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by Necky Kayak


I like this boat! Just got it a few days ago and…

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I like this boat! Just got it a few days ago and only have about 6 miles in it. I am 5'10", 160#, experienced paddler with lots of whitewater and open water time. I will agree with the taller folks... this is not the boat for over 6'.

I don't think of this boat as tippy at all, in fact, just the opposite. It feels and paddles exactly like a kayak should. Primary stability is really not that bad, and secondary is so solid I don't know if I could actually tip it over without the assistance of a good wave. For it's size this thing moves along really well and was hardly affected by wind. 10 mph winds were no issue. Straight on or crossing, and I passed everybody including the tourers (I don't think any of them knew we were racing). Glides, tracks, turns beautifully. This design never should have been discontinued.

At first I thought I should have bought a Dolphin and missed the extra 2 feet, until I carried it up a hill and lifted it over my head to put it on the rack. 50 pounds. If I need more gear there is plenty of flat deck space to rig. This brings me to my one complaint and the reason it's a 9 instead of 10. Hatch size = small, really small. While the size and shape of the boat limit the options, I think they could have done a little better.

An extremely well designed kayak, very practical all round, top efficiency and…

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An extremely well designed kayak, very practical all round, top efficiency and very comfortable. Great for fishing, exploring, surveying, and fun too. Quality all round. Well done to the Necky blokes, it's the best by test by far!

I have owned the Necky Spike kayak for more than a decade…

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I have owned the Necky Spike kayak for more than a decade and use it for scuba diving and underwater photography in Monterey and Carmel bays. I had used a friend's Ocean Kayaks dive kayaks for several years before buying the Spike so I knew very clearly what I wanted for diving.

The Spike is for me the perfect one person dive kayak. At 12 feet and 49 lbs. it is easy to manage and put on a car rack or walk it to the water. I paddle with a 7/9mm wetsuit and this makes paddling a lot more difficult and the relative ease of paddling the Spike means I get places in half the time and with half the effort.

It sits low enough that it is easy to get back onto the boat after a dive and easy to slide your tank and BC into the rear well. The well is shaped for a dive tank and not a crate as the boat was designed for divers. There are two web straps with buckles to secure the scuba tank and BC in place instead of the bungee cords found on fishing kayaks.

Lots of padeyes around the boat that I use with short leashes to tie off my gear before entering the water and upon my return. Usually these are absent on dive kayaks and need to be added.

The side handles along with the 28" width of the Spike kayak make it a lot easier to lift overhead and place on a car rack than any other dive kayak I have used.

I knew after paddling the Ocean Kayaks across Carmel Bay where there is usually a very strong crosswind that I wanted a rudder. With the rudder I can apply equal force on both sides of the boat with the paddle and this is a lot less tiring. With the Ocean Kayaks boats I would often have to do repeated tacks to get across the bay and back into Stillwater Cove. In calm protected waters I would not need the rudder but I seldom dive in those conditions.

Someone who is used to a Ocean Kayak Scrambler or one of the other kayaks made for diving will find the boat tippy at first. Anyone who has used a good touring kayak or even a canoe will be used to this and appreciate the great secondary stability of the hull shape.

Without a doubt this is an incredible kayak for divers, scuba or free diving. For fishing there are purpose built fishing kayaks that will be better for that specific use and be prepared to have a kayak that weighs 50% to 150% more and will require the use of two people or a trolley to move it around.

For divers or day trippers the Spike is a perfect combination of performance in a easily managed 12' 49 lb. package.

Just got my hands on a used Necky Spike kayak and took…

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Just got my hands on a used Necky Spike kayak and took it out for a spin on my local white water run. This is supposed to be for my daughter and wife who are inexperienced and a sit on top would be safer for them in case of a capsize. I am a bit over the weight limit at 185-190lb or so before gear, so probably 200lb wet with a paddle in hand. The kayak still paddles fine with my weight, the only issue seems to be that there is an inch or two of water in the foot wells. But, these foot wells are very small in volume, so that means probably a quart or so of water - nothing to notice in a SOT. There is barely any water in the rear luggage compartment due to my weight, but I imagine if one puts something heavy there and the paddler is much more than 160Lb, there will be water in there too. I would not discourage a 200-pounder from trying it, but I think the drainage is designed to work best with someone under 160-170lb and pretty much no load. On flat water one can plug the holes for a completely dry ride, but drips from the paddle will get you wet anyway, so I think best to leave them open. Especially if you paddle in bumpy water.

The kayak edges nicely and turns very well. It turns especially well from the bow, with a bow rudder or draw stroke. There is a built-in skeg line in the rear which stiffens-up the rear and requires quite strong edge to release above water for turning "on a dime" (might be easier for a lighter paddler). But the kayak is short and with plenty of rocker, that it is overall very maneuverable even without special edging or skills.

Where I took it today for its first paddle is an easy class II water - the Chutes off Difficult Run rapids on the Potomac below Great Falls. And the Spike seems almost made for this - turns and maneuvers easy, stable, not too deep of a draft even with a heavier than ideal paddler in it, nice rocker in the front so it does not nose dive in waves, surfs little waves great. The bow is a nice rounded shape - not sharp - and is high up, so it feels loose on the water and the front of waves when surfing and currents when peeling out from eddies or cross-ferrying do not grab it. They would grab the rear more, but that helps with maintaining direction when cross-ferrying or surfing.

There are two hatch openings that lead to the inside of the kayak - there are no bulkheads, so the entire inside is one big open space. There is a minicell pillar in the center between the deck and hull inside, which stiffens the bottom nicely.

I don't like the screw on type covers, as they are hard to screw and unscrew, especially when there is a bit of sand in the threads. The front is a neoprene cover under hard shell. I am not sure yet which of the two covers leaks, but there was perhaps a couple of gallons of water inside the hull at the end of my one hour not the water. The rim on the front hatch is a two-piece design (screwed to the deck) so I would not be surprised if some water gets in through there. I could not see any visible leak points, the scupper holes are water tight, so it is probably coming through the hatches. Granted, I had both of them completely under gushing whitewater more than once today, but I still think more than a cup or two of water is too much to enter the hull. Will have to track the source and deal with it.

The seat is comfortable. There are enough tie down points to rig bungees and thigh straps (will definitely get some as I intend to surf it when the water level comes up a bit on the river). The kayak is very controllable without thigh straps - I had no problems surfing small waves, eddy-hopping, attaining upriver, going down through 2-foot waves, etc. but if you get side surfed in a hole and the like - need thigh straps to avoid flipping.

The only complaint I have is that the foot wells are a couple of inches too short for me. But I am very tall, 6'4" with 37" inseam (measured by road bike method). For white water, even for me the length is OK, but for a more relaxed paddling I would prefer one more notch of length. So for anyone shorter than 6' there should be no problem. Wide soled sandals will not fit in the foot wells, but whitewater paddling shoes will. This might seem like a drawback, but it is in fact a feature - the foot wells hold surprisingly little water when the kayak gets swamped by waves, so the water drains fast and the kayak does not get too heavy and much harder to handle when temporary swamped.

Lastly, this is not a fast kayak, being only 12.5' long, but for its length it is speedy and easy to paddle at a decent pace. For me 28" (or whoever wide this is) is WIDE, but for such a short kayak with lots of flare on the sides, I suppose it is a necessity to be able to handle weight and still have relatively slim lines below the waterline for efficient paddling.

I suppose, new paddlers will need a moment to figure out that the kayak gets more stable as they tilt it. Unlike say some Cobra kayaks that are as stable as it gets when they are flat, but become unsettled in bumpy waters and their edges catch currents easy.

So, this is a "paddler's" kayak, a joy to paddle, relatively lightweight, and very maneuverable while still tracking well enough to not require undue attention. One could fish from it fine, but not with a huge rig - there are no rod holders installed and limited space for gear is available. One can mount accessory rails as a way around this. But why would you fish from it if you can just paddle it for the simple joy of being in a responsive and lively kayak?

Well picked up one of these at an estate sale. What a…

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Well picked up one of these at an estate sale. What a find!!! I have other sit on tops (Cobra, Wilderness Systems, Emotions) and this one is for sure my favorite. In fact anyone I have taken out for the first time I have them use this kayak.

This is not a fishing kayak by any means. It seems tippy at first but once you learn the angles you can really get this boat moving and use the rounded bottom to maneuver this boat much faster then other boats of its size. It is not a fishing boat by any means. This is a cruiser, has plenty of speed, maneuvers excellent and is well suited for the lakes, rivers, and ocean. The biggest bonus comes if you see any waves on this yak! Enjoy the ride!!

I really rate the spike 20 out 10 because I own two…

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I really rate the spike 20 out 10 because I own two of them. I've owned mine for years, and was lucky enough to snag another for my girlfriend shortly after they were retired.( Why are they retired?; look at the other reviews on this thing). Anyways, I've paddled rivers, bays, a mile or two out in the Gulf of Mexico, surfed all the waves I can find. I've even embarrassed a few 15 ft sit-ins in races. Great boat, it needs to come out of retirement.

Wow, what a great SOT. I got a hold of the Spike…

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Wow, what a great SOT. I got a hold of the Spike about 4 weeks ago and have had it in the water about 8 times already. I have an Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 that I bought 8 months ago that is a great fishing boat, but the Spike is just a great all round boat. My 12 yr old son has an Islander and we love to go off and camp. I can load up so much gear on the spike due to its flat-ish deck. lots of usable space, little tippy, after a couple of minutes though you forget about that, if you don't like tippy you might want to get a barge. I love the spike and am looking to get rid of my Dimension Spirit 3.3 to get another spike. Again a great all round SOT.

I recently purchased the Spike used, it came with a rudder upgrade…

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I recently purchased the Spike used, it came with a rudder upgrade and I, like the other Necky owners foud it to be a little unstable when sitting still, however I found that after using it awhile I've completely forgot about it. I think it was more my inexperience at kayaking than a fault with the boat. I have had a blast with this boat taking it in 5' surf, loading it down with at least an additional 120 lbs of camping gear and paddling a round trip of 5 miles, I have fished it along the mangroves for redfish and snook. This boat really track and has carries lots of momentum without having to paddle to correct direction, however I find that the rudder helps tremendously, allowing me to correct for current or strong wind or drift without having to enploy corrective strokes with the paddle. Giving increased forward energy to each of my strokes. My friends are completely envious of the rudder as they have to paddle with just one blade for long periods of time when encountering the above. Another great feature is the bow design which is extremely quiet when under normal speed, (pushes water to the side instead of cutting it)allowing me to come right on top of fish before the bust. Other boats I have been around cut through the water spilling it back onto the surface creating a noisy wake. While I see many of the fish w/ polarized glasses, my friends only see their wakes out in front of them. The flat decks are great for stacking dry bags and gear on, and having the flat deck behind the seat allows me to either put my cooler or livewell well w/in reach, somethig that other SOT designers totally forget. Hull is quite dry, but the biggest downfall is the front hatch opening is rather small, interior storage is tremendous but accessing it can be difficult. To remedy this I have installed an additional 6" deck plate behind the seat. As upgrades I have installed an anchor trolley, 2 flush deck rod holders, 1 adjustable Scotty rod holder up front, a water bottle / map holder, additional 6" deckplate and a removable waterproof LED light. I give it 9 out of 10 only because of the front hatch design but I'm being very scrupulous in my rating. For a fast, manueverable, comfortable all around SUV of the SOT world choose this boat, its worlds more fun and better designed than the "SOT Barges" on the market!!

We own both a spike and a heritage seadart found the spike…

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We own both a spike and a heritage seadart found the spike slower, but it is also 2' shorter than the seadart. my wife finds the spike a little too tippy compared to the seadart. I've used the spike in lakes,rivers,ocean and it's performed well. Turns on a dime. For me ,a lttle too wet for the Northwest for anything more than a few hours in any decent swell, but a dream in warm water. A little sidedrift when going cross current,but I don't have a rudder. no regrets in owning it. I 63 5'10" and 170lb

Me one more time. I finally resurrected my Garmin GPS and…

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Me one more time. I finally resurrected my Garmin GPS and made up a carved foam mounting block for it, and glued the block to the console. Real GPS data: easy cruise in the Spike is 3.5 mph. Brisk cruise is 4-4.5 mph. All out sprint is 5-5.3 mph. No faster no matter what - harder paddling just makes a bigger, noisier bow wave. But I can do 3.5-4.0 mph all day. Still my all-time favorite SOT for folks up to about 6' and 170 lbs.

I wrote the review below, and want to add one more comment:…

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I wrote the review below, and want to add one more comment: the Spike's cockpit was quite wide for my skinny butt, and I felt I was a bit "loose" in the boat. So I glued blocks of minicell foam around the sides and back of the cockpit and carved and sanded it to fit my hips. Now the boat feels much more stable and even more responsive than originally. Custom fitting the cockpit is good advice for any kayak, but in the case of the Spike it made a huge difference. Now I have to find a source of 1/4" thick soft closed-cell foam so my sitbones won't get numb after several hours in the cockpit. Maybe I'll cut up a camping sleeping pad...

Since kayak performance is a function of the paddler's size and intended…

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Since kayak performance is a function of the paddler's size and intended usage, let me begin: I'm 6' tall, 165 lbs, 64 years old. Been paddling for many years (almost all flat water), and I wanted this boat for fishing. I also own a Pygmy Coho kit boat that I built about 6 years ago - a paddling dream, BTW. However, my only annoyance with the Coho is that it is too much boat for poking around bass fishing. It is fast, but doesn't turn very well (17.5 feet long), and is so large that with my weight, any small breeze moves it around, making it difficult to fish. If I weighed 230 it might be different.

I have also owned a Perception Prism. Again, fairly fast but very hard to turn. And wind makes it drift sideways - not a good thing for fishing.

I had read rave reviews of the Spike on the Ft Lauderdale yakfishing page, and decided to try it. It an absolute joy for my purposes. It is 28 inches wide, but has a lot of flare to the sides, so it is only about 20 inches wide at the bottom. Initial stability is low for a SOT boat, but just fine if you are already used to a "real" kayak. Final stability is great - I can sit sideways on the boat with both feet hanging in the water, no problem. It tracks well and due to low wetted surface area is very easy to paddle at about 3-3.5 mph. However, it is only 12 feet long, so top speed is perhaps 4.5 or 5mph, and no more, no matter how hard you paddle (my Coho can probably reach 7-8 mph in a sprint).

But as a fishing boat, this thing excels. It paddles easily, has lots of flat deck space and a rear tankwell to carry stuff, and turns on a dime (two easy sweeps to spin 180 degrees). I have the rudder kit, which is totally unnecessary when paddling - the boat tracks well without it. But when I start to fish, I drop the rudder and use it to control the boat's drift. That drift is generally slow because the boat sits low, and the rudder lets me fish long drifts along the shoreline without having to put down the rod to paddle.

The Spike has a high flared bow, and lots of rocker, so it should go through surf very well, for the times when I take it to the Texas coast for trout or redfish.

So I sold the Prism, and haven't regretted it for an instant. The Spike is a great fishing kayak if it fits you (max height about 6 feet because of a somewhat short cockpit), and an agile, responsive playboat as well. If you are larger, try another boat. If you are timid of tippiness (any really serious sea kayak SHOULD be tippy), either buy another boat or get a Spike and grow to love it.

BTW, I also rented a WS Tarpon 160 to try it, and it is a barge compared to the Spike. Again, if I weighed 230, I might not feel that way.

The Spike took a little time to learn to love. But…

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The Spike took a little time to learn to love. But it is turning out to be an extremely well designed & built boat. My major dislike is the rudder system, because it in not necessary in a boat of this length, and, I need every inch of the available leg room. So I will eventually remove the rudder system and my source of disatisfaction! Boat is a good surfer, tracks well on S FL canals, and has been good to me in 4 foot waves on the Atlantic, safe and confidence building. It has proven to be a good fishing & diving platform. While I have an OK Mars I am very fond of, this is a far better designed and constructed kayak! If it just had a couple more inches in the cockpit....

The spike is a great little boat,fast for it's size,stable once you…

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The spike is a great little boat,fast for it's size,stable once you get used to the initial tippiness, I believe I may like it more than my dolphin! actually easier to get in and out of. have used it white water on the nanthalla and had a blast,used thigh straps.good surf boat also. downside is small forward hatch and side handles designed to crush big hands. This is a great allaround boat,and if I had to choose a sot under 12 ft this would be it!

I had a Necky Spike for 3 years. The spike is great…

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I had a Necky Spike for 3 years. The spike is great for short touring and is relitivly fast for a boat of its size. I paddled it in the bay to bay race, and cruzed past scramblers with ease. The spike is great for exploring, but for fishing, or a dive platform, look elswhere. The boat is solid and water tight, with lots of hardware. On the down side, The Spike sits low in the water, so be prepared to get wet and sit in a puddle. The front main hatch is on the small side, and the boat is too unstable to open it while afloat. over all this is a great performer, but I would rather trade some performance for stability.

I recently purchased a Spike from Florida Bay Outfitters in Key Largo…

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I recently purchased a Spike from Florida Bay Outfitters in Key Largo (great place, very helpful staff and huge inventory.) When I baught this boat, it was during a demo show so I tested many, many other boats like the Perception Swing, OK Scupper Pro, Perception Prism, OK Scrambler, Wildernes systems Ride and Freedom, etc, etc, etc. Need I go on? The Prism was fast, but its nose always caught the waves, the Scrambler felt sluggish the Freedom and Ride wee just too darn heavy. Anyway, I finally narrowed my choices down to the Necky Dolphin and the Spike. This honestly was a painstankingly long decision, but I finally chose the Spike because it was more manueverable. I love this boat! It is remakably fast for being so short and its front hatch stays bone dry in rough conditions and the day hatch is perfect for sunscreen and a couple granola bars. When I take it camping, i use a large drybag and throw it in the tank well (oh, i added some bungie deck rigging over my tank well to secure items). I bought some thigh straps which convert this day/weekend tourer into a surf machine. My only complaint is that its initial stability is a bit tippy when I use it as a dive platform, but i'd much rather speed then initial stability. Overall, great boat. I'd reccomend it to anyone looking for a short, fast, versitile sit on top that loves to play in the surf.

I bought my Necky Spike in June 2001 after paddling a LOT…

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I bought my Necky Spike in June 2001 after paddling a LOT of other SOTs. I'm 5"1' and 50ish and I can paddle the Spike all day without tiring . It tracks well, but turns fairly easily. The primary stability is a bit tipsy but it's a trade-off with the reasonable turning and start-up speed. The down side: the hatch in front of the seat is convenient but hard to unscrew when cold. My 6"4' , 220 lb. partner and my 6' , 200 lb. son do not feel comfortable in it at all. My son tipped it over in about 30 seconds! I think it has something to do with male/female center of gravity. Theirs is in their shoulders while mine is in my seat. Overall, I love my Spike. I believe that this kayak will suit be for some time to come.

My wife and I recently did a 'shootout' to determine which boats…

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My wife and I recently did a 'shootout' to determine which boats to buy. We tested an OK Scrambler XT, Perception Swing and the Spike. After our first round of testing (the OK and the Swing) were keener on the Swing. Then we tried the Spike... The first two are real clunkers compared to the Spike! The OK is slow, the Swing tracks like an arrow but refuses to turn without an argument, whereas the Spike seemed to be better in all aspects. We tested all the boats with a 20kg 4-year-old both behind (in the tankwell) and between the knees. With the extra weight, the Spikes primary stability actually improved. Obviously traveling 2-up in a 1-man boat is not a long trip proposition but was important to us with 2 young kids who like to be part of the action. After testing, I can see why people opt for the OKs and Perception - because they feel stable. But primary stability is not necessarily such a cool thing when you get into chop or waves. Recommendation to anyone except resorts - go with the Spike. I have to give this a 10 to emphasize how much better it is than its competition - most giving the Scrambler XT an 8+ and the Perception Swing a 9. Also thanks to Warren Glaser from this bulletin board for his very helpful assistance.

I bought a Necky Spike recently upgrading from a OK Scrambler.…

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I bought a Necky Spike recently upgrading from a OK Scrambler. The Spike is a great performer. It paddles much more effortlessly than my old Scrambler and also turns much easier. This boat has terrific secondary stability so it's really difficult to roll it over. It cuts through chop really well without any hull slap. It also has a lot of storage space including a spacious bow hatch and also a handy hatch with a dry bag right in front of the seat for easy access. Great boat. Hats off to Necky!

I have had my Spike for a little over seven years now…

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I have had my Spike for a little over seven years now. Before the purchase I spent day after day looking, reading and trying various brands. For the money invested I can say without question, that this is a wonderful boat. I have used it in the surf out in California, at Lake Tahoe on a bad day (lots of white-caps), and on numerious other lakes in and out of California. I have never had any trouble or difficulties at all. The lines are very clean and in all honesty, this boat just has the looks like it will perform and it does. I hear people complain about the lack of inititail stability but you will get used to it. That secondary stability is great and helps this boat perform takes some work to get it to dump. The tracking I feel is excellent and I have no complaints. I do have the rudder which is a nice feature for real windy days..but is not necessary. For an all around kayak with good handling, decent speed and stability I would recomend this model to anyone looking for a good all around boat that can handle a multidude of waters. It's safe, comfortable and most of all it's fun to paddle. If your in the market, you owe it to yourself to check this one out before you buy.

I had rented both an OK Scrambler and Perception Swing and was…

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I had rented both an OK Scrambler and Perception Swing and was impressed with both. I was trying to decide which of these to purchase when I tested the Spike as an afterthought and ended up buying it on the spot! The Spike is definitely biased towards performance and feels more like a high performance sea kayak than any other plastic SOT I’ve tested. It is clearly superior to the other two in areas such as speed and handling. It even has better mounting locations for accessories. Better hatch and tankwell design than the Swing, lighter weight and easier to carry, too. Has a lot of features that are either extra $$$ or unavailable on the Scrambler XT (side carrying handles, front and center hatches, etc.). Plus, the OK did have some hull slap and let a small amount of water into the hull; whereas, the Spike was quiet and tight as Tupperware. While the Swing and Scrambler are very good in their own right (I’d probably rank them at about an 8), I have yet to find fault with the Spike and give it a 10!

For $550, this is an incredible first boat. I wanted a…

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For $550, this is an incredible first boat. I wanted a sit-on-top for safety, because i am 50 years old and don't want to worry about eskimo rolls. i use the boat only in summer, because you definintely get wet through the drain holes. The boat tracks better than any other boat i've demoed. it is great for heading out to an island. i don't have to take any corrective strokes. It is light - i can easily lift it up onto my car roof. The stability is unbelievable. Also the fun - i use it in 4' surf and rollers all the time and it rides the waves like a dream. You can't go wrong with this boat!

Fun to paddle...incredible secondary stability although a bit tipsy when sitting still…

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Fun to paddle...incredible secondary stability although a bit tipsy when sitting still in the water. My 60 lb. lab decided to climb aboard...the boat took water over the side but would not capsize!...Seems to be at maximum load with the dog aboard (total weight 250 lb).