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Submitted: 07-18-2003 by b_rapoza

Me and a friend with no kayaking experience whatsoever recently decided this was for us and bought two aacadia 12.0's and paddles for a grand total of 1300$.. not a bad deal at all..however if you are planning on developing skills beyond the occasional weekend paddle this boat may not be for you.. now dont get me wrong, this is a great first boat, extremley stable, easy to paddle and decent deck rigging to hold a moderate amount of gear. However two weeks and 7-8 paddles later, i was beginning to feel that i was already outgrowing this hull.(all locations paddled are NE FL areas) we paddled the st johns river (home sweet home) with and against the current with conditions ranging from glass to 2-3 ft chop augmented by excessive 4th of july boat traffic and afternoon thunderheads....

The boat was stable (due to the flat hull) but seemed to catch alot of wind almost like a sail on a sailboat when paddling perpendicular to the wind, it also came over the swells and wake from all directions with ease..even when a jet ski thought it would be humorous to swamp me.. but in flat calm water, an easy relaxing paddle..anyone can paddle this boat. The next weekend we went to the santa fe river in central florida...this river has a moderate current as it is spring fed..we paddled 5 miles downstream, camped and paddled back upsteram the next day... a little tougher but determination (and natural ice) got us there.. i hung up on a hidden rock underwater however the water was maybe 1.5 inches ddep at that point and 3 good butt-slide/momentum shifts later i was unhung and back in action our third estination was st augestine beach fl... this was by far my personal favorite destination... paddling through the break just required a little timing and beach experience..or you could just hang on the stern to raise the bow and kick/paddle out then climb in and paddle the larger stuff. a skirt however would help tremendously as the large cockpt opening takes on water in quickly.. surfing in this boat is interesting... fun as hell but not much control.. an attempt to ride the line found myself upside down (and full of water) once and the next (after a 20 min delay consisting of dragging my now 400lb half sunk boat back to shore, bailing out enough water to flip it over solo.. then eventually standing it on end to drain the remaining water)the next attempt i leaned in towards the wave face and found myself planing straight toward shore but lengthwise.. all this said (beach-wise anyway) it was an absolute blast at the beach, we also paddled outside the break an 8 mile round trip in a thunderstorm with 4-5 foot swells no problem, untill i dumped it when caught off gaurd by a rouge wave... then it was back to the 400 lb boat but this time in much deeper water... all in all a great time ..until both boats were stolen :( same day.. 30 mins later and only 2 weeks old..if we see you.. whoever you are, you should call the police, because we refuse to be polite about this.. we WILL take our boats back by force if necessesary.. (see "hardcore" and "you took the only thing we cared about away from us")so all that aside.. pro-con time...
rivers: pros- easy paddling,very stable
cons- almost too-stable, dosent respond to lean at all...
ocean pros-fun fun fun
cons- no skirt=sinking fast if you spend anytime in the breakers..
and the whole theft thing....
all in all i think the acadia is an excellent enry-level boat for those on a budget and looking to paddle mostly flat waters with the ocassional chop..however if you really want to you can pretty much take it anywhere. just dont be expecting sports car performance from your "4-cyl pickup truck" it can go anywhere, but it might take some effort....

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