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Submitted: 07-01-2014 by Aaron Stadler
I weigh approximately 140 pounds and stand five-feet ten-inches. The Rambler 13.5 is roomy and tracks well with two adult paddlers. With the exception of having to work harder, it's not a problem paddling alone from the rear when my girlfriend wants to take a break up front.
The Rambler 13.5 is extremely stable. I can stand up in the boat in calm waters while another person is paddling without an issue. The great stability makes it easy to get in and out of the Rambler 13.5 from the water. I have taken the Rambler 13.5 out on the Intracoastal Waterway, ocean bays, a large lake, and the open ocean.
While the Rambler 13.5 remains very stable in rougher waters, the wide flat bow prevents the kayak from cutting through the waves and instead crashes into each wave. This slows down the forward momentum. Therefore, I would not recommend this boat if speed is important to you. Although crashing through the waves will ensure a wet ride in rougher waters, the scupper holes do a great job draining the water out.
The Rambler 13.5 becomes less responsive when you weigh it down closer to its weight capacity but that is to be expected. I was able to pack three adults into the Rambler 13.5, which took the weight up to just under 500 pounds with gear. At that weight the Rambler 13.5 remained stable in a moderately rough ocean bay. However, you definitely have to work hard to control the Rambler 13.5 when you put that much weight on there. The Rambler 13.5 is not designed for three adults but it gave me a good idea of how far I could push the weight capacity.
The molded-in foot wells are a little small for my foot which can make it a little uncomfortable paddling barefoot so I generally wear sandals. My biggest qualm with the Rambler 13.5 is the weight of the kayak (78 pounds). I am unable to put this kayak on my car and carry the kayak to the launch site or storage area by myself. Even with another person helping, it can be a workout, but most tandems are big and heavy.
Overall I would say the Rambler 13.5 is a good tandem kayak if you are on a budget. I have great times getting out on the water and exploring with a friend.
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