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Due to its weight I would rate it a 7 as a solo kayak and 9 as an all round double. My son-in-law's boat has showed no cracking. We used scupper plugs, and it was a dry ride. In waves or wind, you would get wet, but that is part of the fun. I am sure it can handle 2' waves, if not more.
We are very pleased with the kayak. We can lift and slide it on and off our SRV. Also, we have no problem getting the kayak to go where we want it to go in the water. However, we bought it used when we should have bought it new. The kayak had very tiny cracks in the bottom and leaked quite a bit into the inside of the kayak. Our local kayak dealer mended it.
I've also taken it out often on my own. It will handle any size wave or wake, and is very stable. In very windy conditions on my own, it can be a handful, but it's not really challenging - it just takes a while to get to your destination. All in all, I'm very happy with this kayak.
This boat had none of the fun of a Scrambler, but it will get you from A to B well. I would have preferred 2 Scramblers over renting this boat. I would never own this boat.
I found myself involved in kayaking merely by chance and I just loved it. So I decided, after a deep search in the net and a close inspection on several kayaks - hull design, safety, equipment, and sturdiness - to buy the Malibu Two XL - fully equipped with two hatches, centre oval tank well, and seats - and I am more than satisfied.
It's stable - although not as stable as the RTM Ocean Duo (the kayak that converted me to the sport) it holds very well against wind , keeping a straight line easily, it's "almost" dry inside, even without the scupper plugs on it with two + 1 people aboard, very well built.
It's a great kayak for lakes and rivers, and when paddling alone on the centre seat position, it is very easy to paddle and navigate. Never tried it on sea.
Yesterday I went on a 4 hours ride on a river with a lady friend of mine (it was the first time for her) - on a moderate windy day and strong tides - and we had no problems whatsoever to reach our goal. We have made 9 nautical miles in rough conditions but the Malibu held very well.
Although it is not a heavy kayak with 28 kilos, due to its 4,10 metres it's not easy to put it on the top of my car alone, but I managed well, mainly because I hold it on the top of my head, resting my head oh the rubber lid of the centre oval hatch. But even so, it's a little hardly handy, mainly due to it's length.
I am considering very strongly to buy the little "Frenzy", just for sea kayaking on solo, mainly for fun.
All in all, the Malibu Two XL it's a great kayak in it's own category.
I glued some closed cell foam to the top of the oval hatch so I could rest it on my head when carrying it. This foam also helps when popping it up like you would with a canoe to get it up over your head. google Homer Stringer technique for lifting and carrying a canoe.
Today I took it out with a friend who weighs 170 lbs and my dog that weighs 55 lbs and it was very stable with over 460 lbs in it. I sat in the back and my butt didn't get wet with the scuppers open. My friends butt got just a little wet. We were using the Ocean Kayak seats that came with the boat and have little thickness on the bottoms. Had my friend had a thicker seat, say at least an inch, he would have stayed dry.
The boat has plenty of volume. Ocean Kayak really did there homework to design such a do everything boat like the Malibu 2XL. Also the boat tracks well even with an inexperienced paddler in the front. I am glad I bought the boat and would highly recommend this versatile sit-on-top. I used to have an Ocean Kayak Malibu the 12 foot tandem model and the XL boat is light years ahead of that design; much roomier and not that much heavier to carry. I will be using it to fish most of the time. It is so stable I will be able to take my 120lb Rottweiler out when I go night fishing.
After 30 years of kayaking and several boats: Wilderness System, Islander, Old Town, and Ocean Kayak; I can say with confidence, this boat is a definite keeper.
Paid just over $600 for a package with scupper plugs and so-so Daytripper paddles at L.L. Bean outlet, can't beat that for the amount of boat we got. A few dings and shallow scrapes marked the boat, but just cosmetic. My only complaint is the weight, but this is a long and wide boat, not much OC can do about that. I just have to paddle places where I can get close to the water.
But the kayak is the best reason. It tracks so well and is easier to use than you might expect. It is stable through rapids, maneuverable, and more fun because our teenagers could use the boat as a dive platform and climb back in without effort, wherever they wanted.
We use the boat now on rivers and lakes for summer camping and touring but purchased it to use for scuba diving on coastal trips. The Malibu Two was more recommended for this activity and we have yet to test the XL in surf but I am confident that it was the better choice based on everything we have experienced with the boat so far. The boat rides high enough out of the water while loaded and is still fast. The scuba diving test will be another reason to write another review about this fantastic boat.
My wife (5'2") and my 11 year old can put it on the roof of the Windstar since I changed my roof rack system to a simple flat bar (which also holds her Ocean Kayak Venus 11). It was quite a while before they let me paddle it alone, but now that I have had it a year and have fished and free dived from it by myself I find it fast and maneuverable even with one paddler causing me to make the comment I started with.
It is one of the big kayaks out there and at 60 lbs not the lightest, but what you get for the weight and size is certainly worth it. You can do more with more kayak. I can't tell you how many people I run into on the water say they should have gotten one like I am paddling.
Since it is a sit on top you will get wet when you use it. The reason that I gave it a 9 instead of a 10 is due to its weight out of the water. It can be a little hard to car top even with two people.
I paddled solo, without the center adapter, and it was great. The only problem, and what may sway me to purchase the Sidekick instead, is that I noticed it would turn counter-clock wise when hit with wind off the water. This was not a major concern really, but it is worth noting. Otherwise, for a wide, long, and otherwise heavy boat, it moves along rather effortlessly solo.
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