It was not any harder to get the skirt on; the main difficulty in putting on a nylon skirt is always having to walk the bunched up nylon around the bungee and coaming. Maybe Seals expects users to tighten up the bungees. I should have been more rigorous with the fit, in any case. Of course, some water did pass the skirt, but, it's ok for minimal or unexpected rolling.
I like the main features of the Sneak: elastic suspenders, Velcro waist adjustment, outer zip pockets, and, most of all, the zipper that allows access to items under the skirt. The under-skirt-access zipper also allows the skirt to be donned easily -- hanging loose on the shoulders, by the suspenders -- then snapped, then zipped. The Velcro waist adjusters can be set once, then forgotten.
I was surprised today, to notice that, after such infrequent use, the backside coating on the nylon is crumbling away in several places. On one hand, I don't really expect a nylon skirt to be waterproof, anyway. But, would hope the coating would be more robust.
I'm impressed with the new design of the Camano. It's lighter than my old one, and, it has a very nice ferrule, which even includes a feather indicator. I really like Werner shafts, which allow decent grip, yet rotate easily in your off-hand. I got mine with single-color translucent fiberglass blades. I see they are now available in a 2-tone swirl or wave, but, I have not yet seen one of them.
But, all is not perfect in Epic paddle land. The shaft has a beautiful, slick texture, but, it causes the shaft to stick in my hand, rather than rotate smoothly, as a Werner does. I've taken to wearing gloves to solve this, which I don't mind, since I also began wearing long-sleeved wicking shirts, for sun protection. The markings for the length and feather are very light, and uneven. I've seen other Epics with nice, bright white markings.
My paddle has silver blades that show the fabric weave. It's pretty, but has yellowed over time. The blades have some fairly ugly Epic decals on them. At least they've held up pretty well, because scars or peeling would make them even uglier. There are also ugly decals wrapped around the shafts, at the blade junctions. These have started to roll up a bit. I don't think Epic makes silver blades any more, and, it appears they've toned down or eliminated the decals.
Most importantly, the length lock ferrule no longer holds the feather angle firmly enough, and, I find that in rough water, the feather gets knocked out of whack, causing me to miss a stroke or a brace. I can not adjust the ferrule any tighter. I contacted Epic and received a return authorization, so, I'm sending off the paddle today. The paddle is beyond their 1-year warranty, but, I hope they will take care of their product.
It has thigh straps, which are important to handling in whitewater. This also allowed some other paddlers to roll my boat, when they were trying it out of curiosity. The sitting position is very good, encouraging upright or slightly forward posture. There's no provision for a backband or seat, but, I never missed either item. In fact, the only potential comfort issue was that my outside ankle area touched the footbrace railing. I thought this would bother me, but, I rarely noticed it. The foot braces themselves are oversized, and very comfortable.
There's a large screw hatch that allows access to the inside hull, where you can stash extra water, sun screen, lunch, etc. Of course, you have to keep all this stuff from getting loose and out of reach. I tied a piece of rope around one of the scupper tubes under the seat, and clipped a drybag or mesh bag to the rope. The hatch on my boat was not water tight, due to imperfect installation. It never bothered me enough to re-install the hatch properly. I've seen the boat a few times since selling it. The hull is showing some mild oil-canning. It can't get too bad, due to the structure of the scupper tubes. But, I can see potential, depending on use/abuse, for wear to occur around the scupper holes possibly leading to leaks.
I also added a 2 cm. of height to the front coaming, to add a little more foot room. At 5 ft. 9 in. with size 9 1/2 feet, I get by with snug shoes and the foot braces. Without foot braces, somewhat larger feet will fit.
A Yost boat is not hard to build, and there are a lot of experienced builders willing to discuss the details at kayakforum.com (as well as a searchable archive, where answers to common questions are ready and waiting). If you just stumbled into this review with no previous knowledge of Yost skin-on-frame kayaks, check out yostwerks.com.
This was my 3rd Yost boat. I'm not going to submit reviews on the others, but will add brief comments here:
The Sea Rider (multichined variant) -- 17 ft. x 19 1/2 in. -- is a very efficient Greenland-ish hull, fairly stable for its width. The cockpit is small, and there's not much extra foot room. Forget about installing foot braces unless you have short legs and small feet. You have to be willing to sit with straight legs; some people love it, but I could not take it.
The Sea Otter R -- 15 ft. x 20 in. Very tender, at least with a 135 lb. paddler. Similar in design to the Sea Tour 15 R. Skip the Sea Otter and go directly to the Sea Tour.
Obviously, a primary reason to buy a Delta is the thermoformed plastic: tough, slick, attractive, light weight, UV resistant, fairly rigid, and less expensive and less heavy than fiberglass. At 22 inches wide, this is one of Delta's narrower and ostensibly more efficient offerings.
I'm 5'9", 135 lb male, 52. I was only able to test paddle in calm water. Stability was fine. I found the maneuverability and edging to be quite good. Hull efficiency did not meet my expectations. While it would cruise along nicely at 4.6 MPH, 5 MPH took so much effort as to not be practical (in contrast, I get more than another 1/2 MPH from my 23 inch wide CLC Shearwater 16). I have to wonder if the concave sides and bottom facets add drag to the design. The full stems may be a factor here, too. I didn't get a chance to do anything meaningful with the skeg. It deployed easily. With just a jam cleat for the rope, incremental adjustment was not convenient.
The cockpit was not bad, if a bit larger than necessary. The sliding seat is a nice feature. I adjusted the position until my thighs fell nicely on the braces. I could have used some side padding. I do like having some room behind the seat for water and other things. The seat was not right for my bum, but, I have no padding, and factory seats generally don't work well. The seat pad had what appeared to be a drain area at the bottom -- but, there was no hole through the seat pan to allow water to escape! The seat back can be adjusted vertically while out of the boat, and the bungee'd hinge worked nicely. I found the single cord for seat back support and adjustment to be skimpy, and considered that the approx. 12-inch free end beyond the jam cleat might be an annoyance or safety hazard. And, shortening the cord would impair adjustability.
This is the only model where Delta has opted to include a front day hatch, and lock knobs on all the hatches. The front day hatch is a nice convenience. It is smoothly rounded on the underside of the deck, and does not at all interfere with your feet. The lock knobs work, but, they also leak. The knobs don't have their own seals, so, for example, the front day hatch would get a little water in it from paddle splashes. All of the hatch rims were nicely finished. Where my last thermoformed boat (a Perception) had the hatch edge pointed outward, Delta went to the trouble of turning the edges inward, to hide them and add rigidity. The main hatches are quite large. I was able to get the halves of a 230cm paddle into either hatch, as a test. The rear day hatch is a pod suspended under the deck. It seemed a little small. I didn't mind open space beside the pod, in the main rear compartment, but, the approx. 1 inch below it seemed wasted. Each hatch had bungees crossing over it, with hooks to quickly snap them in place. But, the combination of knob locks and bungees was a bit of a bother, and the bungees were so tight as to limit what other gear they could hold.