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Name: DKehlenbach

Most Recent Reviews

Time will tell with this rack. I’ve been using Yakima products for the past 20 years, and have two sets of kayak J-cradles, a Bow-Down, the Sidewinder tandem bike rack, and a hitch-mounted bike rack. The first thing that struck me when unboxing the ShowDown was its build quality. This is certainly not what I have come to expect from Yakima. It feels quite inferior to all the other Yakima products I have.
Mounting the ShowDown was very easy, but like other reviewers I noticed that the safety pins were extremely hard to install and remove. I coated them with some bike grease, but keep a pair of pliers in the car in case they get stuck. I am using this rack to transport a Tarpon 140 (68 lbs). For day trips, the rack works quite well. However during extended trips, when the boat is on the rack for many hours (or days), it becomes difficult to get the boat down. It seems like the boat gets ‘stuck’ at the last 12 inches or so of travel. I’ve had to push the boat in and out several times to finally be able to lower the boat down. Next time I go on an extended trip, I will try some grease on the rails to see if that improves things. Again, time will tell with this set-up. I had considered the Thule Hullavator as it has a gas-assist mechanism and much more favorable reviews, however having already invested in the Yakima ecosystem it would have been an expensive proposition to re-configure my vehicle. Fingers crossed with this rack!

Great product!!! I recently reviewed another camp shower - we are a military family stationed in Puerto Rico and due to the drought situation, we only get water 1 out of every 3 days. Using this camp shower has made dealing with the water rationing much easier.

While not a true solar shower, it does get pretty warm when left in the sun for a couple of hours. Camp showers can get pretty heavy, so not having to lift this unit up is a big plus. I was surprised about how much pressure can be generated - plenty of pressure for a nice shower. Filling it can be kind of tricky - a long funnel (like used to add oil to an automobile) makes things much easier, especially if you're adding hot water.

All-in-all, a winner!!

We are a military family stationed in Puerto Rico. With the current drought situation, we only get water 1 out of every 3 days. This shower has made the water rationing much more comfortable and works quite well. A couple hours in the sun and it gets nice and hot

First off, I have to say that these are the most comfortable sandals I have ever come across. The reason for my low rating is the sandal's durability. I have had two pair of these sandals and within a couple of months, they started to fall apart in the toe and heel area. I didn't bother to contact Keen when the first pair came apart, since I bought them at an outlet store. I fixed them with my Speedy Stitcher, and they are still hanging in there.

I called Keen customer support about the second pair. I have had them 5 months and they are starting to come apart. Unfortunately, I didn't get a favorable response from customer service. My wife is active duty military and we are stationed in Puerto Rico. The representative said that they can't ship a replacement pair to Puerto Rico (surprising since there are Keen dealers here in PR). She said to fill out the warranty and they'll "see what they can do..." Time will tell if I can get a replacement pair.

Again, they are super comfortable and I have been using them for all kinds of outdoor activities (hiking, biking, kayaking, etc.). It's just a shame that the quality is just not there.

After several years of sea kayaking, I found myself enjoying the tranquility of quiet water paddling much more often than the challenges of open water. Lakes, ponds, creeks and sheltered bays open up a whole different world to the kayaker and provide an ideal environment to introduce others to paddling. Using a 17’ sea kayak in small creeks and lakes was a bit overkill, so I started looking into a more suitable boat for calm water, but nothing appealed to me. Sure, there were some nice poly and fiberglass boats out there that would do just fine, but nothing really piqued my interest until Chesapeake Light Craft came out with their Wood Duck series.

Wooden boats always have had a certain appeal to me, but to be honest, I was a bit intimidated by the building process. My father-in-law was gracious in building the boat for me, and it was very exciting seeing flat sheets of plywood become a beautiful work of art. All in all, I would say the entire construction process took about 60 hours of work.

In fitting out the kayak, I decided to use a VCP oval hatch instead of the flush-mounted hatch, and I am very glad. I have had VCP hatches before, and they are probably as close to watertight as can be expected from a hatch system. I also opted not to put deck rigging on the boat. The cockpit of this boat is huge – a small child can sit in front of an adult with no problems whatsoever, so it would be a long reach to the front deck rigging. Besides, I don’t see this boat being used like the typical sea kayak, so it is unlikely that a chart, compass and other navigational aides will need to be on deck. I simply place any items that I need in the cavernous cockpit. Another option added to the boat was a footbrace mounting kit to avoid drilling through the hull to mount the footbraces. The braces are fiberglassed to the inside of the hull and provide a much cleaner looking installation. I also added a Therm-a-rest seat pad to the standard foam seat.

How does it paddle? One word – a dream. A 12-foot boat is much more maneuverable in tight conditions than a longer sea kayak, making this boat ideal for creeks and slow-moving rivers. This boat is fairly wide (30”) but using a 240-cm paddle makes for easy work, and since the sheer panels are “tumbled home” clearance is greatly improved. As stated before, the cockpit is huge. I am fairly tall (6’1”) with long legs, and I can sit with my legs crossed, or knees up, which makes for very comfortable photography and bird watching. This would be an ideal boat for fishing as well – its stability is remarkable.

I give this boat a 10. It is the perfect boat for me, and the paddling I anticipate doing. If you ever have the chance to attend a get-together or demos by Chesapeake Light Craft, by all means do so – you will be able to test paddle their different designs and talk to other builders.

I bought my Captiva last fall to meat the need for the diverse paddling my wife and I do. We live in southern NJ, so there are bays, estuaries, lakes and of course, the ocean. So far, the Captiva performs very well. I have had it out in waves, wind and currents, and it has handled quite well. If you are looking for a stable, roomy boat that is at home on lakes, rivers and large bodies of water, the Captiva will do nicely. Since it is stable, it is the ideal platform for fishing, photography and birding. My reasoning for the "8" is two-fold. First, the forward bulkhead needed additional sealant on both sides. Second, the hatch covers are quite flimsy. I am going to get a second pair of covers, just in case. A friend of mine has a Carolina - he has had no problems. I wish Perception would go with the tried-and-true VCP design (the hatch covers are almost the same dimensions). Other than that, I am truly happy with the Captiva. I plan to add a "Yak Pads" seat to enhance comfort, as my legs have a tendancy to fall asleep after one hour in any kayak.

This model trailer is technically a small boat trailer, but the dealer (Maximum Marine, Seaville, NJ) re-configured the bunks from parallel to perpendicular. I can easily fit 3 full size kayaks on their hulls, and probably more using a stacker system.Using a trailer is great - I was somewhat skeptical at first. In NJ tolls and bridges usually charge more for a trailer, and parking is an added concern. BUT, it is such a pleasure not hoisting the kayaks on the roof after a long day (also saving the paint from salt water and mud). Besides, you can place your paddling gear in the kayaks and save room inside your vehicle. This trailer is great - it has the larger 12" tires, so long trips in hot weather will be less of a concern. Also, if you get into a tight spot (I'm not real proficient with a trailer), you can move it around with one hand! In a pinch, it can even double as a cart!!

After reviewing several carts, I decided on the Yedo. I have an Aquaterra Chinook (16'4", 65lbs.), which it hauls around with ease. The 10" tires make trekking through the sand much easier than dragging it. The cart breaks down into 4 pieces that easily fits in the Chinook's rear hatch. I can assemble and disassemble the cart in about one minute - very user-friendly. This cart makes those solo portages much easier!!