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Carolina 14.5 Airalite

by Perception

Reviews

I moved up to a second-hand Carolina 14.5 Airalite from an Old…

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I moved up to a second-hand Carolina 14.5 Airalite from an Old Town Loon 111 about 18 months ago. I'm 6'5" and wasn't sure about getting in and out of a kayak with a smaller cockpit and I didn't want to sink too much money in something I wasn't sure I was going to like and be able to use. I reversed the footbrace tracks to add support to the far end of the brace and added extensions to the rudder cables.

I've been very happy with it, although it doesn't track worth a darn - but that isn't news. I paddle in Mission Bay and some of the larger wakes throw it off course. The rudder makes a huge difference. I've put around 2000 miles on it and it's starting to have some problems so I'll be upgrading again soon. But I'll be sorry to see it go...

This kayak handles extremely well in windy conditions. Using the rudder…

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This kayak handles extremely well in windy conditions. Using the rudder is the only way to go when the wind if blowing. By far the fastest boat I've paddled. The Airalite material does easily scratch on the rocks. No problem to pick up and carry though.

After paddling a few poly Carolinas and my favorite old Chinook, I…

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After paddling a few poly Carolinas and my favorite old Chinook, I grabbed a bargain on a new, but dusty 14.5 Airalite last year. Wish I had paddled it first, something about being 6' 3" 215 lbs that makes this boat really unstable; seat too high or whatever. Not such a bargain after all when it's skittish to the point of concern about flipping it.

I bought this ABS (Airalite) boat used for my girlfriend. The…

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I bought this ABS (Airalite) boat used for my girlfriend. The previous owner had obviously used it quit a bit. I am 6'1" 200 lbs...not really a boat for me but since it was well used I checked it out before putting the GF in it. I actually got to paddle it a number of times for logistical reasons involving her nine year old daughter and another tandem boat. Great boat.

Light, stable, goes fast and straight. Using the rudder is more trouble than its worth in my opinion. I have only used it for half day touring trips...perfect for that. Easy to get on and off the truck rack. Looks great in Red/White. The seat is comfortable. If I could reach the peddles I might have kept it for myself. Easier to deal with than an 18 footer.

I had a Carolina 13.5 Airalite when they first came out with…

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I had a Carolina 13.5 Airalite when they first came out with that material. I loved the weight of the boat and the way it handled. I did a lot of paddling in it. But I had problems with the Airalite material- they may have corrected the problems. First I had cracking where the fasteners for the footpeg track came through the hull which required repair from my dealer. Then about the 4th year The cowling around the cockpit started separating from the hull. I took it to my dealer hoping to have, or find out how to repair it- as I said I loved every other aspect of the boat- He, remembering the earlier problems said, "you shouldn't have to deal with that and replaced the boat, at no cost, with another of a different material." I must say I was sad leaving that boat behind as we had paddled many waters together. It was a retirement gift to myself.

The airalite carolina is a lot of boat for the money. Forgiving…

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The airalite carolina is a lot of boat for the money. Forgiving for beginners, but the boat will appeal to experienced paddlers as well. My only complaint is with the hatch covers. They move around to much but that is really minor. You've got to ask why Perception quit making the 14.5...