Submitted: 10-12-2005 by hawksnest
We have had this boat (120 TCS kevlar/hybrid 30# Kestrel) for about 3 or 4 months now. A couple hic-cups in the beginning, the first about 5 minutes into the first paddle, a rudder pedal broke off. I still paddled the boat for a half hour, and my wife did the same. The dealer said there was some problem with a few of the pedals, and gave us a complete new set including tracks, from another kayak company. I re-drilled the tracks and fit them up in my garage. They work fine now. On the second trip out, I leaned back in the seat to get a cup of coffee offered by my wife, and heard a loud crack. When I got out of the boat an hour later, I found what another gentleman described in his review. My seat had broken with a 5" tear in the right side.
I work with glass/kevlar/ & carbon building radio control sailplanes, so I put it in my workshop and spent a few hours fixing it, then when satisfied with the repair, I glued support foam under the entire back edge of the seat. After many hours of paddling, I can report the problem is fixed. My dealer could have done it, but I would have had to wait, so I did it myself. The boat is a joy to paddle, and moves well for a rec boat. We use it for fun, fishing, photography, lending out to friends and first timers to paddle with us, and anywhere a good handling stable boat is needed. I would recommend this boat to anyone.
I purchased NRS split floatation bags, and using strips of 2" velcro to lock them in, put them in the inside up front. I had occasion to test them out when I lost a battle with a submerged rock and dumped on the Susquehanna River. They worked fine, and my wife did a T rescue to empty the boat, and just loved the 30# Kestrel in this situation. We have 6 boats, all touring kayaks except for this one. Four composite and two plastic, and are partial to CD boats. This little rec kayak fills a niche for us. I use Armoral auto protectorant inside and out on all rubber covers to make them go on and off easier, and seal up well. The rear compartment is nice and large for day trips. Even with having some problems, I rate the boat very high.