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Submitted: 07-20-2005 by saadaldini

My wife and I just purchased two Georgian Bay kayaks after much searching and researching what is the best kayak for the $. Neither of us has had any paddling experience, but we knew we wanted a boat between 10 and 14 feet (the longer the better) with plenty of storage (aka stern AND bow). Our limiting factor was cost. After talking to several kayak dealers in the area, we were convinced we would have to settle for a recreational kayak rather than a touring which we really wanted. I then checked out E-bay and found a dealer in NY that would ship to TN and was offering great deals on the 14' Georgian. For $1460 (less than the price of one of any other company's 14 footer) we got two Georgian Bays with rudders, two spray skirts, and shipping on both boats. I took mine out yesterday for the first time, and I must say, I was amazed. We had tested two Necky Zoars (also reviewed) and enjoyed them, but I really like the Georgian Bay better. Even though the Georgian is 2 feet shorter than the Necky, it tracked much better without the rudder than the Necky. I had little use for the rudder, but I know my wife likes using it and it is nice to have. The seat is also very comfortable, and the boat comes equipped with plenty of deck rigging. There is more than enough storage for a weekend camping trip (we could probably do a week if we packed both yaks). I have noticed that several people complained about the cockpit size. I am 6'1" and 170 lbs. with size 11.5 feet. I could see how larger individuals might have a tough time getting into the cockpit as I did bump my shins a time or two, but I had plenty of foot room (this may be because I paddle bare-foot). I will agree that the carrying handles are uncomfortable, but the easiest way to carry a kayak is to place the hand under the hull, so I did not feel that that was an issue. Overall: If you are looking for a touring kayak but have limited resources ($$$), the ClearWater Design Georgian Bay is a PERFECT boat (I still can't believe how little I paid for them at Joe Signs' Equipment on E-Bay). I can't stop singing this boat's praises. I will be sure to post again once my wife and I put some more hours on the boats.
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