Submitted: 06-10-2002 by plaidpaddler
Finally got to paddle this hull with my go fast bow partner Vitamin Ray. We did it as a back to back with a 17'Jensen since we were considering the Escape as a rough water alternative for recreational class racing. The Escape shows its depth in the stern with the gunwales at knee level for this 5'9" paddler, had to be careful to lift the paddle higher on the switches than in the Jensen. Speed seemed as good as the Jensen for the half hour we paddled hard, we need to time several laps on the same course with both boats for a quantitative comparison. The boat does cruise with very little paddle input, keeping it at speed seemed effortless. Initial stability was very lively, but the boat firms up quickly as the lean is increased. Seems especially sensitive getting in and out, probably a function of the slender ends and the lightweight layup we paddled. Seaworthiness was very good, we crossed some big ski-boat turning wakes and tested the handling both front and rear quartering to the wakes; the hull was rock steady angled forward into the wakes, and took the rear quartering waves with little deflection from course and no wallowing. Bow depth kept us dry thru wakes that would have put water into the Jensen.
Turning was a big surprise, we expected the Escape to turn slower than the shorter Jensen, but it comes about quickly in response to the bow paddlers draws and rudders. Its rounded bottom contour does like well timed strokes from both paddlers, a missed stroke with the other paddler sweeping is really felt as is a missed 'hut'. This hull does not challenge the Spirit II for stability, with well matched strokes it is stable and responds like a sports car, but it does demand the paddlers attention to keeping strokes in sync.
A fast seaworthy hull for paddlers not needing the capacity of the Minnesota II, but wanting the big water capability.