Submitted: 05-28-2002 by Bill C
I test paddled the Current Designs Breeze at the urging of my local dealer. I am thinking of upgrading from a Perception Swifty, which is a very good boat, although it is less than elegant. I was very disappointed with the Current Designs boat and recommend the prospective buyer pass this up or buy a Swifty and save BIG dollars. My criteria were to find a boat that performed better than the Swifty but with better tracking and at the risk of losing maneuverability. The expectation was that the new boat would be longer for the tracking improvements and the extra length would smooth out the ride on choppy water. The Breeze is well fitted with a rear bulkhead space, hatch, deck lines, and rudder mount. It looks a bit archaic to me, as if I would expect Vikings to be the crew. The problems start when you hit the water. I didn’t have a model with a rudder but I expected reasonable incremental improvements over my rudderless Swifty. My first impression was a pleasant amount of “tippyness” but no stability problems. Then I paddled out into an approximately 5 MPH wind and the boat immediately began to weathercock. In fact, it weathercocked like a huge weathervane. I sprinted of to get to more sheltered water and noted that the nose twitched irritatingly with every stroke of the paddle. I brought the boat up to a comfortable cruising speed and held it there for a quarter mile or so, and noted a 4 MPH reading on my GPS. My Swifty does a comfortable 3.5 mph cruise, where’s the BIG speed increase the dealer kept promising? Still weathercocking, I sped up in an all out splash fest to push the boat to its maximum speed, only to see a dismal 5.2 mph on the GPS. (I can get 4.5+ in my 29” wide, 9.5 ft Swifty!!) Now that I had entered a narrow slough I let the boat glide. The tracking was even worse in a glide! I had to repeatedly correct for bow yaw; the whole boat rotated but kept moving in the same general direction. I’m sure I would have eventually been cruising sideways if I hadn’t struggled to keep straightening things out. I took several more 1/4 mile passes over the next half-hour with no improvement before I hauled the boat out. And haul it was, the boat weighs 50+ pounds compared to my 36 LB Swifty. I don’t know what kind of idiot my dealer thinks I am, but the Breeze is simply Current Designs entry level boat and probably not much more. I concluded that the sharp bow and stern of the Swifty coupled with the dual tracking channels results in a much better grip on the water than the relatively featureless hull of the Breeze. My suggestion is to skip over this boat, but more importantly test paddle before buying even an entry-level boat.