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Submitted: 02-21-2003 by deanjunt
I bought the Yukon Expedition because I wanted a very versatile boat to fill out my tupperware fleet. When touring with slower paddlers, I use the Yukon rather than my Dagger Atlantis, because with the faster boat, I don't work at all. But, I also wanted a boat that is quite maneuverable for rivers with a little white water between the flat stretches. The Yukon fits these criteria and is probably the most versatile boat on the market.
Although the width and length is the same as the Prijon Calabria (25" wide x 14' 5" long), the Yukon is not as fast as the Calabria, which parts the water more gently. The Yukon plows water a bit due to the increased volume; however, it is not so slow as to be a dog. It'll keep up with the fastest rec boats.
In terms of stability, the Yukon is really strong. It's more stable than the Calabria, which is also a very stable boat, and in fact is even more stable (secondary) than a Dagger Cypress, which is a 26.5" wide recreational kayak. I love Prijon's trihedral hull design. Basically, it has three faces: a flat one about a foot wide on the bottom to offer strong initial stability; and then a single chine on each side, with another flat face at about a 30-degree angle from horizontal. When you lean the boat, you can just hang on that secondary face forever.
I mounted a rudder on my Yukon, though I basically use it as a skeg. I control the rudder with a trim tab from Cascade Designs, because I am a T7/8 complete paraplegic and needed hand control of the rudder. Actually, I really wish this boat had a retractable skeg instead of a rudder. The skeg blade could be made of a stiff, but flexible material, so that if you slid sideways into a river rock with the skeg down, the blade would just fold over and snap back.
The wind doesn't catch much on this boat, so ruddering in the wind isn't really necessary. A nice skeg is all it needs for excellent tracking without leans.
As far as weaknesses, they've already been mentioned in previous reviews, and they aren't major issues. The bow will dive under waves, so the ride is wet, and the backrest with the two pegs that slip into slots has a tendency to pop out of place. I'm going to screw cloth hinges into mine, because the popping out is quite the nuisance. As I'm sitting in the boat in the paddling position, the back of my life jacket is over the backrest, because I had to extend my backrest to reach up into my functional musculature. Any time I stop paddling and lean forward, say to grab my water bottle, the backrest pops out of its slots.
Overall, the Yukon is a great go-anywhere, do anything boat. The significant rocker makes for excellent maneuverability for a boat of this length, and with a rudder (or skeg), you can paddle straight lines with no steering effort. As a bonus, some say that she has sexy lines.
For me, she's also good at overland kayaking. I get into my boat and leave my wheelchair on high, solid ground. Then I propel myself in my boat with carbide-tipped cross country ski poles with half-baskets. The rocker of the Yukon makes overland maneuverability pretty decent, and the Yukon works pretty good for seal starts, too.
If you're a person who wants to paddle every kind of water, but will be buying only one boat, you'll want to investigate the Yukon.
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