Submitted: 11-21-2004 by Jamison
The boat I bought new and had shipped from Kentucky to San Diego is a "second" fiberglass boat, and I saved a couple hundred dollars by buying it on their ďsteals and dealsĒ page. I wish I hadnít as the resin is thicker and it added weight. I have paddled it a couple of years on a weekly basis in a lot of different conditions on San Diego bay, the ocean and the San Juan river with class 3 rapids. I have been very pleased with the overall ownership experience. The boat is easy to handle without a rudder except in strong quartering tail winds/waves where it takes a lot of work to hold the line. I got a rudder just to keep up with a pal in the same boat, who got a rudder first. It is light weight, but by the time I put the rudder, deck cords and factory foot pegs (modified to steer) along with floatation bags, I hit 42 lbs. Not bad for fiberglass, but not the 29 advertised.
It is a sturdy boat, as I expected, as I also own a 20 year old Vagabond 2 person boat made by Phoenix. I treat the poor things badly and drag them around with no regard for cosmetic damage. I do try and avoid the big rocks on the way down the river, but I donít always succeed. I havenít put a hole in either one yet, and the Vagabond went down the river in very low water (2002 drought) banging on a lot of rocks, still no holes.
The Isere is a good do-all boat that will pack a lot for a trip, yet works well as an exercise rig in big water. It maneuvers well in the reeds with the rudder up and is reasonably fast with the rudder down. I had good luck with the factory shipping, my friend did not, although they did take the first one back with no questions when subcutaneous damage was suspected by my friend.