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Name: jonsprag1

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I initially had the same problem with leaky hatches that Mark did (scroll down the reviews and you will see). When I learned how to put the hatches on, the problem went away--the trick is to make sure all three of the hatches fit over the lip of the hatch hole---hit the edge of the hatch with the palm of your hand all around the edge and make sure it is all the way down. Then go try rolling and you will see that you take little if any water.

Ignore my last post---I have rolled my Tempest many times since and have taken great care to insure that the hatch covers were properly fastened(it's easy to do it incorrectly--you have to make sure the cover snaps on COMPLETELY over the lip, ALL the way around the hatch) The hatches remained dry(except for the smidgen of water in the rear hatch that seems to come in through the skeg when the skeg is lowered and raised. (less the one tablespoon).

I have taken my plastic Tempest out in a variety of conditions now and my opinion remains the same---it's very good. I am relativly comfortable with it in rough seas(compared to my old perception vizcaya), like the speed and particularly like the skeg--much better than a rudder--it helps me go in a straight line, avoid windcocking and at the same time remained braced inside the kayak---a difficult thing to do with loose rudder pedals. If I had to fix one thing it would be the hatch covers. They are fine when the boat remains upright even in rough seas but when I roll with it a little water gets in the front and day hatches and a little more in the rear hatch(although it may be that I wasn't carful in closing it) I certainly don't have the fear of death that one of the reviewers below did---there was just a smidgen of water in the front and day hatches and less then a pint in the rear and that was after rolling about 15 times. Also all the covers stayed on---they were nowhere close to falling off and at that rate I would have had to roll 100 times before the water reached a level to effect the boats boyancy--my advice would be to keep your camping equipment in dry bags and make sure that the hatch covers are sealed by pushing the rubber down over the lip before the bungee cord goes on. Incidently I met a Registered Master Maine Sea Kayaking Guide while paddling last week end and he told me that this problem with the hatch covers is typical of so called British Design boats. He was paddling a Current Designs with similar type hatches and hull design as the Tempest.

I bought my Tempest 170 last October after renting one in Canada. I got a great deal on it ($896.00 brand new at my local dealer's year end sale in Bangor) I had paddled a Perception Vizcaya for the past three years but felt the need to move into something that could hold more gear and take bigger seas. Also my Vizcaya had a rudder which I hardly ever used. I wanted an Engish style kayak with a retractable skeg, not only for esthetic reasons(looks a hell of a lot better) but because I've always felt more comfortable steering with a paddle then with a rudder, probably due to my coming to sea kayaking from white water river paddling. I find it much more secure to turn with a paddle, and hence being ready to make an instant brace, then using a rudder. I've had my Tempest out in October, November and in March, a couple of weeks ago. I was in 15-20 mph winds with 2'--3' waves on upper Penobscot Bay--the boat handled beautifully--to those critics who complain that the skeg isn't sufficient in a cross wind(at 35 mph)and that they had to do a lot of bracing, well acutually a rudder wouldn't have been sufficient either. I couldn't imagine going out in a 35 mph wind and not having to do a lot of bracing, unless you are on the Queen Mary. Where I really notice the difference between the skeg and a rudder is going down wind in a chop. On a rudder equipped boat, any chop 2' or more will lift the stearn and rudder out of the water when going downwind, causing the boat to weather cock and requiring strenous correction with the paddle. In a skeg equiped boat, unless the seas are huge---10' plus---the skeg will remain in the water going down wind and the boat will not weathercock. Also the Tempest rolls easier than a 2 doller chippie. Literally all I had to do was think about rolling up and up I came. Finally the seat is extremely comfortalbe when compared to my old boat. I can sit in it for two hours without geting the numbness in pain I used to get in my prior boat after one hour. I'm looking forward to doing a lot of camping and paddling in heavy seas with the Tempest this summer and will get back to you regarding this. But for right now I don't think you could get a better boat for the money.

I've owned my vizcaya for three years now and have paddled most places along the Penobscot Bay -Frenchmen's Bay regions, as well as some of the larger lakes, in the state of Maine, including Moosehead, the largest. The boat tracks extremely well going into the wind and even goes well with the wind abeam(from the side). Down wind it does have a tendency to weather cock if the rudder isn't used, but then so do most boats. The answer is either to use proper paddling technique(ie be ready to correct the move before it happens) or put your rudder down. As far as self rescue goes, I can roll the boat fairly easily and because of the large cockpit and fairly wide beam(24 inches) can usually do a paddle float rescue without much trouble(in the event I blow the roll.) I'm a little suprised that BigJockBob, at 6'4" and 210 lbs finds the boat too heavy at 65 lbs to paddle when it is loaded or to lift on top of his car(hint unless he goes to kevelar or fiberglass it is unlikly that he would find any boat of equal length that is any less heavy) I'm 5'11" and 173 lbs and have no trouble either loading it or paddling it either empty or loaded. I do find the front compartment somewhat small because of the design of the bow. Also the boat can be somewhat wet when going through waves 3' or higher, for the same reason. I've paddled this boat as far out as Isle au Haut as well as doing a circumnavigation of Islesboro and had no significant problems--it handles chop up to 4' with relative ease. On one memerable trip in East Penobscot Bay in the Pond Island--Eggemogin Reach area I paddled for at least 2 miles in beam seas of 3-4'and 20+knot winds without putting the rudder down and did fine. I also spent a 4 day camping trip on Moosehead Lake(40 miles long--8 miles wide) without having to resupply. In all I'm quite satisfied with the vizcaya--she has taken me where I want to go at a good price $750 fully expedition equipped for a one year old boat. I'm sure that a more expensive boat $2500 or so would be better, but for the money, I got good value.