Read reviews for the Petrel by Willow Kayaks, Inc. 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!
this boat is a very sophisticated and incredibly beautiful machine. it was my second strip-built project and i spent a lot of time sorting through its construction with an objective of doing something spectacularly good looking and light-weight.
i ended up with a 17 foot 31 lb rigged boat (s-glass, kevlar and carbon on 3/16 cedar core) that turns heads and performs amazingly. the boat is described by it's designer (Nick Schade) as a play boat.....a boat to develop advanced paddling technique, comfortable in confused situations and very maneuverable. i can honestly say she lives up to that remit.
i have several kayaks in my arsenal (a shearwater 17, a night heron, and the petrel). when do i reach for the petrel? typically for a shorter paddle where i really want to focus on my paddling and want to feel everything and not have the stability of of the boat hiding doing something wrong with my body. while with the skeg down she will track like an arrow, with the skeg up, you can literally spin this boat on its access with little effort. so controlling the boat with the skeg up means you are doing something right.
the boat has space for a day trip, but for me at 185 lbs and 5 10" i am at the upper limits of the body type this boat was built for.
i kind of think of this boat as my porsche 911.....probably not the one for you if you can only have one...but if you can have one....it's one to have:)