Submitted: 11-08-2004 by JFH
I have owned a 16.5 Cortez for about 6 months now. It has been a great boat for my use. I take it out on a slow moving river mostly, but do spend time in the ocean as well.
Currently, I have put about 150 miles on the boat based on GPS data. I can cruise comfortably at 5 mph for an hour or two in standard water conditions. It is easy to cover a lot of water in this boat.
The ocean is a little different. I finally found the limitations of the boat when a 7 to 8 foot swell came in a couple of weeks ago. It is impossible to get out in really rough water. I am able to handle it in 4 to 5 foot waves though. The length and width of the boat are balanced well for handling the rough water.
There were minor problems with the rudder raising piece. The plastic clip breaks off within the first couple of usages. I have since replaced it with something sturdier and have experienced no problems.
Overall, the boat construction is great for a plastic boat. The cavities seal almost perfect. The only time I had water in a hatch was when I was thrashed by an 8 foot wave. Even then, only a cup of sea water was in the rear hatch. I have spent up to 3 hours in the boat and find it to be comfortable as well. I think it is suited well for people my size (I am 6'2" ~200 lbs) and I plan on keeping it for a long time.