The Inukshuk combines elegance and performance. It is unquestionably the fastest kayak in its category. Its long waterline and tapered contour allow the kayak to accelerate quickly and track beautifully, while the up-swept bow provides buoyancy when paddling in waves. A moderate rocker makes the kayak very agile while performing a lean turn. A high back deck provides ample storage for extended touring. This comfortable and spacious kayak features a low profile offering minimal wind resistance, making the Inukshuk easy to control regardless of the pilot’s skill level.
I have the Inukshuk for one year now and I find the initial stability to great but the secondary stability is good but not great. In waves above 2 feet (half a meter), I find that center of gravity is too high for my liking if you are not facing directly into the wave. I am 6 ft and 230lbs and as the kayak is so long, it rides high on the water which is great for speed but not for secondary stability. I love the kayak on calm water and rudder is a god send for turning such a long kayak. My recommendation is weigh down the bottom of the kayak in rougher conditions and to keep the rudder up of you are being broadsided by waves, if you are a relative novice like me.
What I didn't like about the kayak was that the hatches leaked water. Not a problem during a trip, but after 30 minutes of rolling, the kayak has taken so much water, that it becomes unstable. I very frequently had to go to the shore to empty the hatches.
I also found that Boreal Design has been sloppy in certain technical details:
- the way the rudder is fixed to the fuselage is flimsy. During a rear collision the rudder might very well separate from the boat
- the back support is comfortable but flimsy. It can never last 5 seasons, probably less
- the most serious error: the way the rudder cable is fixed to the rudder: the rope is directly fixed to a bolt. This means that at every turn of the rudder, there is friction between the bolt and the cable. I replaced the bolt with a U form, that works as a hinge, so that there is no longer friction between the rudder bolt and the rudder cable.
I do not understand how Boreal Design can first design such a good kayak, and then be so very sloppy in technical details.
One negative point: after about 100 km the rudderline on the left snapped. That was due to a metal bushing in the kayak that had a slit on the bottom, that cut in the rudder line on each movement. I twisted the bushing about 180 degrees, and replaced the rudder line. Problem solved. One other thing: the way the rope is connected to each side of the rudder is a bit sloppy. It connects directly to a bolt around which it is fixed. This introduces wear and friction, something that can be avoided by a connector with a hinge. I bought 2 for less than 5 euro.
The 8 rating is because there is no 10, and I'm not 100% on the back rest. As for speed, it's not a sprinter, but comes to hull speed well, and is easy to maintain, my Inukshuks will stay in my quiver, I really can't see a reason to ever part with the part until I part with all.
The Inukshuk seems a LOT more stable than any of the high-end boats tested... and once under way seemed to glide along at a pretty good pace. It also handles white-cap waves on the CT river with ease while keeping me dry (something my 13' Dagger didn't do).
I agree with previous comments that the design, fit and finish are a step above common plastic boats. And because I beach the thing and drag it in sand gravel, sticks, etc, the forgiving plastic just makes more sense. It also turns pretty well with the rudder (which I didn't think I would like but now love) One caveat - the delrin block on my rudder broke, so I wrote to the company with hopes of getting a replacement (epoxy didn't do the trick). Other than that glitch, I think the boat is hard to beat for the price. A sensible, roomy, safe boat that gets a lot of compliments.
Also, I found that at 6'1 and 215 lbs., I didn't have the comfort I would have liked. A wider cockpit and maybe an added inch to the overall width of this boat would be great assets.
A very fast boat with great tracking and lots of room for gear. The upswept bow is a great feature for cutting through the waves, as well.
It is a sturdy product backed by outstanding service. Just last week the Delrin Block on the rudder cracked and I had FREE replacement in the mail before the week was out.
My next 'yak will be another Boreal.
The cockpit was easy to enter and exit...significant as I am 6'2" and 240lbs! It was VERY comfortable...seat, bracing, foot pegs, everything! The pegs are easy to adjust while underway, something I haven't seen in another boat, before or since. The rudder operated smoothly and easily...again not all that common.
Fit and finish are good, with a lot of features you wouldn't expect of an inexpensive boat. I can't tell you how dry she may be, but I suspect that won't be a problem. But I didn't care for her looks...she just didn't have that sleek, seagoing appearance...mt impression only. Yours may be different. And she didn't feel lively to me. A solid, dependable boat, but not exciting. I may have made a mistake, but I passed her up in favor of the more lively Eclipse. Just a matter of personal priorities. I may just get back to her someday...