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Bought the Pursuit recently at Academy for 150+tax, and find that, for a boat used for fitness, it fits the bill nicely. Please do not expect to track like a Carolina 14, or have the speed either. I estimate that flatwater speed on the Pursuit is around 5-7mph without pushing too hard.
It tracks quite well for such a short, light boat (8 feet long, 26lb), and much better than a cheap inflatable, which is how I began kayaking. A shorter paddle helps me to remember to make more vertical strokes, to keep from wagging the vessel side to side.
Pros: very light! cheap, easy to carry and store in hotel rooms on trips. This boat will be along with you on a trip, in the water, while the big 14' 54lb wonder-yak collects dust.
Cons: a bit of a let-down if you are coming from one of those high performance longer boats; does wag a bit side to side; not for choppy waters (as mine would sink with all my weight in it plus a few inches of water).
Overall a great boat for cost, transport and basic, 2-hour flatwater usages. Highly recommend for these purposes. Full disclosure: I am a bit of a minimalist... for those who are not: go spend 6x the money on a boat twice as heavy and twice as long, with umpteen options and accessories; you do the math:)
The day was about seventy Fahrenheit and with only slight breezes as I set out in my cheap short kayak with a very rare and costly (NOT!) Stearns "High Performance Four Piece Kayak Paddle" in my hands. For three and a half hours this happy threesome wandered about on Havasu. I crossed to touch California and then quickly returned home to Arizona - glad to live where I do. I toyed with sporadic boat wakes and sang a boat wakes song I made up to the old Barnes and Barnes "Fish Heads".
When later at home I took out my map I found that I had - in this eight foot piece of Tupperware - paddled at least ten to eleven miles! That is a speed of at least 2.8 MPH. The boat took the wakes well and ten miles is pretty okay for an old broad of indifferent health in the cheapest least sexy yak made.
I score this thing a thousand!
I arrived about 1300 on 22 August 2008. I placed the boat into a nice bay and enjoyed glassy and clear water. Then as I prepared to exit the bay, I found buoys saying that watercraft are not allowed in the bay! So I beat a hasty retreat so not to be ticketed. Was okay because the days air temp was very high. I did some land recon in preparation for a second go at Lake Havasu.
Launched off the city beach. Much water traffic. Noise and confusion and fumes. But the reward was boat wakes! Yip! There was about a one foot swell from SSW due to wind on the lake's fetch area. Then a foot to foot and a half chop - distant wakes and very confused. I had no spray skirt as it had not arrived yet.
Boat dealt with the surface well. No handling troubles at all. I took waves on the bows, from astern, on the beam and quartering. No trouble. I sat still and took chop from all sides and no trouble. I dove into two foot wakes bow on and then another set beam on. No trouble.
I got wet by spray. No blue water over decks. I never had to either bail or brace. Stability was good in roll, pitch had bows and stern floating nicely over the waves and tracking was no problem at all.
Speed seemed about the same as I get on calm water - as judged by my progress past the shore. I liked it.
Kaibab with GPS. Kaibab is a closeby lake. Elevation near 7000 MSL. Day clear water calm with discontinuities to about nine inched. Periodic wind from about ten to about fifteen MPH. My cruise was an easy pace that I can hold for a while. No wind was about 2.9 to 3.0 MPH. With 10 MPH wind following I had speeds to about 3.3 MPH. Against the wind at about 10 MPH I made about 2.7 MPH and with a harder wind of about 15 MPH I got about 2.5 MPH. Cross wind I had a solid 2.8 MPH. Flat out and with appreciable effort and splashing and some nosing of the vessel I could do an even 4.0 MPH.
As the hull speed - with a middle constant of 1.34 is about 3.3 MPH I think all the above is quite acceptable.
Meanwhile - the aftermarket Harmony spray skirt did not fit. But I just got the real Pelican item. Fits great. Wish I had this a week ago, I was in California and would have surfed him.
I think the combination of speed and stability is very good for an 8 foot boat. No complaints at all. I raise my evaluation from 8 to 10.
I have a spray skirt. Now I want to find some four foot waves! Yip!
But. . . I have a major physical issue. I have been weakened by some sort of neurological disease, and there is a very low limit to the weight I can get from car to water and back, and then onto the car. If I cannot get the boat wet, it is of small use to me no matter how wonderful it might be in the water. And the Break weighs all of 26 lbs! While any of them would be easy to handle in the water, this one I can handle out of the water too.
And it floats and it is not so slow as one might think it would be. Does it track wonderfully? No, but that is where technique comes in.
And it is tough. Already I have run it hard aground on sharp basaltic rocks lurking in the local lake's shoals. It gets small scratches, and laughs.
Workmanship seems okay. And it was a tad under three hundred including tax - bought locally. Hot dang! My last inflatable (seemed a good idea given my issues with boats out of the water) went hiss in a hurry - and not from rocks, it leaked topside. The Ram-X Break will not hiss. And it is pretty good.
I give it a eight because it is not a superlight Kevlar boat. But it did not cost three thousand too.
100,000+ people can't be wrong!
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