Reviews for Thunderbolt-X Kayak by West Side Boat Shop
Based On: 2 Reviews
08-27-2014Submitted by: ipaddlepaul
This is a great boat. You spend a lot of time with Doug learning about what you should want. He takes no prisoners and if you don't want him to make you a boat his way. He is fine with that as well. I have a T-X and do love it. I live in Florida and end up using my S1X alot because of the gators and my worry that I would have a hard time getting back in the boat. Haven't however done an unplanned swim for over 1000 miles now. This boat is way more stable and faster than the S1X. This boat is much better than anything I've tried from Kayak Pro or It however is still tippy and for me hard to manage in more than about 5 MPH winds. I'm 5'6" 144 lbs. Gave it a 9 only because it has blow up air bags instead of bulkheads, and I am still not a fan of the center bar steering system (legs straight makes the boat less stable for me). Interesting is that I only rarely bother to steer. It seems to know which way I want to go even in the wind with small waves. I will probably ask him to make me an EFT since I can only paddle about 5.5 MPH for long distances on flat water anyway.
08-21-2012Submitted by: rivannahipsnap
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At 21' long and 18" wide at the widest point, 15 -3/4" at the 4" water line, this is a boat for the experienced kayaker. I had Doug build mine in the Kevlar layup, overstern rudder only and it is an absolute dream on flat water. I was cruising in this boat easily at 6mph from Day 1 and I have no idea what the hull speed actually is because my skills as a paddler have me nowhere near finding it. It certainly must be above my top speed of 8.6mph for a short sprint and above my ~6.4mph in open, flat water. The boat comes with a tiller bar and I did not like the concept at first (and it took me a little while to get used to), but now I've seen the light and understand why this is a superior steering setup once you have the proper leg pumping action during rotation. The boat is a dream and leaves absolutely no wake.
The only minor complaint I have is the plastic cable guides that hold the rudder cables in place on the deck seemed to have been over-tightened and they cracked and two subsequently broke off so I've since replaced them all (which was a pain when you think about trying to get a tool on a nut that is ~7' behind the seat) but other than that minor point the boat is a dream. Very fast. More stable than an Epic V12 ski for sure, but still tippy for anyone coming from an ocean kayak. The craftmanship in this boat is superior on all measures and the boat attracts attention and invites questions wherever it goes. I can't wait to buy my next Bushnell boat.
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