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Submitted: 08-18-2003 by Yakpunk
First of all, the Sandpiper, it even says right in the brochure, is not designed for two things:- Carrying Gear- WhitewaterSo, if you are doing those things with a Sandpiper, wrong boat for the job. I have an older Royalex Sandpiper with the higher seat (Mines an 02, 03s have a much lowered seat and a thwart right behind the seat, similar to the Bell Rob Roy from what I gather), which I like because as you kneel in the boat Bill Mason 'Canoe Bad Ass' style, it provides more manuverability, and you can tuck in a bit under the seat. Also, sitting kneeling is more comforatable with the higher seat if you have big feet. I've also tried the Sandpiper with the new seat, and much prefer the 'old' style. The boat simply performs. When leaned up on edge, I can keep up with 14'-18' Kayaks being paddled by competent paddlers, because the water line of the boat is so tiny. (Literally 4-6" wide, an inch or two deep, and 12' long) Granted, in wind and waves this position is not possible, but it is more fun on flat water than could possibly be legal. When the going gets tough I shift back into the seat, knees out and I've got a rock solid platform. I don't even hesitate to stand up in this boat, if you've got the balance, it's a stable craft.I never thought I'd own a canoe, but after trying dozens as I learned solo\freestyle technique, I came back to this boat over and over, and had to have one. If you stay in the seat more than not, you probably want to consider the Vagabond; more weight carrying capacity, more speed, and it will take whitewater better. However, I found the Vagabond simply does not perform when leaned up on it's edge... It was a combination of me not being able to find the 'sweet spot' and the boat not wanting to stay edged. Finally, if you are a canoeist considering purchasing a kayak, give a Sandpiper a shot! 38lbs, much lighter than most poly kayaks, a great price, easy to handle, and if you're older, a breeze to get in and out of. Not only that, but you can paddle it with a kayak paddle in high winds to help yourself along! (But don't admit it to any of your friends.)
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