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I'm 6'1 about 220lbs and the cockpit is large and fairly comfortable. I used it on a trip in lake superior with 6 days of food, camping gear, tent, etc. This added almost 50lbs of weight and it still performed remarkably. As a side-note: webbing is minimal and seat does not rate a 10. I added webbing, a gel seat cover and afold down rudder made of 1/2" pvc. 2 layers of pvc for the rudder and then spent time on the belt sander to shape and profile it. Less than $20 in hardware and it works great.
In my opinion the Patriot is a super versatile, great balance of stability, tracking, manueverability and speed with excellent weight capacity and a large rear hatch storage area. Add webbing, gel seat pads and a rudder and there isn't anything that can compare without paying $300-$500 more
Finding the Patriot with its roomy cockpit, stable ride, super tracking and sturdy fit and finish has been nothing short of terrific. Paddlers in our family from 12 years - 80 find this versatile craft comfy and encouraging. A GREAT RIVER AND CREEK KAYAK FOR VERY LITTLE $$. 4 YEARS INTO THIS YAK AND WE ALL STILL LOVE IT! Of course it is no Epic but for the price I would say every paddling family should add one to their boat house.
Another aspect that I required was a dry storage compartment, and the Patriot obliged with a watertight bulkhead about a foot behind the seat, and the enclosed compartment extending all the way to the stern, and with a large, tightly sealed hatch. It also has two molded-in fishing rod holders behind the cockpit, although it isn't specifically designed as a fishing kayak...a nice feature. There is also an almost identical model designed specifically for fishing available. Other features include a paddle-holding bungee on the starboard side, comfortable seat w/adjustable back and integrated bottle holder, and a deep combing around the cockpit to accommodate various spray skirts/covers. There are carry handles at both ends. The color I chose is a marbled blue & white, which is very easy on the eyes.
Now for performance. Because of the relatively short length and wide beam, I expected the boat to be rather slow and not track too well. I was pleasantly surprised when I paddled it for the first time, as it responds quickly to commands, moves relatively fast, and tracks beautifully. I credit this to the hull design, the bottom having deep chines moulded in for nearly the entire length, which give it great directional attitude as well as providing additional stiffness and strength to the hull, and I suspect contribute to it's awesome stability.
The boat handles very well in rougher water, holding it's line well in waves, and if left relatively uncorrected, actually turns her bow into the waves. Because of the short front deck, she does ship some water, but not excessively, but for frequent use in rougher water, I would recommend a spray skirt to deflect some of the bigger water coming over the deck.
All things considered, I found this boat to have many positive attributes, and relatively few drawbacks. I am enjoying it immensely, and would recommend it, or the model Perception has replaced it with to anyone wanting a well made, comfortable, great handling, and fun kayak. Finally, at 48 lbs of roto-molded polyethylene, it is easily handled by one person.
My only complaint is that the plastic is a bit thin on the bottom of the boat. It can be a little disconcerting to hear the plastic flex when a fish hits it. That being said, I've had the kayak for three years and have had no problems with it on lake, river, or creek.
Comes with two rod holders and also a rod holder in front which is actually too far up front to reach so I never use it. I like it very much and will keep this kayak forever. PS good flotation is added too!
Simply put, I cannot recommend this kayak due to it's design, and/or manufacturing flaws, and more importantly, the companies lack of concern, and unwillingness to even listen to the problems, much less offer to take care of it. It's fair to point out that I merely called Perception to give them feedback so that it might help them fix these design weaknesses in future boats, yet the people as Confluence immediately went into what I refer to as "defense mode" the moment I mentioned a "problem with my kayak". I feel people have a right to know how a company operates AFTER the purchase of a kayak, so I'm trying to be part of the solution by stating it here for all who care to know. I would have given this boat at least a 7, or possibly an 8 if the seat had not broken, the bulkhead had not been defective, and the company showed more concern/professionalism for it's product.
I will keep the boat, and will fix these problems myself. Needless to say, had I known all this before hand, (which is why I'm reporting the first review of this kayak here) I certainly wouldn't have bought it at the (what I consider to be) "premium price" it sells for. I'm hoping this will help someone else with making a decision of what they want/need. I truly wish I could have given a more positive review of this boat. Hopefully, Confluence will get it together, and realize that "our satisfaction" will be key to their success.
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