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Name: Doubledipper

Most Recent Reviews

It was an Impex Force 5 at 18' long. This boat was also made of Kevlar so it was light and easy to carry. Compared to my Assateague, this boat was narrower, a bit longer and an inch or two lower. The chine and rocker are also a bit different.

The Pros:
This boat is fast, it is a great surfer, it feels good and stable on edge, the outfitting is excellent with a smooth skeg action, comfy seat and those 3 wonderful Valley (VCP) hatches. Despite the perceived lack of rocker, the boat turns surprisingly easy on edge.

The Cons:
The thigh hook location in conjunction with the skeg control box caused pain and slight bruising when performing a hip snap when rolling. This may be resolved with adjustments in the foot pegs and back band, but for sure, some extra foam padding would be in order. I had to stop paddling it because of the pain. The foot pegs are rock solid but are hard to adjust. The spring loaded release is located behind the foot peg. I have the same ones on my boat but mine slid easier, maybe these needed lubrication. I would much prefer adjusters that can be reached by hand, from the cockpit.

General Observations:
The cockpit did not seem cramped but my spray skirt seemed a little loose. Although the cockpit was only an inch shorter, the deck was slack. This did allow a little water to enter, but may have been through the tunnel as I was only wearing a t-shirt. When sculling, I am used to my head being close to the water. With the chine on this boat, sculling is higher and to get closer to the water, the boat seems beyond 90 degrees and seems to be laying on top of you.

Overall this is a good looking, good handling fast cruiser. Could I love this boat? Sure, with some padding in the cockpit and a few changes in technique. I am going to try a slightly lower Impex Force 4 next and then compare them with a few other popular boats before I commit to a new boat purchase.
By the way, I would like to thank Barb and George at the Kayak Academy for making this boat available to me.

Being a gagetaholic, I am a sucker for all things new. No exception for this semi-inflatable PFD. I was not disapointed with the Sea02. It was a bit strange getting used to the side zipper after years in a Lotus Straight Jacket. I wanted less and more. More pocket space and less bulk. The back is all mesh up to between the shoulders. That allows plenty empty space to lay back on the deck when desired. It is cooler in warm weather because of this. The radio pocket seem secure with a D-ring to beener my ICOM inside.... not room for anything else though. Not even a small flare. The other pocket is large enough for what I carry along. Behind this pockete is a cavernous void where the C02 cartridge is tucked into. I say cavernous because I thought I lost my Optio WP and small scotch flask... Today after a few rolls I noticed that the camera and booze were deep inside there and did not fall our while inverted. I was lucky... my camera could have sunk in deep water. Anyway, the PFD will float me without any supplemental air added into the bladder with its supplied foam. The oral inflator only takes 3 breaths to inflate fully. The vest kept my head upright whether inflated or not. When inflated, the additional air is about 75% over your sternum and 25% between your shoulder blades. Another great attribute of this PFD is how easy it is to swim with on. Don't jerk the ripcord. It will cost you about $10 to replace the cartridge. The oral inflated is quick and easy. The only thing I did not like is how you let air out. It is a spring loaded and you need to turn the cap upside and press it to deflate. I'd rather no "tools" be needed to deflate it. A squeeze in the middle or a seperate deflate valve on the shoulder would be nicer.

I waited a couple of months to post this in order to paddle the boat in various conditons. Overall, this is a real good looking boat that is very comfortable to sit in and fits me pretty well. I am 5'11' and 215 pounds. I do need to add a little padding on the sides of the seat to hold me in a little better for sculling and rolling. It has all of the modern Brit boat features and looks. Retractable skeg, reflective deck lines, 3 bulkheads, a day hatch and those wonderfullly dry VCP oval hatches. I told myself this is my play boat as it is 2 inches narrower and 10 inches longer than my other kayak. It is a large boat for larger paddlers but it is very capable in the hands of a skilled paddler. It is easy to paddle fast on flat water, but it has a tendency to weathcock or turn into the wind when it is rough. The skeg is a big help here. Mine is of the standard glass lay up. There are a few little nits that forbade a perfect score of 10, but none of them impact the ability of the boat to perform better than expectations.