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The Category 5 carves turns like a sports car hugs a rural road curve. The boat is very fast as noted by other reviewers. At an hour-long workout pace, the boat easily holds a 5.5 mph to 6.0 pace. One reviewer noted that there is no deck rigging on the fore deck. I found this as a good thing as we all have our own personal ideas as what works best. I easily added the decking on my boat and outfitted the boat to accommodate my model GPS and water bottle, map, etc. The previously noted sounds from the bow-wake come from the slight-sloping bow to increase the waterline of the boat. I have found that the bow's slight-sloping bow may snag and wrap leaves or grass more easily than a more exaggerated bow. This is such a minor issue, in my opinion, but noted here only in response to a previous reviewer.
In short, double thumbs-up on the Hurricane Category 5.
At 5'10" , 225 , and size 12 feet I'm a pretty tight fit for this boat. The Factory Rep said it was designed for people under 200 pounds. So it was not the most comfortable boat for me but it was in the top three most comfortable sit inside kayaks I have tried. When I loose another 25 pounds I plan to try it again. If it fits better I will buy it and ad a rudder for windy days. It really does reward paddling faster with faster speed. It is very light and very inexpensive for a fitness boat. As it is so short maybe I could race in the Rec boat class and do well.
First of all, the kayak is designed for exercise. Fine, however, that does not excuse certain design features. For example, there is no rigging in front of the cockpit. This rigging would have been useful for storing hydration packs. Even having a day hatch a la Cletus would have been useful. Second, the boat has very low primary stability. This is unusual given that the boat has a 23 inch beam. I have paddled boats with 21 inch beams that have far better primary stability. Third, this boat needs either a skeg or a rudder. This boat has an extremely bad tendency to weathercock in any form of wind or wave.
During a recent paddle in very moderate waves and wind (something that my other boats would have handled well), the boat wanted to go its own. I simply gave up paddling just to see what it would do. Well, it swung around -- driven by the wind and waves. Lets see -- poor design, poor primary stability, excessive windcocking -- not good. That's why this boat rates a 6.
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