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Submitted: 04-21-2003 by jonsprag1
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I've owned my vizcaya for three years now and have paddled most places along the Penobscot Bay -Frenchmen's Bay regions, as well as some of the larger lakes, in the state of Maine, including Moosehead, the largest. The boat tracks extremely well going into the wind and even goes well with the wind abeam(from the side). Down wind it does have a tendency to weather cock if the rudder isn't used, but then so do most boats. The answer is either to use proper paddling technique(ie be ready to correct the move before it happens) or put your rudder down. As far as self rescue goes, I can roll the boat fairly easily and because of the large cockpit and fairly wide beam(24 inches) can usually do a paddle float rescue without much trouble(in the event I blow the roll.) I'm a little suprised that BigJockBob, at 6'4" and 210 lbs finds the boat too heavy at 65 lbs to paddle when it is loaded or to lift on top of his car(hint unless he goes to kevelar or fiberglass it is unlikly that he would find any boat of equal length that is any less heavy) I'm 5'11" and 173 lbs and have no trouble either loading it or paddling it either empty or loaded. I do find the front compartment somewhat small because of the design of the bow. Also the boat can be somewhat wet when going through waves 3' or higher, for the same reason. I've paddled this boat as far out as Isle au Haut as well as doing a circumnavigation of Islesboro and had no significant problems--it handles chop up to 4' with relative ease. On one memerable trip in East Penobscot Bay in the Pond Island--Eggemogin Reach area I paddled for at least 2 miles in beam seas of 3-4'and 20+knot winds without putting the rudder down and did fine. I also spent a 4 day camping trip on Moosehead Lake(40 miles long--8 miles wide) without having to resupply. In all I'm quite satisfied with the vizcaya--she has taken me where I want to go at a good price $750 fully expedition equipped for a one year old boat. I'm sure that a more expensive boat $2500 or so would be better, but for the money, I got good value.
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