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The replacement boat has proven strong, tracks well, the wooden and strap seats are much more durable and comfortable. My biggest issues with the Excursion are these...
#1. Like the Ford Excursion, they no longer make them. and
#2. Like the Ford Excursion these are HEAVY! Weighing in at a portly 84 lbs, this is NOT a pleasant boat to portage solo...
Trips to the Bayou country are solid and secure though, no worries about being gator bait because with that weight, comes the RamXcel construction. The Durable RamX plastic sandwiching foam in the middle. I have completely swamped the boat with 2, well let's be honest about it, fat paddlers, and camping gear, and been able to get the boat to shore under paddle power with still some gunwale above the water level. (Ever tried paddling a brick?).
This boat has taken on fishing, camping and duck hunting trips throughout most of east and central Texas, including frequent fishing trips (outriggers attached thank you very much!) into Galveston bay to fish the shallows.
I would honestly prefer to have bought a 17' kevlar Mad River, but financial realities being what they are, I can't complain about the Pelican...
Sitting midships on a small cooler makes for great paddling solo in this boat as well. It turns easily, draws nicely, and tracks fairly straight for a boat without a keel of any sort, I use mine for fishing in very shallow water, and while all my friends with the big power boats are stuck far away from the active holes where the shallows go deep and the game fish hang out to eat, I pull in lots of fish. Even with my substantial bulk in the boat, it doesn't draw much, and usually glides over underwater obstructions with ease. I have heard that Mad River is making their IQ system as an add on for this type gunwale now, and am seriously considering adding it to my boat so I can use their cammo setup for next duck season. This is a great boat for my purposes, just heavy is all...
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