Submitted: 11-09-2002 by thekayaker
For those with some experience, this plastic sit-on-top is easy to climb aboard, scuba dive off of, even stand up in (though the foot dividers get in the way). It surfs well, carves okay and is just about impossible to roll (duh).
I'd dispute others claims of tippiness as far as kayaks go, a person can become comfortable in any kayak if they would spend some time in it.
This boat is the best scuba diving buddy I've ever had. I tow it on a long rope clipped to my BC. It really does not have a lot of drag - feels like I am towing a flag. The rear hatch is very accessible when unloading from a dive in the middle of a lake, in the water or astride the boat backwards. The tank bay comes with convenient tie down points for quick bungee clipping of gear.
When diving, I always have this baby above to help out catching the wind for a tow, to catch my treasures, or to allow me to cancel the whole dive and just paddle out. I hesitate to dive without it - my dive buddies are not as trustworthy as my Dolphin.
It paddles well for a sit on top. On a fully loaded 20 mile crossing, you can expect a sore back unless you outfit it with a deluxe back rest and thigh straps, which I highly recommend.
The seat could be hung lower in the boat (to lower the center of gravity a little more and provide deeper butt cupping). The footpegs and rudder system are excellent.
I do NOT like the handles on the side of the cockpit for solo carrying. They crush your fingers no matter how you carry the boat. I will be looking for an alternative handle. These knucklecrushers, the tiny front hatch and the lack of an appreciable rim for both neoprene hatch covers are the Dolphins only weaknesses. Oh, as with most sit-on-tops bring a plastic shopping bag for a butt protector - the seat drains will get you wet in waves or if you are heavier. Otherwise, one heck of a boat.