Submitted: 03-30-2004 by jonsprag1
I bought my Tempest 170 last October after renting one in Canada. I got a great deal on it ($896.00 brand new at my local dealer's year end sale in Bangor) I had paddled a Perception Vizcaya for the past three years but felt the need to move into something that could hold more gear and take bigger seas. Also my Vizcaya had a rudder which I hardly ever used. I wanted an Engish style kayak with a retractable skeg, not only for esthetic reasons(looks a hell of a lot better) but because I've always felt more comfortable steering with a paddle then with a rudder, probably due to my coming to sea kayaking from white water river paddling. I find it much more secure to turn with a paddle, and hence being ready to make an instant brace, then using a rudder. I've had my Tempest out in October, November and in March, a couple of weeks ago. I was in 15-20 mph winds with 2'--3' waves on upper Penobscot Bay--the boat handled beautifully--to those critics who complain that the skeg isn't sufficient in a cross wind(at 35 mph)and that they had to do a lot of bracing, well acutually a rudder wouldn't have been sufficient either. I couldn't imagine going out in a 35 mph wind and not having to do a lot of bracing, unless you are on the Queen Mary. Where I really notice the difference between the skeg and a rudder is going down wind in a chop. On a rudder equipped boat, any chop 2' or more will lift the stearn and rudder out of the water when going downwind, causing the boat to weather cock and requiring strenous correction with the paddle. In a skeg equiped boat, unless the seas are huge---10' plus---the skeg will remain in the water going down wind and the boat will not weathercock. Also the Tempest rolls easier than a 2 doller chippie. Literally all I had to do was think about rolling up and up I came. Finally the seat is extremely comfortalbe when compared to my old boat. I can sit in it for two hours without geting the numbness in pain I used to get in my prior boat after one hour. I'm looking forward to doing a lot of camping and paddling in heavy seas with the Tempest this summer and will get back to you regarding this. But for right now I don't think you could get a better boat for the money.