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Submitted: 08-15-2002 by blksheep
I ordered this kayak at the end of june. Friendly online customer services, shipping is extremely fast even to Canada. Loaded with bonus - got a free baseball cap, jacket, already built-in twin skegs, and 39USD worth of accessories of your choosing. I went for the basic package, on hindsight - I should have got the deluxe package with the 8ft paddles. The 7ft one is a little too short for a boat this wide. And it comes with 30 days on water trial, 3 yrs warranty - can't go wrong with that.
Got the first chance to try it this week. Thanks to the extra large footpump - inflating the whole boat was under 10mins; which is probably faster, and definitely easier than to untie and unload my fiberglass boat off the top of my car. A note on inflation, it has an inflation guage on the boat - I feel like over inflating just a little bit. Reason being after inflating on hot dry ground, and paddling is cool water, the boat tended to "soften" a bit.
First try was in Lake Simcoe (Ontario Canada) - calm, flat water... It didn't track too well. But after a short while of getting use to, it's easy to compensate. I went solo, so I wonder if the added weight of the 2nd person would make the boat more stable?! That I will find out another time. The inflatable seat was ok, not exactly comfortable. However, I recommend to keep it fully inflated - when water comes in, it will keep your pants dry.
Second try was also Lake Simcoe but right before a rain storm - so the water was considerably rougher. I found that it tracked better. It had a "softer ride" in the wavey water than rigids. But it's still very easy to manuveur. By the way, I tried to tip over the boat - which was not as easy to do as the rigid boats. Which might be a good thing if you have little kids or young paddlers onboard.
Deflating the boat was just as easy: just unscrew the three main valves and the boat flaten in a minute or two. The drain valve at the back came very useful to drain off the water in the boat, especially after the second day's stormy water ride. It's a little tricky to put away since the skegs are glued on. I keep the come with foam protectors on so it won't get bent. The factory's carrying bag is big enough to carry the boat, paddles, pump and everything else in there. If the bag comes with handles and straps would be even better.
Originally I intended to bring this to camping. Though it rates to carry 500lbs, it doesn't have that much room for 2 people plus gear. Unless you go very light on the gears, and bring a small kid. For single person however, you should have ample of room. This boat is low as a kayak but open like a canoe, you should use waterproof bags to keep your belongings dry.
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