The Infinity Series (a 17 footer and the smaller paddler's 15'5" reviewed here) are the latest entries in thermoformed skegged kayaks from Seaward. Their multichined hulls, narrower beams (21.5" on this kayak) and almost half hexagonal front decks present a novel mix of North American style with some British features.
The boat IS chock full of features, more than I could describe here but do include SeaDog footpedals and a skeg system good enough that Nigel Foster Kayaks will soon be adopting it. A dayhatch, recessed deck fittings, and dual sealed bulkheads make this a proper seakayak in the lightly served 15 foot class.
The thermoform is SolarKote ABS: excellent lustrous finish & smooth lines, well defined at hull and shearline, bespeaking true pride of workmanship.
Secure fittings including a tow or security clamp and a strap for clipping in a paddle and as can be expected, light to move on the water and off. The listed weight of the 155 is 50 lbs. I did not know that at time of trial and would have guessed 43-45 lbs based on another thermoform kayak I own which is 41 lbs at 13'5".
The kayak is well appointed with a comfortable padded seat with staggered raised areas (tho not so overworked as the Wilderness System Phase3 outfitting, the seat pan is similar in concept). The Infiniti series does NOT sport the innovative and sometimes irritating seat pan which doubles as paddle float - a plus in my book. Thigh braces are well placed for the shorter legs of the smaller paddler and hit about 5 inches off my kneecap (I'm 5'3" when I stretch, and 117 lbs.)
The backband is in freeplay like my favorite IR Reggie, and also includes a back snap strap to keep it from collapsing inward once it's in the desired position. There's also plenty of room between seat back and back of coaming for a ditch kit or hydration pack. There is no room at the sides of the seat to store a pump so onto the deck it went (not my preference, I belong to the Clean Deck Club).
The cockpit mates nicely with a medium Snapdragon deck. The toggles are quiet on the water and out of the way. The rear hatch cover is a generous large oval for actual camping gear, and the skeg slider is on the right side where I prefer it (love those Brits driving and paddling on the left side of the road, only North Shore has seen the light and places it on the right). It's easily located but out of the way topside and in no way intruding on the inner deck.
On the water the seat and thigh braces were immediately comfortable. The extended seat pan provides very good thigh support and the pegs are supportive but not penetrating thru my usual Teva Pro Onium kayak booties. The Seadogs are quite snappy and easily and intuitively adjusted. I wonder what a field repair would be like, though, with something so bungee like.
I wish I liked the water performance better. For a kayak of 21.5" beam (my regular horse is 20" and 5" longer) the Infiniti 155 did not give much glide. I would have expected more from a kayak with less rocker than the Brit boats (though not so plumb like the QCCs). Perhaps it is the multichine hull that presents more surface to the water and therefore more drag. The only other multichine kayak I've paddled is the CD Rumour which is a much lower volume and livelier kayak, but not a speedster under me either.
There was a light and steady wind of maybe 10-12 knots and the kayak's high deck and deep cockpit (15" deep) made for a windcatcher which always disenchants me. The boat was a bit slow on sweep turns and did not dance with any delicacy on a bow rudder or low brace turn. I tried a layback position but the rear deck is high and the front deck rises like the Sacred Turquoise Mountain. Only it was mango orange.
Primary stability very solid, tho I confess I am used to narrow boats and at 117 lbs settle into them right away as many small paddlers do. Secondary, due to the multihull, perhaps, had a kind of catch ledge putting the boat on a second and third degree edge provided a very definitive platform.
Frankly the boat had too much depth for a novice like me to even consider a very cold water roll in 40s degree water. We were on large Lake Hamlin in western Michigan, which runs via a short river stretch into Lake Michigan.
All in all, the Infiniti 155 is a worthy entrant in the 15+ class, finely made and feature rich. I could see it as an easygoing day tripper or an overnighter for a beginning kayaker or someone who would like to relax and not work the boat or themselves too much. And certainly the looks and light weight will be a source of pride and shoulder relief to the owner.
Maybe Seaward will next do an LV version... that would get me back. In the meantime Seaward continues its march towards broadening its range and offering great value in workmanship and features as compared to composite seakayaks.