I just inherited the Cruiser II. Someone had stored it on a Sea-Doo trailer and not adjusted the trailer support rails to properly fit the craft, collapsing the hull somewhat between the port gunwale and keel. I fixed the width of the supports and applied internal pressure on the hull, which, over the period of about a week, has done wonders. I don't think it will ever regain its shape completely, but I'm sold on roto-molded small boats and their capacity for taking a beating with good recovery! I don't think the hydrodynamics were affected dramatically, and this is certainly not a racing craft, so the performance reduction is nominal, to be sure.
I took it out on a relatively calm lake with periodic chop and minor-medium winds. VERY stable craft. I love to canoe, but this little rig is more stable than anything I've ever paddled without an outrigger. Gear storage is very good, and after six hours of water time, perhaps a few tablespoons of water had gotten into the boat, and only after a few squirrelly kids had taken it out for a while, making a concerted effort to rock and splash the craft and each other.
The rudder makes for effortless orienting, a positive mark when my young and inexperienced paddlers are sitting in front, hacking at the water.
It is a little cumbersome to move around. 70 lbs seems like a lot more when it's so large, but it seems very rugged. I'm looking forward to getting another one or two kayaks like it.Right off the bat, I should let you know that I bought the Cruiser II for a very specific purpose: daytripping and overnighting with my 4 year old. I was interested, therefore, in stable, forgiving, easy-to-handle double kayaks. I ruled out closed cockpit boats because I was uncomfortable with the idea of not being able to grab my kid in an emergency. Next, I ruled out double sit-on-tops that were too long or heavy to be lifted and car-topped solo. That narrowed the field substantially, and in the end the Cruiser II was the only boat that I could lift by myself (with difficulty, mind you) and still was boat enough to handle overnighting. I've had it now for a few months and I've done several day trips and one overnighter with my son. Here are my thoughts:
The bad: the hatches are really hard to pry off, especially when the weather is colder. With just a child in the front seat (ie: no cargo), the boat gets pushed around a bit by strong quartering head winds (even with the skeg deployed). It's not fast (about 3 knots cruising speed). It's heavy and hard to manage on shore solo.
The good: it is super-stable. It turns very easily (lots of rocker). Below-deck storage is ample for touring. The main hatches are large. The day hatch is conveniently placed between the stern paddler's legs. It's a very dry boat, since the seats are placed above the channels with the drainage holes. With all the room and stability, it's comfortable for both parent and child (the child can crawl all over the place without making it feel tippy).
All in all, I'm happy with the boat. It may look like a barge and it won't win any races, but I feel confident that I have chosen a versatile boat for me and my son. For safety alone - great stability and easy turning - I recommend the Cruiser II to parents who want to go out on the water with their young kids.The Cruiser 2 is a very large sit-on-top kayak with a capacity of 650 + pounds. I bought it for river expeditions and gulf fishing. The boat has excellent lines and a tall bow and stern for ocean travel. Although the Cruiser 2 weighs 75 pounds its design allows it to move very fast for its width and size. The boat is very stable and has a much higher ergonomic and finish quality than most sit-on-tops. Since I weigh 260 and have good upperbody strength I find the tracking and speed to be very acceptable solo.
I highly recommend this kayak for the purposes of non-whitewater river expeditions and all kinds of fishing including ocean fishing...and casual surfing as well. BigFish gives it a Thumbs-up!