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  a little feedback on two of the boats
  Posted by: willowleaf on Jun-10-13 4:45 PM (EST)
 

I rented a Necky Eskia a few years ago on a trip to British Columbia and used it for some coastal and fiord paddling. It was a little wide for my taste but certainly a comfortable and decent handling boat. The outfitter also had the Elahos in their fleet and I paddled one around a sheltered inlet for a while just to get a feel for it (I was planning on buying a hard shell sea kayak in the next year and was taking every chance I could to try various models.) The Elaho was more impressive to me performance wise -- note the Elaho is a couple of inches narrower (than the Eskia) and has a slightly smaller cockpit, though still a reasonably sized keyhole type. I can see why the Eskia is popular with outfitters -- very durable and stable for a touring boat. Both Necky's struck me as heavier than I would want to wrestle with as well -- the 15' Venture Easky 15LV I eventually bought after all my test paddling is 15 lbs lighter than either. The Tracer you are considering is about the right weight (46 lbs) though I see somebody has warned that the Trylon plastic may be vulnerable to damage. Based on the specs that would probably be one I would prefer to the Neckys.

Can't help you with how the Tracer handles since I have never been in one. But the Elaho seems a more "talented" boat to me than the Eskia, which I would classify as closer to the day touring range, a little wider and a little slower than suits me. If it helps in comparing what might work for you, I'm 5'5" and about 160 lbs. and a fairly cautious intermediate paddler who is happier with lighter, longer boats that paddle quickly, track well and take rough water with a grain of salt. I don't mind wiggly primary stability at all, but if you do the wider Eskia might feel more friendly to you.

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