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Name: traplive

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I have very mixed feelings about the Tahiti. First, it is not and never has been a two person kayak. Put the seat in the middle and paddle it alone. Second, it tracks like a balloon on a windy day. I bought the hard skeg, which settled it down greatly. While this is a less than ideal kayak, it was my only boat for several years. I have fished out of it, floated rivers, taken it into saltwater, and generally enjoyed it every time I have used it. The good? It is 25 pounds and fits in the trunk. It sets up in less than 15 minutes with a decent pump. It is very stable in choppy water and through boat wakes. The Bad? It is slow. You might be able to swim faster. Even improved tracking with the skeg requires constant course correction. The seats slide around. There is no way to use your feet and back for a purchase. It is prone to leaks. There is no outer cover and inner bladder. I have had 4 leaks in one weekend of use. I'm probably over a dozen patches now. Thankfully, it doesn't take much to patch them. I have gone through a lot of kayaks over the years, and I have an Eddyline as my go-to yak. However, the Tahiti is still in the garage and gets the occasional drop in a lake when I don't want to deal with roof racks and straps. For a fun day on a lake with kids, this will do just fine.

This is my 4th kayak and the one I have used the most. For fishing and leisure, this is a great kayak. It is light enough to lift on my Explorer or carry to the launch. It turns well for dipping in and out of creek mouths and small bays. It handles chop as well as my 18' Cobra Expedition did. I have caught salmon in Puget Sound and trout or bass in local lakes. It is great for a quick paddle after work, but I have paddled all day, exploring south Puget Sound islands and parks. I haven't begun to max out the space or limits of this little gem. My next one might be a 14', but at 10 lbs. more, maybe not.

Passed The First Test

Wow! I finally took my Caribbean 12 out for its maiden voyage. I chose a quiet lake on a calm, sunny day. The built in handles were perfectly balanced to carry and load the boat. At 45 pounds, I had no problem keeping over my head and gently laying it down. Once on the water the boat tracked beautifully, and turned easily. I'm 5'10", 200 lbs. and I had a few inches left in the foot pegs, and didn't take undo water up through the scuppers. The seat was super comfortable and supported by back perfectly. I rocked and bounced, trying to feel uncomfortable, and felt stable and safe at all times. This is definitely a great boat. I installed the cup and rod holders on the rails, but I need to play around with placement and position. I found that it was difficult to find a position that allowed access for trolling without hitting the line with my paddle. I'll be adding a few deck fittings, bow line, and installing flush mount rod holders. I really can't imagine a better 12' sit-on-top than the Eddyline Caribbean. It will get some serious testing this summer.

After a summer of paddling the Cobra Expedition alongside other smaller kayaks, I'm upgrading my previous rating. The limitations are still the same, but I find that I love the handling in wind and waves, and the speed can't be beat. If I had the money and space for multiple kayaks, I'd keep the Cobra and also have a fishing kayak.
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I've paddled the Cobra Expedition in Hood Canal and southern Puget Sound. As other reviewers mention, this boat tracks straight and flies fast. I have not had a problem with stability, even in wind, waves and boat wakes. I find it a joy to paddle point to point. That's where the joy ends. Despite caulking and seal replacement the cockpit still fills with water. The venturi bailer was such a leaky pain that I finally took it out and replaced it with some cut up pieces of a 5 gallon bucket lid. Maneuvering in close quarters is difficult at best. The yachts in the Marina can turn around at the fuel dock easier than I can. I find myself planning turns ahead of time. Since I enjoy freshwater and saltwater fishing, I'm selling the Cobra and looking for a shorter, wider, fishing SOT. Eddyline Caribbean here I come.