Submitted: 09-06-2002 by detjen
This thing is a blast. Shame on everyone who complained about the tracking - didn't you look at the hull before you bought it? This thing isn't made to be a fast boat - it's made to be a comfortable and stable play around boat that can turn on a dime. I could complain about my Carolina not being good for whitewater - and anyone in the know would laugh at me for mentioning it.
The Reggae is "the bomb" for class II whitewater - even for the less skilled paddlers. I took a beginner paddler with me down the San Marcos - and I couldn't get the boat away from him. He took it through BrokenBone and Cottonseed rapids without even blinking. We're doing the Guadalupe River this weekend (Class II/III) and I'm not letting anyone else in the Reggae.. I'm also taking it to the ocean to play on the waves next weekend(I'll use my Carolina for the long hauls thank you very much - hahaha).
The Reggae has a tendency to push when you try to pass a certain speed - so don't go that fast. The tracking is much better than I expected - I really love it. Of course - I can make my WaveSport Y track straight so this thing is easy. It's like riding a bike people - you can't do it until you get the feel for it - and then it's no big deal. :)
I bought the boat to have something between my WaveSport Y (whitewater) and my Perception Acadia (recreational) that could feel comfortable loaning to people new to the sport for class I/II water. My Acadia will do class II easily with me in it - but less experienced paddlers can't turn it through a current. The Reggae just goes calmly across it (don't even suggest putting a beginner in a Y).
I would have rated it a 10 except the pop rivets holding everything on should have been siliconed at the factory. I took it over an 8 foot dam (Rio Vista in San Marcos) with 330cfs in about a 6 foot slot. The boat totally submerged (I'd never gotten a sit on top to do that), but it came up controllably and my dog landed in my lap as I came back up. The only problem was that the pop rivets leak like a sieve when underwater - so I took on water. The pop rivets I could reach from inside I sealed by putting silicone on them - the rest I removed and put a glop of silicone in the hole before I replaced them. No big deal.
Islander has discontinued the Reggae - so if you're interested in one then you should get it before they're all gone. I think I'm going to get a second one - because it's such a blast I don't want to give it up... :)
FWIW: I tried the Sit on Top whitewater boats (Yahoo, Pegasus and Torrent). Talk about them if you want to talk slow and poor tracking. They don't have the comfort level or the weight capacity of the Reggae (I'm 6'3" and 240lbs)- and I'm better on the Reggae than I was on any of them. I'll be keeping my WaveSport Y - but only for when it's cold - or for above class III...