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Submitted: 09-30-2002 by bellcapt
The visual impact of the Baboosic is almost palpable; such is the level of the craftsmanship evident in its construction. So much so, that I have even had non-canoeists comment on it. Once the boat is on the water, it becomes readily apparent that the same level of craftsmanship went into its design, as well. I can only echo the sentiment expressed in one of the previous reviews: this is the finest little boat I have ever paddled. Having said that, I add this caveat: no matter how much some readers may desire that these reviews be objective, there is always one large subjective variable --the individual paddler with their biases, their preferences, and their unique skill-level, all of which influence their objectivity. One paddler's hard-tracking boat that's easy to turn with a 'bit' of lean is another paddler's hard-tracker that resists turning unless leaned precariously, even if the degree of lean is the same for both paddlers.
The Baboosic is not a hard tracker, though it tracks, and glides, surprisingly well for a boat with 3 inches of rocker. It also is not difficult to hold into the wind. Nor does it weather cock in a following wind. If you're looking for a boat that carves graceful turns; the Baboosic is not it; the symetrical rocker causes the stern to 'skid' around in a turn. But the boat will turn on a dime. Some people characterize this boat as initially skittish. I do not. The Baboosic, as noted in other reviews, will lock to the rail when leaned. Even the slightest lean induces that feel of 'push-back', which increases the more one leans. Once one is aware of this, feelings of initial 'tenderness' become a moot point, and you find yourself not even thinking about it. The boat is 30 inches wide at the paddling station. Whether one likes that, or not, is a personal preference. It's not an issue for me. The seat, strung with extremely taut nylon cord, is the most comfortable canoe seat I've ever placed my derrierre on, upwards to 7 hours at a stretch. I've taken this boat on week long camping trips. It handled the load and various conditions encountered with aplomb.
Lastly, I have never paddled a boat like the Baboosic. It's so light and responsive on the water, it's like paddling a leaf. I feel like I am part of the experience; not an intruder. It's canoeing the way I think it should be.
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