I have replaced the backband with a seatback from an Eddyline Skylark. I have a bad back and always have to change my seatback.
The rudder works really well and causes less drag than my last ruddered boat. It tracks good and I will say that I find myself using the rudder a little more to correct for windage than I'm used to, but it does work well, so. Primary is good, but my back keeps me from exploring the secondary, but I know it's there. Sorry, I don't roll.
This boat seems a little quicker than my last, which was a 17' Tempest Pro. Which reminds me, I had the used 07 Tempest pro for only a short while as I discovered it weighed 56 pounds when I got it home. I liked the boat, and have a cart, but my back and age made it difficult to move it around. My previous boat before the TP 170 was a Kevlar Perception Sole, 41 pounds, and I wanted to stick close to that weight. I looked at Valley, Seda, Qcc, Epic, and they all have great boats but in Kevlar most were over $4000, and still were lucky to be under 44 pounds. WoW, my S16 advantage was under $2700 and weighs 38 pounds. When I paddle at my local lake I seem to be less tired and sore, and I am paddling more. Have you heard the saying a good kayak is one you use?