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Submitted: 09-07-2004 by phanku

We have used our Pelican Fusionís for over a year, and believe we have the bugs worked out. Most people seem to have trouble with tracking.but we found that adding a skeg cleared up tracking problems. The skeg, which fits in the hole on the back of the kayak, can be raised or lowered from the cockpit. Cost is about five bucks and an hour of your time. E-mail me for plans.

There are other things you can do to increase efficiency of the kayak. For safety, install perimeter lines and a cleat to attach paddle leashes etc. You will also need a paddle float for self-rescues. One can be made out of the hard plastic backrest by adding two straps to the back of the backrest. Then wedge your paddle blade between the rest and the straps and you have a float. Cost almost nothing. The next thing to do is outfit your boat by adding hip and kneepads for a better fit. You will find that the boat also tracks better and is less likely to capsize if you stay centered in the boat. Use a spray skirt for rough water, and as a striping apron for flyfishing. If you find other boaters have trouble seeing you, use a four-foot bicycle flag mounted on the back deck.

For storage space for anchors, towropes etc., we found that a couple of plastic water pitchers with lids are ideal for holding loose items. Wedge them in the space on the side between the footrest and the kayak. Itís out of the way and doubles as a bailing bucket.

Fishermen often have a problem storing lures, hooks etc. We found a simple solution: Shorten the straps on a shoulder bag and hang it around your neck, to form a chest pack. Now everything is right where you need it. Hereís another tip: If you use a small anchor and are tired of loose rope cluttering the cockpit when hauling in the anchor, use a carpenterís chalk box and replace the line with weedeater line. A standard chalk box holds about 30 ft. of line. If you need more than the 30 feet get a bigger chalk box, there are many sizes available. Now your anchor and line is in one convenient unit with no mess.

While this boat is not without its problems, for a couple of bucks and a little work. You can have good all around boat.

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