-- Last Updated: Oct-08-12 9:02 PM EST --
Perhaps if we standardized the reviewer format the results would be more useful. Hereís an example for an entry level boat that has already been reviewed by many. Focus not on the boat but the criteria. What do you think? Would this help the review process? Right now the process is wide open and so are the results but it does make for interesting reading and interpretation.
BOAT MODEL: Mad River Adventurer 16Ē Canoe, The boat being reviewed had a traditional stern, rather than a modified square back which is currently being made. (Include manufacturer, model name, length, type, design changes, and lay up)
BEST USAGE: tandem daytrips on winding rivers, ponds and small lakes. (Where should it go?)
STABILITY: The boatís moderately rounded bottom and higher than average seat heights may make the boat feel tippy initially. When leaned, the boat remained stable due to its flared sides. (Initial and secondary stability)
TURNING: The boat turns well when boat lean is applied. (How difficult is it to turn?)
TRACKING: The Adventurer has grooves on bottom to assist with tracking but the use of correction strokes in the stern is consistently necessary to keep the boat headed straight. (What do you need to do to go straight?)
DURABILITY: the polyethylene is bomber. While the plastic is prone to dimpling and scratches, it is very tough. This boat is made to withstand abuse and last. (How much maintenance is required? How much abuse can it take?)
VALUE: marketed as an entry level boat, the hull design and low initial stability may make it more suitable for intermediate paddlers than true novices, who want a less tippy feeling canoe. Getting one in good or new condition for $600 or less would be an exceptional value. (WHAT'S A GOOD PRICE?)
DRAWBACKS: The boat is difficult to carry and load on a car. The handles on the ends are prone to twisting and failure. The lack of thwarts and built in seats make it difficult to portage and kneel in. The polyethylene is heavy and prone to warping when portage wheels and straps are attached, exposed to extreme heat, or stored on its bottom . The boat may feel tippy to novice boaters.
ASSETS: cup holders, seat backs, ability to turn and track, versatility, almost maintenance free, entry level canoe prices
OVERALL IMPRESSION: a durable versatile canoe that may feel tippy to some novice paddlers
REVIEWER INFO: days paddling the model reviewed: 10-15 x on winding streams, large and small lakes and class II whitewater. EXPERIENCE LEVEL: 1,000 + days paddling.
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|Table of Contents|
|Messages in this Topic|
perhaps as an option|
Posted by: willowleaf on Oct-08-12 8:48 PM (EST)
I can see having a list of suggested observations for people wanting to post reviews to refer to, but I don't think it needs to go so far as being a formal template.
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Oct-08-12 9:11 PM (EST)
Bio information on the reviewer (paddling skills and experience, usage, etc.). Personal statements like "I found it ..." Your format is one a paddling magazine could use, not someone who is reporting on their experience.
I think some of that info is|
Posted by: adbass on Oct-09-12 8:27 AM (EST)
already included: i.e.,
Who cares ....|
Posted by: seadart on Oct-09-12 12:28 AM (EST)
so educate me seadart.... |
Posted by: tdaniel on Oct-09-12 7:47 AM (EST)
what do you look for in a boat? I thought about a more generic term like "handling".
I disagree Seadart..|
Posted by: adbass on Oct-09-12 8:39 AM (EST)
The original OP's categories represent a reasonable 1st attempt at describing the performance of a hypothetical craft. (To me) They do not read at all like a list of "wants and desires". The OP asks for suggestions on how to improve his idea.
Very good idea|
Posted by: wavespinner on Oct-09-12 8:58 AM (EST)
For more specialized boats, I'd be interested in additional feedback (e.g. ease of boofing, surfing, cartwheeling, etc.).
3 types of reviewers|
Posted by: mintjulep on Oct-09-12 9:53 AM (EST)
There are basically three types of reviewers:
not quite, obviously|
Posted by: edzep on Oct-09-12 10:16 AM (EST)
Since reviews with scores of less than 10 do exist, there must be at least one other type of reviewer. I suggest that these reviews are from people who, themselves, have read and appreciated the reviews, and, who wish to contribute to the system.
Posted by: jimyaker on Oct-09-12 10:52 AM (EST)
But the presupposition is that the reviewer has the ability to judge what those things really mean. And it's very relative -- a sea kayaker moving to a shorter boat might find it very easy to turn whereas a whitewater guy moving to the same boat may find that it tracks hard. There is no way to really fix a rating system that is open to the masses...
Paddler is the wild card|
Posted by: Celia on Oct-09-12 11:49 AM (EST)
A very good reason for...|
Posted by: NewbTastic on Oct-09-12 12:04 PM (EST)
... any review 'template' to also include a part where the reviewer lists their skill level... 'beginner', 'intermediate', 'advanced', or perhaps 'years paddling' instead.
simple skill level names mean nothing|
Posted by: jcbikeski on Oct-09-12 1:02 PM (EST)
But if I saw someone say they've been paddling in some area with say 15kt winds and 4 foot wind waves and some other boats tended to do XXXX but this boat tended to do YYYY when say taking a broach wave hit then I'd have something to work with. One has to be someone specific about both what conditions they are used to, what they hoped for vs got and ideally how that compared to some other boats (which maybe the read has tried).
so do conditions, as stated by many ppl|
Posted by: NewbTastic on Oct-09-12 4:22 PM (EST)
Can you imagine the tall tales?
Posted by: jcbikeski on Oct-09-12 4:38 PM (EST)
but still way better than "intermediate". We all know that after just one week we are intermediate and maybe never advanced (cuz then you gotta prove it) ;)
or maybe you link the two...|
Posted by: NewbTastic on Oct-09-12 5:59 PM (EST)
...i.e. define skill level by conditions handled/"worst conditions you still feel comfortable in."
Who determines validity of skill set?|
Posted by: sitka on Oct-09-12 1:32 PM (EST)
I don't think that people intentionally misstate their skill set. I do think that many people don't really realize their limitations or the limitations of the skill set that they possess.
Even that is complex|
Posted by: jimyaker on Oct-09-12 5:12 PM (EST)
I'm an expert at Class II, Intermediate with Class III and total Nivice at Class IV. I am a novice in sea kayaks, but fairly adept at paddling rec boats and SOTs on lakes and slow moving water.
My point exactly|
Posted by: sitka on Oct-09-12 6:03 PM (EST)
Reviews are only as good as the reviewer. That goes for any sort of review.
Yeah - the problem with skill levels|
Posted by: Celia on Oct-09-12 5:18 PM (EST)
They mean very little unless everyone agrees to rate themselves against a common set of actual skills. Pick the ACA or the BCU sea kayaking, or canoe, or whitewater skill sets - just as long as it is consistent. But many flat water paddlers spend years managing to evade any of this stuff. So they are intermediate based on butt time, not in terms of handling difficult situations on the water...
Very good statement Celia. |
Posted by: shirlann on Oct-11-12 8:48 AM (EST)
The following is a word picture.
Posted by: guideboatguy on Oct-09-12 12:53 PM (EST)
Nearly every time the topic of reviews comes up, at least one person will say that many of the 10/10 ratings are by people who spent a bunch of money on a boat and need to justify it by proclaiming it to be terrific, or are somehow trying to avoid facing the fact that it isn't. Well, I don't buy that notion at all. I think it's almost always the result of a high level of enthusiasm combined with a low level of experience. Most of us have been in that situation at some point, even if we don't write boat reviews. Could anyone REALLY feel make themselves feel better about a buying a mediocre boat simply by telling the world that the thing they bought is wonderful? Come off it. The whole reason they want to tell the world is because of their enthusiasm, not their feelings of inadequacy or guilt.
There is theory and research |
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Oct-09-12 5:20 PM (EST)
Google "dissonance theory". For example, there is research that shows that when people buy a new car they read literature afterward that supports their purchase. It is a perfectly reasonable and a long supported idea in psychology that people avoid dissonant cognitions (I bought this expensive boat and it paddles like shit). So it is not just enthusiasm that results in 10's.
Posted by: jimyaker on Oct-09-12 5:40 PM (EST)
I bet with boats it correlates to the price paid.
Posted by: shiraz627 on Oct-09-12 6:23 PM (EST)
Wait a minute I have not reviewed the last boat I bought. But I have only paddled it 22 times since June is that enough?
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Oct-09-12 7:42 PM (EST)
You need at least 23. -:)
Here's what I base it on. |
Posted by: guideboatguy on Oct-09-12 6:20 PM (EST)
my boat is best and thus|
Posted by: tdaniel on Oct-09-12 10:49 PM (EST)
reviewing a boat is a subjective process. Indeed, it is going to depend a lot on the reviewer, their experience level, and the paddling conditions they encounter. What Iím trying to figure out is: how to make the reviews better on the website? Iím not suggesting we force a format on anyone. I think that while there is some good info scattered amongst the reviews, itís a bit frustrating to find it.
Entry level review critieria|
Posted by: seadart on Oct-10-12 12:40 PM (EST)
Your choices of what to include in the review are probably not what experienced paddlers who are going to worry about too much. Comfort for example is too dependent on your body shape. Most experienced paddlers quickly modify the seat and outfitting. Stability and tracking also experience dependent and function of paddler skill. Let people say what they want - diversity of data presentation is a very good tool for learning.
I rate this thread an 8|
Posted by: RavenWing on Oct-10-12 1:25 PM (EST)
comfortable, not tippy and is tracking pretty well.
overall a 3|
Posted by: jimyaker on Oct-10-12 4:54 PM (EST)
too loose, way too much stability, unmaneuverable pig
I give it a 10|
Posted by: NewbTastic on Oct-10-12 5:22 PM (EST)
I spent time and effort on it, so it must be a 10.
I haven't read it, yet, but it's a 10 :)|
Posted by: Yanoer on Oct-11-12 10:17 AM (EST)
This doesn't fit internet conventions|
Posted by: Waterbird on Oct-11-12 9:19 AM (EST)
commonly accepted by most people. People who review products for a specific organization, often with some type of compensation (e.g., Backpack Gear Test) are prescribed specific things to talk about. Ordinary consumers post "more or less" whatever they want, with a few, but very few limitations. They may be given some general pointers (e.g. LL Bean), or boxes to check off, but they're free to structure the narrative part as they wish.
Posted by: slushpaddler on Oct-11-12 5:27 PM (EST)
How long have you owned the boat?
Posted by: old_user on Oct-14-12 10:26 AM (EST)
Have a tippy check box. Is this boat tippy? If they answer this question without mentioning primary and secondary stability you have a good evaluation on the evaluator before you read it. Maybe a turny question also just to be sure.
What's a tippy boat for one may not be|
Posted by: shirlann on Oct-14-12 10:36 PM (EST)
tippy for another.