Read reviews for the Merlin by Heritage Kayaks as submitted by your fellow paddlers.
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This is an update to my Heritage Merlin review. The Merlin was, I believe, the base model Featherlite, without a seat or hatch. The new Featherlite 14 has addressed my comments regarding the softness of the plastic, as well as recontouring the deck for more footroom. The rear compartment is now waterproof, with a big rubber hatch (am I the only one who HATES rubber hatches? Heritage used to use the Viking ABS hatch. Glad I bought one from them before they discontinued them!) I'm really impressed with the new boat, and I suspect that with the stiffer plastic hull, she'll be even more responsive. The boat is a great value, and, I think, a really beautiful craft.
I purchased a new 2002 Merlin a month ago for 400.00 total cost..... not a bad deal. The boat is totally basic, and the plastic is really soft, but she tracks well (maybe almost too well) and is pretty quick. And not too bad in a light chop, although wind will kick her off course a bit unpredictably. I've added a nice adjustable seat, and am looking for a big round hatch to fit the rear deck molded in recess. I'm giving the boat a 6 rating, but that is not an insult at all..... I bought her to see if I'd like it (I DO!), I was on a budget, which I met, and I expected to put about 100.00 more into her, as I am busily doing. A great boat to have around, and to introduce new folk to the sport. Now..... if she were 2 feet longer, 4 inches deeper, with softer chines, and a kevlar reinforced multi-bulkheaded hull...... oops, that's the next one!