The Sit-on-top feature is at first reassuring to those like myself who are uncomfortable climbing into a cockpit and wearing a skirt. I learned quickly though that your raised center of gravity compared to a sit-inside sea kayak results in much less initial stability. Placing about three one-gallon jugs of fresh water into the storage compartments dramatically reduces the tenderness and makes the boat feel much more stable.
This hull design has a unique feature where the waterline is only 24 inches wide but the "side-skirt" overhang makes the boat about 27.5" wide overall. In rough water this splashes the water away and makes for exceptional secondary stability. The further you lean, the more bouyant the hull becomes.
It is quite fast and mine came with the rudder and the most essential accessory of all... thigh straps. Without the thigh straps, paddling anything with waves and currents is pretty tricky so real braces and correction strokes are very difficult.
Paddling with wind and no rudder is difficult so having a rudder on this sea kayak is virtually essential. The boat will weathercock pretty badly. WITH the rudder, I actually use it in varying angles as I climb and descend waves to keep a proper heading. With the rudder stowed up in its cradle, this boat surfs very well. You catch the wave directly behind you and it maintains its heading right to the beach almost effortlessly.
Made of a mix of light fiberglass and kevlar, it weighs only 62lbs with rudder, thigh straps, seatpad, backrest and perimeter lines. This is my first sea kayak and probably my last. I really enjoy it
I am selling my Penobscot 16 RX, My Old Town Scout, and possibly even my Wenonah Argosy because this canoe does about 90% as well in any category that these others perform at there best. I can paddle class III whitewater because of its good rocker and bow flare as long as it has GOOD flotation. It does well in flatwater and doesn't have excess freeboard to catch the wind. It may look ordinary but its subtle design features make it an excellent paddling canoe.
I have owned about 20 different canoes... mostly solo boats and this canoe is VERY VERSATILE. I just paddled the rocky twisty lower Green River river in NC where quick turns and precise lines are required since only one turbine was running at the upstream dam. This canoe can be easily and quickly maneuvered with its 2+ inches of bow rocker.
Then the next day I paddled a swift but smooth section of the Broad River near the SC border. It was uniformly about 2ft deep and clear so I paddled STANDING up in the canoe where I really enjoyed the high vantage point and seeing all the fish and underwater features. Try that in most narrow beam solo boats! That is excellent initial stability. The flat bottom allows for this capability that my other solo boats do not. I am now selling my Dagger Sojourn and possibly my whitewater boat because this wonderful canoe does it all.
Overall, I really like the boat but I think a $1000 boat should not oil-can that bad and a little more R&D could have made it better.