Submitted: 10-11-2004 by BMC
I have to say this, its light and easy to handle. Its well made. The Orca is billed as a very stable platform for calm water paddling. In my opinion, and that's all it is, its the worst boat I've ever paddled. Initial stability is okay, but it feels very "rolly" and "tippy". There is little or no secondary stability. In fact before I took mine back I managed to take a swim 3 times. The only 3 times I've ever accidently tipped over in 4 years of extensive paddling in many different boats. The rudder is not good. It's under tension with a bungie cord and bangs when it goes down and bangs when it comes up. My wife couldn't pull it up out of the water because of the tension on the bungie. The blade hit the back of the boat so you couldn't turn the rudder when in the down position. There is no tie down for the rudder when in transit. The foot pegs have a lever which must be in the horizontal position to allow movement to turn the rudder and moved to the downward position to lock them when not using the rudder. So when bracing your leg hits the lever locking the rudder and you have to lean forward in the middle of a maneuver and try to find the lever to unlock yourself from the turn and over you go. Not to mention trying to use a spray skirt and pulling it off and on all the time to get at the levers.
I was not at all impressed with this boat. I did keep it for 3 weeks, a dozen outings, and paddled in a variety of conditions and never did I feel real stable or relaxed. It gave me a very uncomfortable feeling.
Having said all this I own a RM Capella from the same company. This is the best most stable and enjoyable boat I've ever paddled.