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Reviews for Sanibel Kayak by Perception

Rated: 7.18/10 Based On: 11 Reviews

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Submitted by: bhaskellSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I traded a 17' Osagian canoe for this 15' 1" Perception Sanibel. The canoe was fun, but very slow and with a very defined keel, it didn't handle well on the narrow curvy rivers that I frequently paddle.

First impressions of the Sanibel are very promising. First of all, the Sanibel is a tandem/solo kayak. The sit-in molded seats reverse to change positioning from solo to tandem. The hull design is symmetrical, so the yak is paddled on direction for tandem and the reverse direction for solo paddling. At 15', the yak handles pretty well in either configuration. The open cockpit is very friendly and accommodating for extra gear. Because of the hull design, the kayak takes some practice to keep it going straight. It doesn't have a very defined keel, so careful stokes allow for minor adjustments. The hull design allows the yak to turn quickly when needed. At 15' long and 29.5" wide, the yak travels at moderate speeds. The stability is excellent and inspires confidence. With a weight of 60lbs, the kayak is easy to load and unload alone.

I purchased this kayak to have extra cargo space for camping while also having the option to take my son on longer trips where he's not capable of paddling solo. The kayak is a 2001 model and has aged well until I got it. It was some normal wear on the bottom, but is in better condition then most kayaks of this age. Perception always uses top quality materials.

Overall, the kayak has performed as expected and meets the intended purpose.

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Submitted by: lastresponderSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     My bowman and I won the women's division of the 45-mile Texas River Marathon with her in 2001 & 2002. She's a tug, sits low in the water, but is very stable and steady. Looking to replace her for 2003 races, but is a good training boat. We surf small craft advisory waves with the skirt in place. Wish she could bear a rudder.
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Submitted by: JohnSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     This is the first kayak I have owned. I was 18 when i started the sport and i think the sanibel was a great first boat. I fish out of it and the wide boat lets me cary all kinds of stuff with me. the only problem I see is its lack of drainholes. other then this I think it was a wonderful first boat.
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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought my Sanibel used, because I'm new to kayaking and I didn't want to spend a lot of money. I took the 'bel solo up a local river, walked through some shoals and then paddled back through the shoals. I had no problems whatsoever. Two days later I took the same trip with my wife and daughter paddling tandem, upstream, and my wife and I tandem returning. It was a great trip and I've found the Sanibel to be very stable.
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Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     This is my 2nd season with the Sanibel and it's been just fine for what I intended to do with it; a boat for my son and I to go out while he was still too young to solo. Haven't had any trouble although it doesn't track too well with two adults unless they are paddling well together. It a pretty good boat to solo in but not something you want to spend all day in; seats just not quite comfortable enough. A drain plug would be helpful but not a problem so far. Now that he's bigger we're looking for solo touring boats that will give us the flexibility to go for weekend or overnight trips.
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Submitted by: B CrawfordSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I am very satisfied with my Perception Sanibel. Anyone who has a problem with this boat has misunderstood its intended use. I found the Sanibel to be very manuverable, stable and with two common sense paddlers itís performance doubles! Iíve used the Sanibel in very choppy lake conditions with no problem. Iíve also taken the Sanibel down rivers where Iíve found it to be very responsive. This is a great boat for couples that would like to tour tandem, or for those that would like to take a child or dog along for the fun. Itís also the perfect boat for a multitude of other activities such as fishing or wildlife photography. I feel the Sanibel by perception not only meets a high performance level for itís intended use, it exceeds it!
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Submitted by: EFSSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I love it, ever since I got it I have been talking about it.
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Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I love my Sanibel. I wanted a stable boat that I could use to transport myself and my 70 lbs. dog around the harbor and lakes. It has definitely exceeded my expectations. It tracks heavenly; I find it to be plenty stable; it effortlessly handles choppy seas; and it has great amounts of dry storage. I'm able to exit and enter while at sea, if I desire a swim. The reversible front seat is extremely useful. I could never go back to conventional tandems. On the downside, it is a little heavy for me to load on the car top; plus a drain plug would be helpful since my dog gets water everywhere. I think it's the ultimate compromise between a canoe and a kayak.
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Submitted by: ScottSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     I hate my Sanibel, my wife and I hate our Sanibel. We hate our Sanibel. Burned by perception and EMS.
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Submitted by: TPHSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I like it. It is a shallow boat which makes it a little unstable for a tall person. The seat configuration is not as versatile as a walden, but I found the seats much more comfortable and easier to paddle from. A few thing that they need to improve to make this even better is the addition of a drain plug, webbing in the front and a rear water tight compartment. With a few modifications this boat is a great recreational/touring type boat.
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Submitted by: BSB
Rating: 4 of 10

     I'm new to kayaking, so I had to rely ehavily on the advice of the salesperson at EMS (probably not the best place to buy a kayak or get advice on one). He was going CRAZY about Perception's new tandem, the Sanibel. He LOVED the molded flip-over seats that allowed face to face paddling and the molded in foot rests. He went NUTS over the symetrical hull design that allowed the boat to be paddled one way as a tandem, and to paddle solo, you just flipped a seat over and reversed the bow and stern. Since I was new to this game, I asked him whether it would be stable enough. He whipped out the Perception 1999 catalog and SCREAMED "Wow!!! 35 3/4 inches width! You BET it'll be stable!!!" He didn't mention that Perception had just altered thge natural laws of nature since thw cockpit width is listed as 34.75 inc. while the boat width is listed as only 29.5 inches. And therein lies the problem. The boat has lotsa flare and rocker on both ends presumably to allow some mild ocean trips, but this also means that the wetted surface of those 29.5 inches is miniscule. Combined with a shallow V hull, we painfully found out our first two times out that this pig is designed to be paddled upside down and I learned the value of eyeglass straps as I lost my expensive glasses and sunglass clips within five minutes of trying it out the first time as I swam to the surface and found everything to be a blur. Perception lists this boat as beg.-adv. BEGINNERS and intermediates BEWARE!!! All others, buy something else. Aside from my problems with stability, the 35 3/4 inch cockpit has seats that measure out at slightly over 15 inches and they're mighty uncomfortable. Also, the trim of the boat is fixed in two positions :tandem and solo, with no adjustment possible because of Perception's innovative seat design. On the only positive side, the construction was Perception plastic perfect all the way. I thanked God for EMS' wonderful customer service policy and returned this sucker as soon as I could throw it on the rack and get it back to them. I've since bought a Perception Keowee2 and love it for both solo and tandem; just an all around GREAT first boat! One last thing. Aong with the 35 3/4" cockpit width that Perception lists for this 29 1/2" boat in both its 1999 catalog as well as its brand new website, they also say that it has a self-draining cockpit. What that means is that when it flips and you eventually drag it outta the water, you and several friends haul it onto its side or flip it over, and the gallons of water that have flooded the thing will eventually drain out, all by itself.
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