Submitted: 10-01-2002 by Bill
A year into ownership of the poly version, and getting more pleased with my decision each trip. So far, I've been out about 60 days in this boat (helps to live in Sydney, where the water temp never drops below 17 celsius). Lakes, boat wakes, ocean swells, tide races, wind up to about 20 knots, the boat does everything I ask and more. And it's still fast for plastic, even after a few oyster landings.
Really, this boat is the great allrounder - getting up to the speed of a good glass hull (and faster than some), so group paddling isn't an issue. It is comfortable to sit in all day (5'8", 70kgs), it plugs into wind as hard as you want to push, it copes with quartering and side chop as well as any boat, and it turns more quickly than most 17' tourers. I never manage to paddle far without the rudder down, but that seems to be the trade-off for the chines and manoeverability. It is very stable in chop - the chines just seem to set it up. Slews on a rear sea, requiring a bit of rudder work, but these days I don't find that unsettling - and it seems no worse than other boats.
It carries a good load of gear, and the hatches have never let in a drop so far - even on rolling clinics. No, it won't win races against 'glass, and no, it won't catch waves like a 'glass hull. But for allround, everyday workouts, loaded or not, it performs better than any plastic boat I paddle with. Judging by the range of reviewers here, it works for a wide spectrum of sizes and weights. At 29kg, I find it easy to manage - and it copes with small drops in my awkward carspace. It's so easy that I've stopped using my lighter playboats.