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!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