Submitted: 10-29-2004 by hal56
I have the Dolphin (in the eye-catching yellow) and am extremely pleased with its performance so far. It is a great SOT for a variety of paddling experiences, from pounding out through the surf for coastal exploring or barrier island adventures, to long-distance touring across large lakes and bays. It handles windy, open water conditions quite well, a very spirited and fun feel to it as it takes on swells, wakes, chop and waves... all you need is decent paddling technique, including the occasional leaning brace.
Those who have rated this boat a 1 or 2 simply (a) don't have the basic paddling skills to appreciate it; or perhaps (b) are too large to fit it comfortably. It has decent primary stability and very good secondary -- i.e., may feel a bit tippy at first to the novice, but can handle leans and turns and braces with confidence as one "grows into" this boat. Mine has a rudder, but I think I will remove it, as I haven't really needed it, although it might come in handy on a long trip in high winds or strong tidal currents.
I am 5'9" and about 195 pounds, and it fits me great. Necky makes an awesome boat, and the Dolphin is a great one to have for day touring, etc. It's stable, yet relatively fast and maneuverable. I haven't tried surfing it yet at my favorite NC beaches, but I'm betting it will be an awesome ride! Happy Paddling...