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It has been easy to add accessories and features: dashboard, deck rigging, paddle holder bungee, cap lifter, bilge pump bracket, etc.
Best boat for carrying a non-paddling passenger: my dogs!
When I purchased the 12-foot Scout my two main concerns were how it would handle in rough, open water and how fast it would go. I definitely didn't need to worry about either! I have been in some pretty rough water on Lake Huron and even Lake Superior, and it has handled very well. (It would be beneficial to have a spray skirt in situations like these since the large cockpit does allow for more water to enter.) As far as speed and tracking, my Scout Boy and I can outpaddle my husband in his 14-foot, rudder-equipped boat on any given day!
I feel very comfortable, stable and safe in this kayak. It's great for rivers, lakes, open water, fishing, nature photography, hauling camping gear, etc. The rear hatch/beer cooler comes in handy, too! I couldn't be happier with my purchase!
Turns well, like most 12 foot kayaks. This is also a "knees outside" boat, so you can't brace your knees inside the cockpit. This is not necessarily a drawback, just a design feature.
After trying one, I can see why Scout users like them, but I paddled yaks that I liked better that were just as stable and a bit faster. Examples were a Perception Monterey, Carolina, and America (all 13.5 feet). I'm not comparing it to the 16 foot Montauk--not fair!
Why is speed important at all? If you are done fishing (or whatever), and you want to get somewhere because you're done, the fishing is lousy, your mother is calling you, whatever--sometimes you want to get out of Dodge. That means getting somewhere, and here's a thought--how fast do your neighbors drive on the highway? Do you drive 55 or 75? You can always paddle slower, but you can't always paddle faster unless your kayak design and your skill allow it. Please don't look down on this 7. If you love your Scout and rate it a 10, it is a 10 to you.
Back to the boat - Easy to handle, tracks well, tough yet light enough for me to load easily. Very stable while seated and I can kneel in it on calm water without fear. A GREAT all around kayak. Suggested improvements might include a fold down seat to improve aft storage and it would be nice, though not neccessary, to have the ability to readily attach a factory made rudder system. Only thing I really would fuss about so far is the work deck that I purchased for it BUT I learned that if I turn it upside down, slide it forward, and attach it to the carry handle it makes a great rain cover for gear stored on the bow.
By the way, it was a choice between a Scout and a Dagger Delta for me. Though I never actually paddled the Delta, I found the cockpit on the Delta to be relatively the same size, but the rough edges on the plastic cockpit coaming which face your knees were very uncomfortable as I sat on the show-room floor in her, and abraded my knees just sitting there. Other than that, she looks like a fine boat, and a Dagger all the way, but she does look like a psychedelic garbage can. But I'm sure that she'd be worth a try. Chines seemed to be harder so maybe she'll have more initial stability than the Scout, but she'll never have the Scout's classic good looks.
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