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Love the fibreglass---I think that the extra rigidity is responsible for the speed and apparent weight capacity. However, I would not risk crashing the fiberglass through anything more than class 1 rapids. Even so, my 5+ year old Envy has taken its share of abuse, and still looks good. Only minus is the little straps that you can adjust for the position of the seat back. They don't hold very tight, and will loosen to the most reclined position. I seem to have to tighten them every half hour or so.
You can't go wrong with this kayak for small water paddling.
Downside: the excellent seats tend to come unglued from the bottom and out strain on the mounts. I used four fiberglass tabs on the seat bases to keep them flat and solid without straining the hull. The carry handles can be protected with rubber washers and an extra layer of webbing, and have lasted, including being used for safety lines when cartopping. Owners might also want to check and maintain the seal around the bow hatch, which may allow a few drops in.
We love our boats!
The Envy is fast and stable for its dimensions, looks good on the beach, and feels safe for paddlers with reasonable experience. And they attract a lot of attention at the beach and at the ramps!
Our suggestions (minor...since this is a great boat!) are:
My earlier comment about maneuverability was not valid... I had to improve my paddling technique. This boat is a gem. It's well built, very light and very nicely finished. In addition to everything that's right about this kayak; I get comments from many others about how great it looks. This boat is aptly named. If you're looking at boats in this size range this one should be at the top of your list. You won't be disappointed.
Superbly light, very easy for one person to load on and off the roof rack. Has great zip in the water, very light, fun and easy to paddle although you tend to zig zag a bit due to the flat, wider bottom of the kayak. There is a built-in, thin skeg molded to the bottom but it doesn't do much for tracking against waves, wind, etc. The seat is not great, but I like that the back of the seat is easily adjustable for extra back support should you want to have a mid-river coffee break. I find that the seat is moderately comfy for the first couple hours, then it's a bit of a numb bummer. The bigger the bum, the less of the numb.
My kayak has been up and down off the roofrack dozens of times over the last couple of years and it has held up fairly well. There are some scratches and small gouges from where the ties bite into the soft sides but nothing major. The nylon carrying handle keeps coming off which is a minor annoyance, more so when the kayak slips out of your hand and crashes to the ground when the handle breaks. The bottom has been scraped across stream bottoms and rocks and aside from some scratches it has really held up extremely well.
I haven't done any over nighters with the kayak but with the two sealed bulkheads, you can store enough for a one or two night stay. Keep in mind this is not a sea kayak so you won't be able to cover the same distances without a lot of paddling power. I use mine mostly on smaller creeks and rivers, although I have had it out on the great lakes a few times on calmer days.
One of the best kayaks you can get in the recreational day-trip category. But that's just my two cents.
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