Submitted: 08-02-2005 by rider604
I own a Saluda I bought used. In short:
It tracks decent in flat water, but needs constant correcting in wind or current.
It does not handle waves over 1-1.5 ft, making you work HARD for any forward progress, as it plunges down waves and wants to twitch right or left.
Rear hatch IS watertight, I flipped the boat 4 times practicing self rescue and compartment stayed dry.
Cockpit is HUGE, making for very easy entry, but it also scoops up HUGE amount water if you were to capsize.
It's a VERY stable boat.
Now to my only major complaint about it- the seat back. It's awful and causes me lower back pain within an hour or less. Other than that it's a good easy-to-handle, very maneuverable boat for recreational flat-water use, not more. Probably better than most 10-12 ft plastic rec boats, but I’d take a long hard look at Wilderness Systems Pungo 120, and some sit-on-tops (Tarpon 120, Ocean Kayak Scrambler and Mars) before buying a Saluda.
Oh, and I paddled a Necky Santa Cruise before buying the Saluda, and I liked the Saluda better, felt more maneuverable and more stable, for roughly same speed. Though the Necky felt like it would be better in waves.