This canoe is up for anything.
It’s been great for our family. My daughters both learned how to paddle in this boat. I’ve taken it on heavily packed, 10 day solo river trips and dozens of weekend and overnights with a 100lb dog.
I’ve filled it full of blankets and slid down under the thwarts to sleep in the middle of a lake under a star filled sky.
It’s been all over Minnesota, from going through the locks of the Mississippi River and even rigged up with a rowing kit for a week messing around on bigger lakes in the Boundary Waters.
I mostly paddle it loaded, and it’s never let me down in big waves or long sets of boulder fields.
If I somehow lost it today, I would absolutely be looking for another one just like it. It’s that good.
I only gave them a three based on high quality neoprene, nice side bumpers and I like the calf collar. Otherwise, it's like putting on a fat man's sloppy bedroom slippers. They are the right size, but I can pinch two inches of extra material in the heel.
Please spend a little more and buy up.
I'd dispute others claims of tippiness as far as kayaks go, a person can become comfortable in any kayak if they would spend some time in it.
This boat is the best scuba diving buddy I've ever had. I tow it on a long rope clipped to my BC. It really does not have a lot of drag - feels like I am towing a flag. The rear hatch is very accessible when unloading from a dive in the middle of a lake, in the water or astride the boat backwards. The tank bay comes with convenient tie down points for quick bungee clipping of gear.
When diving, I always have this baby above to help out catching the wind for a tow, to catch my treasures, or to allow me to cancel the whole dive and just paddle out. I hesitate to dive without it - my dive buddies are not as trustworthy as my Dolphin.
It paddles well for a sit on top. On a fully loaded 20 mile crossing, you can expect a sore back unless you outfit it with a deluxe back rest and thigh straps, which I highly recommend.
The seat could be hung lower in the boat (to lower the center of gravity a little more and provide deeper butt cupping). The footpegs and rudder system are excellent.
I do NOT like the handles on the side of the cockpit for solo carrying. They crush your fingers no matter how you carry the boat. I will be looking for an alternative handle. These knucklecrushers, the tiny front hatch and the lack of an appreciable rim for both neoprene hatch covers are the Dolphins only weaknesses. Oh, as with most sit-on-tops bring a plastic shopping bag for a butt protector - the seat drains will get you wet in waves or if you are heavier. Otherwise, one heck of a boat.