Most Recent Reviews
- Initial stability - it is good if you are experienced with kayaks having a beam of 24" or less. We have no problem just sitting still in a 24" chop and taking pictures... passing stuff from cockpit to cockpit... At the same time it is easy to edge the boat to allow current or wind to turn you. We do this sometime when we are pursuing a critter we want a photo of.
- Secondary stability - Very good, but a bit odd. There is a quick, smooth transition from sitting flat to getting to the boat's initial edge. Then it catches. I would say this happens at about 30 degrees. Then, you have about 15 degrees where you have to work to get the boat further on edge. Suddenly it becomes very easy again... use caution... you're no longer edging, you're balancing.
- The boat turns well, but it isn't a play boat. We have taken it up very narrow fast running streams with lots of short, quick turns. As long as the forward paddler is proficient with a forward-reaching bow rudder stroke, you can turn quickly without losing much momentum. Laying out of the boat and turning on a brace works well if you have a fair amount of speed.
- The two paddlers need to "know" what the other is doing without looking at them. This is especially important for the bow position. We find it uncomfortable to turn and look aft from either cockpit.
I recommend the standard kayak rudder so you don't have to have it in the water if you don't want it there. The Light Craft rudder must be shipped prior to launching and it is in the water and working all of the time. We seldom use a rudder... strong winds or following sea/current. The rudder is a subjective choice. I have a friend who loves the Mariner Kayaks from Australia. They have a built-in rudder that is an extension of the keel. Look at Mariner reviews to see how folks feel about their rudders.
The boat is very durable. We've run it over rocks, oyster beds, sand, etc. The bottom has miniscule dents in it, but nothing that comes close to impairing the function. Warren offers an "expedition" bottom if you believe you will be really rough on the boat... ledge landings might warrant the extra weight and expense.
I installed some pieces of 3M film on deck where we put our deck bags. You can pick that film up at most auto body shops and it is very easy to work with.
Of course, the boat is very light and easy to carry. At 44lbs it is very easy to lift onto the racks atop our Chevy 2500HD 4x4 truck!
I've been very happy with Zac and his willingness to work with the customer. I'm 6'4" tall, 36" inseam, and size 14 shoes. Zac found a young man almost exactly my size to make modifications to the after cockpit. My wife loves the color green as do I, but for different reasons. Zac worked with us to find the right color!
Recommendation? Ask Zac to move the bulkheads that are aft of the cockpits closer to the edge of the cockpit combing. It would make it easier to empty a flooded boat.
Another... accept Warren's hatch design rather than the Kajak design. It seals very well and won't implode if you take a dumping wave or stuff an elbow through it on a self rescue.
Another... buy a Danuu cover for the boat. The Kahuna fits it exactly. You have to loosen everything up, slip the bow on first, then the stern.
Value for the money? It is not an inexpensive kayak, but neither is it a cheap kayak. It is a unique design. I believe the construction, material and workmanship make this a very reasonably priced boat.
I have no financial interest in this company.
The Fuzzy Fleece is an over-sized polar fleece (100 wt) pull-over robe that has proved itself wonderful for a wide range of things besides just staying warm!
It caught our eye as a "portable changing room" for kayakers. At 6'4" tall I could take this robe with it's cowl type hood, drop it over my head without putting my arms in the sleeves, and change my pants without offending sensitive onlookers. Then I could pull my head in - like a turtle - and change my shirt/jacket or whatever!
We ordered two in the appropriate sizes for my wife and I. She is 5'4" and the Fuzzy Fleece may be ordered in a shorter length for shorter people.
Amy Besch is the maker of these robes. She made and sent our FFs to us in about 10 days. Mine fit perfectly reaching to within about 8" of the floor. My wife's seemed a bit short. I sent Amy a note and we engaged in very pleasant e-mail discussion in which she insisted on correcting the length issue.
The customer service was absolutely wonderful! You can find it at thefuzzyfleece.com.
Other things the FF has proven itself great for... Getting out of a mummy bag without freezing: I use mine as a pillow. When the "urge" catches me at 3:00 a.m., I pull the hood over my head slither into my FF while I slither out of my sleeping bag. Works great! Running out to get the paper in the morning! That works, too!
But, the best use is the one it is designed for... staying warm and modest while changing from your paddle-wear to your street-wear.
The last thing I want to mention is the big kangaroo pocket in the front. It is deep enough that it will hold all of those loose things you might have... pocket knife, flare kit, radio, gps... and they won't fall out.
The only caveats I have to offer are: Don't change near nettles or burrs
Send Amy the length from your shoulders to where you would like the FF to end above the ground. If you want something a bit more "custom sized" drop her a line and ask her about it. I have no doubt that you will be pleased with the outcome.
The usual disclaimers apply... I don't have any investment in this company.
Kodiak - I am 6'4", 220 lbs, size 14 feet. The Kodiak fits. With the footpegs on the last holes my knees pop nicely under the thigh hooks. I can only wear neoprene booties with a thin sole though. The cockpit is big enough where I can lift my knees one at a time to stretch. Getting in bottom first then tucking my legs in doesn't work real well because of my long legs.
The boat weighs 57.5 lbs empty. I can pick it up and use the cockpit/shoulder carry method comfortably. The stern toggle is too close to the rudder to be comfortable. The hatches are watertight and well designed. The neoprene covers are difficult to get on and off. The rudder mechanism works very well. The deployment line is a bit farther back toward the stern than I like and I have long arms. The gas pedal foot controls allow strong braces and sensitive trimming of the rudder.
The boat edges nicely although the limit is elusive. It takes seas on the bow or stern well. It weather cocks enough that I would rather rely on the rudder than edging and correcting. The seat and backband are "okay." They adjust easily but aren't real comfortable. I would like to adapt the Wilderness Systems' Phase III seating, but haven't yet.
The deck netting works pretty well. The forward net should extend back closer to the cockpit. The rear net is effective for carrying "stuff" but isn't great for holding a paddle blade during a self rescue. The cross straps on the hatches work well for holding spare paddles. The D-Rings are very useful. The boat accelerates and glides well considering its design. It is comfortable to paddle and I could carry a month's supply of "stuff" into it.
Seayak - My wife is 5'4" tall and is trim. The Seayak fits her although some purists would argue it is too big. The cockpit is big enough where she can lift both knees. Getting in bottom first is a snap. The Seayak is advertised at 24" beam, but hers measures about 22.75"
The boat weighs 55 lbs empty. I can pick it up and use the cockpit/shoulder carry method comfortably. The stern toggle is too close to the rudder to be comfortable. The hatches are watertight and well designed. The neoprene covers are difficult to get on and off.
The rudder mechanism works very well. The deployment line is a bit farther back toward the stern than I like and I have long arms. The gas pedal foot controls allow strong braces and sensitive trimming of the rudder. The boat edges nicely although the limit is elusive. It takes seas on the bow or stern well. It weather cocks enough that she would rather rely on the rudder than edging and correcting in most conditions.
The seat and backband are "okay." They adjust easily but aren't real comfortable. She uses one of the Voyageur inflatable seats and it works very nicely for her. The coaming lip is quite slippery and coupled with the long cockpit trying to stretch her neoprene skirt over it is a chore. We are thinking about roughing up the stern edge... we'll see.
The deck netting works pretty well. The forward net should extend back closer to the cockpit. The rear net is effective for carrying "stuff" but isn't great for holding a paddle blade during a self rescue. The cross straps on the hatches work well for holding spare paddles. The D-Rings are very useful. The boat accelerates and glides well making it relatively easy for her to keep up with my Kodiak.