I still would prefer a slightly narrower distance at the gunwhales for more efficient paddling. I am almost 100% bent shaft user and sit and switch. Also use a two bladed paddle (220cm) when going upriver. The boat will fly. The seat also slides and this is a great feature when handling wind and wave action. I do find the seat slides much too easily, maybe because I use a lot of leg push when I paddle. I have purchased clamps that I put on the slide rail, they are easy to adjust and prevent the seat from moving back further than I want while paddling.
All in all a real good canoe. Great for day trips and playing around, Great for fishing as it is very stable and I find that since I have become a much better paddler that I have no problem keeping up with my friends in 14-15 foot kayaks.
The seat and back band were very comfortable for me. As I mentioned it is a deep kayak, too deep to lay back on the back deck. That doesn't bother me as I don't know how to roll but would be a factor for others.
I have the kevlar version, with skeg, and it weighs 45 lbs. Very easy to carry and load as it is nicely balanced. Very nice kayak with generally good construction though not as neat and smooth inside as some others that I looked at. It does not leak into the bulkheads after repeated immersion, the kajak sport covers work good. I am 5'9" and 175 lbs and find the cockpit large and comfortable. I am 60 yrs of age and not particularly flexible but can get into the kayak by sitting seat first and drawing my legs in.
I paddled in windy conditions with lots of boat and sea doo traffic creating confusing waves. The kayak is very stable, tracks well. The skeg works well, however I found no need to use it as a slight lean brought the kayak around. Very little weathercocking which surprized me a little as it is a fairly deep craft.
My overall view is that this is a good kayak for conditions where you want enough capacity to take on a load and want very good maneuverability. I found the speed alright, I would say about the same as a CD Gulfstream which I have paddled quite a bit. In fact, despite the difference in hull design I found these two kayaks had a lot of similarity in handling, for me anyway.
This kayak is about two inches deeper than the Ellesmere or Pakesso, which it is said to be designed as the intermediate size of these two kayaks. Overall, I really like it so far, It will give me many hours and miles of satisfaction.
I purchased the Fjord as a workout and primarily day use boat. It has very good primary stability with the shallow arch hull and what they call reverse hard chines. In the lake situation I found the kayak was very comfortable in conflicting wave action. It did not weathercock very much, a little lean looked after that. The skeg also worked well and the new and unique "dial" used by Boreal to adjust skeg depth worked very well.
The maneuverability is interesting with the reverse hard chines. The folks at Boreals factory told me that a lean of 15degrees is all that is required to turn, and I believe they are correct.They told me that edging to the point where the hull and deck join, and you have gone too far. This is the easiest turning kayak I have paddled at this length with a slight lean. Very good secondary stability, will stay on edge with little effort though there is not a point that it firms up. Stability got very nervous once I reached the point of angle when the water reached the edge of the cockpit coaming, it took aggressive sculling brace to stay upright.
The Fjord is a fairly deep kayak with lots of foot room. The depth and high rounded deck in front of the cockpit gave me a very dry ride. The seat and back support are comfortable.
Some slight nit picking. The foot braces are not evenly installed. I felt that I could not get them even and when I measured with a tape, sure enough, the foot brace sliders were not the same distance from the seat. The result is only about a half inch difference, but I did notice it.
Finally, I am a bit dissapointed that the dealer cut into the gel coat when taking off the wrapping. This is not a fault of Boreal Design, but does speak to lack of care on the dealers part. In comparison to other kayaks, I found the Fjord somewhat similar in handling to the CD Gulfstream.
I did talk via phone and e-mailed Boreal Design prior to purchasing the Fjord and they were very helpfull. Also returned my e-mail within 2 days.