Submitted: 07-07-2004 by Bonneville
I'm tempted to describe it as a high volume, user-friendly down river boat. The concept is great, but he execution falls a just little short. First, the upside. The hull is OT's tough three-ply. Very durable, but a a tad heavy. The length is good, giving you the speed and tracking of an old school ww boat, but it will still turn willingly. That's turn, not spin, as there's little or no rocker. The high shoulders keep the current from jumping up on the deck and flipping you if you fail to apply enough lean. But, they do make it harder to roll. The aft deck bungies are a nice arrangement, with a pair of "grooves" to keep water bottles handy. The "space hatch" can easily be operated with one hand. Seat and pegs are adjustable fore and aft, so you can achieve the right trim. On the minus side, there's really only one position where you can fit your knees into the pockets under the deck, so the seat adjustment is almost moot. That position doesn't leave you much cockfit room forward, so I'd prefer a keyhole. The adjustment tabs for the pegs are aft of the pegs, making them much easier to reach. Fine, but it also makes it easier to trip them with your feet of catch a lace or strap on them. The peg and seat tracks appear to be plastic and possibly not durable enough for the heavy stuff if you're really tossed around or are digging in. Haven't broken one yet (one came broken), but I have some qualms about them. I did take on a little water in the aft hold during a ww session. Can't tell if it came in via the hatch or the skeg housing. This brings us to what I consider a bone of contention. I think it's a nice boat without the skeg. Sure, the skeg helps some on a rolling lake, but I wouldn't pick a 10', beamy boat to do that kind of paddling. The disadvantage is that you have the deck rigging for it in the way, a mechanism that could break and a deep gash in the hull that also cuts down cargo space. In the up position, the skeg protrudes some aft, interferring with turning (which is the trait you wanted when you raised the skeg) and also gets bashed by rocks. I'm considering trimming the skeg to deal with this. Enough of the nitpicking on this interesting variant. Look at it as a recreational boat with more control and abilities to take on rapids, or a high volume ww boat with amenities, that's not quite up for the really heavy stuff and stunts. A good alternative for those of regal proportions who can't shoehorn into the spud boats. All in all, fun boat.