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It does track well, and seems quite quick. I do like the drop down skeg and found it helpful last week on a windy day on the lake, it kept me from dancing around in the crossing chop and stiff breeze! I have rigged it for fishing with a trolley (which seemed to fit like it was custom-made!) and other little features to help lend added purpose to my outings. I did add a 6" hatch up front which I find quite handy!
I am very happy with itís performance to date, and may keep this "puppy" for a good while! Just lovely for flat water!
I've had it down a class 2-3 stream one time (St Francis River south of St Louis, from Millstream gardens to Silvermines, at 3.2 on the Roselle gauge. Obviously, it's a little long for that type of trip, and I had to be extremely careful not to let it get away from me. But I made it OK, without wrapping myself around any big rocks. The voluminous front helped to keep the water out of the boat on the 2-4' drops. It does maneuver well for a 14'er. I've also had it out on a breezy lake and didn't have any trouble there. The lake was too small to have really big waves, so that wasn't an issue.
Summary: Its a great boat for day and overnight trips, especially for the price. The construction material is a little thin, and wouldn't take years of rock scraping, but does great for our use. Very stable. Great value.
Installed a rudder which was made for me by a machinist friend, and the boat became a real fun craft to paddle even in rough windy conditions. I would advise it to all to do so if you want to paddle in anything but flat calm water.
One nasty weakness I found with the deck design is the rear deck is low like a pan, and even minor waves break over it from the rear and the water pours in. I find this aspect a really poor design, it may be stylish but very poorly conceived by a non paddler, you have to wear the spray skirt at all times, not nice on hot days! Lack of flotation was solved by cutting swimming Noodles to 18" lengths and filling the bundle into the front and stern-cheap but effective.
Find that the spray skirt does not want to stay on the rounded underside of the coming - will have to find a solution to that too - even putting it on is a real difficult process, just does not want to stay on? Sometimes I wonder if the designer ever was in a boat and used the equipment!
As a recreational boat it is a good one, very stable, reasonably fast - it surprised me, and wouldn't hesitate to take it on longer trips, storage at the rear is reasonably good, after the storage pan-another dopey design feature was cut out and the space became accessible. The hatch cover is not watertight? So beware! invest in waterproof bags! Aaamazing! why have a hatch that is not watertight?
As a footnote, I have paddled a Klepper folding boat since 1969 in sea, ocean, river, lake and puddle, giving me much experience with various aspects of desirable features in a boat. With a little upgrading of the areas I mentioned, the boat is a real good buy for the money. I will rig it for sailing next year!
The boat is slim enough to paddle all this weight by myself with little fatigue. The drop down skeg is a small wonder. With it in the up position, the kayak will sometimes begin to turn on its own, but by dropping it down, the boat steers a pretty straight course. I bought a sponge and strap tie down kit to transport on the roof of my car and this cheap accessory works fine for me. It is a bit heavy to place on the car and a friend is recommended, but I have done the lift to my car roof by myself when needed.
The kayak is fairly stable on the lake I ride it in but quick movements can cause a lean that will take on water. The kayak has no flotation devices to keep it from sinking, but I store a paddle float in the nose and this should help things. You must either pump out water with a pump or stand it up on end (which is a pain to do by yourself or in the wind). I make the firm seats a little more comfortable by padding the sides with my life jacket. The paddles that came with it seem a little small for me and I will buy some that have a little more surface area.
I do have a great time in this boat on my calm to slightly wavy lake, but I am not certain that I would take this down a fast river. In general, for what I paid, this has been worth every cent.
I've only had the boat out 3 times so far, once in very high winds on a lake and the rest on a slow river. Compared to paddling my 10' Pelican kayak, the Pursuit 140 is definitely heavier and less maneuverable. However, it also tracks very straight, particularly with the skeg down. If you need to cover a lot of "ground" fast, this is a pretty handy vessel. I found myself just paddling along with little thought about keeping straight and stayed magically on course. Many smaller boats require special attention or technique to paddle straight. The Pursuit 140 makes it easy.
It is tougher to handle out of the water: carrying, getting onto a car top, securing, driving in high winds, etc. If you're small/petite, this isn't a boat for you -- if you are small, there are many lighter touring boats (with smaller cockpits) that may fit your needs better.
A good value so far. Seems rugged. Probably not my choice for running tricky white water, but seems like a capable touring/cruiser.
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