Submitted: 05-12-2003 by paddlinunit
(NOTE: My boat was outfitted for a rudder but did not have one installed. I will happily refer to it in the past tense.)
The Yuke is promoted as a "crossover" or "multi-use" craft (please give the swiss-army-knife phrase a rest!), purportedly equally at home in white or flat water. But in reality, no design is ideal for two entirely different types of paddling. I'm a flatwater paddler who wanted the versatility of being able to use it in whitewater. Bad choice. Better you be a whitewater paddler who occasionally does flatwater if you want to enjoy your Yuke.
If there is a paddling/bracing/leaning technique that will propel this boat in the direction you choose to travel, my varied attempts never stumbled on it. The dealer, of course, praised the boat & blamed my inexperience. I was originally determined to master the boat, but finally threw in the towel after 8 months. Spoke with other owners who admitted it is a humbling long-term "learning experience."
You will note reviews of other boats that identify a persistent veering to one side. The Yuke is more of a paradox, as it behaved differently every time I took it out. Sometimes quirky, other times downright contrary. Only once did it behave and I enjoyed my paddle. The one constant is, if you stop paddling it will immediately change course. Rudders, I'm told, are a big help. For touring use, don't buy one without a rudder unless you plan to add one.
On the positive side, the boat is very roomy for a large paddler. Tons of legroom, but the keyhole cockpit was a little tight for my long legs. Tank-like construction. I am a fan of Prijon's superior poly, but don't be fooled...it WILL dent if you keep it tightly strapped too long. However, it will easily bear my weight behind the cockpit. (Some boats feel like you'll break them when doing the shoehorn entry).
SUMMARY: My wife & I called it the "FOREST GUMP" boat. You never knew what you were going to get!!!