Ours is a kevlar without gel coat. It is stored indoors (theft protection) and therefore damage from lack of pigment seemed less of a concern. We liked the looks and reduced weight of a gelcoat-less boat. No second thoughts with that decision.
The boat is definitely our "go to" boat on our lake. The light weight, comfort, classy looks and fine handling combine to make a difference. For an inland lake it paddles and performs beautifully. I have come to the conclusion (perhaps from experience with this boat) that for most paddling where people simply can't sustain a high hull speed, waterline length is really immaterial. We have several canoes and kayaks ... and this is the one everyone chooses to paddle.
After three years with this boat, we are selling the others and reducing the fleet to the lightest Adirondacks we can afford. The one drawback is the theft potential, it has to be put inside. Good news is that the light weight makes that easy. Price aside, this is a wonderful product.My kayak was damaged while being trailered on kayak trailer over 16 mile washboard road. The front was gouged by by the trailer's steel frame and the back was abraded by a loose buckle. The CEO of Swift picked up the kayak at Mountain Man Outdoor Supply in New York while attending a rendezvous. He brought it to the factory in Ontario, CA. It is being sent back to the outfitters in Nov. The charge for repair was very reasonable. The cost of transportation was FREE! Their communication and responsiveness was just great.
I will definitely recommend this company's products to my friends and anyone who asks about my boat... very happy customer. And I wish to recommend Mountain Man Outdoor Supply in Old Forge, NY for their cooperation and helpfulness in this process.Our primary considerations in a kayak were light weight, stability, relatively large cockpit, and suitability for recreational use on flat, relatively still water. We ideally wanted something that would work for a 10 year old child, a 5'7" woman, and a 6'5" man.
We bought a 12' Swift Adirondack this fall during an end-of-season sale and have had the boat out a few times since then. The kayak was originally meant for our ten year old son who was getting bored just riding in our tandem canoe, but Mom has used it more than he has! The boat is very lightweight. My son can carry it by himself, and Mom can load it on the minivan herself. The boat is very stable and seems quite fast for its length. We also tried the 13'6" version of the boat but it seemed tippier, and it was noticeably heavier. So far we've used it on small ponds and on the Erie Canal, but next year we intend to use it on smaller lakes in the Adirondacks.
The kayak we bought has a highback seat and a sealed hatch behind the paddler. The seat is very comfortable. We also like the large cockpit (maybe because we are used to canoes).
I'd recommend this canoe for family recreational use. It's a delight to paddle.