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Submitted: 09-15-2003 by johns913

I purchased an Explorer HV last winter but have waited to post my thoughts on it until after I had a chance to get it out in some rough water. Prior to owning the Explorer I had a fiberglass P&H Capella, a Nigel Foster Legend and a Silhouette. Iíve owned all of these kayaks in the short time span of about three years, but Iíve been searching for just the right boat for me. I found what I was looking for in the Explorer. I wish the quality control was better and that it was lighter. It is a back breaker to haul around on land. But, I have come up with some moving/lifting techniques that make it fairly easy. So, enough complaining about these short comings-thatís not what is important to me. I recently paddled through some confused seas (in the North Channel of Lake Huron) that would have normally required me to brace and worry. But, the Explorer just allowed me to handle these conditions with a little hip flick here and there. I have a much higher confidence level in the Explorer than I ever did in the other kayaks I owned. Partly, this may be due to improved skills but I am convinced that the Explorer is simply better in rough water. I donít find weatehrcocking to be much of a problem when itís loaded for a trip, but I do use the skeg on occasion. I think the rope skeg is fantastic-much, much better than the slider with wire cable. Also, I really like the keyhole cockpit; if I need to I can sit my butt in first and then put my legs in. That technique can come in really handy at times-especially with the rocky shores of Lake Huron. Since itís a keyhole and not an oval cockpit, there is a lot of room to hook your thighs under-it is fantastic for bracing and rolling. I can generate a great deal of rolling power in the Explorer with my knees. Eventually, I may end up selling my HV and getting a standard Explorer as I have lost some weight. Iím not sure about this though. I am 6í2Ē and weigh about 205. When I purchased the Explorer I was closer to 230. I think I still fit in the HV just fine but I am curious to see how I would fit in the standard Explorer.
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