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Submitted: 09-27-2002 by JP

After reading many reviews on this (very good) web site, I thought it was time to throw my two cents in.

I bought a Cape Horn 17 earlier this year (2002) as my third kayak (after a Necky Santa Cruze and a Necky Eskia) in less than a year after taking up this ridiculously addicting sport. I thought very long and hard about a glass boat, but I AM NOT the candidate for anything that fragile. I am 5'11", 165 pounds, athletic and somewhat reckless (also occassional mountain biker). So...I wanted plastic (beach it anywhere the urge hits me, drag it across rocks, plow over rocks, into rocks, under rocks, and literally toss it on the roof of the Jeep). I wanted speed (7.1 m.p.h. when I "get on it") and I wanted that FANTASTIC seat (the most important thing is its adjustment range--when the back hurts, just change the lumbar support).

The primary is very, very good (I fly fish from it). The secondary--well, who cares? I can't seem to understand the importance of this "lean turn" stuff, unless it's like pulling wheelies on a bike--you do it to look cool--nothing wrong with that. I've done plenty of lean turns (and, nope, the secondary on the Cape Horn 17 isn't as dependable as even my Necky Eskia, as I found out when I tested its limit, going butt-over-teapot so hard I was actually thrown out of the cockpit one night). I spin the puppy around with the rudder (EGAD! He uses a RUDDER! Yes, I am the "anti-poser") just as tight, and the Cape Horn 17's rudder surface area is very well matched to the boat and offers no drag--I prefer to use it all the time so I can concentrate on delivering maximum power from a smooth stroke (to get the speed-I-need).

For athletic paddlers,the good primary is important. Strong strokers will wind up bobbing between opposite secondary stability points like a pendulum on something tippier, like a Necky Looksha IV, like I did.

The keel is cool. It really adds to the arrow-like tracking and lets you give the tie down straps a good tug when you travel, without worrying about oil canning the hull.

The hatches could have larger openings, and the rear leaks a little bit in the big water (wouldn't know about rolling--I think rolls are for having with coffee--the only time I've tipped is when I've done it to myself).

So, if you want to go anywhere (3-4 foot waves/wakes in the Hudson River--no problem), beach the boat on barnacles (and actually think a scratched up hull is a sign of having fun), like to fish, like to, and have the strength to be, the fastest thing out there (Canadian Geese have to take flight, hard, to get away from me) and appreciate a cup holder in a seat that is an exact fit for a Foster's "oil can," BUY THIS BOAT.

The better half (5'2", 125 lbs.) has the Cape Horn 14, and we are so perfectly matched (do the math--length, power to weight ratio, etc.), I'd recommend the same combo to any other sporty couples.

By the way, she IS beautiful (mine's yellow), scratches and all :-)

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