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Submitted: 04-05-2004 by leep

I have paddled a Prospector for a little over a year now and I am, in general, quite pleased with the boat. If I were writing this as I paddled, I'm sure that the rating would be 10 but there are some things that could be improved. I have the fiberglass version and it is too heavy (though it weighs about the same the original Chestnut Prospector in wood and canvas) but their layup method and materials are old fashioned and the gelcoat is too thick. With a little thought they could easily take 10 - 15 pounds out of the boat without really adding much cost. (I should add that I design and analyze composite structures for aircraft for a living, so I think that I am qualified to make that statement). I paddle the boat solo most of the time with my 40 lb dog for live ballast and am often thankful for the ample amount of secondary stability. Paddling the boat leaned about 20 degrees so that it's easier to reach the water and the dog can get a drink without running around is a joy. When the boat is loaded with all of the stuff that my kayak freinds don't have room for, it sets right down on the waterlines and handles very well both on large open lakes and mild whitewater. Crossing open water solo with no load in the boat on a windy day can be a real struggle but that is not what this boat was intended to do so that criticsim is not entirely fair. All in all, I would say that this is a B or B- execution of a great design.
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