03-31-2013Submitted by: elkhermes
Reviews for Acadia 12.5 Kayak by Perception
Based On: 70 Reviews
- Rating: 8 of 10 Let me first state that I've used this boat for a lot more that its designed for. I've taken it on several multi day self support kayaking camping trips, open ocean paddling, class 2 whitewater, kayak races in Big Bear and Havasu, and have even surfed it several times. I have put over 500 miles on this boat in just 13 months, and I live in the middle of the desert.
Cons: The boat paddles like a barge, has got a wide cockpit that will most likely dump you out if you capsize in it or try to roll it. This is a boat to learn in and grow out of it quickly. It weather cocks like crazy and forget about edging in it.
Pros: I may bash its performance because it is a recreational kayak, but at the same time this boat acts like trusted old war horse. Probably because of its 400 lb load capacity its stability is excellent. I've abused the heck out of it, rescued swimmers, rode 4 ft swells in a 40mph headwind, and even used it successfully in a game of battleship against a team of scuba divers.
If you're after a good performing touring yak, get a Necky. If you're a paddler on a budget, a lot of creativity, and just want to get out on the water for some light touring, this boat will work great.
04-12-2010Submitted by: paddles.kayaks
- Rating: 8 of 10 I probably wrote a review of this boat years back... Anyway, I still have it and love it. The size is easy to throw in the back of my truck as it is very light. For a little over 12 feet long, it is a fast boat and maneuvers pretty well. I've read where other people say it isn't as responsive as other boats...I don't know. I actually like it better than my 16' Captiva. I can spread my knees apart and let my 51 y/o body fit more comfortably. I put a Crazy Creek chair in it and am good to go. While I like my W/S Tarpon 160 for speed, ease of getting on & off, etc., the Acadia is a great day boat or even an over-nighter.
09-15-2008Submitted by: Serge
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've had my Acadia 13Ft for 9 years now. I love this kayak and will never get rid of it. I've taken this kayak out on the sound and have also taken it on lakes. It has never let me down. I am the first person to admit that it is not a true touring kayak. This is a day triping kayak. If you're considering buying one of these, you can't go wrong picking it up.
04-08-2008Submitted by: uiscemac
- Rating: 10 of 10 This boat has surpassed all expectations, I've had it out on heavy Atlantic swell force 4 to 6 with no problems, however does not track well in a very heavy running sea, length is needed combined with a skeg. Thigh braces would be nice, but boat ideal for my frame as I am 6' 2" in height. Cannot recommend it enough for someone first starting out in kayaking. A very reassuring boat.
04-17-2006Submitted by: tcqajaq
- Rating: 10 of 10 I love these boats for what they are. They are good for a nice quiet float on a lake or river, with or without a cold beer! I carry a paddle float but I have just jumped back in after falling out(usually on purpose). They handle a ton of abuse. I highly recommend these boats to the once in a while kayaker or for someone who wants a fun boat that everyone can use. They track well without a rudder because of some channels on the bottom and are very stable.
05-16-2005Submitted by: cag
- Rating: 7 of 10 This is my 4th perception. I took this one out for the first time today and I like the way it rides. I was glad to see that it reacts well to leans. it is a very good boat for me. It is also the very last perception i will ever buy. The 7 rating is because it is a very good paddling rec boat. I canít give it a 10 for being a good rec boat because it is Perception and out of 4 of them I can see that the quality gets worse every time. I can also say from experience that if something happens to the boat and it needs to be warranted, expect to wait a very long time for a replacement. Some of my wait was the store I bought from. Perception is scaring me right into selling all of them and replacing them with anything but watermark products. The first thing i had to do when I got the Acadia was reseal the bulkhead. They did a junk job. There was water in the stern when I picked it up from the store. I hear Necky is very good and not yet willing to mass produce junk. Maybe perceptions touring boats are better, I donít know but I will not spend that kind of money to find out.
05-10-2005Submitted by: Harryshanti
- Rating: 8 of 10 Very new to kayaking, after canoeing the rivers of NYC. This kayak we bought 2 of them used, and they work great! In the East and Harlem and Bronx Rivers we have gone with and against the currents, though the East River is hard if not impossible in some spots to go against... I am 6'2" and 175 lbs and I have plenty of room... I can't compare really but these do us well for now!
01-21-2005Submitted by: poppi
- Rating: 10 of 10 As a relative newcomer to the sport of paddling I did a small amount of research before purchasing the bride an Arcadia 12.5. First lesson learned about craft was that no single boat will do it all. The Acadia does exactly what was promised. I consider it a wise choice.
01-19-2005Submitted by: PATCABE
- Rating: 9 of 10 A number of the comments about the Acadia indicated that the writers were, shall we say, BIG people. At 5'7" and 145 lbs, the Acadia is a boat I can handle into the pickup by myself, but its volume is such that I ride pretty high in it on the water. I have not been bothered much by wind or current (such as we experience), but those conditions can give you a workout.
We mostly paddle flat water -- local ponds, lakes, swamps, tidal marshes, occasional blackwater streams -- and the Acadia does fine in those areas. The boat stores easily and loads quickly, making it handy for those after-work "let's go paddle for a little while" trips. With a pond in the neighborhood, we can go from loading to launch in about 10 minutes.
The Acadia is very, very stable, enough so that anything that approaches a lean or what might be loosely termed edging, actually takes some substantial effort. I've never come close to capsizing it. The boat is wide enough that I find it a bit awkward to hook my knees under the gunnels for maneuvers like those. I'd also like to have something to put my heels against with my feet on the foot braces.
We added half-covers to keep drips out of the boat and to provide a little shade for our knees from the sun. Those work well and I'd recommend them to others using the boat for recreational paddling. They are, of course, no substitute for a full skirt where that is needed.
I've found the boat forgiving, stable, relatively easy to transport and to launch, comfortable enough for the day trips we take (max about 6-8 hrs), handy enough in slower-moving water, and sturdy. The rear hatch is big enough for day-trip supplies (lunch, water, extra clothes, etc.), but I don't think I'd try to cram camping gear into it.
This is my second boat, a move up from a Swifty, and I think it's been fine for learning some basic skills. As plastic boats, both have been an inexpensive way to get into kayaking. After about four years now, I'm feeling ready for a better performer, but I think the Acadia will stay in the stable for the gunk hole trips we have come to like.
Every boat is a collection of compromises, and the Acadia is no exception to that rule. If you're considering it, think through what kind of paddling you want to do and what the capabilities of the boat you'll get need to be. Prioritize all that. The Acadia meets our needs, but it isn't -- and can't be -- a perfect boat.
01-18-2005Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 Have an older small cockpit Arcadia. Have used it from low class 4 to ponds, streams and inner salt water bays. Very enjoyable boat but the installed, by dealer, watertight compartment leaves much to be desired. The weight rating on it was understated which is common. Usual day trips are at least 6 miles but the most was 18. Changed the old style seat last year. It was not overly comfortable but the new higher one is better. Do not like the new larger cockpits. View it as a sales gimmick for those that need the newest style. Who wants to take a dog or child in a single boat? Have used it for 8 years, have and have tried other models and types and, except for the weight, it suits all my needs. Like Perception boats based on value for dollars spent in relation to performance.
01-17-2005Submitted by: RJ
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought my Acadia in July and have used it on lakes and class II rivers. I'm female, 5'8" and weigh 130 lbs. For my height and weight, it tracks very well, is easy to load by myself and transport, and has ample storage (enough for a weekend camping trip). The lumbar feature is nice too. I love it!
12-13-2004Submitted by: Jenni
- Rating: 9 of 10 Good, stable touring kayak, with a reasonable turn of speed for its waterline, and reasonable maneuverability for its length.
The Acadia is perfectly adequate even for experienced (the length of which is measured in years, not weeks!) paddlers who are aware of its limitations. These are:
1. It is not, and was never designed to be, a sea kayak. It will handle inshore waters in fair-good conditions, but so will a GP whitewater kayak too.
2. It is not designed to be a whitewater boat either. It will perform well on larger Class 2 waters, as the limitation is simply one of maneuverability when it comes to weaving between rocks.
If, on the other hand, you want a boat which is easy to transport and store, and excels at inland touring (touring rivers, lakes, etc.) then the Acadia is hard to beat. I've managed to do a couple of 10 day trips in mine. If a girl like me can manage this there is no worry about storage space!
11-02-2004Submitted by: Phillip
- Rating: 7 of 10 The Acadia is great for what it is - a 12 foot rec. boat. I bought mine in May as my first kayak and used it through mid July. In July I took an intro to sea kayaking class, and outgrew the Acadia the next weekend. The Acadia is stable, tracks well for its length, and gets around well in tight spaces. However, if you plan on taking trips longer than a few miles, or spending more than an hour or two on the water, you should probably get a more advanced boat. I bought it thinking it would last me through my first 2 or 3 seasons or kayaking. I was wrong - I sold it after 2 months and bought a longer and faster boat.
08-09-2004Submitted by: Rick Johnson
- Rating: 6 of 10 We bought this boat because it was cheap; and cheap is the operative word here. In Tucson, we are really limited on the kayaks we can get (unless you want to pay a lot of money on shipping) so when I saw the Acadia for only $300 I got it for my daughter as a back-up boat.
PROs: comfortable, handles well and fun to paddle on still water and light enough to lift onto the car roof after a long day on the water.
CONs: thin shell which requires a thick foam block in both bow & sterm for support. This interferes with gear capacity so my normal day gear of lunch, float cushion, throw bag, camera, bailer & sponge are really cramped and mostly on deck.
But the main problem is that the cockpit rim is set flush with the deck so ANY wave goes into the boat. A raised cockpit rim would solve this problem easily but now we have to wear a skirt when on a lake and in the Arizona heat, that bakes the inside.
Personally, I'd gladly trade this for another boat. preferable a Pungo or Manteo or Loon. Something with a thicker shell and raised cockpit rim.
06-23-2004Submitted by: skip_s.
- Rating: 9 of 10 I've had my Acadia 12.5 for three months and find it is a great boat for it's intended purpose. It has become my favorite boat for paddling after work for a couple of hours.
06-01-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 4 of 10 I was looking for the best of both worlds, a Kayak that is great on both still water and white water. I have over 7 years kayaking experience. It was a big decision between the Jolt 116 and Acadia12.5, the Acadia won due to receiving reviews (by Perception) of 4ís and 5ís on white water and still water. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. It was very fast, decent on tracking, but handled like a tank in white water (class 1 and lower). My Loon 138 handles better. I did not tip it but could not steer very well. The price was $200 less than the OT Sport (Jolt 116).
Pros: At 47lbs it is easy to load, but that is the average of a kayak that size. The rigging on both the front and rear comes in handy for gear. The dry hatch on the rear really does have a water tight seal. The seat has built in lumbar support with a hand pump. There is plenty of leg room. Overall the kayak is sturdy.
Cons: Handles like a tank in class 1 or just plane rapids. This is the only real negative I can come up with but to me the handling is the most important part of a kayak. From 15-20 feet away in rapids I could not steer clear of a big rock.
Bottom line: If you want a good deal on an Acadia 12.5 that has only been used once let me know.
02-25-2004Submitted by: mclina
- Rating: 10 of 10 I bought my Acadia 12.5 last spring after about a month of research. Probably should have tested out some other models, but I tend to be an impulse buyer, and this looked like a good boat.
I have been very happy with it, and got out several dozen times last year, mostly on flat, slow, rivers. It is light enough to put up on my minivan by myself, and is a lot of fun to paddle. My 7 year old son was able to paddle it around a lake without too much difficulty, and I would sometimes let my smaller daughters ride in the rear cargo hatch like a rumble seat (with PFD of course).
I am hoping to try it out in the ocean this summer, and if I don't die, I'll post an update on how it goes. I know it is not a sea kayak, but it handles motorboat wakes well enough.
The salesman described the Acadia 12.5 as "the Honda Accord of Kayaks", meaning that you really can't go wrong with this boat if you aren't quite sure what you plan to do with it. I would mostly agree, but I may change my mind after putting it in the Atlantic.
01-05-2004Submitted by: SZ
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is our first kayak, but we tried out several boats, including the Wilderness Systems Pungo, Old Town Castaway, and a Dagger model whose name I don't remember, before picking the Acadia. Our decision to go with the Acadia was based on it being the most comfortable for every member of the family to use (my very slender teenage daughter slightly preferred the Castaway, but said the Acadia was a close second) The Pungo was easier for a certain (ahem) oversized member of the family to get in and out of, but we all said after paddling the Acadia, trying to manuever the Pungo was like trying to paddle a bathtub; the Acadia just felt like it had a lot more zip. Our family likes paddling on flat water - lakes and slow rivers - and the Acadia is perfect for that use.
We now own two Acadias and an Old Town Otter (for the pre-teen member of the family to use - the rest of us think that at only 9' in length it's too slow and tracks poorly compared to the 12.5' Acadias)
Neither of our Acadias has a storage hatch - we just use a dry bag tucked under the front bungee cord if we want to bring some snacks or other items along, so we don't miss that feature a bit.
Our newer Acadia has a padded seat - actually I prefer the older seat that's just the hard plastic because if the padding gets wet, then your seat stays damp the rest of the day. It looks like I could just pop the padding off if I really wanted to though, so I'm not taking points off for it.
The only reason I give this boat a 9 instead of 10 is because we dented the top of our first Acadia when we initially tried tieing it down on the car top (the ding later came out, but I would hope a boat would be a little sturdier than that) We had the boat upside down on the roof rack and the cross bar just pressed in too much when we had it strapped down securely. Now when we car top it, we make sure the padded cross bars of the roof rack are supporting the boat just outside the cockpit opening (right at the rim, actually) so we haven't had a repeat of the problem.
The boat material is a little grainy-textured so you have to kind of scrub it to get any scum off after a day on the water - the Otter has a smoother, more glossy finish that seems to pick up less scum in the first place. So if you get an Acadia, have a bucket and a sponge handy at the end of the day because you are going to love your kayak so much you'll want to take good care of it. Enjoy!
09-20-2003Submitted by: Clayton KB5TBB
- Rating: 9 of 10 I got into kayaking primarily because I am a fisherman. However, being an Eagle Scout I had many years of experience canoeing on lakes and I figured the kayak would present a new opportunity for adventure. I was right! The kayak opened many doors to paddling solo on rivers and lakes. I tried various models for many months of the summer before coming to the Acadia. Some models I tried before deciding on the Acadia: Old Town Loon 111,120,138,Otter, and Perception Swifty 9.5, Pungo 120. I found that the Acadia 12.5 was more a "general" purpose yak than all those other models. It had ocean-going capability, it was stable, and it was fast! Some of the other boats were like a bulldozer going through the water. The Acadia seems to glide across the surface and when I want to turn it, it turns. I'm a BIG guy for kayaking (6' 280#), and I feel very comfortable climbing in and out of the Acadia. The seat gives me support that has kept me comfortable for four or more hours. I have had it in some pretty rough water and it was good to me (no tipping over). It also is easy for a smaller person to carry because of it's weight, not much more than the Otters and less than some Loons. The boat usually lists for $500 in stores but I was able to get mine on sale for under $400 at an EMS in North Attleboro, MA. Mike was the salesperson and we had discussed kayaking before. I'm originally from Texas and make trips there throughout the year -- you can bet I will be bringing my Acadia to explore areas I never visited as a child.
09-16-2003Submitted by: cuda
- Rating: 9 of 10 Well, after spending $50.00 on gas looking at all the kayaks stores for 75 miles around, I bought the last Arcadia 12.5 in stock from The Backpackers Shop in Ohio. I,m 6'3, 245 lbs. and believe me, there's not a lot of choices when it comes to a 12 ft. rec-tour boat out there without the bathtub size cockpit. I bought a Walden Scout last year because I wanted something to slide in the back of my Mazda pickup and just go play. the Scout is O.K. for flat water but any amount of current in a river grabs the kleats on its stable bottom and takes you where the current wants to. I fit in the 34 inch cockpit of the Arcadia just fine, could use another inch of height for my size 13 feet but they fit ok at a 45 degree angle. The adjustable seat back is sweet, the non-adjustable plastic molded seat in the Scout gave me back pains[although the new ones have a new style adjustable seat]. The Arcadia is not as stable as the Scout, it's 3 inches narrower but then again faster and a little more manuverable, didn't feel like sitting on Tom Sayer's raft.
My first trip a mile up the local river in class one ripples, and back, proved to me that the Arcadia can handle a fair amount of crosscurrent and flow[took me a half hour to go the mile upstream in 2.5 mile a hour current] but had to stop because of a downed tree under a bridge. Pulled up under the bridge and replentished my fluid level from the my cooler in the rear hatch[ nice option] slipped back into the Arcadia and had nice ride back to the vehicle chasing kingfishers down the river as I happily enjoyed my new toy. Hope to update before the snow comes.
07-18-2003Submitted by: b_rapoza
- Rating: 7 of 10 Me and a friend with no kayaking experience whatsoever recently decided this was for us and bought two aacadia 12.0's and paddles for a grand total of 1300$.. not a bad deal at all..however if you are planning on developing skills beyond the occasional weekend paddle this boat may not be for you.. now dont get me wrong, this is a great first boat, extremley stable, easy to paddle and decent deck rigging to hold a moderate amount of gear. However two weeks and 7-8 paddles later, i was beginning to feel that i was already outgrowing this hull.(all locations paddled are NE FL areas) we paddled the st johns river (home sweet home) with and against the current with conditions ranging from glass to 2-3 ft chop augmented by excessive 4th of july boat traffic and afternoon thunderheads....
The boat was stable (due to the flat hull) but seemed to catch alot of wind almost like a sail on a sailboat when paddling perpendicular to the wind, it also came over the swells and wake from all directions with ease..even when a jet ski thought it would be humorous to swamp me.. but in flat calm water, an easy relaxing paddle..anyone can paddle this boat. The next weekend we went to the santa fe river in central florida...this river has a moderate current as it is spring fed..we paddled 5 miles downstream, camped and paddled back upsteram the next day... a little tougher but determination (and natural ice) got us there.. i hung up on a hidden rock underwater however the water was maybe 1.5 inches ddep at that point and 3 good butt-slide/momentum shifts later i was unhung and back in action our third estination was st augestine beach fl... this was by far my personal favorite destination... paddling through the break just required a little timing and beach experience..or you could just hang on the stern to raise the bow and kick/paddle out then climb in and paddle the larger stuff. a skirt however would help tremendously as the large cockpt opening takes on water in quickly.. surfing in this boat is interesting... fun as hell but not much control.. an attempt to ride the line found myself upside down (and full of water) once and the next (after a 20 min delay consisting of dragging my now 400lb half sunk boat back to shore, bailing out enough water to flip it over solo.. then eventually standing it on end to drain the remaining water)the next attempt i leaned in towards the wave face and found myself planing straight toward shore but lengthwise.. all this said (beach-wise anyway) it was an absolute blast at the beach, we also paddled outside the break an 8 mile round trip in a thunderstorm with 4-5 foot swells no problem, untill i dumped it when caught off gaurd by a rouge wave... then it was back to the 400 lb boat but this time in much deeper water... all in all a great time ..until both boats were stolen :( same day.. 30 mins later and only 2 weeks old..if we see you.. whoever you are, you should call the police, because we refuse to be polite about this.. we WILL take our boats back by force if necessesary.. (see "hardcore" and "you took the only thing we cared about away from us")so all that aside..
07-16-2003Submitted by: Don
rivers: pros- easy paddling,very stable
cons- almost too-stable, dosent respond to lean at all...
ocean pros-fun fun fun
cons- no skirt=sinking fast if you spend anytime in the breakers..
and the whole theft thing....
all in all i think the acadia is an excellent enry-level boat for those on a budget and looking to paddle mostly flat waters with the ocassional chop..however if you really want to you can pretty much take it anywhere. just dont be expecting sports car performance from your "4-cyl pickup truck" it can go anywhere, but it might take some effort....
- Rating: 8 of 10 I just tested and bought a Perception Acadia 12.5. Iím a big guy (400lbs 5í8Ē yeah, no kidding) and in my research I initially decided against the Acadia because of its smaller cockpit than most recreational kayaks. In fact if I had been able to find a Perception America 13.5 at a nearby dealer I probably would have gone with that without even trying an Acadia. But I guess Iím lucky that I couldnít find an America. The Acadia cost $100 less, weighs 53lbs not 58lbs (like the America) and it can handle up to class II water (so Iím told). I found that I have plenty of room in the Acadia cockpit and getting in and out, while slow and comical so far, is really not that bad.
I was worried that at 400lbs I would sink the Acadia or at least make it impossible to use. But the 400lbs max capacity seems to be just about right. Donít get me wrong, compared to what Iíve read in the other reviews my boat handles like a barge and is WAY tippy, but Iím sure that is just due to my weight and limited experience. My previous boat was a Keowee. I loved that duck boat back when I was under 300lbs, right up until I was paddling alongside some friends in real sea kayaks. Iíd be paddling at top speed, waddling along while they maybe dipped one paddle blade in the water about once a minute and easily left me in the dust. So while Iím still uncomfortable with the lack of stability I know it will improve with experience and weight loss.
I was impressed with the bow/stern balance (sorry, donít know the proper nautical term). I liked the adjustable seat back but not where they placed the adjustment lever (on the inside lip of the cockpit on the right hand side dead center). This really presses into my thigh, but more importantly it really gets in the way of carrying the kayak on my right shoulder. Iíll probably just carry it stern forward instead.
I like the deck rigging and stern hatch, but I was initially expecting there to be a waterproof stern bulkhead behind the seat. All thatís there is a foam block about 5 inches wide extending from the seat to the lip of the hatch. This foam is very important to me, other than it keeps the boat from sinking in that I put a lot of weight on the aft deck getting into and out of the boat. Without the foam Iím sure the deck would just collapse under my weight. I plan to add a foam waterproof (or mostly waterproof) bulkhead just behind the seat as soon as I am able. Iím told it is not a difficult modification. I think Iíd also like to replace the bow flotation with a waterproof bulkhead and add a bow hatch, but first things first.
Iím rating the Acadia an 8. I took one point off for the poorly placed seat lever and one point because I think they could have put in a waterproof bulkhead behind the seat for very little additional cost.
07-10-2003Submitted by: dougiej
- Rating: 8 of 10 I've had my Acadia 12.5 since early May and have been out in it almost every weekend, taking flatwater and fastwater river trips from 6 - 14 miles or more! It's nicely rigged, the stern watertight bulkhead storage is great for overnight trips, it tracks better than comparably-priced boats, is stable, turns quickly, too. At 6'2" and 190 lbs, I wanted something with a cockpit larger than found on most touring kayaks, but smaller than the average recreational kayak cockpit. The Acadia cockpit is "just right," and I've got a good spray skirt for rainy or rough days. I also needed something small enough and light enough for one person to handle, eg loading on the car, and also something I could easily store in my basement. Limitations: I recently ordered a set of rotomolded thigh braces so I could have better contact with the boat. Also, I've now got the kayaking bug so bad I want to get out on the ocean, but will need to purchase bow floatation bags before I attempt this. Will probably also add a rudder for ocean paddling activities. I'll probably end up spending $300 on accessories to get the boat "perfect" for my needs. Or, I may just buy a touring boat for my ocean-going endeavors. Overall, a great boat, but I can already see that I'll be outgrowing it faster than I thought I would.
06-12-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 Got my acadia as a gift for graduation. Excellent first time yak and is very easy to handle and manuever. I use it in lakes and rivers, very very hard to spill in this guy. My only complaint is that my rear hatch is not a dry storage. I'm sure I just got a model without that option. Extra cool features including adjustable backrest at your fingertips, padded seats, superb deck riggging, and of course, eyecatching colors. This boat will fancy almost anybody who is looking for a good recreational yak.
06-02-2003Submitted by: PaulC
- Rating: 10 of 10 I really enjoy may Acadia. I am a first time kayaker and use my kayak frequently on Rangeley Lake in Maine. I looked at other brand but for the dollar I got a great deal on this boat, very happy. As a matter of fact I also bought 3 Sparky's from Perception for my kids and all four kayak frequently.
05-30-2003Submitted by: Al
- Rating: 10 of 10 I love my Acadias! I have two of them, one for myself and one for my kids, and I couldn't be happier with them. As others have mentioned these are perfect boats for those who will use them in varied settings. We use ours exploring Wisconsins many lakes and rivers. No matter the conditions these kayaks are stable, quick, maneuverable, easy to control, and just plain fun!
05-22-2003Submitted by: VR
- Rating: 10 of 10 The Acadia is the first kayak my husband and I have ever owned. We purchase two of them because of the reviews on this site. We couldn't be happier. For middle-aged beginners, this is the kayak. It is extremely stable even in very choppy water, and it heads into the wind very well. It is faster than we expected, and very easy to turn. The foot clips come off very easy, so adjust them before you head out, as they are impossible to adjust once you are out on the water. Get the splash skirts, even if you just plan to use this kayak on a lake, you'll stay much drier. Be sure to get the right size paddles. The salesperson sold me paddles which were too short for me, and I had to return them for longer ones. Even though I am only 5'4", I needed #220 paddles with the long and narrow paddle end. It made paddling a joy instead of a fight. For beginners like us, don't skimp on paddles. Get the best ones you can afford. Get ajustable ones which let you off-set the paddles so they cut into the wind. The second time out, we felt like "pros". Just very sorry that we didn't do this sooner. Hope to be kayaking well into our eighties!! This site was a huge help in deciding between manufacturers and models. Thanks to all Acadia owners who wrote in.
12-05-2002Submitted by: N.E.
- Rating: 8 of 10 The Acadia is a very good boat. Its width translates into excellent initial stability. It's a reasonably fast boat for its size, especially if the paddler is in decent shape. It tends to head into the wind, and in choppy conditions it can be hard to control. The Acadias from 2001 and before had a nice-sized hatch that held a surprising amount, due to the width of the boat. It's a great boat to learn on, and versatile enough to handle almost any conditions the average kayaker is going to face. Small enough for one person to handle, it excells at park-and-play jaunts on flat water. I've finally outgrown the Acadia, with my interests shifting to sleeker boats complete with rudders and multiple hatches, but the lessons I learned in the Acadia will serve me for as long as I can lift a paddle.
08-26-2002Submitted by: Tom Sanderson
- Rating: 10 of 10 The acadia dt I purchased a couple of weeks ago is everything I hoped it would be. I was looking for someting that would allow me to flyfish places on local rivers and lakes that would be hard or imposible to reach by wading. I also wanted something that I could take out three or four days at a time. With the acadia I can't take along heaping coolers of steaks and beer, but traveling light it holds more than enough gear without feeling slow and slugish. It also allows me to start my trips paddling up stream so I can drift back down later. No shuttles to mess with. It tracks well and is stable enough to fish from without a second thought, but it's not so wide and stubby that I can't get at least ok speed on flatwater. The front deck rigging allows me to carry my flyrod without having to add a rod holder and the cockpit is large enough to enter/exit quickly but is still small enough to feel like a KAYAK and not an open boat like some other rec boats do. I can still jam my knees under the edges of the cockpit when I need to. The only change I made was to the seat. I swapped the plastic slip buckle (or whatever it is called) that adjusts the seatback for a plastic squeeze clip (the kind with the three prongs). I replaced the single elastic cord that holds the seatback down with two I can quickly unclip. This allows me to unfasten the seat and move it well out of the way of the stern cargo opening, making it easier to shove things in or pull things out without the seat back getting in the way or fliping back up. Water filling the rim around the cockpit is sort of annoying because it just seems the could have thought it out better, but it's really no big deal.
03-11-2002Submitted by: David Wainwright
- Rating: 10 of 10 Just sampled an Acadia, and what a revelation! I've used a fiberglass 16' kayak for several years now, a touring model known in Australia as a "Tiger", or as a "TK1". It's noteworthy features have been a lack of stability, an uncomfortable cockpit, a good turn of speed, and ease of repair. A group went out on our Murray River and creek system last weekend, for a 12-mile paddle, and, after capsizing my TK1 under an overhanging branch, I asked to try an "Acadia". Compared to my TK1, the "Acadia" was much more comfortable, with a roomy cockpit, comfy seat and backrest, and adjustable footrests. It felt immediately and obviously superior in this aspect. Handling was great, tracking accurately and truly, yet easy to maneuver around snags, rocks, etc. Speed seemed fine, on a par with my TK1. Overall, a quality product, and one which I plan to buy!
10-26-2001Submitted by: Dirk
- Rating: 10 of 10 Mine is a slightly older Aquaterra boat; guessing four or five years. I would say the overall quality was better then? For the intended purpose
of this boat, it is great. It paddles and glides well for a sub 13' barque. Water buildup in the recessed area around the cockpit opening is a common complaint. One I share! I do have a simple fix for this problem. E mail me for details.
08-31-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I've taken my Acadia on Class II and Class III rivers as well as some flat water. All in all the handling was great. It tracks well and turns quick, considering its size. We like white water and camping. This boat fills the bill for both.
08-17-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I purchased an Acadia last summer. This is the third kayak for our family. We transport these kayaks in the bed of a small standard pickup. I`m over fifty, weigh 215 lbs. I wish the Acadia was a little lighter, but all things considered, I cannot think of another kayak I would trade it for. I have been extremely pleased with this kayak. I bought the expedition model and I`m glad I did. The storage compartment and rigging are a real plus. We use our kayaks mainly on flatwater, lakes, scenic rivers, etc.
- Rating: 9 of 10 Perception Acadia Expedition- I began exploring the world of kayaking about 6 months ago. I have been involved with some type of canoe/sail/or powerboat most of my adult life. I signed off the expense/maintenance/insurance and storage associated with most forms of boating and decided to purchase kayaks for my wife and I. Goals: fish, explore and exercise. I first bought a Wilderness Systems Pungo as size of cockpit, stability, etc. meet my fishing needs. I then added the Acadia and have NO REGRETS as it also is stable, has a hatch with adequate dry storage for day tripping and is a little more on the "fun side" as far as speed and manuverabilty. We live in Tennessee. So far we have done several 6-8 mi river trips and a lot of flatwater lake exploring. I plan to look into a seat back extension or padding for the seat back as that was my only complaint on the 1/2 to 3/4 day river trips. I was initially concerned with the ease of entry/exit from the smaller cockpit (Pungo is huge). However, this was not a problem and I do exit frequently to flyfish, take pictures,etc. I look forward to some salt water coastal experience later this summer. Great boat and very compatible with the Pungo.
06-11-2001Submitted by: Joe Martin
- Rating: 10 of 10 Last weekend I tested 3 Perception recreational boats against each other: the Swifty, Sierra, and Acadia. The Acadia was definitely the top performer in this category, as one might expect since it's also the top priced 'yak.
High Points: Great tracking & speed, decent maneuverability
Low points: A bit towards the heavy side, a little less of a starter boat.
The Acadia is, in my opinion, a decent boat for even experts who want to spend the day goofing off in the lake or mild river. It has the best tracking and speed of any of the Perception recreational yaks. The cockpit is the smallest of the three, but still large enough for anyone to get in and out of. The smaller cockpit contributes to much better control. General comfort is very good, although the back could use some padding.
This boat has, IMO, a little less initial stability than the Swifty or Sierra; not to say that it's tippy, but it is a little closer related to a touring boat than the Swifty/Sierra. Maneuvering is decent but a bit more work because of the added foot in length. It is somewhat heavy for a rec kayak, which may be something to keep in mind for smaller or single people.
Overall, though, this boat is a great boat for the money - at less than $600, you really can't go wrong here. Not only would I recommend it, I'm going to pick one up myself!
06-04-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I purchased my Acadia three weeks ago. I have taken three wonderful trips. The boat handle well. I have taken it in the sheltered bay, open bay, and the LI sound. It handles 2-3 waves well. I am buying another one for my wife. This is a great kayak for the money. Happy paddling.
05-22-2001Submitted by: Oldkayaker
- Rating: 10 of 10 Great boat. I have had mine for about three years. I have had it out on calm waters or on 2 to 3 foot windy water and have felt safe due to its great handling.
05-22-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've had my new Acadia for one month and love it. Anyone who is looking to purchase a recreational kayak should give it a try.
04-09-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have had my Acadia for 3 years now, paddling it in Southern Georgia, Southern Ohio, and Lake Erie. I love it. I have taken it on overnights in Tennessee with the lash straps so laden, the boat looked like a gypsy wagon - but no detrimental effect on stability. On Lake Erie, it handled the swells nicely and with a skirt, I had no worry whatever the winds would throw at me. If I had to buy another kayak, I would buy this one. I anticipate keeping this one for a long time to come, however.
01-24-2001Submitted by: ChrisH.
- Rating: 9 of 10 My Acadia was my first kayak (I own 3), and is still my favorite and most used. It is a very versatile and stable boat. I've used it for overnight wildlife viewing trips on the Chesapeake, as well as wild trips down class 3+ rivers. It hasn't dumped me yet, and I'm still pretty much a ww novice. This all-purpose boat is great for beginners and a good one to hold on to for those multi-boat owners. Its easy to transport to. It can either go on top of or inside of my SUV.
01-07-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 Just wanted to plaud the Acadia for its Swiss-army like abilities-it truly is the jack-of-all kayaks that is home in surf,whitewater, or placid coves....I have a collection of sea kayaks including two chinooks, a composite sea lion, an umiak, a viscaya, a nordkapp jubilee on order-the irony is that in the early morning I often find myself sneaking off in the Adadia for simple paddles in the mist.
01-02-2001Submitted by: Jed
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have had my Acadia for a few years, and have paddled many other brands of kayak. I think for the price, it's a great boat. One thing I love is how easily I can transport it in the back of my truck. At 12 feet, it fits into a small pickup bed with minimal over-hang. It tracks well, and with a skirt and bilge pump it can go anywhere. If I got another kayak it would be a sit-on-top like the Wilderness Systems Freedom. The reason, you don't have to ever worry about tipping over and sinking it.
11-28-2000Submitted by: David & Viv
- Rating: 9 of 10 My wife and I bought a couple of Acadias for use on the Norfolk Broads (Norfolk, U.K. that is) We paid £325 (just under$500) each from a local dealer. We haven't been in a kyak for a number of years (we're both the wrong side of 50) and we have found them to be excellent - tracking well and very stable. The only problem we found is that water tends to rest in the spray deck grove. Among other kyaks we considered was the Carolina. We thought the Acadia more suitable because of it's shorter length and being easy to transport on our car - We like to explore the many small rivers and canals in our county. In England the attitude to canoes is, I suspect, not the same as that in the States - ie. if you can't afford a proper boat buy a canoe and "what do you want to do that for at your age!" What the heck, you're only young (and old) once and we're having fun in our Acadias.
11-15-2000Submitted by: JES
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have owned my Acadia for four years now. It is a great beginners boat. It tracks well and contrary to some beliefs, there is enough room to store gear for five days of camping. I have owned other boats in the past, but was unable to fish out of them. No problem with the Acadia. Just take a short pole and catch some "BIG ONES."
09-05-2000Submitted by: c2g
- Rating: 9 of 10 I chose the Acadia because I was looking for a boat to use primarily on lakes, wanted something short enough to maneuver in and out of tight spots, with adequate speed and tracking. The Acadia does everything I want it to, and does it well. It tracks quite well, is easy to bring up to a comfortable cruising speed and hold there, and responds easily to minor course corrections.
Maneuverability is superb. I've spun it 180 degrees in spots where I didn't have much more than the length of the boat to work with. It is a good learner's boat as well. My wife and children were very comfortable with it almost immediately.
The only thing I really disliked about the boat was the seat, particularly the back, but a little padding took care of the problem.
08-16-2000Submitted by: Dave
- Rating: 10 of 10 Great boat. I wouldn't consider buying another brand. Just love it.
08-10-2000Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have owned an Acadia for four years and have enjoyed it tremendously. Having paddled open canoes, decked canoes, and old-stlye whitewater kayaks in a variety of conditions, the Acadia is by far the best option. Last year we spent a week chasing dolphins at Hilton Head, then had the boats in class II whitewater in weastern North Carolina the following week. An excellent choice for all-around fun.
05-27-2000Submitted by: Chris
- Rating: 9 of 10 The Acadia is an excellent all-around boat. It is very stable- I was caught in a bay during a small tornado that caused four-foot swells in my Acadia. I stayed upright, and stayed fairly dry. Tracking on this boat is very straight, and it also turns fairly well, evn without a rudder. My only complaint was speed. As I progressed from a beginner in my Acadia, I started to race competitively. In an open-class race, I got shut down by some real touring kayaks. It wasn't me, since I placed second out of the recreation boats. I just bought a Perception Eclipse, which is a logical step up from the Acadia, in my case. The Acadia is a great boat for beginning kayakers.
04-19-2000Submitted by: SM
- Rating: 8 of 10 I purchased my Acadia about 3 years ago. This is my second kayak. This kayak is very stable and tracks quite well for it's length. The hatch opening is quite small so don't expect to store too much in this kayak. At first this kayak was hard to turn but after installing some thigh braces it became quite maneuverable. This kayak is great for a beginner, however, if you are an aspiring sea kayaker you will find that this kayak will not perform well in large bodies of water. This kayak is fun, and if you are just looking for a good recreational boat to float around on the weekends, you should be fine.
04-06-2000Submitted by: Allen
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought my Acadia after trying out my sisters on the Potomac River and Chesapeake. I had considered buying a Perception Carolina, but after traveling local rivers and streams in PA,I've decided that the Carolina is a little long and the Acadia is more versatile for many conditions. My only complaint is that the recess around the cockpit opening lip does trap water and not let it run off.
03-18-2000Submitted by: David
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have enjoyed the Acadia for about three years. It's a very stable craft which is important since I use it on small rivers and creeks during the winter months. The hatch has always provided dry storage. Tracks well and has been maintenace free. This is an excellent recreational kayak for the money.
03-13-2000Submitted by: Marc
- Rating: 8 of 10 The Acadia is my first kayak. I'm a heavy guy (>200) so stability was my first concern, though you jokesters out there are probably thinking that buoyancy should have been my first concern. This last Saturday I paddled a round trip course of 20 miles (low and high tide) in about 5 1/2 hours and aside from the rare "windvane" effect, I couldn't have asked for anything more. Being a neophyte at kayaking, I'm still working on my paddling stroke, but I can honestly say that I was able to keep the Acadia pointed at a distant landmark with alternating left-right strokes and very few course double strokes on either side. In other words, I think the tracking is great! I met a motorboat coming through a cut in the slough and it sent 2-3 waves right at me with less than half my boat's length between them. After scaling the first wave, my Acadia buried it's bow in the middle of the second one. Fortunately I had invested in a spray skirt. But the Acadia performed like a trouper during the whole trip. If I ever get another boat it will be because I'd like to make that 20-mile trip in under 5 hours.
02-07-2000Submitted by: JAG
- Rating: 9 of 10 Overall - The Acadia is an excellent boat for day trips in protected waters of bays, rivers and lakes. With the rear hatch and rudder, your assured of a decent combination of safety, tracking and speed (although will not match a touring boat). Its main advantage comes from its combination of use and size conveniences - At around 50lbs and 13 ft, it easily is put on top of the car, carried over rocks, and thrown over fences to access any water. And it won't take over the garage, apartment or basement.
01-24-2000Submitted by: Craig
- Rating: 9 of 10 I've had my Acadia for one season and love it. In fact, we are looking to buy a second Acadia for next season. My whole family is very comfortable in it on our southern Missouri rivers.
12-31-1999Submitted by: becools
- Rating: 9 of 10 I've had my Acadia for 2 seasons in Michigan and find that it's great river and inland lake boat. Easy to fish from and a quick, true tracker. It's a great first kayak that I'll be holding onto even if I get into a larger boat.
12-07-1999Submitted by: DSU
- Rating: 9 of 10 The Acadia is an excellent beginner kayak. It is especially well suited for the smaller paddler. We have taken our Acadia on lakes, class II rapids on the Delaware and coastal kayaking in Maine. My wife is 5'1" and loves it. I find that it doesn't track as well as our longer Loon 138, and it seems the bigger the paddler, the worse it tracks. The boat is stable and easy to turn. The lack of a front sealed bulkhead means that the boat should not be used in rough water. If you swamp it, it takes on too much water to hadle a wet exit and re-entry. If you are looking for a great beginner boat for touring and fun, you will not find a better value. Once you improve as a paddler, and get serious, you will need to buy a bigger boat with 2 sealed bulkheads. We did, but kept our Acadia too-just couldn't stand to part with it! Happy paddling
11-09-1999Submitted by: Tim
- Rating: 8 of 10 A great beginner boat. It is exceptionally forgiving and stable. What it lacks in speed it gains in versatility and stability. I have taken mine into the Hudson River on many occasions and it handles 2' to 3' choppy water without a problem. It is, however, prone to weathervane in strong winds. I also rigged a sail on it and took it on a lake. Even without a keel or rudder it handled well.
11-03-1999Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I just finished my second season in my Acadia and find it to be a fine all- around kayak. From flat lakes to surf off Westport, MA (skirt a must)the boat is very stable. A little on the heavy side but plastic hull takes a beating.
09-27-1999Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 Someone else has already said it but this boat really is the Swiss Army Knife of Kayaks. I've had the Acadia in many lakes, the Deerfield River in MA (Class I & II) water, and on the Ocean around Hull, MA. In all cases the boat has handled itself well. If you'll be taking the kayak in anything but lakes or class I water I recommend a spray skirt... Great boat for the $$.
08-24-1999Submitted by: JTN
- Rating: 9 of 10 My first kayak. Very stable but also quick. Highly recommended for all around paddling.
08-05-1999Submitted by: MKD
- Rating: 8 of 10 The Acadia is my first kayak, and as an introduction to kayaking I am very pleased. I use my kayak as a platform to photograph and appreciate the stability the Acadia offers. I have paddled by Acadia on Lake Erie, Abermarle Sound, Kittyhawk Bay and the Nuesse River in North Carolina. I always felt safe, this is a great boat.
07-29-1999Submitted by: Pat
- Rating: 7 of 10 Wow! This is a great intermediate kayak that performs well in a variety of conditionns on Lake Huron. It accelerates nicely in calm water and tracks fine. In 2 foot roolers and 15mph winds it stayed relatively dry, but took some effort to keep it from rounding up into the wind. My 7 yr. old son hopped in an with minimal instruction he was solo into the deep blue with a 220cm asssymetrical kevlar paddle with a wide smile. It is now his.
06-22-1999Submitted by: Kenny
- Rating: 8 of 10 The Acadia is a great all-around boat. I have paddled it in strong tidal currents, high winds, and one to two foot chop with no problems. Although it is a wet boat in chop, it is very stable, tracks well, has good speed for its short length, and turns easily. The only drawbacks are lack of bow floatation and the heavy weight.
05-19-1999Submitted by: Brian
- Rating: 10 of 10 The Acadia is very stable and tracks well through flatwater. Plenty of storage for overnight and weekend river trips. Rapids are no problem for this boat of many talents. Water intrusion is nearly zilch with the nylon skirt(no rolls), mine fits really tight.Overall it handles vey good on rivers, streams and lakes. Also a great fishing platform. I would not hesitate to recommend this boat to anyone wanting a multi-purpose kayak.
03-06-1999Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 8 of 10 An 8 for its purpose. We have 2 Caspias and 2 Acadias. The Acadias are particularly good for day trips on class I or mild class II rivers. I have tried many different boats of this class, sport touring, and have found the Acadia to be the best combination of stability, storage, speed, tracking and manuverability. Versitility would be enhanced with a bow dry storage area like the Carolina. I probably will pick up two Carolinas this year instead of the planned two Dagger Edistos
02-19-1999Submitted by: RTB
- Rating: 9 of 10 Our family has had two Acadias for the past two years. We have used them in a variety of situations from flat-water lakes to stretches of the Colorado River. They have been used on day outings and over night trips. Both my ten-year-old son and myself have paddled them through class II rapids on the Colorado. They are very stable and provide great comfort. I tell friends that they are the Swiss Army Knife of Kayaks. When my daughter gets older I'll probably buy another one for her.
02-14-1999Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 7 of 10 I love my Acadia. It handles well for me, a large paddler. Great for river, slow streams, lakes. Foam bulkhead leaked from day one, and have yet to find spray skirt that doesn't pop off when rolling, so only rates 7.
02-04-1999Submitted by: Scott
- Rating: 8 of 10 My girlfriend and I are new to the sport of kayaking (one full season.) The Acadia is a first boat for each of us and, I must say, it has made kayaking easy and fun to learn. The Acadia is extremely stable for those just getting their sea legs and is far more stable than a canoe (I have found.) To date we have made several overnight trips and at least a dozen day trips. We love our boats and are glad that we got started with the Acadia. Fun for exploring, adequate for cruising, plenty of storage, stable- the Acadia is a great place to start for the beginner/intermediate kayaker.
12-30-1998Submitted by: Steve
- Rating: 8 of 10 I recently purchased an Acadia. The boat is nimble, quick to accelerate, and easy to handle. I did have some problems negotiating tight turns on a low water summer creek...but that was because it tracks very well! A friend in a Swifty 3.1 handled them better but wore out on the straight stretches. I took the boat to Kentucky Lake and found that it handled the river channel with confidence. I don't agree that a rubber hatch cover and foam bulkhead cost so much on top of the base price of the boat. It paddles about as well as the Spectrum but is more stable. Compared to the Swifty and Keowee models, it is a speed demon. I will probably get the Carolina this year and give the Acadia to my wife. However, for someone wanting a good recreational boat that will comfortably handle an overnight trip or a ten mile paddle without wearing you out, the Acadia is a good boat at a reasonable price. As for longer boats overtaking the Acadia as one reviewer mentioned...in small creeks and tight turns in coves while exploring, a shorter boat is preferable. The Acadia is a lot of fun and still tracks pretty well.
09-30-1998Submitted by: Jim
- Rating: 7 of 10 For a 200 pound man, the Acadia is quite stable and manuverable. Since it does not have thigh braces, there is also plenty of room for me to enter/exit and store some food or water in the cockpit. The Acadia is a plastic boat, so it is rather heavy for its length. It also plows through the water, rather than skims over it, because of its ample width and shorter length. With less effort, a paddler in a 17-foot kayak can easily overtake me in my Acadia. This is an inexpensive kayak for those who may use it in a variety of flat to choppy water, want a tough skin, and don't want to spend another thousand dollars for a faster, longer, glass kayak.
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