Submitted: 10-01-2002 by Joe
I've been using my Pamlico in the Potomac River (above great falls) and the Chesapeake Bay. I fish off of it, as well as take extended day trips. I would call this boat more a sleak canoe than a kayak. It is huge and roomy, but small enough for extended trips. It handles quite well for it's size. It's very easy to manuver. It tracks well in calm water, but in current or wind, tracking is non existent. I would absolutely recomend the rudder system if you expect to do any light touring.
Due to the open cockpit, it's not very sea worthy. I wouldn't recomend taking it in surf over 2-3 feet. Taking a wave head on will fill the cockpit instantly. I did manage to surf a few waves to shore, which I didn't expect was possible on such a large boat. The boat is incredibly stable. I can stand in it without a problem, and manuver to the front or back of the boat to access gear without the fear of tipping. It is relatively light. I don't have a problem getting it onto the car, but I have a strong build (5' 6", 200lbs), so some may find it a bit of a pain handling it alone.
I think this is a great first kayak. It's stability will instill confidence in beginners. You have the option of one or two people, It's roomy enough for hauling lots of gear, and you can fish off it. After using it for a year, I have found that I most often take extended solo day trips. I am averaging 6-10 miles a day on the river. I will be purchasing a Cape Horn 17 for next season, which will most likely become my main boat, but the Pamlico will be nice to have around for guests, etc.