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Submitted: 06-13-2002 by Fauster

I just purchased a new 2001 Pamlico Excel leftover for $650.00 and wanted to offer my observations to anyone who is looking for a tandem recreational kayak.

I am fortunate that one of the local shops holds numerous demo days at a local lake. My first experience with paddling a kayak was in a Loon 160T. I had a lot of trouble tracking straight and came back to shore a little disappointed with the whole kayak experience. Then the staff sent me out in a Keowee 3. Wow! It tracked straight and was a pleasure to paddle. I took my wife out to one of the next demo days and got her to paddle the Keowee 3 also. She enjoyed it and had no complaints. Decision made...right?

Wrong! I stopped by the shop to look at one of the demo Keowee 3's that they were selling at a discount. I wasn't impressed with the condition for the asking price. The owner then showed me the leftover Pamlico Excel and offered to bring it out to the next demo day. I took one kid in the Excel while she took one kid in the Keowee 3. We paddled for a while and then switched. My mind was pretty much made up to go with the Excel but I wanted her thoughts. She paddled it and felt it handled much better than the Keowee 3. She even thought that it was much lighter althought it was actually a pound or two heavier.

I rate this kayak as an '8' not because there is anything wrong with it but because I have a limited amount of experience with other yaks. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Excel or the Keowee 3 to anyone who is looking for this type of kayak. Getting the Excel for the price of the Keowee 3 was a bonus! As far as the Loon 160T, I believe my problems were most likely due to technique. It just seems that the other two yaks were more forgiving than the Loon.

Just to be objective, I had a friend call the other day to tell me that he had taken a Pamlico Excel out with his wife and absolutely hated it. He couldn't get it to turn at all and was completely frustrated. Go figure....my 100 pound wife was turning it at will.

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