Submitted: 09-28-2005 by Dmitri
I got a one year old blue plastic Cape Horn 170 for a pretty decent deal after renting a similar one previously.
First off, to throw a few stones at other reviewers: Fiberglass boats are NOT fragile, are easily fixed, and don't scratch near as easy as plastic. Just don't go rock bashing with one.
And, "lean turning" is actually a legitimate and effective technique for making a long touring kayak turn quicker without use of rudder. Not just to 'look cool', though I think some people do use it to show off their skill.
Back to the boat: It has pretty decent speed, I second the 6-7 km/h claim with only cruising effort. It is pretty damn stable, primary and secondary stability. Phase 3 seat IS good. But, to me, not really any comfier than the previous generation seat. Only believe the advertising if it fits YOUR ass/back.
Tracking-It tracks fine in flat water, but in rough water, cross winds and following/quartering seas, the tracking really shines. I only used rudder once.
The boat lost 2 points for what I believe are quality issues.
First and foremost is itís as watertight as Iíd like-water seeps a bit through hatches and fasteners. Worse yet, the hole that the perimeter rescue line goes through in the very nose of the boat can leak water in- i was very unimpressed when I saw water run out of there when I turned the boat upside down after couple hours in rough water. Since then I sealed it. Easy enough a fix, but I believe it should have been taken care of at the factory.
Second, I donít like how you have to turn the strap clips to get hatches off, means you canít have the bolts tight enough for max water tightness.
All n all, itís a great entry level touring kayak that can do it all.