I have said over and again I don't know if I enjoy paddling more or building more. It was that much fun. I felt the instructions were very easy to understand. I had a couple of questions and the crew at Pygmy were so very helpful to set me straight.
As for paddling this boat, she is very stable and has some speed also. You can even pack the kitchen sink in this one but remember you will have to paddle all that weight. I would recommend paddling one first before you buy the kit to make sure it fits you. It's a little big for me as I am 5'8" and 130#. But I still love her, she's my baby.
I gave it a 9 cause I like kayaks with a skeg. But this simple design has nothing to break which is nice. The big brother to this one does have the skeg. If you prefer that you may just love the Manitou 14. They are awesome too.
I think the reason I love this boat so much is the fit. I am a 5'8", 130# woman and I fit like a glove in her. I paddle the coast of Alaska so we see all kinds of conditions here. I never feel this boat will let me down. Did I mention she's fast???? hahahah...I can get all my camping gear inside but I have small backpack gear. I cut out the bulkhead between the day hatch and main so my bedroll would go in crossways at the widest part of the hull. This worked great for me. Try one. You just might be sold.
I put all my camping gear in these great bags. They are tough and dependable and reasonably priced. I have had them for years and they still work great. Well except for the two bags that the mice chewed through. So many sizes to chose from that there's a bag for all your gear. They fit into the kayak with ease and my gear stays completely dry.
I did modify it a tad. I removed the bulkhead that separates the day hatch from the back hatch so I can stuff my tent and bedroll in the widest part of the boat. It didn't affect the boat structurally at all. It was easy to cut out with a serrated knife. Now I love my boat even more.