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Submitted: 07-28-2004 by peapod
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I recently purchased a Merlin XT and could not be more pleased with my purchase. I had a perfectly good kayak that I liked but my back had given me some trouble so my doctor suggested that I get a lighter boat. The criteria for the new boat was different than when I went looking at my previous boat. I needed a boat that not only was light, and stable, but extremely confortable. Most importantly I wanted a boat that would track well without the use of a rudder. The pronounced V hull keeps the Merlin going straight ahead without a rudder or skeg. The boat will also turn on a dime. By not having to push my foot down on the foot pedal my back is not strained. So this over 50 year old paddler is very pleased with the stability and confort. There is one other nice surprise I encountered with this kayak. The boat is extremely fast. I have timed my paddling at the same areas that I went with my previous boat and I would say I am paddling 10 percent faster. The added benifit is I can get to my destination faster and sit for a shorter period of time. Overall I would recommend the Merlin especially if one has a back problem. The boat can handle waves very well, is confortable, pretty and tracks beautifully. I also use it for photography and I have no problems taking pictures.
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