Submitted: 03-02-2006 by vcmtthws
In defense of the 16.5’ Cortez. We own 6 kayaks and will probably build another. We also own 7 canoes. We like distant travels, open water, secluded waterways, and are getting into coastal adventures. Santa chose this kayak for one of my sons. It needed to be a very fast poly boat with room for camping supplies and a taste for sharp turns that could handle coastal waters and photography from the seat. The “Santa’s” canoe and kayak specialty shop we got this from, tests all of their vessels on the Southern California oceans and lakes. This really made the tree shine.
The Cortez is a specialty performance touring kayak. It was designed to fill a gap in the sport. It’s one of the few rockered touring kayaks, thus making it highly maneuverable when need be, but hard tracking when the ruder is down, or when your skills are up. It’s not intended for the novice or the non-adventurous recreational yaker. My son, almost 6’ and about 180 pounds, pilots this kayak like it was a fighter jet (Note: all of our kids grew up in kayaks and canoes). We’ve spent a fair amount of time in high mountain lakes with all sorts of winds and navigational challenges. Though no long camping trips in this kayak yet, the blasted thing moves just as well loaded as it does running light. I’m about 6’2” and 235 pounds. For me it’s a little uncomfortable. My son can spend hours in it for days on end. It might just be my age showing, but after 45 minutes or so, I’m ready to get out.
For the record, I rate it very high because it does exactly what it is supposed to do, and then some. Also, I recommend this be paddled in the environment it was intended to be used in. I would not expect a Honda Accord to out perform a Humvee off road, and I would not expect the Humvee to get better mileage than the Honda Accord on the highway. If you are (or want to become) a skilled pilot of a high volume, highly maneuverable, hard tracking, poly touring speed demon kayak... this might be for you. Check it out first though. After all, not everybody likes the same pair of shoes.