Submitted: 06-03-2002 by nordicski
Got my first kayak, a Vizcaya, last month. Have been out about 8 times in it. I wanted a boat that I could grow into and that had reasonable storage. I am in my mid-50s (6'1"/185#), slightly above average fitness-level, very outdoor focused - hike and climb in the Cascades, teach cross country skiing every winter, etc.
I paddled about 30 boats at a local 'demo days' and tried a few others afterward. Had planned to get a Wilderness Systems Cape Horn 17, but was a quite worried about it's 'oil-canning' reputation. The fit and seat was great. Wrote the factory to get a copy of the warranty, but was told that it was not available at that time. Decided to look elsewhere.
Thought that the Prijorn had the best quality plastic and hardware in a boat in my price range, but couldn't find one that had the right combination of storage and stability for my rookie ability. Also tried a Current Design Storm. Liked the look and stability of this boat, but had enough room for a co-pilot in the cockpit - way too big for me.
Anyway, got a good deal at REI on a closeout Perception Vizcaya. Have paddled small and large rivers and lakes so far. Calm water sometimes, swells up over a foot occasionally. The boat is feeling better and better for me. It rides the waves well, but was a bit squirrelly when I first used it. I have learned to trust the secondary stability and I feel better about it. Have done my wet exit and assisted re-entry drills now and know the boat a lot better. I like it.
The adjustable seat is good and comfortable. Plenty of room for an even longer-legged person. Like the cockpit padding. The hatches and especially the day hatch are nice. The only slight down side is storage. I know that at 16'2", it would not be as big as my friends' 17s, but the Vizcaya's bow and stern shape, do rob you of usable storage. I do plan to do a 5-day river trip with friends. That, I expect will be crowding the boat, but 1-2 day trips should be fine. And as a day tourer, this boat is perfect.
For the price this is a wonderful boat. It was the right choice for me.