Submitted: 10-27-2005 by samo
I have just bought a Chatham poly 17 in Sep so have not had it that long but have had it out several times now on calm waters. I will agree with most of the previous lengthy review but add the following points. I'm 6'5" and 225 lbs and I still fit in ok which surprised me, and have size 14 feet. Even @ 6'5" my feet can not touch the front bulkhead unless I stretch as far as I can so it's not an issue. I upgraded from a Necky Zoar Sport and it is a great upgrade. It is fairly low volume compared to the Zoar Sport but not good if you want to take it camping as the hatch space is small but since I'm not much of a camper there's no problem there.
I found the thigh braces just got in my way and I just removed them from day 1 and it worked a lot better for entry and exit. A smaller person might want to keep them though. I also was not keen on the rear bungy straps as that's where I like to strap in my PFD on calm waters and the way they have it makes it very difficult to do so. I found the skeg worked well but did not slide too easily so will try and lube it up. You tend to not need it much other than in windy conditions though. And speaking of wind, I also found it weathercocked in the wind.
Maybe in time I'll get better acquainted with my new boat and that won't happen though. That's all I can think about for now. Oh, and my 240 cm paddle is now too long for the much narrower boat so I have to go get a 220 or a 230cm.