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Name: paddler450994

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I've had my Pachena Dx for two years and would say I've got 30 or 40 hours in the seat, so I feel comfortable giving a review. Let me start with, I live in coastal New England and I've had her in the bay as much as the flat water. This boat is very stable, like extremely so. Now for someone whose only paddled hard chined yaks, this might take an hour to find but I'm telling you that once in the water, you'd have to work to send her over. In the chop and wind she behaves as I would expect, wide hull, high bow, and stern, and a bit of rocker. Equals a boat that isn't the easiest to stay on course. I have a rudder on mine and that solves that issue. Without one, she's would be a handful in anything over a 15 mph wind. Her bow shape lends to a pretty dry ride even when it's a bit sloppy. I've never used a spray skirt and even in a 2' chop the cockpit has stayed mostly dry. The coming is sharp and shedS water off quickly. On flat water this may be the nicest 14 I've ever paddled. Not the fastest but just a wonderful steady and effecient hull. I can hunt around for gear, take small waves broadside and not worry at all about her rolling or bobbing about. With a little finesse she will spin in circles for you and has what seems an endless edge to roll onto. As for her capacity, I am a pretty good sized man. At 6'3" with a 34" leg and large feet, kayaks can be less than pleasant places to spend time. This one has plenty of volume and swallows me with room to spare. Fear not large folks, you will be fine in this boat. The seat, ah the seat. CD isn't known for making wonderfully comfortable seats and this boat is no exception. It's basic kayak fare that leaves something to be desired, but a few hours is fine and a backband change to something from NRS or the like would make it far better. It's not a deal breaker but it's not a Phase 3 or Necky ACS. Visually this boat is beautiful. Fish form, swept bow, flush composite hatches, very sleek and well done. Loads of rigging, flush line cleats, etc. Typical top notch CD fare from its day and still as good as anyone's boats. The CD boats of the early 2000s were known for having some thin gelcoat and this one does. They require a little care and shouldn't be continually dragged or beached regularly on rocky Shores. At 19 years old, mine is starting to show some spider cracks and will need some love. All fiberglass boats do this, so expect it from whatever you buy. These are rare, very rare. I've never seen another one come up in the few years I've been paddling. Nobody I know has one, or has had one. If you are looking at one of these and can find it for between 750 and a grand, buy it. Just go over the skeg line and make sure it's intact. You will be very happy with your purchase.

I love this boat, in fact both of them. I have two! I bought a pair and had never paddled them. Over the years I've had more than a few plastic yaks. I buy and sell boats in the 11 to 16 foot range as a hobby. Used and neglected, I pick them up and refit them, clean them up and sell to new paddlers mostly that cannot afford new and don't have enough time to know what's right for them. I've had Manitous, Lookshas, Tsunamis of various lengths, Swifts, CDs, Dirigos, Pungos, you get the idea. I've paddled so many plastic boats I can't remember all of them. A few years back I boat 3 LL inuits from a guide service used, a 12.5, 13.5 and 14.5. I paddled all of them. I cmwas immediately taken back by the speed of this boat in comparison to the others in its class. It's light on its feet if you will, much more so than the Tsunami, or the Looksha and would put it in the category of A Manitou on speed. Where it excels is stability. This thing is so rock solid in the water it almost doesn't make sense. The hull design is quite unique and it's a combo of hard and soft chines and it works marvelously. I sold all three of those boats, in like 5 mins. But I bought a pair of 12. 5s new for my own quiver. The hatches are great dry and large, the plastic is a nice quality though a tad softer than Wilderness or Necky but oddly a bit thicker than the later. The seats are not quite up the level of the Phase 3 or the Necky-Old Town Acs but are bterr than Perceptions and Daggers. The cockpits are very comfortable, will take quite a large person and have room to spare. Truthfully I like the slightly lower volume 13.5 for this reason and I am a big guy. This should be the best selling plastic touring boat in the world. It's a marketing issue and not a product failure that has held it back. If you want a rock solid, quick, stable and comfortable mid size day boat for nearly anyone with any skill level, this is the go to boat. Now the challenge, finding one!

I just bought a cared for, used version of this boat in yellow. Picked it up this morning and haven't put it in the water yet. I'm strictly giving the initial thoughts as there aren't a lot of posts here. Fit and Finish- the plastic on this boat is certainly above average. Nicer than any single layup and as nice or nicer than my P&H Orca in Trilite. The finish is a bit of rough texture that appears intentional, and it does hold dirt more than a smooth finish but it cleans up well. The hatch covers aren't quite as nice as the Kayak Sports on the P&H but they fit fine and aren't a struggle on or off. They removable day pod is odd, cool but not overly secure. I'm going to silicone seal this in. The seat and back rest are not as good as the P&H, or my Liquid Logic Inuit. I'd say it's about equal to a CD boat of similar age. Leaves something to be desired, but not terrible. The bulkheads are superb, in fact maybe the best non composite bulkheads I've seen. The rigging is average, infact I'm not sure the perimeter lines are reflective which is inexcusable for a 17.7 sea kayak. The bungees are sufficient certainly. The skeg and control are standard fare. Deck hardware and line keepers are above average certainly. Overall the quality of this boat is very nice and I'd rank it well above your average Necky, Wilderness, older Venture, or Boreal boats in plastic. Though all are great in their own way. The Valley is a top tier rotomold boat. So now the sizing- This boat is hailed as a big man's boat. I think that's a stretch. It is capable of a real load so if it's a weight thing, sure it will carry a 265 lb guy for sure. However, for a 17'7" hull this is NOT a true tall and heavy man's boat as some have hailed it. I am 6'3" tall, 225lbs and have a size 13 shoe. My inseam is 34" and my waist is 38". Not a huge guy by any stretch, certainly above average, in all fairness a giant in the sea kayak world. I'm truly tapping this boat out in all dimensions, width wise, foot size and leg length. My unshod feet cannot sit straight upright, and I have to point my heals towards the middle so as not to fold my toes on the underside of the deck. The foot rests are all the way forward and my legs are comfortable, but there is nothing left in deck height for my thighs without feeling truly confined. The back band on the seat is pretty terrible and I will change it, again not going to gig it for this as most boats have this issue from the factory. The braces on the coaming are standard fare, not excellent but they appear to be good enough and I will certainly try to keep them. They do hit the right place on my legs for bracing. At 21.5 wide , it's the narrowest boat I would even dream of getting. I fill up the space and cannot imagine needing to pad out any area so what's there appears perfect for me. The cockpit opening is neither large or tiny, it takes a Seals 1.4 skirt so compare that to what you've paddled. Typically a boat of this size seems to run a 1.7 so it may be a bit small for the length. All in all, I do believe that for a boat that isn't a $3500+ composite sea kayak , and is capable of providing reasonable comfort for a 6 foot and a couple inches man , while not pushing you into a 24" boat, the Etain is an excellent option. It's a beautiful hull and should paddle as well as the reviews say. However if you have a size 14 or 15 shoe, a 36" inseam or really large diameter tree trunk legs, this boat isn't for you. Back to the Venture Jura or similar for you guys. I bought it and definitely like the boat, but as a guy whose struggled to find options I truly want to give honest feedback to save my fellow paddler the disappointment of chasing things that don't work. Will update after some time on the water!

Fun and athletic hull for a 14', a bit snug in the feet and I find the seat uncomfortably dissapointing.

Really great looking boat with awesome lines. Excellent fit and finish, top notch actually for a rotomold boat.

Great front storage , rear storage was near useless due to the day hatch bulkhead and the intrusion from the skeg. Speaking of skeg, thank god for the skeg because the boat wont hold a straght line to save its life without it, and it is a good skeg for the range of boat.

Overall this was a boat I fell in love with at first sight and sold after my third paddle. This one was all show and not enough go for me.

Let me start by saying this is my first "recreational" boat. I have 4 kayaks but all day touring boats from Wilderness and Necky. I had originally put a hold on a Hurricane Santee sport 120 but changed my mind to the Pungo last minute because I was concerned about the level of abuse it would sustain.

So I bought this boat as a seller blem. It got a little crushed in the warehouse around the cockpit opening and I got 300 bucks off for the slight cosmetic flaw. Ok with me.

Today I took this boat on two outings. The first up a slowish tidal river with a strong current for about 3 miles and back. I was actually quite impressed at how easily it kept up with the Tsunami 125 and the Necky Looksha 12 I was paddling with. Would I call it fast, no but it was much better than I expected for a wide hull. The boat is rock solid stable and as stated earlier, my experience has been touring baots so this one feels very stout and stable. I also noticed immediately how close to the water it sits, unlike most rec boats that sit way high and are prone to weathercocking. This one sits quite near the water, and the cockpit has enormous opening so unless you're in flat water, you're going to get some water in the boat. Thats the trade off for not blowing around.

Comfort wise this one is a 9 out of 10. I'm 6'3" and 235 lbs. Ive got size 13 feet and finding boats that work for my 35" inseam and big feet is a real challenge. The seat is great, though the backrest is a bit firm, easily solved with a slip over pad. The rest of the seat is excellent. The foot rests are also great and well built as well. They have loads of travel and honestly I think they would work for someone in the 6'8" range. The cockpit is spacious, maybe even cavernous by kayak standards. Its the only boat I own that I can pull my knees up in while seated and can even put my legs over the top and lay back.

Ok so the rest- the boat is wide, 29" wide and thats a lot more width than I'm used too. That said a bigger stronger person can edge it and it does it fairly well. Its got some serious chines and they hold it if you've got the leg strength. The boat tracks straight, really straight! The rear hatch leaks, not terrible but there was water in the rear storage compartment after my trip. Could be the bulkhead, I will investigate.

So who is this boat for? Larger paddler looking for a stable all around kick the crap out of boat that will run rivers, lakes and ponds. Maybe light fishing too. Someone who wants a "fast" rec boat to keep up with friends in day touring boats but just cant handle the snug fit of a Tsunami or Manitou type of boat.

Who its not for- Anyone using it in larger open water. It will get too much water in the cockpit. Small, or weak paddlers- too much boat here for the faint of build. Try it in the 10'6" if you're under 175 lbs.

Overall I really like it. It will probably get more use than any other boat in my growing fleet, just because I think it will be the most versitile and resilient. A definite yes on this one if you're a multi boat paddler.

This one is a must have, if you can find one. Necky is of course gone now, I guess to promote Old Town boats, but the Looksha was a hull they should have hung onto and rebadged.

Lets start with me. I'm 6'3" with big feet, and a 35" inseam and 235 lbs. Touring boats and I are generally at odds from the meet and greet. CD, Jackson and Dagger are all out in the 14' range. I just cant get my legs and feet in. That leaves the Tsunami and the OT Castine really. Both feel enormous inside.

I have two Looksha boats, a 12 and a 14. They're both accepable for my size, in other words I'm not stuffed in but there isn't loads of addition space either. They're the most comfortable seating boats I own, and thats by a long shot. My WS Tsunami and my Dagger Zydeco arent even close.

The Looksha is a pretty athletic hull. It moves along quite nicely , in fact my daughter was paddling the 14 against me in demo Eddyline Equinox (dream boat) recently and it held right with me. The Looksha has really hard chines and it will sit on its edge like it's on tracks. Primary and secondary stability are amazing. The boat handles really well and its predictable.

The post 2010 models have the better hatch covers, both lengths have 2 bulkhead and 2 hatches. They don't leak at all, ever. The overall fit and a finish is quite good with excellent rigging, handles, thigh braces and seat quality.

You really cannot go wrong with having a Looksha in your fleet, it wont be quite as athletic as a Manitou or an Alchemy, but it will be as stable and capable as any boat you buy in its size range and certainly will win the award for all day comfort.

Necky made some really phenomenal rotomold boats towards the end of it run and the Looksha is one of them.

Awesome boat. Fast, nimble, dry, spacious for all but the largest of men, and I'm a big man at 6'3" and 235 lbs. My size 13s went in with water shoes no problem.

The Manitou is an under rated boat for sure. Have paddled a WS Tsunami 14.5 many times, the Manitou feels like driving a 5 series BMW compared to Subabru Outback. Both truly excellent but one is just a lot nicer to toss around than the other.

It will handle a good chop, any wake, some light rapids, a tight river or an open bay. Once you get used to the soft chine hull, this one is a genuine keeper.

If you can find one with the last ACS seating and the black tupperware hatch lids, post 2013, just buy it. I assure you it will be a favorite in no time.

I sold mine for another boat and I'm on the hunt to replace it. It was a mistake to sell.

I bought this boat early spring after a couple of trips where my 14 Necky was just too long for the environment.

This is a really sharp looking little boat that is quite comfortable for it's price point and is very easy to paddle and dare I say athletic for its size. Its highly manouverable, tracks as good as you can expect for an 11' long 28" wide boat and the fit and finish is better than most boats in it range.

This is a tough size range where you get some pretty low end Perception options, or some really overpriced Old Town boats. The Zydeco falls in the middle in terms of price and quality and you can get them for less than 500 bucks on sale.

I've read that folks think the hull is thin, I dont think so. It's not as thick as some other but it also keeps it lighter and easier to portage. I'm 6'3" and 235 lbs and I can stand in this boat and its fine. Dagger makes a good quality product that land in between a Percpetion and Wilderness and in the 400 to 550 prige range , its the best 11' footer out there.

It's made for running tight and slower rivers or lakes and ponds. Use it for that and you'll love the boat.