Submitted: 04-01-2004 by FVH
Another demo in my quest for a recreational/light day-touring kayak. And this one was a really great paddle.
Stability is excellent. Good initial stability. Performing some braces showed up a comforting secondary stability. I felt very stable in this boat. Seat is exceptionally comfortable. Very cushy; I could sit in it all day. The high back is nice. Although I do wonder if its height might cause difficulties getting back in after a wet exit (not that I tried! . Very comfortable. Foam padding for knee bracing is also in just the right spots.
This boat tracks like it's on rails. I was paddling it in light winds and light swells, and it just pointed straight ahead. Neither the breeze nor the small swells moved it around at all. Super easy to keep it on heading. The hull is suprisingly fast. I had no problem moving it along at 6 or 6.5 km/h (according to the GPS). It was very quick for a boat of its dimensions. Turning was no problem. Lean it over, or use your paddle as a rudder, and around she goes. It tracks very well, but that didn't seem to really get in the way of turning when need be.
Beyond all that, it has some nice other features. The rear hatch with bulkhead is nice. A block of foam in the bow gives you confidence it'll float properly in case of a wet exit. Bungy cords on both front and rear decks, and perimeter lines as well. Someone was thinking when they designed this boat. And at 45 pounds I can easily cartop it.
I really can't fault this boat. It was a delight to paddle, and it's set a very high standard for the remaining boats on my "demo list" to attempt to meet.