WOW! Where has it been!? I just began using this boat from owning a Heritage Featherlite 9.5. This boat is night and day!
On a normal flat day w.o extreme tides or winds the boat cruises at 4.2 knots with a medium paced paddle. At one point in Crystal River FL I was riding out some "surf" from large boat wake... When the boat rode them correctly I hit 5 knots!
The boat is EXTREMELY comfortable for a touring boat. I have some space to keep my knees somewhat bent.Today was my inaugural voyage in the Viking, a standard model with one bulkhead, which I picked up used. I planned to ride the outgoing tide (reaching a low of -2.9 feet) up the shore from Brown’s point (Puget Sound, Washington), and to ride the incoming back at the change. The forecast called for SW 5-15 knots of wind, which meant going back I’d have the tide with me, but the wind against - a situation which tends to kick up the swell a little more.
Beautiful, sunny, no wind yet, glassy water with a soft swell. I became one with the day’s groove and the Viking.
On the way back it eventually became interesting 1-2 ft. (and bigger) chop, whitecaps, with tidal rips creating sometimes confused seas that kind of stand up any old where. The nose of the kayak would sometimes punch through a wave, and in return, a wave sometimes washed over the deck. Did I mention I'm pretty new at this, that is, kayaking? I have done some canoe paddling and windsurfing on these waters, but the kayaking is surely a different experience and set of skills. The Viking did great through all this, never feeling like I was on the edge. I suppose that's what they all say before the wet exit practice...
I'm sure there are faster and sleeker, but we kind of match that way. I'm 6 feet and 220. Everything seemed to fit pretty well. I'll have to remeber to put the rudder up before beaching, but it was sturdy enough to stand up to that abuse. Consider the experience level of your source, but the Viking was a friendly ride that I recommend.