This is the first kayak I've built. It weighs 37 pounds which is not bad for a 16 foot boat. I can carry it with one hand which is kind of nice getting in and out of the water. It tracks like it is on a rail and never needs a sweep stoke even in 20-25 MPH winds. Just a little edging keeps it going where you are headed. It is definitely necessary to lean and edge turn it.
Initial stability is okay but secondary is solid. First time kayakers will find it a little tippy getting in for the first time but will quickly get used to it.
I am 5'8" and 175 pounds and the cockpit is just right for me. I built foot rest's and attached them to the gunwales which cause my feet to stick up higher than they should. On my next boat I'm going to attach them to the chine stringer which should help with this. Some builders have raised the deck a little and this might be a good idea if you have big feet.
We live a mile from the Mississippi River which is like a monster waiting to get you, or so most people that live here think. We've been on four river trips since the end of August including the Phatwater challenge which is a 42 mile race. Each time the boat handled extremely well only getting me wet one day when crossing a dike.
My impressions are very positive for the Sea Tour. In fact I'm currently building another one. My only complaint is it's not as fast as I would like for it to be. Might just be me.This is a nice general-purpose kayak. Mine is framed with cedar stringers and 1/2 inch marine plywood. It has a 12 oz. nylon skin with 2-part polyurethane coating. With my laminated fir coaming, plus Keepers foot braces, commercial flotation bags, and plenty of rigging, it weighs 30 pounds. I built mine with an extra 6 inches of length, part of which went into extra, nicely curved bow taper. This 22 in. wide boat is quite stable, decently efficient, and will heel over on edge for manuevering.
I also added a 2 cm. of height to the front coaming, to add a little more foot room. At 5 ft. 9 in. with size 9 1/2 feet, I get by with snug shoes and the foot braces. Without foot braces, somewhat larger feet will fit.
A Yost boat is not hard to build, and there are a lot of experienced builders willing to discuss the details at kayakforum.com (as well as a searchable archive, where answers to common questions are ready and waiting). If you just stumbled into this review with no previous knowledge of Yost skin-on-frame kayaks, check out yostwerks.com.
This was my 3rd Yost boat. I'm not going to submit reviews on the others, but will add brief comments here:
The Sea Rider (multichined variant) -- 17 ft. x 19 1/2 in. -- is a very efficient Greenland-ish hull, fairly stable for its width. The cockpit is small, and there's not much extra foot room. Forget about installing foot braces unless you have short legs and small feet. You have to be willing to sit with straight legs; some people love it, but I could not take it.
The Sea Otter R -- 15 ft. x 20 in. Very tender, at least with a 135 lb. paddler. Similar in design to the Sea Tour 15 R. Skip the Sea Otter and go directly to the Sea Tour.