Submitted: 09-27-1999 by Slapshot
Pros: cockpit felt like it was made for me(5'10",200). Longer seat for excellent thigh support, contoured thigh braces and the always desired Rapid Pulse (formerly PD Designs) backband (if its gotta a back REST, sink it!). Nice finish. The secondary stability was so good, on a static brace I closed my eyes and damn near took a nap for 10 minutes until a Coast Guard helicopter curiously appeared overhead! But then my friend in his Romany was doing the same...Incredibly manueverable, but then again it is only 16'. Easy to pack, (mine had no skeg)Fairly light.
Cons: Deck height contributed to major knuckle dusting too often. A lot more work in a following, quartering, or beam sea than a Romany due to the flattenning of the hull between the hatch areas, where the Romany tracks great with the shallow v hull. Small scratches show fiberglass early, whereas the Romany will take deep scratches, then can be sanded out, and wet sanded until the hull looks new again.( of course you'll have 10 yrs. of sanding to do before the Romany gets down to the original weight of the Meridian. Life's a trade-off). Leaky hatches. Just accept it. Kayak Sport is not VCP. (why does'nt everyone go to fore and aft VCP ovals like Nigel Foster's Silhouette,etc?) Hardware from semi-recess deckfittings are exposed, waiting for unsuspecting drybags, etc. Bulkheads are to weak to mount a foot pump on. Broke plastic footbrace on first day of 5 day surf trip in Florida. Spent the rest of trip with foam packed against weak bulkhead. Bummer. Agree with other reviewer!
re; cheesy rudder-skeg thing on Sitka and Lattitude. I thought it made so much sense to do the boat in a 17ft edition, but how can you take it seriously with that little gimmick of a stern. If you can't fit into a Romany, or simply don't want to deal with the weight, get your Meridian with a skeg.