At 6'3", size 15 shoe, and 290 pounds, the Borealis XL was one of the few boats in which I thought I'd feel stable -- my first boat. Almost no building experience, and limited chunks of time, caused it to be 18 months from purchase to completion (maybe more). But it turned out great despite occasional frustration, and almost unbearable anticipation.
Fifteen months since final completion, I've lost 30 pounds, and feel stronger than in many years -- mostly due to paddling 3 times a week, 5 to 15 miles each. I even enter races, and surprise people how fast it is -- can keep 5 to 5.5 mph for 8 miles.
I put a Smart track rudder on and I don't like it, so seldom use it. Most of my time is in flat coastal rivers -- I have lots to learn about handling cross-chop and lumpy conditions.
Now that I am slimmer, I think I need a narrower boat -- the Borealis is very loose on me. I've tried narrower boats and actually felt more stable because the chop didn't have as much leverage upon me.
I love my Borealis XL even if some day I replace it -- it's moving me from a beginner to an intermediate paddler, and I am having a blastI just finished building the Borealis XL. It came together very well.
I am 290 lbs and about 6 foot. The boat fits me well is very stable. When I put it on its edge to turn I find it very stable. It tracks straight and is as fast as other kayaks.
A beautiful boat. I am really pleased with this kayak. The only issue is the seat, which I am looking for an option...I bought this kit last fall as I couldn't find any of the commercially available boats that would fit me. I am 6'4" and 250lbs and have some old injuries that inhibit my range of motion. The 19" x 36" cockpit make getting in and out very easy!
She tracks nice and can hold two weeks worth of gear. I can fish from it without any problems as it is very stable and wide(25"). I will probably build another Borealis XL this fall for my wife as she is nearly as big as I am! The kit is easy to build, BUT you need to read the assembly book THREE times before you start building it! Follow the instructions to the letter and you will not have any trouble.