I have been paddling the Cirus for about 18 months and am thoroughly enjoying having it. I would describe it as a good all round boat. I paddle with many other paddlers who use commercially produced sea kayaks and have no trouble keeping up, even with those who have rudders and boats up to 2ft longer.
I have had it in some very rough seas up to 18ft - probably not wise but the boat handled it very well. It rolls easily and turns nicely although is out turned by other boats.
Two criticisms are:
- In my opinion it definitely does weathercock. Paddling side on to the wind leaves me leaning and putting one side of the paddle in the water constantly. Since retro-fitting a skeg I have had no problems with this.
- The cambered deck requires patience and accuracy to get right. Not as simple as a Chesapeake one piece deck for example.
Other than this - very happy.The Cirrus is a stitch-and-glue kayak that is built from plans. There are two deck options when you purchase the plans: 1. A stitch and glue deck, or 2. A woodstrip deck. No kits were available as of the time of this review. Normally I would prefer to get more time in a boat before reviewing it, but since several people have asked about this boat and there are no other reviews, I'm going to write up my initial impressions.
The boat handles well for me (at 240 lbs) in a range of conditions. I've paddled it in dead calm, a light breeze (5-10 mph), and in 20-25 mph winds with closely spaced 12-18" waves. Initial stability was good. Secondary stability was very strong. The boat tracked well in all conditions, but not so strongly that it was a chore to maneuver. In 20 to 25 mph winds it showed just the barest hint of an inclination to weathercock. This was hardly noticeable and was easily corrected with slight edging or an occasional sweep stroke. The boat was comfortable in winds from all directions and in waves from all directions. Moderate course corrections were easily made with a sweep stroke or mild edging. Strong edging and a brace bring the boat around quite quickly. Cockpit size is generous. I have not checked my speeds with a GPS, but the boat moves along at a comfortable pace with minimal paddler effort.