I bought the Bucktail in April for pond hopping in the Adirondacks. Mine is Kevlar/Crystal and weighs about 25 lbs. You need to get used to the tippy nature of the Bucktail or any other 12' solo canoe, especially as you get in. But the canoe has very good secondary stability. I can lean the boat over and take on water before it can tip (I did this on my swimming pool after I bought the canoe to test its limits). It fits my needs for the most part. I added the portage yoke and highly recommend it if you are thinking about serious carries. I can easily carry the Bucktail and a pack anywhere. In fact, you can have a hand free from balancing assistance to carry some other object if you want.
The boat handles very well. It is extremely easy to maneuver with some lean on the turns. It is superior to my friends' solo's in navigating narrower streams and bogs. The only knock I have ( and hence the 8 rating) is that the Bucktail does not track well in rough water going downwind or down current. It can be real hard to keep straight. By contrast, my friend's Hornbeck tracks better in such conditions but overall is not nearly as maneuverable. There are always trade-offs. But I can live with that.
Finally, I should add that the Bucktail is beautifully built; impeccable workmanship. It is much more attractive than other solo's, for whatever that's worth.