We purchased our Seascape 3 in August of 2017 and are extremely pleased with its stability and seaworthiness. I'm slightly disappointed in its cruising speed. We're an "average" coed paddling team and consistently manage an average speed of 3 knots on up to 15 nautical mile paddles. We paddle primarily on Lake Superior near the Duluth shoreline and the Apostle Islands along the Wisconsin shoreline where short, steep chop is common. The Seascape 3 safely and comfortably handles these conditions.
Spending $5K on a large composite kayak in our mid-fifties, I was determined to make it a one-time purchase. We decided that a triple would give us the best long-term flexibility as we could safely take our dog or a human guest with us. We were able to rent a Seascape 3 from an outfitter at the Apostle Islands. We practiced wet exit and reentry and paddled 12 nautical miles in waves to 3' and winds to 20 knots. The boat was just as stable as our Long Haul folding kayak, slightly slower, more difficult to turn, more difficult to transport on the roof of our Forester, and hauled significantly more cargo. Wet reentry was easy.
We ordered our boat straight from the manufacturer. They kept us updated on the status of the build and the shipment. We met KAS Transport about 70 miles from our home to reduce costs. Shipping cost was $425 from Seattle to MN. The boat arrived in perfect condition.
You can't escape the fact that the large surface area of a 22' hull creates a lot of drag. That's why the cruising speed is slower than tandem kayaks I've owned or rented. We paddled the boat with three adults in 25 knot winds and were amazed at the progress we could make against the wind on a large lake. We averaged 4 knots in neutral wind conditions with an inexperienced third paddler. The hull shape and large surface area also make this boat amazingly stable in seas from all directions. We've safely paddled in seas to 3.5' with winds from all points and never felt uncomfortable. We were always able to maintain a minimum of 2 knots even into the wind in these conditions.
Fit and finish on our boat was excellent. The fiberglass and gel coat work is clean. Hatches, bulkheads, and hardware were installed correctly and were in good condition. The cam strap system for fastening the hatches is simple, effective...ingenious. It holds down the hatch with enough pressure to prevent leaks. The rudder is simple, rugged and effective. Some of the small bolts from the deck hardware installation protruded through the underside of the deck and would have snagged our expensive dry suits, but I trimmed all of them flush before any damage was done.
I modified the center cockpit by fabricating a quick-release dog cockpit. This allows our 60-pound lab to sit upright while we paddle in a space that is only 12" wide and 20 " long. He can lean against the sides of the opening for stability and he doesn't tip us sideways due to his limited lateral space. I sewed a spray skirt that fits around his neck and releases easily when we get to shore or if we tip. This skirt has kept his cockpit bone dry in waves to 3.5'. He sits on a vinyl-coated foam pad (velcroed to the floor) that keeps him warm (36 degree water in the early season) and also prevents him from slipping. A webbing barrier, permanently attached to the base of the dog cockpit, clips to the floor and keeps cargo from the foot area of the middle cockpit from intruding in the dog's space. It also keeps us from losing cargo if we tip.
I installed a 12-volt bilge pump in each cockpit. If we were to tip with the dog cockpit exposed, we could never pump the boat out by hand. Each cockpit has a Rule bilge pump wired to its own circuit at a fuse panel located in the rear cargo compartment with a 9 amp-hour 12-volt battery. That was $400 worth of parts, but oh so worth it!
This boat has a tremendous amount of cargo capacity. We plan future expeditions in AK and we'll easily be able to go out for two weeks with all the food and gear for the two of us and our dog. I epoxied carbon eye straps in the front portion of my cockpit, sewed a webbing net, and cut custom foam rests to hold down a bear barrel between my feet. This safely utilizes some otherwise wasted space.
The molded seats and integrated back rests are simple, yet comfortable. They bolt to an extension of the coaming ring and also rest on the floor. The middle seat is easily removed or re-installed to suit your configuration requirements. The middle cockpit comes with a neoprene deck cover that includes a composite stiffener. This keeps the middle cockpit dry and safe from implosion in high seas when used as a storage cockpit. That's a long review, but hopefully helpful if you're considering such an obscure/expensive purchase as a triple kayak. The Northwest Kayaks Seascape 3 is well made, super stable, comfortable, and cruises at a decent speed. I highly recommend this kayak!