Submitted: 09-02-2003 by lainey
The Sonoma 13.5 is the second boat for me, and I bought it because I wanted something I could cartop myself. And then after seeing it, I couldn't resist it because it was so sleek to look at. I did take it for a demo paddle before I bought it, and was impressed with the speed and nimbleness of the boat. While I am not yet skilled at leaning into the turns, the little bit I experimented gave me a feel for what might be possible.
I just took it out for my first paddle since purchasing it this week, and while I still love the feel of it, I found it a little challenging to paddle against the stiff wind I encountered. I experienced many of what others previously have mentioned; the boat turning into the wind, my tendency to oversteer, and the challenge and opportunity to perfect, or at least improve, my paddling strokes. Even by the end of my paddle I found myself holding a truer line, and quite a bit ahead of my paddling partner.
I wonder whether folks have experience taking this boat into coastal waters and class II-III rivers. Having only previously paddled in plastic boats that were longer, more rugged, and stable, I am a little unsure about how the Sonoma can handle these different waters. Anyone care to comment?