Posted by: pdawg67 on Oct-19-13 4:16 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Oct-19-13 4:23 PM EST --
I've run an S16 for 2 seasons(500 to 600 statute miles) of salt water in Advantage layup. It has held up quite well for me IMHO.
It does not have many bells and whistles, but the S16 is a very fast and highly usable kayak in a variety of sea conditions. It is a great value and seems to be well made overall.
I like the comfort of the cockpit and the speed as I tend to do 5 to 8 hour days in it. It has a good balance between initial and secondary stability. I would say that it seems biased towards secondary stability which is probably a good thing for its intended use.
This is not a boat that you would want to use in tight narrow quarters or for hardcore surfing action though. Following seas and crosswinds will force you to use the rudder, but that is the price you pay for the fast hull.
My only nit is that the metal attachment points inside the bulkheads holding the hatch covers to the attachment string should have been made of stainless steel as they rusted out, but 5200 cured that problem for me. If you want to do multi-day camping expeditions, I would look elsewhere as it's not a cargo carrier.
I would not recommend putting a novice paddler in it either. Especially in following seas, unless you're highly competent in assisted rescues under conditions.
The boat literally runs like a bat out of hell though. It also eats beam seas for lunch. It would best be used by intermediate or advanced paddlers.
Overall, it's a great casual day tripper with great open water long distance coverage ability. I'd buy it again. It's the favorite of my entire fleet, actually. Mainly for its speed and easy portability. Plus, it's just a fun boat to paddle.
My area has no rocks so I really don't worry about any durability issues. It has handled normal banging around from my stupidity and negligence fairly well though.
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