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Name: banjopatty

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When I first tried several of the Pygmy boats I was instantly taken by the AT 17. It just felt right. I wasn't sure how hard it would be to build but figured what the heck. You only live once. Well I can tell you, if you have any doubts about your ability, just throw them out the window now. You can do it! If a 50 year old woman with no woodworking experience can do it, so can you.

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 have had my Manitou for about 10 years now and just love the thing. I use it all year long when we have mild winters. It is just about perfect. It's a great knock-around boat that can do it all pretty good. It's not a sea kayak but I have used it that way for years kayak camping on the ocean here in Alaska or just poking around the lakes and streams. It holds the gear if you use small backpacking gear. Very stable, has a nice amount of speed but not a racer. Easy to re-enter by hopping over the stern. Just a great little boat.

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.

This sail is great. It pops up so easy and folds down just as easy once you get the hang of it. Stows on deck for quick deployment. My friend and I had made homemade sails and I almost got dumped cause I couldn't collapse it quickly enough during a very windy day. These are easily collapsed. Just let go.

I have 13 kayaks and I always paddle Ruby my plastic Tempest 17. She is fast. My other boats have a little more initial stability but it took about 5 minutes to get used to the tippy feeling. You can get a nice leaned turn with this boat but retract the skeg first for best response. She has quite a bit of rocker so I always paddle with just a touch of skeg. I would prefer a little less rocker so I can go without the skeg when conditions are right.

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.

These boots rock! I had in the past the popular brand (Chota) and didn't like them at all. These boots are easy to slip on, feel like your favorite slippers, and have great traction on slippery shorelines. So comfortable in the kayak and at the campsite. You won't even need to bring along camp shoes if you don't want. I can't say enough good about these boots. Oh yeah, you will need to seal the seams with aquaseal but they will be totally waterproof then. And the price is half of what the others cost. My hands down favorite footwear.

I was on a weeklong kayak trip and some of the others had another brand of gravity filter that took all night to filter the water. When I whipped this baby out the job was done in a matter of minutes. Another trip some friends had one of those pump types. No one wanted to do the pumping. It looks arduous to say the least. I did have to back flush it once when it seemed hung up but a little fiddling with it and all was well. That's why the 9 rating. Not perfect but darn close. And oh so compact. Price is good too.

The idea was great. The reality is terrible. I was so excited to buy 2 of these for my kayak trips. They were way over priced but I don't mind paying for quality gear. Unfortunately the taste it leaves in the water is just too much to take. I have tried cleaning out with bleach and soaking in baking soda water solution and nothing changes the fact that I can't drink the water out of these bags. I kept using them hoping they would finally stop tasting nasty but no luck. I went back to Platypus. Clear and clean.

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 have purchased this filter about 5 years ago. I had it with me on a week long kayak tour with 8 people and they had brought along a filter of another brand. It took all night to filter the water and mine did it in minutes. They were impressed as was I. I love my filter and the best part is the ease of cleaning after your trip. One of my favorite pieces of gear. It packs up very small and fits anywhere. Gives you peace of mind about the water you're drinking.

Out of my ten kayaks, this is the one I paddle all the time. I love all my boats and even have one I built myself but every time I go out I seem to grab my Tempest. First and foremost is the speed and glide. I can paddle with ease and still get somewhere. I love the narrow beam and I can still get all my camping gear inside. There's enough rocker to make this a fun boat and really carve a turn but the drop down skeg keeps her tracking really nicely when you want it. You can add just as much skeg as you want to fine tune your tracking depending on wind direction. It works almost as good as a rudder that way. Here in Alaska we get some pretty nasty weather but I have never felt my Tempest wouldn't bring me back safely.

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.