4.5 Stars! This, one of the most interesting designs from Necky, is a veritable wave machine. The plastic hull is sufficient, though heavy at 60 lbs, and a lot cheaper than the composite versions. As I've discovered in several extended big lake, river and ocean trips, the unusual hull shape and somewhat cramped low volume for a touring kayak has its distinct advantages: excellent stability, good rolling capabilities, and less wind resistance. For luxury tourers, you'll have to cut down on the gear; but I can take a week-long trip in this with many more amenities than a similar backpacking jaunt, so if you tend to pack light you won't even notice (tip: put your food bag and water in front of the foot pegs in the inner cockpit for even more stability). Bulkheads, hatch covers, and a solid spray skirt will keep inner moisture down to a minimum (even in oncoming chop and wind). Your upper body will be wet from spray, but it is a small price to pay for the excellent control and bow buoyancy in steep waves. Rocker is pretty strong (it is a coastal performance boat by nature) which would suggest low efficiency and poor tracking, but I routinely average 4 knots with a relaxed low-angle stroke when touring and I rarely use the skeg. If you are comfortable with lean turns, it will spin about better than most boats on the market. I'm 5'9" and 150 lbs, and the 16-foot is an excellent fit (it could work for those a little larger, but if you are over 6 feet or 190 lbs, I would look at the 17-foot model). This is an excellent, lean, and advanced kayak for windy western lakes and rivers, the Great Lakes, and of course coastal fun. I've also found Necky to be an excellent company if there are warrantee issues, which speaks highly of them and their commitment to their customers.
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