Submitted: 08-16-2001 by dalquist
I'm very happy with this boat; it does many things well which was what I was looking for, whether on milder rivers or out on the Great Lakes. I paddled 7-8 other similarly sized and priced boats before settling on the Cortez, and I have no regrets purchasing it considering its overall performance. As LeeG noted below, the Cortez does not want to track straight w/o the rudder down; however, I've found I can drop the rudder for straight tracking, press evenly on both foot braces for power, and steer the boat through mild leaning w/o turning the rudder or adjusting my paddle strokes. I don't see there being much difference in speed between a rudder and a skeg at the speeds kayaks travel, and I appreciate the additional performance a rudder offers in some circumstances. The boat fits met pretty well as is, although I will eventually do some fine-tuning; I suspect smaller folks would find it big (I'm a "fireplug" at 5'9" & 195). The seat is the most comfortable of any of the boats I tried, and I've done several 2-4 hour paddles quite comfortably with it.
Likes: Maneuverability; cockpit fit; seat comfort; rigging; weight (for being plastic boat); overall performance--good speed, quick, maneuvers easily, good initial and secondary stability, and rolls easily.
Dislikes: Factory installation of seat and routing of rudder cables through the seat (whoever assembled that part of my boat was clueless; I redid the seat assembly and added cable guides in the seat area for the rudder); plastic seems to damage easier than my first plastic boat, a Necky.