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Overall for the average recreational kayaker who wants something durable, works well and reasonably priced it is a great buy.
At 13 feet this boat is a great size and has versatility to handle a variety of conditions for a larger paddler. I'm 6'1" and 155 lbs. It is a bit heavy. Seat feels flimsy but is comfortable.
The boat tracks very well and easily to make some distance without a lot of work. It is very easy to load. One thing that I wish was included was a drain plug.
You really can't go wrong with this easy boat, just get in and go enjoy your favorite river.
This kayak is made of a durable material and withstands being pulled up on shore sometimes rocky pebbles resulting in only minor scratches. It tracks fairly well for an inexpensive kayak. The cockpit has a medium size opening so I don't have any trouble entering it. It also has footrest, however, they aren't padded so requires some footwear so your feet don't hurt pushing against them. The color is orange and yellow which is easily visible on the water. This one also has 2 storage areas to contain your gear and also straps across the top to stash a jacket.
The cons are there is no drain plug so if you get water in you must either sponge it out or tip it over ( it weighs 50 lbs.). The seat isn't very well padded and can cause some hip pain on long treks. I add a 1" cushion which helps immensely. Also, the seat back doesn't stay in its' track. This is very flimsy.
All in all, I'm satisfied and would recommend it for the price. If Perception corrected the few cons I mentioned, I would be willing to pay a little more.
When I first started using this kayak I had a really difficult time with its tracking. It seemed to wander all over the place. I have gotten much better with it over time and now feel that most of those issues were due to me as much as to the kayak.
Aside from two problems (described below), I have really enjoyed this boat. Like all plastic boats, it is very durable. It can hold a pretty good bit of gear. The seat is very comfortable and quite adjustable.
Now I should point out the negatives. First is a minor issue. The rear bulkhead leaked. When a lot of water would get into the cockpit, it would flow under the rear bulkhead and wet the contents of the rear compartment. I had to reseal it myself to take care of this. The second problem was much more of an ordeal. The seat has a back which is adjustable and which is able to pivot forward and backward for adjustability and storage. It pivots on what I would call a knuckle joint, which is held in place underneath by a strip of plastic that is riveted in place. On mine, this strip of plastic would easily bend out of the way in use, allowing the seat post to fall though to the bottom of the kayak. This would both shorten the seat and pin it in place where it could not pivot. The only way to get I back into position was to remove the seat entirely and force it back into place. I tried to talk to Perception's warranty department. They were unwilling to help me directly but insisted that I take the boat back to Dick's. Even getting the boat from Dick's originally was a weeks long ordeal, so I was unwilling to do that. In the end I replaced the strip of plastic with a half inch think piece of aluminum bar stock. I have not had a problem since.
I paid 550 for it at Dicks. I feel as if my money was worth it, and I know I have plenty of padding days ahead of me. Perception has always had a good reputation; therefore, I have confidence in this yak.
*8/10 due to the seat
I'm 5'9" and 200 lbs and I've been paddling for a few years, mainly in 9' 6" rec boats and also in a canoe. My main reason for wanting this particular boat is for flat water rivers, reservoirs, and inland lakes (not the Great Lakes). I wanted to be able to more easily travel longer distances on flat rivers especially all while hauling the things my kids bring when we go paddling.
It weighs about 51 lbs, which isn't bad to get onto the roof rack of the car, and being about the same thickness as the rec boats it rides nicely on it's side along with the rec boats. The Kayak Karrier handles are shaped nicely to give a comfortable grip when carrying it too.
When getting into the boat I appreciate the texturing they've added to the top of the decks because I sit on the back deck and then put my feet in, then slide into the cockpit so as to not drag my keel on the rocks. The bottom of the hull is more rounded than the rec boats which makes it less stable but easier to edge which is really nice. When I got it up to speed I decided to see just how far I could edge it and I was able to shift my weight far enough onto each cheek alternately to bring the edge of the cockpit right down to the water and maintain that position while moving. I like to edge while turning but it turns well while sitting straight up but of course it takes a greater radius to do it in. Something else I really like is that the attachment points for the deck bungies are molded above the deck instead of simply having holes drilled into it, thus preventing water from getting through and dripping onto your legs. The footpegs are the same style as I was used to in my rec boats (slide-lock style), and I'm quite happy with them. The seat hasn't gotten the best of reviews but it is height adjustable, and has a strap to adjust the angle. I paddled for 3 1/2 hours and didn't feel any better or worse than any other time I've paddled for that long.
The day I was out was pretty windy for the first half of the trip so I decided to try getting hit from all directions by paddling in large circles out in the middle of the reservoir. The waves were about 6" tall and coming with great frequency. When going straight into or away from the waves the ride was really smooth and of course with them coming perpendicularly I'd bobble back and forth but I never felt as though I'd turn over. Quartering just required corrective strokes to keep on track. The boat has all the points molded into it to add a rudder if you want but so far I don't feel like I'll be needing it.
I didn't have waves washing over the storage hatches so I can't vouch for their water-tightness or not but there is ample storage if I felt like camping out of it.
If I could have anything different for this boat I'd add thigh braces and a small day hatch on the rear deck that I could reach while sitting in the cockpit. Maybe have the cockpit molded in a way that thigh braces could be added by the user if they wanted them similar to how you can add a rudder if you feel the need. I used a splash deck with mesh pockets and my pfd has pockets so I don't HAVE to have a day hatch, but I'd like to have one.
Overall I feel this boat is perfect for someone wanting to paddle flat water trips on inland waterways. As soon as time permits I'll be taking it to a river to see how it does on some moving water.
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