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Great all around boat I would recommend as there has also been no issues with screws or straps coming loose or breaking. The seat is comfortable enough as all kayaks are a little hard on my stiff back. But this one is more comfortable than any other I own. It also handled the wind and 3 ft swells well when I got in a strong wind in a bay in SC. Nothing really bad to say about this boat.
I choose the Pamlico so I could fish out of it without being cramped. There has to be enough room to stow the tackle, anchor, and bait if carried. It fit the bill after I looked under the hood. The seat has to be comfortable, since I like to stay out all day. It is not like a car seat, but it is somewhat comfortable. I made sure there was room to put accessories on, like fish locator, rod holder, rubber paddle holders, anchor and rope tie on's. There is enough room in the back for lunch bag and battery box.
It isn't easy twisting half my body around to open the hatch, but somehow I do. Lucky the hatch cover has a tie down. I looked for a sporty outdoor color and got army green. It goes well with the murky water I fish in. The yak is made of tough poly so it takes rock landings well that scar the bottom.
The yak is tough, stylish and works well for fishing. I have fished out of this yak for 10 years and never complain. Who would listen anyway? A bad day on the water is better than a good day in the office. My yak gets good gas mileage and the wife doesn't fit in it. Only kidding. I take her picture.
I was very pleased that this compromise kayak was not labor intensive. It tracks great with easy paddling but when I start leaning into it for speed it does have some yawing but pushing on the foot pegs while padding counters this. The big cockpit is wet so I use a skirt which allows Cls1 w/o banking and dumping. I have not had it in ClsII, I expect that would be exciting. It is stable; I have pulled alongside a canoe to assist a paddler in getting back in and took some water but not even enough to bail. I was able to lean it with the cockpit flange touching the water and felt stable.
This kayak is very comfortable even after a long day of paddleing and the knee pads are a plus. It tracks extremely well. The cockpit is pretty large at 47.5 x 22. The large cockpit has it's positives and negatives. On the plus side, it's big enough for my border collie to ride along with me without her being right up in my face. She had a blast on all day float on Arkansas's Buffalo River.
On the negative side, the big cockpit takes on water over the bow pretty easily. I know, it's not designed for whitewater, but I've had it in Class III's several times and though she handles well, if the bow dips under the water any at all you are going to get a lapful. You pretty much have to bank and dump after every patch of rough water. This is definitely a wet boat. (I've got a skirt coming, we'll see if that helps some).
It's a good, solid kayak. Definitely more solidly built than a Pelican or even a Old Town.
I prefer the compact version to things anyway (I'm 5'9"), a Jeep Wrangler instead of a Grand Cherokee and that kind of thing... agility was key for me as a beginner.
I give it an 8 because the decking is just so so. Nothing that additional decking mod can't fix! Also, the rear bulkhead is NOT waterproof. A little water seeps in occasionally. Maybe I can fix by adding more bulkhead goop? Oh and what's with the drain plug in the stern (storage compartment) & not the bow?? Still a great boat. Highly recommended!
This boat can carry enuff stuff for an army. I plan to purchase bulkheads for the storage areas, and dry bags for the fronts. Fishing is easy from these boats too, as they are soooo stable. We have 84" paddles, that are the 'economy' style...on the cheap. they work well, but I could see where spending the $$$ on a better paddle could pay off.
Highly recommend this stable, sturdy boat.
I've taken her out 6 times so far and couldn't be more pleased with her performance. Mostly river runs in the northern NC mountains. I weigh 250 so the added carrying capacity comes in handy. She turns on a dime and tracts well enough on the calm water as long as you keep your speed up.
If you want a easy transportable boat that works well on calm and whitewater you won't regret this purchase decision. Class 3 rapids or an evening on the pond, this is your boat. Buy it, then rinse and repeat.
I do a lot of creeks, rivers with logs, and lakes and it's small enough to get out of trouble and big enough to go into the wide open. My best suggestion when buying a paddle would be to get the 230cm because of the width of the cockpit. Great deal for the money!!!
You can fit a surprising amount of gear in it if you want to, and a 20L drybag can be squeezed in forward of the footpegs. Austin Kayak sells a $39 bulkhead kit if you want to convert the stern to dry storage. The Phase3 seat and other features are the same as you will find on W.S.'s touring boats. I think the cockpit is a little too big especially for a slim teenager, but at the same time that makes it comfortable if you have long legs and easy to get in and out, and you can carry your lunch and fishing gear for a day out on the lake.
As a testament to how versatile this little boat is, we took it on a 26-mile day paddle, and although my boy had a little trouble keeping up with the sleeker kayaks, he and the Pamlico did just fine, both on choppy and flat water. Well-made, fun and cheap -- due to the good value of this model and ease of carrying/loading, I am considering getting another one just for pokeboating on easy rivers and bays.
If you're looking for a 10 footer that tracks good, looks great, moves through the water nice and has plenty of room for a day out water you will not find a better kayak for your money then this one. I seen someone say this yak tracks bad; maybe their's had a defect or they need more skill, I've been out twice in a Swifty 9.5 once in my w.s.100 and I have no problem keeping my yak strait and can't wait to go out again.
I know I made the right choice and won't need to look for a new kayak for years to come. So thank you everyone who wrote reviews you made me a very happy yaker...
Another advantage of this particular kayak is that I am 5'8" tall and about 150 pounds and feel pretty comfortable picking up the kayak and putting it over a shoulder to carry it to the shore when I'm on my own. At 42 pounds, it's heavy, but the padded knee and thigh brace system on the Pamlico also provides decent padding for a shoulder carry.
The seat dries wonderfully quickly, which is nice when a wet dog or child is your kayaking companion. I also find it fun to paddle, and surprisingly fast. Given my needs, this kayak was a great choice. I plan to keep it for a long time.
Anyway, my bud has a Perception Carolina 14.5, and while his is a GREAT boat, mine does just fine alongside for 1/3 the price. I shopped around a LOT online, and decided to go for a good, inexpensive boat to make sure I stick to the sport. Well, I love it, and my boat's just fine for me right now.
Initial stability is great (better than his) and secondary stability is good too -- I even jumped out to swim and could climb back in easily (I'm sure I looked graceful doing it too--yeah, right). Fit and finish is nice. Plastic isn't as nice as my bud's big smooth Carolina, but plenty strong. Seat is comfortable enough, but improved greatly when I put my PFD behind me.
Tracks well for a short boat, but does slightly zigzag due to its short length. Very maneuverable. Will be great for running rivers (I've only been on lakes so far). Note: cockpit is huge. Most newbies will like that because there's no claustrophobia, but you will end up wet with this boat unless you're real careful (I'm not) or have a spray skirt (I don't). Super convenient and easy to pack around. I have to help my buddy load his on his roof rack after I've thrown mine in the bed of my truck. ;)
If you want cool looks or bells and whistles like dry hatches or more bungees to not use, go spend more money. But if you're looking to get into the sport and want an inexpensive boat that's well made and performs well, this is a excellent choice.
My 6 and 10 year old girls took turns climbing onto the bow and diving into the water. What fun!! Very easy to maintain stability.
I then got into my newly purchased Pelican Ultimate DLX 100, which my 19-year-old son just loves (it is also his first kayak), and I was immediately struck by the feeling that I was going to tip over. The Pelican Ultimate forced me to lean left, or right, I could not just sit like in my Pamlico. That would be fine if it didn't hurt my back to lean all the time.
My wife and I are going to Nashville, 60 miles away, tomorrow to buy a blue Pamlico 100. I LOVE MY KAYAK!!!
I took it down Trammel Creek into Drakes Creek which finally spills into the Barren River in Bowling Green, KY. This is my first kayak, and I loved it. Knee padding was a must for me. I'm 6'1" and 220 lbs. and I had lots of room and found it to be very stable. I had no problem keeping up with my friend who was in a Dagger Element 10.0 on our paddle up the creek. I wish it had a bulkhead, but I'm not going to do any rapids anyway. There is ample room for my dog to sit on a towel in between my legs.
I gave it a 9 because the Pamlico, apparently like all kayaks with a cupholder, has its cupholder placed a little to close to my groin. It forces me to sit up a little straighter then I would like to. Please understand though, that I am wanting to use this kayak as almost a LazyBoy recliner as I float down the creek. I lay my legs along the rim of the cockpit and just enjoy the ride. Wow, what leisure.
I had a limited budget to work with so I was just going to go with a Pelican Pursuit 100 or a Victory Blast. But after trying those 2 out at the store, I decided my 6ft frame was a bit cramped in those little kayaks. Now the Pamlico is no 12 footer...but the 10 feet is plenty long for me! So I spent $350 on a beautiful Smoke blue (cloud design) of the Pamlico. It was definitely love at first sight. I definitely trust Wilderness Systems over others as my beginner kayak.
I just got back from paddling it around... the winds were gusting around 30 MPH at the local lake and the waves were pounding. But I actually was able to stay in a straight line and the kayak remained really stable!!! I had no trouble paddling it. Like one lady said... switching from an inflatable to a hardshell is definitely like going from a Honda to a Porsche!
***This kayak has great tracking and the speed is fine by me. But I'm only a beginner so I don't have a ton to compare to. But if you're just getting into the sport and don't want to get a Walmart quality kayak...then get a Wilderness System Pamlico 100!! It's definitely worth it!!!
It tracks well and paddles easily, although the laws of physics limit speed. The cockpit is roomy, so neophytes like me are able to get comfortable without feeling claustrophobic. It also was tame enough that it got my wife interested in kayaking. I agree with a previous reviewer that it seems a little funny to have an access hatch to the stern when there's no bulkhead behind the seat, but what the heck, it looks cool...
My wife and I have other kayaks now, but will keep the Pamlico for friends or just to play around in. If I were rating it just as a beginner's boat, it would be a 10, but nothing is perfect...
On the down side, as other reviewers here have noted, the plastic hull deformed even under moderate strap tension while cartopping. I had no problem with tracking in a straight line while paddling but if i would stop paddling and lean, the boat would always turn to the left regardless of the direction I leaned. On a windy day with some chop on the lake the boat seemed to "pound" on the waves more so than other boats I've used. All in all, it's an OK boat for its intended purpose. Of the Sundance and Pamlico that I bought at about the same time, I still have the Sundance - I guess that about sums it up.
The majority of my paddling was on a small calm lake where I would paddle 2-4 hours a day. For this usage I found it to be more than adequate. I however, found myself immediately wishing for something a bit longer and faster. The area where it really shines is in it's convenience for storing and transport as well as it's user friendliness.
I had the chance several times to try it out on Long Point Bay (Lake Erie), paddling from our anchored sailboat to shore. It tracks reasonably well (I don't have much for comparison) although for someone of my paddling ability I found it to be a fairly intense workout in windier conditions and wouldn't want to be far from shore on days like that.
Two problems that I had: one is that the plastic was very quickly to deform on the hull bottom after a couple car rackings. I tried to be careful not to make the straps too tight, but still seemed to have a little bit of cave in. Perhaps this is due to my own inexperience. The second and most critical point is the lack of bulkheads. I did several test wet exits and when this sucker fills (and it fills fast) it is hard to recover from. I ended up getting a lot of extra bow and stern flotation just for peace of mind. You most likely will never tip this boat unless you try but if you did and did so without flotation, you could find yourself in an undesirable situation fast.
As a first boat I was happy with what the Pamlico had to offer, knowing before I bought it that it would neither provide me with the tracking and speed of a rec/tourer or the swift water skills of a white water boat. The lower price allowed me to get into a boat without too much commitment into one aspect of kayaking. I have since taken several white water clinics and have decided that it is more to my liking than open water paddling.
For its purpose as a purely recreational boat for casual play and paddle I would give it an 8 or 9. This boat is for the true beginner / younger / leisure paddler and anyone getting serious about paddling will look for something more robust.
For its price, it can't be beat. Sure, its tracking is not mint, but as DJC said, good paddling makes that a non-issue. It has decent speed - I was able to keep up with my friend who has a Carolina 14.5! Everything about it is easy - easy entrance, easy adjusting (seat/pedals), easy portage. Its seat is very comfortable, too (something that eliminated the Zydeco for me).
I'd try one if you're in the market for an inexpensive starter kayak. My wife, a non-adventuresome lass, loved the boat, and I (the fairly good paddler) see me using this one for a good long time, until I can afford a Cadillac.
First, this boat has outstanding initial stability and is still quite stable to the point where the cockpit starts to flood. The cockpit is very large and the coaming is very strong so anyone can get in and out of it. This boat would be very good for fishing or bringing along the dog. The wide, flat bottom hull enables it to go in very shallow water and it's easy to go through eddys. There are two tracking channels along the length of the hull and the bow and stern have good entry and exit. As far as speed goes, I found it to be faster than the Dirigo 106 and Otter, slightly more than the Zydeco and just a little slower than the Pungo 100. Tracking is okay; not as good as the Pungo, but the Pam turns quicker. Still, it can be kept on course with good paddling technique. Mine has the basic plastic molded seat; the Phase 3 seat is a lot better. Still, the basic seat can be padded to make it easier to live with and save a few $$$.
The boat does well on lakes and rivers with up to class II rapids. It handles choppy water and swells very good, too. For more open water I'd recommend getting a spray skirt and make sure you can get back in without flooding the cockpit. Overall a very good boat and just plain fun to paddle.
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