The Stellar 18R is in my opinion one of the best boats out there. It surf's just about any wave. The finish is top notch, both inside and out. The seat is comfortable enough for most people. The true shining star of this boat are the footbraces. It has a three point locking system that is far superior to any boat company out there. The speed of this boat is also the fastest touring boat out there, I should know because I won the South Dakota challenge and the MR340 with this boat. All in all, I raced 7 races and won all 7 races in class.
This is a boat that is stable in all conditions, I was a little lewry about the rubber hatches but they are water tight. Since I use a lot of 303 they should hold up fine. I removed the handles front and back to make the boat more streamlined. Since the boat weighs only 36 lbs it is easy to handle and lift onto my truck. The rudder system is great, it handles and turns fine except on big waves when as most boat with a drop down rudder it comes out of the water, but not a problem when you use your paddle then as a rudder. The way this boat is you can put all of your power into the forward stroke with very little bracing.
If you are into fitness paddling or racing this is the boat to get, or maybe into fast touring this boat will carry you thru.I took the Stellar S18R in Excel layup out today and was very impressed. The boat is very fast and I would say the fastest 18' kayak made. I have had the 18X and the Marlin.
The foot pedals are best I have seen in any kayak, they are the same ones they use in the surf skis and are very strong, the cockpit is large to get your knees up for a good forward stroke. I was able to paddle it from 6-6.5 mph with ease and had no problem paddling it for several miles at about 7 mph. I did sprint it a few times and reached a high of 8.4 mph
I think it is faster than the 18X or Marlin and have paddled them both. I think it might be as fast as my EFT, of course the EFT is in a different class in most races. The stability is better than all the of those boats. It has won 2 big races this year that I know about: the South Dakota Challenge and the Missouri 340
I think Stellar hit a home run with this boat!