I was lucky enough to find a great deal on a lightly used 12 foot Hornbeck solo/tandem last year. I was hoping I had a boat that would not only be easy to transport but also a great "small stream" boat. My other boat is a 17+ foot fiberglass kayak which is not well suited to small steams as you can imagine. I also thought it would be cool to have a boat I could use as a tandem on occasion even though that wasn't really important to me.
Light weight, easy to carry/portage and easy to load and unload on the car. It is also very comfortable and stable as a solo.
Forget using it as a tandem unless you have two smallish passengers that are very similar in weight. It was also very reluctant to turn in small steams due to the hull shape and no rocker. You get a "workout" when you paddle on small streams with frequent turns even when you edge it. Mine was a few years old so, perhaps, they have modified the hull to make it turn easier but the one I had was very hard to turn when you needed to turn sharply.
The final weakness was speed - it's just a slow boat.
While much more expensive, I sold the Hornbeck and bought a Placid Works Rapidfire which I am thrilled with.There is only one word to describe this boat AWESOME. I've owned several recreational kayaks and canoes in the past and while not an expert by any means I do have some paddling experience and have enjoyed exploring small lakes and ponds in NJ and NY.
I was looking for a light weight boat to add to my fleet and one I could easily carry anywhere and this was it. When I got it home I even had my wife pick it up, she did so with one hand and said "WOW" it's light. I had a chance to paddle other similar boats the WENONAH Wee Lassie and the Placid Boat Works Spitfire while I liked all three boats I could only purchase one. The wee lassie was nice but it did not track as well as the Hornbeck and was not as stable, so why settle when for a few extra dollars you can have a custom built Hornbeck with superior quality and workmanship. If you purchase a Hornbeck lost pond 10 it's actually less than a wee lassie. The Spitfire was also very nice but I felt it was out of my price range and more for an advanced paddler. I did not feel it was geared as much toward fishing and recreational paddling. It was more lively and to a new or beginning paddler it could feel a bit tippy.
The 12' Hornbeck is extremely stable, although getting in and out does require a quick lesson, very well built, looks super cool in carbon and kevlar and best of all when you purchase one you get to deal with all the great guys at Hornbeck boats. This boat is so impressive a friend of mine who has never paddled before came to paddlefest 2008 with me to look at and try different boats after seeing everything available there he also purchased a Hornbeck 12.