Submitted: 07-10-2000 by Michael Heikka
The best plastic 17' boat design for larger paddlers, but too bad they use cheap materials to build it. After renting one weekly for about two years (year 'round paddling and one Baja trip), I passed because of the oil canning and seat breakage. Performance-wise, it is fast, stable, comfortable, and holds a ton of gear. It feels heavy off the water, but stable on. It has great primary and secondary. Its stability instills great confidence, even in serious conditions. As much as I like the Storm, it oil-cans so badly (imagine a 3" deep 16" diameter pizza sized depression right below the cockpit) that I couldn't buy a new one. The seat is made of cheap brittle hard plastic, and the seatback will crack and break if you use the boat to learn eskimo rolling (or step on it to exit at a high dock). The rental I used went through 2 seatbacks and one seat bottom in the last 18 months alone. I contemplated buying one and adding a back-band, but that still would not address the seat bottom or oilcanning issues (which occurs on many Storms - I've looked at five, and all have had these problems). If you can overlook oil canning and seat breakage, it really is one of the best performing plastic 17's on the water. I didn't want to spend $1400 on a new boat that I knew would need periodic seats and hull "debubbling", even if it is great fun on the water.