We've had our Excursion for about 7 years now and have paddled many, many miles in it: mountain lakes in Glacier Park, big rough water on Flathead Lake, long hot days on the Missouri river. It was our first kayak and took us from being total beginners to being seasoned paddlers. In many ways it is perfect; other kayaks may be prettier, or lighter, or a bit faster, but the Excursion makes us fall in love all over again whenever we slide into the cockpits. She's tough as nails, holds an enormous amount of gear and when the water gets wild will get her occupants home in one piece.
This is a BIG boat, make no mistake... it's 30 inches wide with lots of storage room both fore and aft. There's the standard Prijon deck rigging and storage nets on the deck to hold stuff you need close at hand. The seats are pretty comfortable for several hours at a time, though because of the Excursion's size, don't expect a tight form-fitting cockpit (unless you are pretty big...) I'm 6'2 and 210 lbs and can get my thighs to make contact with the boat to provide some additional control, but really this is a boat that you are "in", not one you "wear" like many touring singles.
Get it with the rudder. The Excursion is not a hard-tracking boat, and with two people paddling, the rudder really makes a huge difference, especially in dicey conditions like big following seas. On a related note, the Excursion handles much differently when paddled alone than as a tandem. It really wants to see some weight up front... I've paddled in the rear cockpit with many different size people along as "crew" and it seems happiest with a load of between 120-160 lbs.
In short, the Excursion is a stable, versatile platform for getting out on the water and exploring, be it lakes, rivers or coastal waters. Double kayaks aren't for everyone; paddling one takes practice and communication, give and take... a bit like marriage! If you have what it takes as a couple to master the delicate dance of tandem paddling, then the Excursion would be a great choice... it was for us.Okay - go ahead and call me crazy... I took the Excursion through the Upper Guadalupe (Berghiem to the State Park) at about 550cfs (class II to low III). I was the only one in the group not in a whitewater boat - but this thing handled it really well. At 17 feet long don't expect it to be catching micro eddies and surfing in holes (although I got big smiles when I got it to surf). The point is that handled rough water exceptionally well. I've also paddled it tandem on flat water now - it's stable, fast, and easy to rudder steer (you don't need to worry about controlling the strokes).
I'm still not crazy about the 36x18 cockpits - 34x20 would be more to my liking. The rivers around here have lots of strainers, so I removed the safety deck line - if/when I go in the ocean I'll put it back on.
I'm still interested in getting a Prijon Yukon Expedition (it's what I was looking for when I found this). If it's basically a solo version of this boat then I'm sure I'll like it. If you're paddling solo without a bunch of gear then the Excursion is overkill - plus it's 85lbs are a real bear to carry after a long day paddling!I wanted something that would carry more camping gear on class II than my Perception Acadia - and this seems to be the boat for that and more.
I just bought this thing used - and for such a huge (and comfortable) boat it is surprisingly fast, and it handles well in moving water. I would use my Acadia for faster moving water and my Perception Carolina to go faster on flat water - but this might replace them both. It's glide is darn close to the Carolina, but the Carolina gets sluggish with over 350lbs in it - and after that this would out run it. It will easily out-turn a Carolina or Acadia. It requires attention to keep it straight if you aren't using the rudder - so if you paddle any flat then get the rudder.
I haven't paddled it tandem yet - but it should be fast with 2 people. I did pack it full of camping gear and took it through about 12 miles with some easy rapids. It let me course correct in moving water - and even bounced off a few rocks without getting unsettled.
My only nit is the 18 inch wide cockpit is a bit small getting in and out of it. I think I just need to get used to it though. I fit the cockpit well and the boat responds to my hip movements - In fact it really surprised me how well it responded to me. I might take it on some class II/III on the Guadalupe this coming weekend, just to really put it through some paces...