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Submitted: 08-24-2004 by softsmithjr
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I am an intermediate kayaker with five years of experience. I have owned several poly boats and test drove the Nanook along with numerous other glass/kevlar boats. I am a fairly big guy at 6'1", 250# so I thought the Nanook would be just right for me. What I found was that the Nanook was possibly built for a REAL big guy since the cockpit was actually two large for me, especially the height of the fore deck. As opposed to the Solstice GT or the Cape Horn 17 which I really liked. Perhaps the comparison to the Solstice GT is not fair since the Solstice also come in a High Volume and an extra large version (XL) which may be more similar to the Nanook. I was surprised that this boat floated so high in the water with my 250 lbs on board, perhaps it was designed more for an expedition than for an all around tourning boat. I believe that the weathercocking problem I noticed with this boat was attributed to it floating so high in the water and the high foredeck made it very susceptable to the wind. Also, becuse the boat has so much rocker built in. Without the aid of the rudder on a windy day or in big currents I feared that the boat would literally pin-wheel it's way across the water. I had an opportunity to purchase a silghtly used demo model for considerably less than list price which made me really want to consider this boat but I ultimately gave way to reason and purchased the Solstice since it tracks so well even in the wind and putting it on even a slight edge will get it going in the intended direction and I don't have to load the boat down with camping gear to make it respond without the use of the rudder. In fairness to Boreal I test drove the HV and XL models of the Solstice and found them both to have similar characteristics. The Cape Horn would have been a good choice if it had just a bit more room in the cockpit for my large frame. In summary if you are a big guy/gal looking for a boat that will be used for day trips where you will be touring on mostly a straigt course and want to be able to handle both wind and waves without the use of the rudder the Nanook is probably not the best choice for you. If your a REAL big person and want a boat that has great stability that you can load up for camping trips and like to steer with the aid of the rudder then perhaps you have found the boat you have been looking for.
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