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Submitted: 09-16-2005 by blues49man
I purchased this boat for about $350 at local big-box sporting goods store, mostly because of the price. I had been looking for a single SOT, but the price on this boat was too good to pass up. It came with a Pelican backrest which looked cheap at first, but actually works very well. This boat is heavy. I am 53 years old, 6', about 220 lbs, and it's a chore to try to cartop this thing by myself. Once you get it to the water, however, it's a lot of fun.
Solo paddling: The center seat position is the most comfortable for me. This leaves lots of room for gear if you need to carry it. You can lie down on it, you can stand up on it, you can sit sideways with your feet over the side if you want to. It tracks well on slow sounds and creeks. Moderate wind will affect your ability to keep it pointed where you want it to go. It is reasonably quick if you work hard. It is a bit tough to surf because it's so big and heavy - or maybe because I don't know what I'm doing. The nose wants to point down the face of a wave, and if you let it get too far down, it sometimes throws you out over the nose of the boat. I have to lean pretty far back to keep that from happening. It is not a dry ride in the ocean, your butt's in the water most of the time. It can be almost dry on calm water. Fishing is easy, but I have to mount some rod holders, etc. to really make it work for that. Not a great solo boat, but I knew that going in. But it's actually a lot better than I thought it would be.
Tandem: Don't believe OK's weight rating. My son and I are about 420 lbs together. OK says the boat should carry up to 425 lbs. It will, but the center of the boat's awash if you do, making it difficult to paddle. If you can get going at a decent speed, and get most of the water out of the boat, it works better. If, however, my wife and I use the boat, it works much better - we're farther under that maximum weight. The center of the boat stays out of the water. She has had two hip replacements, but loves the boat. The back or middle seats are more comfortable for her because her legs are a bit lower than her hips. In the front seat, your legs point upward, this is uncomfortable for her. The OK Comfort Backrest does not give her enough support, she prefers the Pelican or a new Wilderness Systems seat we just bought. The boat works very well for small kids. I have a niece and nephew who are 8 and 10. One adult in back with the two of them in the middle and front is a blast. The kids love it, especially riding the waves on it. They don't care if you wipe out!
Recommendation: This boat works well as a solo boat that needs to carry some gear. It works well for fishing, touring, and small to moderate surf. It is very stable. It does not work well as a tandem for two large adults. It does work well as a tandem or tri-yak if only one adult is 200 lbs. It is heavy. Don't buy it unless you can try picking one up at your local dealer, make sure you can handle the weight. Overall, I am happy with the purchase.
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