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I have heard of Cobra variable build quality but I have this and an Eliminator, the plastic quality is excellent on both, I don't have hatch leakage problems and the finish is fine. Its a great tourer if you want a bit of speed as well and I simply can't fault its stability, its excellent, even for a good average Aussie like myself at 6'3" and 230 pounds. It does push a bit of water as you approach hull speed but the way the tri-formed hull curls the water makes it feel fast anyway.
In Australia, Cobra is marketed as a quality boat, the two I have haven't let me down at all. The only let downs are the overly fussy hull fittings and lack of rear hatch. Go for it Cobra!
At 15' long, it paddles like a dream, with or without the sea rudder. It sits a little lower in the water than my Cobra Navigator, (I still stay dry in moderate chop) but that keeps the winds on our big lake from affecting the boat. It has scads of storage - way more than I'll ever use use, although my 35 lb dog has adopted the tankwell as his "seat"! And that's the nice thing about this kayak - even though it's sleek and fast - it's still rock-solid stable. Even the dog leaning over the side of the boat to get a drink doesn't make it feel tippy.
I can't say that I plan to paddle this down any of Michigan's narrow twisty rivers - I'll leave that to the Navigator. But if you want to simply cruise, especially for any kind of distance...this is a great boat!!
I bought this yak as my first SOT, which I felt I needed since moving to So Cal from Sonoma County. I wanted a boat that I could do some warm water touring with, as well as fishing (of course). While the Tourer is not known as the "best" (is there one?)kayak for fishing due to its tank well design and limited gunwale space for rod holders. I found that I could rig it very well, with a "Scotty" rod holder mounted sideways in an un-used footwell, a fish finder on the center console, a compass mounted in another un-used footwell and a "D" shaped livestock water trough (modified for rod holders and live bait tank functionality)in the tankwell, its a fishing machine.
My primary concern with a SOT, was hull speed. Coming from a traditional style of kayak, speed is important to me. Second was weight, third being load capacity.
First of all, the hull speed was very good considering it is a SOT,though I have not clocked myself on the GPS, I am comfortable at the pace I maintain. Weight, at 50Lbs (stripped in transport mode)isn't bad at all for a plastic SOT of this size. Load capacity, at 475lbs is more than adequate. I weigh 175lbs and carry approx. 40 lbs of fishing gear, which allows me 260 lbs of additional gear, more than enough unless I nail a 200 lb thresher shark, hey what are buddies for?.
I've had the boat out a number of times, so far, in less than ideal conditions, 3-7 foot swells, with white caps. My advice would be ...get the rudder kit, the boat weather cocks, in big water, use the thigh straps(far more control)and wear a PFD!!!.
The hatches are great(though the multiple toggles may be confusing to those spatially chalenged folks out there), barely leaking an 1/8th of a cup in 11 hours of 4 foot swells and 4 surf landindings. v I would have given this kayak a 10, but thats god like, therefore I offer a 9.
I plan to move up to an Expedition this fall or next spring, just so I can keep up with a mixed group of kayakers with less effort. See my review of that boat for my reasoning.
The only problem is with the hatches. They are not real user friendly, but there is plently of room inside to store your rods and fish.
I launch through the surf and have had no problems launching and landing as of yet.
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