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Submitted: 08-09-2004 by Rick Johnson
My first kayak was a set of Mallards which I loved (one for me and one for my daughter) but when her 'mother' and 'brother' visited we discovered that 2 boats weren't enough so started to look for aditional kayaks for loaners to guests.
At first I didn't care for them for two reasons (hence the lower rating), a) they are wet boats. If you use a SOT, be prepared to be wet. so all gear needs to be in waterproof bags to stay dry. b) they ride too high when empty. We were practicing exit and re-entry and the wind took the boat and I had to swim after it. The fact that anyone in a SOT in Arizona is looking for sunburn is irrelevant. The only other problem was that the Scrambler was made for Scuba divers (my daughter dives) but the rear storage, though designed for a tank, has no drain-holes so quickly fills with water. I think that if OC would put drain holes in the rear, you would have an excellent boat.
I did modify my Scramblers by running pad-eyes along both sides of the bow & stern storage areas so I can use an elastic motorcycle cargo net to hold gear and this works very well. I also found that when I leave the kayak, re-entering a Scrambler is easy and safe which is a big selling point as I cannot swim. Plus they are tough and can take any punishment I give them from running onto a beach to striking underwater rocks and trees.
One last thing, I bought the Scrambler for me and the XT for my daughter because it was wider and more stable. We ended up trading because she likes the speed and narrow hull of the Scrambler but I like the stability and cargo capacity of the XT. Given a chance, I'd buy two more Scramblers simply because in the Arizona heat, the wetness of a SOTis a big plus and in rough water, re-entry is simple and safe.
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