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Reviews for Recluse Kayak by Betsie Bay Kayak

Rated: 9.75/10 Based On: 4 Reviews

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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Betsie Bay - The best all around boat I paddle. I have a Recluse and I have owned a Valkyrie. I am too big for the Valkyrie. My Outer Island, turns slower, takes a bit more energy to paddle, but is a little more comfortable in rough water. I much prefer both to my Night Heron and Hawk SS.

My BBK was built in 93. I have yet to see a BBK that weighs less than 50 lbs, although my 1993 model is the newest I have seen. While the hull is not as fair as I would like, and I felt it was important to reinforce the back deck and hatch areas with carbon, I have no complaints about the strength of the hull. I understand the coamings are now glass. I found the wood coamings very unfair and replaced them with carbon keyholes. With all these complaints it is still the best dam boat I have ever paddled and would not give my Recluse up for a stack of other boats. Al Anderson has this design nailed.

All boats are a compromise of handling characteristics; the BBK's are as close to an ideal balance as possible. Given that fact, I believe Mr. Anderson has his boats priced fairly. I am so delighted that I was able to find a used BBK.

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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My Recluse arrived from Betsie Bay last week and the "fit and finish" is outstanding. I have been using a 10 year old Aral in pool sessions where I came to appreciate the boat's aesthetics and handling qualities. The new Recluse incorporates all of the improvements Brian Nystrom mentioned in his 2004 review of the Aral and shows that BBK has taken construction to an even higher level.
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Submitted by: jcpSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have owned my BBK Recluse for over a year now and am 100 pleased. I originally bought a plastic boat that I paddled for almost 3 years, and then I tried a BBK. Very impressed, I should have bought this boat 15 years ago when I first looked into kayaking.

I grew up in Northern Michigan on the southern shore of Lake Michigan and that is where I paddled about 50 percent of the time-and this kayak performs flawlessly in the waves. The other half of my time I kayak Lake Superior on the southern shore-same thing no complaints.

I am actually growing into the kayak and have a lot to learn about kayaking. I plan on enjoying this kayak for many years.

Good job BBK! 10/10!

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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Beam: 20.5 Inches --- Volume: Very Low

Excellent tracking, almost totally unaffected by wind. No rudder, no skeg, no need for either. A little slow turning, but responds well to a strong lean & sweep stroke. The low overall profile & low rear of the coaming make for easy layback rolls. This boat is very easy to roll anyway you try it. Surfs well, and handles rough water with ease once you get used to the light initial stability. Boat is fast at cruising speed, excellent glide, and top speed is slightly above average. Tends to run over small to medium waves & punch through the tops of larger ones.

Boat is constructed of okoume plywood sheathed in fiberglass. Layup is very stiff & strong. Decks are flat except around cockpit. Small ocean cockpit with wide coaming ridge, which makes attaching sprayskirt very easy. Hull has a few unfaired spots along the chines and keel, but they do not affect handling or performance. Beckson hatches leak slightly, maybe a quarter cup of water after a long rolling session or rough water paddle. Painted hull requires more upkeep than gelcoat, especially if you paddle near rocks or land on rocky beaches.

Overall, an excellent daytripping kayak for someone looking to paddle a hardshell boat that breaks away from the norm of super high volume commercial kayaks, and also for paddlers looking to learn advanced skills and Greenland rolls

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