At 21 pounds, the Spitfire is light enough for me to put on my car myself, just by grabbing the gunwales and lifting it over my head. Being a fairly short individual, I need a craft with adequate tumblehome to facilitate a more vertical paddle stroke. I also wanted a sturdy boat with a tough gel coat bottom, a nice thing to have here in Rocksylvania. Or is it Pennsrocks?
I was looking for a responsive canoe, one that is easily turned, yet also has decent tracking.
The Nessmuk was too small and I found it to be uncomfortable. While the Wee Lassie tracked well, it was too heavy at 29 pounds and awkward for me to handle off the water. The Tupper, too wide and heavy. So it came down to the Spitfire, and I have absolutely no regrets. It is comfortable, fast, responsive...an absolute joy to paddle. It is a beautiful boat, to boot.
We have several kayaks in our fleet, but if I had to choose just one boat, it would be the Spitfire, hands down. It is my freedom. I am ecstatic.
I have a composite boat, but it attaches perfectly to the security loop rather than the coaming. I've also found that since my boat is fairly low volume, I too have to store it unassembled. No big deal.
Love the design, hate the tires. That's why it's an 8 instead of a 10.
What I did find, though, is that it is not as good as binoculars for actually studying wildlife, so if that is your purpose, you will probably not care for it.
My husband tried the boat and liked it as well but thought that it might be a little cramped for him after a while. He's 6'0, 180 lbs. I'm 5'3, 155, and it fits me well.
I have to admit I was leery about down-sizing (I also have a Carolina 13.5), but this little boat is absolutely wonderful. The only thing I would change is the hatch cover - I prefer the rubber ones. And that's why it's a 9 and not a 10.