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E-65iii

by Poucher Boote

Reviews

This is the boat I have been looking for since I first…

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This is the boat I have been looking for since I first thought about kayaking nine years ago. The first kayak I looked at was a Feathercraft Khatsalano, but I couldn't see spending that much money for a kayak (now I can, and have over the years spent more than that, alas). As I explored kayaking, I kept looking for a simple, wooden-framed kayak that would perform well and not be too heavy. (if I had not liked the pouch, I was going to bite the aluminum bullet and buy a Kahuna; I tested one and found it a sweet paddle indeed).

For a folder, the e-65 is narrow (65cm, or about 25"), and average length (4.5m or about 15'). It weights about 21k., or a bit over 45#.

But the best part is that it swallows vast amounts of food and camping gear and handles extremely well in all sorts of conditions. It (and of course this is a fortunate coincidence which might not apply to you if you bought one) just fits me: feet on one rib, knees on another.

I wanted a simple boat, one that would not need a rudder, and I didn't want the extra complication and weight of hatches and such. Pouch offers it with either a hypalon or a vinyl hull. I opted for vinyl because it's lighter. I talked to several pouch owners with 30-year old vinyl hulls who found them still in fine shape.

I just finished a 200+ mile trip through the islands and straits of Puget Sound, including a couple of trips through deception pass, once at full ebb, and a trip up Rosario Strait with small craft warnings out. The e-65 was extremely manageable under these conditions. I made landings every night on rocky or barnacled coasts, and the hull has only slight surface scratches. The boat came with a bomber spray-skirt that fastens firmly to the coming, but which has a zipper opening. Very easy to use. Weathercocking is not a problem, nor following seas, nor beam seas. Conditions which in a hard shell would make me queasy and worried at most made me need to paddle harder in the e-65. I think my next boat will be an rz-85, the comparable double model from pouch.

Downsides: the deck rigging is very decorative but not what I would have chosen. (the Kahuna has the best deck rigging of just about any kayak, I think.) The stock seat, although comfortable, is a little loose for good bracing; I replaced the bottom with a crafty molded seat/cum/side cushions from Spiritline kayaks in Anacortes which is just as comfy and snug at the sides as well.