I'm 6', 205 lbs, with long legs. I've been paddling a fiberglass Suquehanna about once a week for the last three years. (I only stop when the water here in Massachusetts is completely frozen). I bought it specifically for its maneuverability because I like "gunk holing" in creeks and swamps and around rocks. It's not as fast as my son's Impex Cat 3 and my wife complains about the wake that it leaves, but I can maintain a comfortable 4 mph for hours which makes most places in and around MA/RI/NH/ME available to me. I've had it out comfortably in 20-30 mph winds and have surfed 6' waves - the limits have been the paddler, not the boat!
It has enough initial stability that I have felt comfortable taking over 14000 photographs from the boat over the last three years (let's not discuss quality over quantity).
I don't do overnight cruising, but there is plenty of room for packing all the safety gear plus cooler bags and camping stove and blankets for a serious picnic banquet. I've had no problems with the rigging or the hatches. I sometimes get a little water in them after a day of rolling or really heavy pounding into waves. With the skeg up it is highly maneuverable, with the skeg down it tracks like it has rails, and you can adjust in between for any angle of crossing wind.
I have been very pleased with the boat. The customizations I have added are a pad on the left side to rest my knee on that matches the trough for the skeg control that my right knee rests on, and a pad on the forward bulkhead for my feet because I have long legs and the footpegs don't go far enough forward for my feet.I bought an older (2001 model) Susquehanna with fiberglass hatch covers a couple of years ago.
I love the increased stability and maneuverability of this model. Like the previous poster mentioned this kayak will get blown around a bit by the wind but if you lower the skeg she will go where you point her even in the worst crosswinds and following seas. I usually paddle it without a skirt during the warmer months and hardly ever get more than a pint or so of water in the cockpit so it is a very dry boat.
My only complaints are that, until a couple of years ago, the hardware in the Immersion Research backbands used in Impex boats had steel rivets (not stainless) which turns to junk in short order in a saltwater environment. I contacted Impex about this and they sent me a new backstrap and the new one has stainless hardware. Talk about great customer service!
I have also noticed a couple of spots where the laminate seems rather thin and one spot next to one of the hatches where a previous owner had added some glass cloth and resin to stiffen it up because the gel-coat was starting to crack there.
I am the third owner of this kayak and it has seen hard use since it gets paddled nearly every day during the warmer months. It lives outside because it won't fit in my garage but it seems to be holding up very well. With a coat of 3M boat cleaner/wax she still shines like new.
I am giving it a 9 due to the fact that it does not have a day hatch, and the fiberglass hatch covers which do not seal tightly and tend to leak a little.
Impex has since redesigned the Susquehanna and added a day hatch, and it now has rubber hatch covers. One day when I save up enough money I am going to trade mine in on a new one.My wife and I are new to sit-in kayaks, having come from sailboats, and Hobie Mirage Sport SOT pedal kayaks. We've been demo'ing everything under the sun, and finally refined what we wanted. She got an Impex Montauk, and I got a used Kevlar Susquehanna.
I'd been in the Currituck and the Montauk, but the Susquehanna's additional initial stability and GREAT maneuverability were just what I was looking for. The boat will get blown around a bit by the wind, but the easily operated skeg lets you put your energy into going straight. I'm 5'8" and 185 pounds, and the boat fits me like it was made for me.
Danny from Impex was at the demo, and noted that my used boat had the wrong backstrap in it. He told me to E-mail him and he would send the right one right out to me. I'm really not used to this level of customer service from a company.
In speed the Susquehanna, with its additional rocker, is a little slower than my wife's Montauk, which is fine, as she is easily able to keep up with me.
The boat edges with the slightest pressure on the footrest, and the skeg can trim it for straight running even in the quite heavy breeze that came and went today. The hatches are not quite as water tight as the Montauk's Valley hatches, but they work pretty well.
In Kevlar, I can easily carry the boat in one hand by the cockpit coaming.
My advice: Buy it, you'll LIKE it!