Submitted: 09-13-2005 by FJ
Let me first say that the "8" that I rate this kayak is based upon what I WANT in a kayak, NOT how I feel this kayak rates against the best claims. Ultimately I desire a sea/touring kayak which could support many days of camping along a large waterway (either a bay, or a large river).
The Mainstream is my 2nd kayak, my 1st being a 10ft sit-on with very poor tracking. I decided I needed a new kayak, because I would always get wet in my sit-on, when paddling on anything other than a calm lake or estuary. I was also severely compromised for space.
Space is the biggest asset to the Mainstream. I am 6ft and about 180+lbs. There is plenty of room to stretch my legs, and the shape of the "cockpit" would allow me to easily make modifications such a s dashboard, or even a small sail, utilizing the holes provided for fishing poles. (These could be used to insert wooden dowels so a mast cross-beam could be tied to left or right). My sit-on was clocked at about 7.5mph tops via GPS...and I imagine that the Pariot would get about what another responder claimed.
The boat handles large waves very well without swamping. Splash-skirts are also easy to find in the right size. I am able to use the energy of waves to achieve an eye-brow raising speed sometimes. If I could compare this boat to a spaceship, it would be Han Solo's middle-sized Millennium Falcon on Star Wars!
The tracking is definitely not perfect, and I feel like I am losing some energy correcting at times...but all in all this is a great boat for exploring in comfort.