You are responding to the following review:
Submitted: 07-12-2014 by HawksEye
This is an additional performance related review, missing from my earlier review.
I am a 140 lb, 5'4" experienced paddler, probably L3 or 3 star.
My prior ride was an Eddyline Merlin LT.
Initial stability is moderate. The shallow V bottom will feel a little less stable at rest (somewhat jittery) than a flatter-bottomed rec boat or an oval-bottomed boat aimed at beginner to intermediate paddlers. Beginning paddlers and experienced recreational paddlers may not feel comfortable in this boat when they are not actively paddling. This does not mean the boat is likely to flip when standing still, it just has a bit of a wiggly feel.
Secondary stability is high when underway and with a shallow lean that puts one of the bottom bilge panels (shallow V) flat in the water. When leaned all the way to the shear panel (right before the cockpit rim hits the water), it looses that comfortingly stable feel, but by the time an advanced paddler gains that big edged-turn, they have ninja skills. I'm almost there...
Cruising speed is great. I've had no problem keeping up with the big boys in their big boats, in fact, at least three of the guys I beat in the last race ( my second endurance event) went out and bought racing surfskiis or racing kayaks. Don't know if my boat and I played a factor in their decisions, or not, but it is fun to think that I built such a great boat.
This boat has a very nice balance of tracking & nimbleness. She tracks fairly well, but has enough rocker to feel maneuverable. The boat rolls fairly easily. The back deck is low enough to do Greenland-style layback rolls. The sweep roll is also easy in his boat. However, when upside-down without a sprayskirt, the cockpit somehow creates a suction cup that makes it difficult to pull the bow up (think T-rescue) or to perform a renter-and-roll without the extra umph a paddle float provides. It is far easier to flip the boat first then haul it up onto a rescue boat to empty the cockpit. Just a little quirk, not a fatal flaw.
The seat + back band as provided is adequate. I like the back band- it forces one to use good posture and separate the upper body from the boat. The seat needs improvement. I added extra foam to raise the seat out of the shallow V and for thigh support. A custom seat is on my wish list.
The boat is light-- significantly lighter than a rotomolded plastic boat and thus it is far easier to car-top by myself. The light weight makes the value of this boat closer to that of a thermoformed plastic or composite boat, which means this boat is priced at half what an equivalent manufactured boat would cost-- a good value!
I don't have much experience in big winds and big water, but from the little experience I've had, I would say that this boat rides swells well, cuts into the wind & chop with ease, but struggles a bit with rear quartering seas. I suspect most kayaks have that issue. I'd suggest installing a skeg before you experience rear quartering seas. A rudder is not necessary because this boat has enough rocker to be fairly nimble.
My hatch issues have been reduced with the installation of toggles in addition to the invisible bungie hold-downs. After a month of gasket compression, the hatches sit almost flush and they almost stay dry during intense rolling and rescue sessions.
The boat pulls in complements. Even with my poor finish job I was told my boat is "bad ass" and everyone loves seeing the puzzle joints. She isn't as pretty as I had hoped, but I am very happy with her performance.
* All you need to do is submit the form above and an email message will be sent to the owner of the ad you are enquiring about.