Submitted: 06-23-2003 by BC
I think it is about time I gave my favorite kayak a review. I am a kayak instructor, expedition paddler and author. I have paddled a fiberglass Gulfstream a lot over the last 3 years. I have owned 7 other kayaks and when all is said and done I keep coming back to the Gulfstream. I am not a big guy, 5'8", but I really appreciate the little extra room the Gulfstream gives me when I sometimes spend 6-12 hours in the cockpit without getting out. The beauty of this kayak is that it is so predictable in all conditions. When I want it to turn quickly it will respond. When I need it to track in wind or waves it will hold its course as long as you do my part. The skeg operation is excellant. I feel the aluminum blade is superior to the plastic blades on some kayaks. The hatches on mine are watertight except for the dayhatch. It will somehow end up with a little water in it each time I go out. I do like the Gulfstreams rubber hatches better than other styles that are available.
I have taken a 1,700 mile, 42 day expedition and carried all my gear and food in the Gulfstream. I guess you could say it was packed full. But it is possible.
As far as speed. Yes there are faster kayaks but this boat is not slow and it will hold a good speed better than some longer boats that are thought to be fast. I would suggest that anyone looking for a great kayak to check out the Gulfstream. I feel that it is one of the top 10 sea kayak designs there is.