When I was 12 years old, I developed an insane passion for kayaking. That Christmas, I was given a card from my parents along with this long box.. I unwrapped it, found a paddle. confused I opened the card, and found an invoice. a 200 dollar down payment my parents had put on a Gannet! So I was 12 years old when I first used the Gannet, and I am 20 years old right now.
I have taken this boat from London, Ontario to little current in Georgan Bay to Lake Utopia in New Bronswick. It's a great boat for light recreational fun. it handles extremely well with and with out the skeg, the ONLY drawback I really see, is the lack of storage space.
Now that I'm 20 years old, I want to go on over nighters and so I will have to buy another kayak, but that is okay, because now I will be able to take friends with me for little day trips! I have NEVER flipped it, not once... and so I have complete faith when letting a beginner friend take it out for a spin.
So, if you can get your hands on one, take it and run, these are great, fun good learner boats with lots of advanced possibilities!!I have owned my Gannet for many years, and I bought it off a friend who had it for a couple years. We have journeyed on the big waters of Lake Erie and the Gulf of Mexico for day trips, without any issues. Loaded down, we have journeyed down swollen Michigan rivers (Rifle and Manistee). And have spent hours relaxing on placid inland lakes.
The Gannet is stable and forgiving. The skeg is wonderful and simple to engage/disengage. If you don't have one attached, call Necky, they are cheap and easy to install. The people at Necky are pleasant to deal with over the phone.
My children have all used this kayak, from ten years old to 21. Its a favorite.
Complaints: Definitely the seat. It does get uncomfortable, especially the seat back. They (Necky) do not make an alternative seat or a slip-on pad for it, so you have to glue closed cell padding on it for comfort.I already owned a Sevylor inflatable when I borrowed a Caspia from a friend. The Gannet is a much better boat. It tracks well, has enough room for my 6ft 225lb frame, and seems very durable. I can lift it by myself and put it on top of my truck.
The second complaint: No bulk heads or compartments... everything must be stuffed in via the cockpit.
Those are the only two things that have kept it from a 10. Would I recommend a Gannet... Absolutely!
I thought the seat got uncomfortable after a very short period and added minicell foam, which seems to help greatly.
I swapped boats last time out with my girlfriend and never got my boat back on that trip.