Submitted: 06-29-2004 by PC
I've been paddling the Eskia for two seasons now. This is a roomy and comfortable boat that can accomodate large paddlers. In my opinion, the flat hull compromises tracking ability and I find that I cannot maintain an efficient course in winds and unpleasant sea conditiions without the rudder. That is, I'm making too many corrective strokes compared to others paddling with me.
Unfortunately, this boat is about as fast as a sand barge. When paddling with my club, I find it difficult to keep up with the slimmer and lighter fiberglass and Kevlar boats. However, I've had this boat in some rough chops and tidal rips and it has never gone over. It also has a large storage capacity and can even swallow small two-piece beach umbrellas. It turns reasonably well without the rudder. I've experienced a sea condition where I was parallel to never-ending, wind driven boat wakes and waves and the Eskia absolutely refused to turn perpendicular to the waves without a rudder assist.
Initial and secondary stability is high and I too would rate it a ten if it tracked better and could hit 4.25 MPH without killing myself or without a tide/wind assist (measured with a GPS). In contrast, I've paddled an Eddyline Merlin XT which paddles like a Corvette when compared to the Suburban-like handling of the Eskia.