Most Recent Reviews
The Option's plastic is thick and sturdy. This seems like a boat that will last. I had some cracking trouble with Esquif Preludes (another canoe I love that has more speed), which is why I decided to try an Option. For rocky, creeky, class 3+/4 runs, the Option is the boat. It's even fun on the class 2 runs as long as there isn't too many flat sections.
The boat has great primary stability. This is a feature I'm growing to like. The Prelude has zip primary, which makes it a fun, responsive canoe. The advantage of the Option's primary stability is you don't have to be so much on your toes when you hit some big boils at the end of a rapid. The Option also has excellent secondary. If you like a stable boat, you'll like this canoe. Truth in advertising: I'm a 5'11", 160-pound guy. A heavier person may have a different opinion.
All in all, I'm very happy with this boat and have been paddling it for about half a year now.
The Prelude's chines actually soften over time as the bottom of the boat begins to round a little. This actually makes it even easier to surf--you can recover more easily from a dropped edge. The boat has held up well from 50+ days of paddling a year. The hull has lots of scratches and nicks, but is sound. There is some oil canning under the seat, but it doesn't seem to hurt performance.
I'm so sold on the boat, I already have a spare tucked up in the rafters of my garage in case I crack the hull at some point.
This boat is rotomolded and made of polyethylene, the same plastic they use for whitewater kayaks. This makes it tougher than Royalex boats and allows it to slide more easily on rocks. It comes with an already installed foam bulkhead saddle. The seat is 10" high, too high for such a short, narrow canoe. I carved the seat down to less than 8" high.
I'd give the boat a 10 if they could find some way to offer it with adjustable thigh straps instead of the foam bulkhead. Overall, I'm very happy with the Prelude.