I purchased a ‘glass Necky Tesla 12 years or so ago to paddle long, unsupported trips in Alaska, Washington State, and Minnesota. I needed something that could take a lot of gear, was reasonably responsive, and was built like a tank. I have been very impressed with the Tesla. It holds a month’s worth of gear and food, paddles well in heavy seas, and is still fairly easy to roll. With very little maintenance, the kayak has taken quite a beating but has never leaked or broken any hardware. The only downsides I see with this boat are the exposed deck pad eyes and lack of flat compass mounting point. However, I have seen a newer Tesla with both of these issues fixed.
Although I have paddled a lot of other kayaks which had more room, were more responsive, or easier to roll, I have never found one that had all of these characteristics rolled into one boat. Because of this, I am still paddling my Tesla after all of the years. And, I see no reason to change.I've had this boat for three seasons, and I'm 6'-1"/225lbs. I've recently moved to a British boat, but I still have it and plan to keep it because of what it's good at.
I actually have the older version, not the NM. The only difference that I know of is that it's 17' instead of 17'10", and Necky's newest boats have recessed deck fittings. Anyway, with a 25" beam, it doesn't lean too well. It's not as playful as the British boats, and with the rudder on deck it weathercocks alot. I don't like the seat, however I haven't done much about it! The neoprene hatch seals can be a pain, although they're very dry. There are alot of deck bungees, but no lines so I added my own.
So why do I keep it? It hauls tons of stuff for camping trips, and with the big hatches I can bring a full-size tripod, etc. It also has alot of initial stability, so I can easily photograph from it without having to worry about the stability of the boat. It's also very well made and the finish quality is excellent. I'll keep this boat for longer trips where I can paddle it loaded (too big for me to paddle empty) or when I want to photograph from it. It's also a forgiving boat for a beginner if a friend wants to try it. So the bottom line for me is that it's a good boat, but not exactly what I'm looking for in most of my paddling.I have been paddling the fiberglass layup of the Tesla NM for 2 months in calm seas, 30 knot winds "potato patch" conditions and high following seas. The boat has felt as an extension of my hands and thoughts from the first moments. The rudder is only down in high following seas, it turns with or without rudder very quickly, it tracks well, it rolls well, it does everything well. It's maiden voyage was a 22 miles open sea crossing. Upon return I called the dealer and told him I was upset because the boat made the trip almost boring!
Two minor gripes: The pedals can slip backward towards the paddler making recovery difficult. Solution was to tighten the bungies. The other gripe is the polyester line for deck lines and rudder. The cord stretches when wet allowing the rudder to come out of its rest. I am working on a fix. If there is a better boat for me I was unable to find it.