Submitted: 09-04-2002 by Ted
I rented this boat for a day of fishing in Newport beach, CA with my 8 year old son. Since I already own a wider shorter tandem the comparison was very noticable. I originally had this boat on my short list before I purchased my tandem, but eliminated it because of it size and hull access. With the large hatch all the way up front I would have to rely on my 8 year old to move up and manage our equipment (poles, reels, tackle boxes, drybags, etc.). Luckily were were in the bay and not surf launching, so storing equipment in the hull was not an issue that day.
My concerns about the size were correct as we had to caddy it down to the beach to launch. I put my kayak on my RV and could imagine the difficulty I would have trying to hoist a Cabo 10 feet in the air. At the beach launch I strapped my milkcrate on the back put my son in the front and pushed off. The first thing I noticed was the stability. This was much more tipy than my barge of a kayak. The stabiblity did not bother me as I ski, snow board, (at 39) still go to the skate park with my son; I just noticed the difference. Next, I notice the typical Ocean Kayak wet rear end syndrome that haunts most of their kayaks. I was surprise that at 6'-0" 185 lbs and my 55lb son in the front seat that I would get wet in the back. On my tandem it takes a good breaking wind wave or high boat swell to break over the back before my seat gets wet and the Cabo being a much bigger boat should be drier. I wore my wetsuit so it wasn't as bad as it could have been.
Paddling was fun as this boat is fast and moves very well. The tracking was excellent and I really appreciated the improved performance of a touring style kayak. We paddled and fished a little over 2.5 miles and the paddle back was straight into and good head wind. The course deviation I experience from the head wind was not bad and control on the paddle back was manageable. I did not have time to test the boat as a solo and was not interested as it did not suit my needs in a tandem format. It would a fun boat for camping/touring as the hull can store all the stuff your wife brings on a three day hotel trip (lol).
Overall the layout of the boat was not for me, there are newer designs on other tandems that are better suited for fishing (which is my main use for kayaks) and better suited for transportation. It's a rugged, high quality touring style kayak and if you don't mind having a wet seat all day, you'll definately have fun.