Read reviews for the Carolina 14.0 by Perception as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!
Tracking is great but turning can take a little effort. This boat paddles best with a little steam in the engine- keeping up a speed is effortless, starting and stopping it can feel a little sluggish though. There are two bulkheads the hatches are stretch to cover hatches. Despite 3 years in the sun they still fit snuggly. I do find a trace amount of water gets into the bulkheads (presumably through hatches) each time I paddle.
The foot rests are easy to adjust whilst sitting in the boat and seem secure yet easy to adjust. Weight-wise this is not difficult to get on and off car by myself or to the water. Most people shouldn't have problems.
Overall a very good boat. I won't need to upgrade for a long time. For reference I'm 5'11" and 210lbs.
Like all stretch to fit compartment covers, a bit of a pain to take on and off but not as bad as some. Seat is comfortable for 25 - 30 miles trips which is about my limit. Roto-molded boat is tough but probably heavy to load for smaller folks. I would buy this boat again and looked hard for a composite version but found a composite Necky Manitou 14 in Austin so now my fleet is complete. Lighter Necky boat when rocks and shallow river water aren't issues and the Carolina for the tough duty tours when hull cracking might be a problem
I do not have the rudder. I thought about adding one but am concerned it might shorten the foot peg distance giving me less effective legroom. Despite this I haven't found the lack of a rudder to be any real problem. There are times on windy days with waves that I know a rudder would help but I still get by pretty well.
I am very pleased with my choice
We liked the Perception kayaks, and found that the 14s tracked very smoothly and you could work up a decent rate of speed, or just cruise along pleasantly. When we purchased our own boats, we stuck with the Perception brand, but went with the 12' length, because we thought if offered the most bang for the buck and the length was a little easier to transport. My wife liked the Tribute, because it was narrower and fit her better. I went with the Carolina 12. I could easily have been satisfied with the 14, however. Both are very nice boats, but the 12 simply had a more attractive price point. Other than that, you can't go wrong with the Carolina 14. I like them both. There are faster boats, and smoother ones, but they are also much more expensive.
The Carolina series represents a really good value for a boat that's comfortable, easy to handle, and durable.
I've had the boat for 3 years now and have paddled slow rivers, ponds, small lakes and large ones. My Carolina has handled all very well. The only small drawback is that I wish it had more rocker to better handle waves wind windy conditions, but that's really not a big drawback unless you plan to spend a lot of time on larger lakes.
Durable, reliable and predictable. Have been in surf and the yak behaved very well. Still look great, not much color fade (and our kayaks are outside much of the time). We have looked at other kayaks, and may buy a couple of smaller kayaks for ease of transport and to use with friends and family, but (other than MUCH more expensive kayaks) have not seen a kayak for the price that is as well made and versatile as this one. Never regretted this purchase.
Rarely miss having a rudder and have not had any problem with the footbraces popping out.
9 out of 10 because the seat, while comfortable, could be better (but we have paddled 3 - 4 hours straight and not had a problem).
This is not a fast boat but gets you where you are going. I've owned mine for 10 years now and have played rough with it in small creeks and rivers taking it over rocks and trees. It shows all the scratches but I have no concerns over the wear and tear other than visually.
If you're looking for a solid reliable touring kayak this is a good choice. This kayak is great for beginners and intermediate paddlers. This kayak however, does not lend itself to fast flowing small windy rivers and is very hard to control on the turns.
Overall, a great touring kayak that will give many seasons of reliable pleasure.
The Carolina's initial stability is excellent. With the rudder, it tracks great and it paddles well, even in rough choppy water. The seat is very comfortable with adjustments to lift your thighs and the back has about 4" of adjustment up and down. For overnight trips it has a ton of storage space. In fact, on a recent overnight camping trip I chose it over my sea kayak just so I could take some extra luxuries.
If you're looking to upgrade from a smaller rec kayak, this boat would be an excellent choice.
There are a couple of things I would change about the Carolina though... first off, the foot pegs are a pain to lock, the rod bounces out too fast and I have to reset the pegs every time I go for a paddle. the hatches are a little small for a 14 foot kayak and the lack of a cup holder is evident. No rudder needed for this one though, it goes exactly where you are looking.
The storage areas at the front and back of the boat are great for day and weekend trips, although I would check the seals first if you are putting anything in there that you really don't want to get wet as mine do leak. The seat is comfortable but I do find that my butt hurts after a few hours of paddling, and it tracks well even without the rudder. I'm female, 5' 6" and I use a 240cm paddle. I feel like the lower height of the deck is a great advantage over other boats.
This was/is my first boat and I will never sell it even though I now need a boat with a bigger cockpit to accommodate my dog; my love of this boat is making everything else I try pale in comparison.
I bought this boat because I moved from the ocean to a lake and didn't really need a sea kayak anymore (Perception Shadow). I couldn't even tell the difference between the two when it comes to rolling. Any roll I tried worked great, even hand rolling. The back hatch is big enough that when I take kids for rides they just rid in there with there legs extended. I would highly recommend this kayak.
If you are wondering why I didn't pick the other kayaks, here are my reasons for all the other main competitors. The Wilderness Systems Tsunami, that boat is straight up ugly to me, I have also heard horror stories about WS customer service. The Dagger Axiom was my second choice, but I didn't like the fact that it didn't have those lines on the bottom used for tracking.
Hope this is helpful!