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My first trip I made it about 50 feet from shore and the kayak rolled. My butt was stuck in the cockpit and the first thing I thought of was my wife was going to see me die. Fortunately I had the training, relaxed and twisted out of the cockpit. I managed to get back to shore and said I will try again because there was a learning curve. I stayed shallow following the shoreline and tipped 5 more times, dragged the kayak back to the car and sold it.
It is a very nice boat and I don't want to say anything bad about it, but it is not for a beginner like me.
Here is my original review, reposted but not updated from 2002:
Fun craft that that won't leave you bored after the first time out.
Not a boat for the timid, the fisherman, or the month-long expeditioner.
The Bottom Line
The Corona is a fun happy medium. I've found it super for playing in the bays and for navigating muddy rivers both.
I have to say this: I can't compare this boat to any others since I have not had the opportunity to paddle any other boats long enough to become familiar with them. Therefore I will try to keep this review focused on the Perception Corona.
I moved to the Jersey Shore from upstate NY. All my life I've been canoeing or sailing but had only been in a kayak once or twice. When I was a kid I'd paddle my SnoTube around with a kayak paddle. It was my favorite thing to do up in the 1000 Islands whenever we sailed to a new island. Apart from the SnoTube adventures, I am quite new to kayaking and the Corona is my first boat. I bought it used for $900 (including rudder) from Mountain Man Outdoors in Inlet, NY. Having rowed on the crew team I had no problem with the tipsiness that this boat is known for. In fact, I didn't even know it was tipsy until I had read all the reviews on paddling.net. I just hopped right in and paddled it for a demo.
Specifications of the boat...
The Corona is shorter than most Sea Kayaks, only 14'8. Some people might not even call it a "Sea Kayak." I like that the boat is lightweight enough for me to get it on and off of my car alone (52 pounds). I have put some scratches on the top of my car though. A rack would be nice, but not until I get a new car. In the meantime I use 4 straps and 2 foam blocks to fasten it to the top of my Honda Civic Hatchback. I've had no problems driving thousands of miles with it back to NY now that I have a tie down system worked out. It cut my mileage by about 10 miles per gallon, but I still get 33-34 (eat your heart out SUV owners!).
I like that it doesn't feel like a barge. The Corona is very responsive to leaning. My first month of owning it I accidentally tipped over after paddling a wider, more stable boat and then going back to the Corona.
It is a fairly low volume boat. My dad climbed in it (5'8 - 215 pounds) and still managed to paddle around, but I could tell that it was riding lower in the water for him. I'm 5'10, 135 for reference.
The Corona handles the waves very well but took some practice to get used to a following sea.
Construction of the boat...
Like most plastic boats, the Corona is made of durable polyethylene. It doesn't look as "plastic-like" as some of the less expensive boats (say the Carolina) and I have no problem with sitting on the deck or strapping it down tight.
120,000+ people can't be wrong!
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