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I agree with the previous reviews: the boat is beautiful, super stable, easy to use (light weight), and fun. It tracks well, is very efficient, and is even fun when we are in 1 foot+ waves out on the bigger lakes. I don't think either of us has ever even fallen out. Many of my wife's girlfriends have used the kayaks as a first time kayaking experience, and they had no trouble putting them in the lake by themselves. The only regret I have is that I bought a very nice (expensive) canoe the year before I bought the kayaks, and it never came off the garage wall last year. I recommend the Sandpiper enthusiastically, and without reservation!
Up until recently I had no interest in paddling or owning a recreational kayak. After acquiring and paddling my new Sandpiper I have changed my mind.
Today I tried this boat for the very first time. I was very pleasantly surprised. I was amazed how it had the best of both worlds in terms of being easy to keep on course, and at the same time, it was very easy to chance the direction I was traveling. This was true even when I put the sail up in the light to moderate winds we had today. The Sandpiper passed this test with flying colors. A boat that will stay on course well with the sail up, and also change directions easily is truly a gem. All these great characteristics come without the complication of a skeg or rudder.
I like how comfortable the boat is. I could easily spend many enjoyable hours in this kayak. I have not taken my daughter out with me yet, but I think it will work out fine as long as she is still small. It is so stable and comfortable, I think I could close my eyes and fall asleep. The foot pegs are very easy to adjust. If somebody changes the foot pegs, and I manage to not notice until after I paddle away, I will not have to return to shore like many boats require.
The construction, and finish are very well done. Based on my sea kayaking friendís experience with Carbonlite, I have always known it is a great material. I have been watching this material for over 10 years, and the reports are always the same. Eddyline boat owners consistently say great things about Carbonlite. It has the great look of a fiberglass boat, and at the same time, out performs all the other plastic boats in what plastic does so well. Not that I suggest you abuse your boat, I can tell you Carbonlite 2000 material will look great even if you do.
After taking the time to install a sail rig on this boat, my impressions of this material have only improved. I knew Carbonlite was good stuff before I owned a Sandpiper. My experience with the Sandpiper only confirms this belief. Carbonlite is stiff, smooth, and makes a light weight boat that is a pleasure to carry.
A long time sea kayaking friend of mine that is very hard his boats, asked me to take some for sale pictures of his "old boat" which is an Eddyline Fathom made of Carbonlite. Even after 6 years of constant heavy use that boat looks almost brand new. My 24 megapixel slr camera could not reveal anything except hard to see scratches. There is less than one 20th of the scratching you would find on a fiberglass boat, or the typical rotomolded polyethylene boats. His "old" boat shows very few signs of aging. It is truly amazing.
Carbonlite will hold their value extremely well even after many years of use.
The fact this boat has bulk heads, sets it apart again from other boats in the recreational class. First if you keep the hatch covers on, it makes swamping the boat impossible. The bulkheads also add structural strength to the deck and hull. The bulk heads also allow for storage where you can organize and keep dry whatever you want to bring on an adventure. Since my boat has been made, Eddyline has improved the Sandpiper to include some very nice rubber deck hatches which is ideal. They are plenty big so you can quickly load and unload the dry storage area. If my boat had these like the upgraded design does, I would like this boat even more.
I talked about looks, but this deserves another mention. The boat looks great. The one I have has a red deck, and a white hull. The deck has contours to it that add to its structural strength, and at the same time just look really cool. This boat has a black cockpit coaming that really makes it look great.
The bottom line is the Sandpiper is a comfortable, easy to paddle, easy to carry, stable, light weight kayak that looks great, and will continue to be all these things over many years. If you want a very good quality light weight recreational kayak, this boat has to be on your short list. If you want a recreational kayak that sails well in moderate conditions, this boat does very well.
What I don't like:
no storage on deck - no bungees or anything (but the cockpit is huge).
A little more money than similar boats... That's really it.
I give this boat a 9.5 really. It is pretty close to perfect. I wish they made it in a 14ft length and had deck storage but no boat has everything I guess.
I'd suggest the Sandpiper to anyone looking for a highly stable, easily paddled and carried boat. Although we do alot of loon watching, photography, and poking around shores and islands, we've been in two foot chops on large lakes. In those circumstances, an Eddyline skirt (about $70) is a very good idea. One shortcoming which can be remedied: Our boats came with no bulkheads or watertight compartments. When capsized in a self-rescue drill, they became submarines and couldn't be pumped dry enough to permit re-entry after capsizing. Fortunately, we found adding four bags in a split configuration (available from NRS) completely remedied this problem. The bags are unobtrusive and add no weight.
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