Submitted: 01-06-2006 by DJJ
I bought a new Kestrel 140 last summer. The TCS material has good wear resistance and is very light, with the boat weighing about 43 pounds. In short, Current Designs hit a home run with this boat.
Speed is good for a 14-footer. You'd swear the boat isn't over 24 inches wide, the way it goes (it's 26 inches wide). Primary stability is quite comforting, and secondary is very strong, even for people with a high center of gravity. I'm a T7/8 complete paraplegic, so I'm top-heavy, but this boat gives me confidence even in choppy water. I made an extension for the factory backrest and I brace it up against the inside of the rear coaming.
Maneuverability is decent, and tracking is excellent for the most part, though some winds cause weathercocking. Still, I don't recommend bothering with a rudder.
In my opinion, a 37-inch cockpit rather than 39 would be ideal for this boat, but either way, it's fine for its intended light touring purpose. Easy butt-first entry. For me, this is a multi-purpose boat, usable on Lake Superior, inland lakes, flat rivers, and even up to easy Class II. I can't recommend the TCS material for heavy-duty rivers though. I bought a Kestrel 120 in the fall and ran a solid Class III rapids with it. My stern spanked a rock hard and cracked. A fiberglass patch on the inside made it good as new, but a boat that can crack just isn't a good application for Class III's.
Other than that, I can't imagine anyone not liking the TCS Kestrels. Anyone who paddles them is favorably impressed. My hat is off to the Current Designs hull designer on these boats. I don't like to give out 10's, but this boat is much more than a 9, so I had to round up.