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Name: BobLeDuc

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I recently took my new Puffin Sport 10.5 out with the Boy Scouts as we worked on Canoeing Merit Badge. I bought the boat to carry in a motor home and, very honestly, I was not expecting much from it. I thought it would get me out on the water, but I really didn't think a light weight folding 10.5 foot long canoe shaped boat would perform very well. I was wrong!

The scouts were in a variety of canoes made of Roylex, fiberglass and Crosslink 3 and we were working on the "wet" parts of the merit badge, which included swamping the boats, boat over boat rescues, reentries, etc. I thought I would try the Puffin out. I was very impressed at how stable the boat was and how well it tracked. It was much faster than I ever thought it would be and I was very impressed at how far I could lay it over on its' side with out taking on water and how quickly it would turn when I did lay it over. I WAS IMPRESSED! In fact, I was so impressed that the next week I took the boat down one of the Pine Barren Streams in New Jersey and tried a section that is very seldom paddled. These streams have sections that are very tight with lots of twists and turns. There are lots of obstructions and a strong current to push you into them. There are many downfalls and old submerged cedar trees that have pointed stubs sticking out like spikes where the branches come off the trunk. I had my concerns, so I brought the repair kit which is included with the boat and the pump,...just in case! I did hit a couple of these and it didn't affect the boat at all!

What a great little boat. It is much tougher than I had hoped. There were a few very low trees that I could not get through while ducking down in the boat or climbing over ( this was not a trip where I sat quietly paddling down the river) and I was forced to get out in the water. The boat was very stable and easy to climb in and out of even though the water was a couple feet deep. I paddle every week, all year long in a variety of boats from whitewater to open water, and this was a very fun boat to paddle. All I expected from this boat was something to get me out on the water when we traveled in the motor home. A boat that wouldn't cost much, would be lightweight and would fold-up to fit into the compartments on the RV. I didn't expect it to perform very well at all. I was very pleasantly surprised. It does everything I wanted the boat to do and soo much more. Nice job Pakboats !!!

I have only used my Puffin Swift 14 a few times, as I have "many" canoes and kayaks ranging in size from a 6'9" Dagger RX Prescription to a Current Designs Kevlar Extreme at 18'10". This is a "folding boat" and should not be expected perform the same way some of these specialized boats do.

I purchased the Swift, primarily, for use in our motor home. The trips I have tried the Swift on were in the Pine Barren Streams of New Jersey. The books call these waters "challenging" because of the tight twists and turns, the many obstructions and the swift current. I paddle these waters often and, in my opinion, it would be hard to find a better place to "test" a boat. The Swift is not difficult to assemble, although I'm hopeful that I can reduce the assembly time after putting it together a few more times. The boat handled the waters without a hitch. I found it to track nicely, to edged very well, it was comfortable and turned quickly when laid over on its' side. Although it is extremely stable, I was curious to see how it would roll, so I tried several times. It was a little slower than some of my other boats, but it came over without a problem and I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't take on much water during rolls, even though the deck is fastened by Velcro and the spray skirt isn't very tight. I was using the breathable touring skirt that I purchased from Pakboat and I also had the optional foot brace, which helped me stay locked into the boat for rolling.

My "tests" have given me confidence in the Swift's ability to handle anything I might throw at it. I'm not going to take it out on any heavy whitewater, but it is a lot tougher than I thought it would be. I also purchased a 10 1/2' Puffin and I am "very pleased" with Pakboat. I bought the boats through L.L.Bean because they are a pleasure to deal with and I love their guarantee (although "I" have never needed it). You can spend a lot more money for a folding boat, and there are a couple models that would be faster, but this will do everything I need a folding boat to do and I've saved one to two thousand dollars to get a great boat. I am VERY IMPRESSED with Pakboat.