Name: clansweeney

Most Recent Reviews

I own a number of kayak racks . . . each has their own advantages, but overall, the SeaWing seems to have the greatest flexibility to handle boats of different hull and materials. If I'd started with a SeaWing it's possible I wouldn't own my 'menagerie' of different rack types.

My 'daily boat' is extremely light and my car is not tall . . . with the SeaWing profile, I can on/off load over the side of the car. For my heavier boats, and on days after a long paddle where even 'light is not light enough' have the option to load over the rear is the only workable option.

I paddle where afternoon winds can really howl, and have had a boat blown off my car before I could strap it. The 'V' seems deep enough and the surface seems 'grippy' enough to hold on to a boat for those critical moments after loading.

One issue that I was concerned about, but saw no prior reviews: Threading the straps through the 'inboard' wing is NOT a problem because the rack can be placed at the very edge of the roof.

On minor complaint: The straps on this rack are shorter than Malone straps from prior purchases . . . and are approaching too short if you secure the boat to the cross bars and not simply to the wings.

I have used Telos Lift Assists w/ Malone Downloaders for a couple of years. They are an effective way to move larger boats onto a car roof without loading 'over the rear'. There are a few issues to be aware of-none fatal.

1. They're meant to 'hold' a boat as it's being raised or lowered-you're still going to be doing the lifting - but with far less drama and far better physics.

2. The aluminum track vs. the plastic slide expand/contract in temperatures at different rates... The slides can get quite balky in cold weather.

3. Making sure the tracks are plumb and the suction cups are in 'reinforced' locations may involve readjusting normal cross bar positions and shimming the rack if your roof isn't flat. When I use them, they do collect curious onlookers.

I've been using Downloaders with Telos Load assists for a couple of years. The racks are well designed and durable, but may not be perfect for every boat. For poly boats or composites with heavy layups, they're great. For 'ultra lite' lay-up (Kevlar egg shells) or wood boats with varnish finishes you may cause a bit of scarring from pushing a boat over the 'loading ramps'. Likewise a boat with a lot of hull curve may have real 'pressure points' when loaded on it's side.

I purchased a used Kevlar Vagabond about a year ago and consider it a valuable addition to 'the fleet'. It's critical to evaluate a boat based on design intent - it is NOT a white water boat and it wouldn't be a good choice for a day with heavy chop. And YES, the factory seats are a (fixable) crime against humanity.

BUT NOW THE GOOD STUFF: The boat is durable and spacious. In the kevlar layup at about 40#, it's a dream double for an old guy with 'old shoulders'. Although keeless, skegless and rudderless... I find the tracking to be acceptable. I regularly paddle on sloughs and into narrow channels and the ability to spin a 16' boat in it's own length is sometimes far more critical that rail-like tracking.

I have a couple of singles, but I use the vagabond for 1) 'first paddles' with friends curious about kayaking, 2) touring with grandchildren and 3) when I want 'pick-up truck' capacity that a single will never have.

The forward seat can be repositioned for single paddling, but I prefer to simply paddle from the rear. Moving the seat is NOT that easy, and I think you end up with a trim that is a bit 'bow down'.

Last note: the boat is monoque shell without bulkheads -- don't forget flotation bags!

Without question the Epic 16 is a fast, attractive, well thought out kayak. It is (dare I say) a 'status' boat, but with the performance to back it up.

I have the 'ultra' layup which tips the scale at an honest 33#. This allows a set of 'old shoulders' to car top and carry the boat (distances!) with ease. The lightweight layup does effect 'crash testing', but everything goes back together (proven by a prior owner who used it as a river runner).

Stability at first seemed iffy, but improves with velocity and experience with the boat. It is highly adjustable, but may take a bit of messing with to get to your 'perfect fit' - not unlike an ergonomic desk chair. I'm a 'medium' sized paddler and the cockpit is comfortable; knee height is good; ankles are a bit contorted when your knees are under the deck.

Rocker vs. tracking ability seems well balanced, though the hull geometry causes it to get pushed around in strong cross currents (think confluence of two streams).

I use the boat principally for conditioning, but it would be a great overnight boat. The hatches seal like Mason Jars . . . water tight is not a joke on this boat.

Customer service from Epic is excellent, even years after the initial sale.

This is a decent boat for recreational paddling on fairly calm waters. It's exceptionally stable (easy chair stable). The skeg helps with tracking. Skeg up performance is a function of paddler skill and currents. Personally, I prefer the extra maneuverability of NOT deploying the skeg.

I have a couple of performance kayaks and bought this boat (used) exclusively to take grandchildren and new paddlers out on the water. For that purpose, it meets all my (limited) expectations. Additionally, I paddle sloughs where there is an unfortunate amount of floating debris (boater trash). The large hull and open design of the 140T makes it an awesome 'pick up truck' on the water.

A couple of reviewers have mentioned Pelican's (in)famous foot peg attachment quality. Someone in Canada REALLY should take a hint since this has been a complaint for years across most of their products. On the other hand, a few bucks of stainless fasteners (and maybe some o-rings) resolves the problem and you can enjoy an otherwise nice boat.

I bought my 17LT from the builder, so this review is limited to performance, not construction. Overall, it's a fun, comparatively stable, adequately lively, adequately fast boat. It represents a good balance in qualities and compromises. I use it mainly as companion boat and it's a huge step up for folk used to paddling plastic.

It's appearance / profile is a strong point. The lower rear deck both looks good on the water and minimizes weather cocking.

As with any kit boat, the skill of the builder and decisions made during construction can have major impact on weight / appearance / seaworthiness. As the owner of a couple of kit boats, I would just like to suggest that being extra-generous with epoxy during the build is not necessarily a good thing.

I have a number of Aqua-Bound paddles, largely because they seem to represent a good value proposition (quality and design versus cost) compared to the competition. The Stingray is my 'light day' paddle for those occasions where my wrists are a little tender or I just don't want to move as much water per stroke. Generally I prefer a paddle with a bit more surface than the Ray, but it has it's place. It would be a good choice for smaller or younger paddlers... or those who prefer higher tempo.

I have never had a problem with the sticking ferrules (my good fortune)mentioned by others. The ferrules do fit more precisely (a good thing?) than other brands. I paddle exclusively in salt water and always 'break' and wipe down my paddles (particularly the ferrules) after use. I do store them assembled / single piece.

This boat has been a real 'game changer' in my kayaking experience. On just about every measurable criteria, this is the most pleasurable, best performing boat I have ever owned or paddled. It is:
a) lighter than my smaller thermo-formed boat
b) arguably faster than the 17' greenland boat I sold after acquiring the Osprey
c) more stable (primary) than boats inches wider and
d) the first boat I've paddled that truly did not require a skeg or rudder in quartering tailwinds. It not only cartops easily (and I'm smaller paddler), but makes kayak carts irrelevant - just toss it on your shoulder and go.

I was not the builder - I bought it essentially new from a someone who did a great job assembling and finishing it, but apparently was not in love with time on the water. I consider the buy to have been a remarkable piece of good fortune. It is truly "a thing of beauty and a joy forever".