Submitted: 08-28-2001 by ladams
After paddling nothing but plastic boats due to my conviction that I couldn't afford a composition boat, I tried a Boreal Designs Narwhal. This boat I COULD afford, as it was only $400 more than the plastic boats I had been considering. Wow! Start with construction. She's glass, with great fit and finish. Her rudder is not just stamped out but is actually feathered. Rudder tracks are ABS instead of aluminum...a good thing, as anyone who has had binding problems in sand and salt could attest. Pedal adjustment was the easiest I have ever encountered. Deck fittings were double fastened, instead of using the single fittings on most boats I've seen. And, at 50 lbs, she comes in considerably lighter than any of the plastic boats and many of the composites.
My 6'2", 240lb frame went into and out of the cockpit easily, and I was snug AND comfortable inside, with both good room and good bracing. Seat and back were comfortable and, again, easily adjustable. No, she didn't just take off the second the paddle touched the water, as both my Eclipse and the Looksha IV did. But she tracked like a dream, was faster than any boat I'b paddled, once I got her going, and, though she didn't go up on edge as easily as the Looksha, she wasn't hard to turn, either.
I've used her every day for two weeks, for several hours at a time and only get happier with her performance. Okay, she's no racer. But boy, does she cover water, and am I EVER comfortable! Think I'll keep her.