The Equinox Angler 12.0 has been replaced by the Equinox Angler 12.0
So, in summary, it's a very cheap example of a kayak with a lack of attention to some basic details, but, notwithstanding the low waterline and issues others have reported with flooding, as long as the hull remains watertight and it's buoyant - even for the £350 asking price normally I don't think it's a bad deal. For £180 I'm going to struggle to complain I think.
I'll follow-up once I get it out on the water..!
Anyway, the capacity says 475 pounds. I'm 200 and my wife is 125. Nowhere near the limit. We're going to try adding weigh to the front of the kayak to maybe even out the difference and hope that we don't flood again. Essentially, I sit in about 4 inches of water the whole time. Also, I'm going to try to fashion a "wall" for the rear handle gap and see if that works. I'll try to document my workflow in a "how to" sort of image sequence and let you all know if it works. Wish me luck!
Will test this weekend and plug the storage compartment. IF this is not a solution, the boat goes back to Costco. I guess you get what you pay for.
We decided to take it out and see for ourselves before returning. Our kayak has two sets of drain holes - 2 in the front and 2 in the mid section located in front of the rear seat. There are none in the rear section behind the rear seat.
It also comes with 2 sets of drain plugs. Not sure if this is a new addition or not since no one else has mentioned them.
As soon as we put it in the water and paddled out the 2 drain holes in the mid area started taking on a lot of water. Those holes are not in a low spot of the kayak so once the water cames in it cant drain properly.
We turned around drained the kayak and put plugs in the two mid area drain holes. No more water after that! The front drains function normally and dont flood.
The only problem is that by plugging the two holes is the mid section water does accumulate over time from paddling and can't drain. This may or may not be an inconvience as all kayaks I have used get some water in them eventually.
All in all the drain plugs saved us from having to return the kayak. I think this a decent starter kayak and will serve casual use just fine. This is not an ocean kayak and I would not take it out on choppy water given the drain problems. I gave it a 7 only because of the design flaw that requires plugs.
I contacted the company and they stated that they took the scupper holes out in the rear due to too many people complaining that the scupper holes let in too much water and swamping the kayak that way. Not sure about those complaints or the experience of those complaining, but either way this kayak is a lousy design. Save your money and buy one designed by someone that knows what they are doing!
However, for the price the Equinox was half as much as the Malibu and had it been just a couple hundred less, I would go with the Malibu. But for a $500 difference I would say for beginners this is sufficient for flat water kayaking. For transport, it weighs about 20 lbs. more than the Malibu so the Equinox is somewhat challenging to get up on top of the car.
In regards to racks, we initially started off with a J-rack. On our way home from picking up the Kayak the rack unlocked causing the kayak to tip over, ropes to snap off the front end of our car and the brand new kayak was suddenly hanging off the side of our CRV on the freeway! Very frightening! Apparently there was a defect to the J-rack (kayak stands upright on it's side in a cradle) and the rack's customer service dept. has expressed immediate attention to this issue. We are in the process of sending them estimates for the cost to repair our vehicle as well. After that experience we opted for a different set up with a flat mount instead. We also had loop straps installed under the hood that can be used for tie downs instead of the hooks underneath the vehicle. This worked out much better and prevented the nylon straps from rubbing against anything sharp.
We took our kayak out for the first time this weekend and had a great day! Other than everything in the kayak getting soaked, it was a fun ride! Next time we will have a few holes drilled for drainage in the seats and get some dry bags for our stuff!