Submitted: 02-27-2005 by flipe8
Two year old fibreglass "S" model. Comfortable primary stability and solid secondary. Will turn quite well when edged a bit. I find the boat has good speed. I haven't paddled anything that seemed to jump out as faster. The boat's speed seems to be more about efficiency than just flat-out racing speed. I find it holds this speed well in rougher conditions. Actually, I find this boat seems to show what it can do in the rougher stuff quite well.
Comparing it to other boats I have owned, it seems to be on the higher end of rough water performance, yet still be well-mannered enough to inspire confidence to push yourself.
Compared to my Seaward Navigator (barge) it is very lively, but not to the point where I ever felt uncomfortable, like in the P&H Sirius.( great boat but painfully uncomfortable for me).The boat does really like to surf, even in small swells, so be ready. I don't think the boat is as well built as a Seaward (durability-wise).
I think the fine bow and stern would likely wear if they were run onto the beach without any care, but time will tell. I did break one of the integrated thigh braces during roll practice. Wasn't exactly the best time for that to happen, but CD was very helpful in getting instructions and materials to do at home repairs. They would have done the repairs but I live on the east coast and had no intentions in sending my boat cross country for a relatively minor repair.
I've owned no less than eleven boats to this point and built one. No doubt I will own more. That said, I am very happy with the Caribou and will probably keep it for some time yet for its comfort and overall performance.