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One thing I should mention though – even on a completely calm lake with no wind or current, it still can have a bit of front-end drift (either right or left). It seemed somewhat random in how it acted, and it required a few strokes now and then to correct its course. It could be that the hull in the front does not come down to much of a "point" or narrow down to a fin-like shape that would create somewhat of a "keel effect" (which may be able to help the situation if it was more like that). Some additional weight in the front may help keep it more solidly situated in the water, and therefore stay its course better. Here are a couple examples. With me in the back at 200 pounds and my wife in the front at 140, we tracked fine. But when I tried it solo w/ the seat more in the middle, the bow end wanted to roam. Even with my wife at 140 in the back and our daughter at 110 in the front, it still wanted to roam some at the bow even when paddling. This model may not be available anymore, and maybe they have replaced it with another basic model with more consistent tracking.
The boat tracks well in most water conditions however I have found myself getting more than a little damp in rapid water. The Twin Otter is comfortable for short to mid range trips I have taken it on one 16-mile trip and it was fine. It is pretty maneuverable too; I took it through some flooded islands this spring and was able to paddle right with my friends who were in single kayaks.
I give this boat a 9 because it lacks some of the creature comforts of some newer more expensive boats like padded seats, cup holders, and dry storage, but I think that all came on later models.
It is a great boat, we wanted a tandem kayak with the ability to paddle solo as well, so she can paddle on a lake near a whitewater river I am paddling or with friends when she works weekends. I am 6'4", 290, she is 5'4". We can both adjust the rear seat to a solo paddle position no problem, so I wonder what the other people are doing different. I would recommend this boat to friends.
My wife and I paddled a pair of Keowees by Perception for a few years until our pooch out grew sitting on back (a matter of a few months). I bought a Twin Otter in August of 2000 thinking that it would be perfect. NAAAA...pooch wants to be a bow rider. Hauling her in and getting a bath and shower every time, grew old really quick. Get this, she doesn't like the water either. I built her bow railings of rope and pvc pipe. Great Idea! The pooch hasn't gone overboard for nearly 10 years now.
Like it's kin (the one person Otter)it is very stable maneuvers well and is good in up to class II rivers. Unlike it's kin, it tracks well and is so much faster. Heck, I had to buy my wife a 13' 4" Perception America to keep up with me and the pooch. I have dragged it over stones and rocks, from the truck to water everywhere because it is heavy for this oldtimer. You younger guys'n'gals should make play of it. I just sold it and the buyer was surprised with it's good condition. So, yes, it is durable and passes the test of time.
I find the overall weight very comfortable in handling solo in transporting to and from the truck, or putting away at the end of the day. But I am in pretty good shape, someone else may need help.
I found the tracking was very well with beginners. My daughter went out with the granddaughter, both beginners also, they found it was fun to paddle around and enjoy nature.
However, as good as it is with two people, I have a hard time paddling it solo. I'm a large man (5'10 and 275#) and I cannot get the rear seat forward enough, nor the front seat back enough for me to balance the kayak well. As a result one end of of the kayak lifts out of the water and it tracks terribly. What I have done to compensate for this is that I will kneel on a boat cushion in the middle of the kayak where I need to be. This is fine for short trips, but uncomfortable for a medium to long trip. This season, I'm going to try sitting where I need to be with one of those folding stadium seats with a back rest.
The other issue I have is that foot rests were installed for both seats - but due to the rails that the seats attach too, the foot rests for the rear seat are unusable. The foot rests should have been made a little longer to compensate for the seat rails.
Other than those issues, the kayak is great for its price range. Very very difficult to tip, but once it does it goes over fast and there is no time to recover. It's very comfortable for two adults or children. I would recommend it for a recreational kayak.
The low rating is because of how it handles solo (might handle better for a smaller person) and because of the rear seat foot rests.
Yes you can get a boat with better tracking but the investment is not the same and both my otters cost me the price of a better twin kayak... excuse my English, I'm French speaking.
This boat has built in flotation as well..a good plus. I'm absolutely happy with this yaks utility, build, quality & price. Fish on!
The main problem of tracking that some folks complained about can be minimized with proper weigh distribution. With the adjustable seats positioned correctly and I carry a small 12lb anchor under the bow, this kayak handles well. Not like a 14ft solo…but in this configuration, it still is safe for solo paddling. I got hunter green and am looking to buy a collapsible trailer for porting. All in all… a great 2 up kayak that is very serviceable for one when the need arises.
I would urge anyone considering the twin, of any make, to first consider a small single such as the Otter or the Perception Swifty. My wife, after paddling a Loon 100 and a Loon 110 in Florida, decided she wanted to be "Mistress of her own fate", so we sold the twin and bought another Otter. Once you get over 40 lbs, "stuff" gets cumbersome.
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