The best part of paddling a Navigator on expedition is when you get home and paddle your play boat empty, feeling like superman. But the play boat stays home, and the Navigator does the heavy lifting when it's expedition time.
The outfitting is top quality also the fiberglass hatch covers allow for trouble free paddle float rescues, they are also very dry, and I found no water in the hatches after hours of rescue practice. I found the paddle float holder useless it’s an unnecessary extra step.
The deck bungies are strong and secure with recessed deck fittings.
This boat accommodated me well. I am 6’ 2” 235 size 13 shoes. My feet did not touch the top of the inside deck even with my NRS wet shoes.
The rudder system is in my opinion the best in the industry it allows for bracing as well as turning. Other kayak manufactures should adopt this system. The closest I have seen is the Prijon system, which is not as stable or as strong.
The seat in this boat is its shortcoming; it is not more than a dish sponge. It has to be one of the most uncomfortable seats in modern kayaking. My legs and hips go numb after about 30 minutes and the boat is unbearable after 45 minutes. The seat cushion doubles as a paddle float. And it works… at least the seat is good for something… I built a foam seat with 4 inch foam that solved this problem.
I found this boat to be quite fast especially for 24.5 inches wide. The hull has a deep V shape with no rocker at all. Tracking is the stiffest I have experienced, turning this boat around takes an act of congress and 5 to 7 sweep strokes with maximum lean. Yachts can turn sharper than the Seaward Navigator can. No joke.
Seward advertises their boats as Safe Strong & Seaworthy. This boat is not seaworthy. Quartering winds make a tuff to maneuver boat almost impossible to handle. Swells and surf are not suited for this boat. This boat is better suited for protected waterways and calm winds.
I owned this boat for 1 year that was all I could take. Performance was such a disappointment, but this boat was built so well I rate it 6.