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Gear Review

1 5

Nice boat with one major exception

I bought this boat 2 weeks ago and had put approximately 25 miles on the Black River in Northern New York without problem. My initial impression was this was an excellent boat. However, yesterday I took the boat out to Southwicks Beach on Lake Ontario. There was a pretty good chop with 2-3 foot swells. My purpose for the trip was to practice deep water self rescues and rolls. I took the boat out about 100 meters and dumped it. I've done stern entries on other boats with no problem, however the Expression was a whole different ball game. I popped up on the rear deck with no problem, then my dilemma. As I scooted forward, the seat back presented as a four inch high groin / thigh hurdle, even with the seat bottomed out. After approximately 25 attempts with only 3 successful entries, I was cursing the boat and the heavens. My groin had taken multiple shots, my thighs, knuckles, and other body parts were freely bleeding from catching the sharp edges of the seat back . Additionally, if you don't clear the seat, it folds forward and you find yourself sitting on the back of the seat, with no way to correct it without bailing out. I was exhausted and livid. I was thankful I hadn't tried this on the ocean or in a Florida / Georgia swamp, chum comes to mind. All joking aside, this is a very serious design flaw and could have been fatal had I been much further out. I called Perception about this issue this a.m. and their rep indicated the "design was not intended for open water self rescue, it's more of a recreational boat". Perception does not advertise this boat as a "Recreational" boat. The rep stated that if I planned on open water rescue and rolls, I would need a back band set up. He gave me a part # 8023007, Phase 3 XP Back Band. They wouldn't comp me for the replacement. Perception needs to not advertise this boat as an "Ocean Touring Sea Kayak", until they retrofit their boats with the appropriate back bands.. Although I have enjoyed the boat's overall performance, the seat issue is really scary. So for the time being I'll be sticking close to shore. This has not been a good start to my relationship with Perception.