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Name: jgumby

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An update to my 2013 review [2013-07-26]: The Fusion still shines as…

An update to my 2013 review [2013-07-26]: The Fusion still shines as a crossover boat. True to its WW siblings in the Pyranha line, it's sturdy, and can bang down rock gardens at low water levels just fine, and handles predictably in Class III. If flatwater paddling into waves and wind, you will get wet due to short hull and lots of rocker. Rear hatch is a bit difficult to put on at times, but that's the price you pay for a dry hatch. For overnight trips you can put dry bags/other gear forward of the Connect 30 foot brace if you don't mind taking a few minutes to remove/reinstall the brace.

The Tribute 12 is a versatile, sporty kayak for smaller paddlers. We bought the plastic version after trying a few competitors. Nice acceleration, tracking and glide, easy to turn. It lacks a front hatch, but that's its only drawback so far. It fits both my 5'7", 130 lb. wife and me at 5'8", 170.

The Fusion works well for several purposes. It works as a short boat for narrow, twisty streams, as a whitewater boat (I haven't done higher than Class II in it, but I'm sure it's fine in class III), and as a flatwater boat with the skeg down it tracks reasonably well in wind and waves. The hatch is water-tight (unlike some other hybrid boats), and you can do overnight touring if you pack light. I opted for the Connect 30 outfitting (same as Pyranha's WW boats), but if people of different heights will be paddling the boat, it takes longer to adjust the more robust foot brace on the Connect 30 than on the River Tour outfitting. Hybrid crossover boats are always a compromise, but the Fusion does a lot of things reasonably well.

I bought a used Northwind in white gold layup, aluminum gunnels, outfitted w/ Whenona tractor seats (the bow seat slides). It really shines as a tripping canoe - handles well fully loaded, and the sliding seat helps trim it to wind or load conditions. I put some Bell portage pads on it - comfy! However it works fine on rivers as long as you don't want to do whitewater or scrape it over rocks. You just have to work hard if not paddling a flat water river - it tracks straight even for a 17'6" boat.