I paddled this kayak (fiberglass model) from Winonah MN to New Orleans on the Mississippi River, it took my partner and I 53 days. We had severe winds, still water, fast current (high water resulted in no rapids by the "chain of rocks" just a mild dip) and averaged 36 miles a day at an average of 6 miles per hour (keep in mind the 2-3 mph surface current).
It's stability is amazing, we never tipped. IT HOLDS A TON OF GEAR. We packed every inch of the inside and strapped bags on top...approx 220lbs of gear.
I would highly recommend this kayak for anyone planning a long trip, has 2 adults and one child, prefers stability over speed, or wants a kayak that will last. The only downside to this was coming home to FL and realizing the small need for a 22ft kayak.Our initial impression of the boat is very positive. We immediately felt comfortable sitting in the kayak because it is very roomy. We spent 3 1/2 hours straight the boat and didn't get sore at all. Not even a little. After a brief adjustment period, mainly to get our signals straight, we were easily in sync with our paddle strokes. We've paddled tandems before but it has been a while.
We like the roominess, and the storage capacity (you really can bring the kitchen sink!). I read that the boat was hard to turn and that the rudder didn't work. The rudder worked well for us and we found the boat easy to turn with or without the rudder. In fact, I didn't use the rudder most of the way back, even after the wind picked up. You can't turn it on a dime, but you could run circles around a fifty cent piece all day!
I particularly like the length of the boat, which allows the cockpits to be far enough apart that there isn't much spray from the front paddler. You can also paddle asynchronously, however, we found the boat to move better when we were in sync. It also tracks like an arrow, in sync or not. Rudder up or down, I didn't have to have my feet on the pegs at all. It held a line with hardly any effort.
There are a couple of minor things about the boat I don't like The largest of the minor issues is the boat speed. I figured it would be slow since it has a 32 inch beam. I mean, we don't plan on racing it, but I was very surprised how slow it actually was. Both of us together paddling leisurely were only averaging around 4 to 4.5 mph. My Tesla does that without much effort. Maybe we just need more practice. We did manage to get it up to 7.5 mph but we were paddling hard.
Next, I don't like that there isn't any drainage around either cockpit or around the front and rear hatches. The large center hatch does have drainage in the design. Also, there isn't any deck rigging in front of the rear cockpit. There are loops for rigging, but since the center hatch is so close to the rear cockpit, when you string it up, it crosses over the center hatch cover. Which means you'll have to move the rigging and anything you might have stowed there out of the way to open the hatch.
Also, there wasn't much rigging behind either cockpit. I added a couple loops behind the rear cockpit and rigged up an X. I also rearranged the rigging behind the front cockpit to form an X. The factory rigging was weak. I am going to rig up a glove box in rear cockpit and possibly add some deck rigging to the center hatch cover. That should solve the rigging problem.
Overall we are very pleased with the boat. More to come as we paddle it.As an active single cockpit paddler, I missed not having my family with me on trips to lake superior. I met many people who were traveling with guided trips in the Libra XT and really was fearful of the monster size of this boat. After looking at many different brands, I decided that molded in center seat in the Libra XT offered some advantages for my situation. I took delevery last fall and my wife and I used it on our anniversary to paddle to Madline island for lunch. She loved it and so do I. The boat is very stable, quick and fun to paddle. My paddle stoke when sitting in the back is not as comfortable as when I am in my Current Designs extreme, but that is due to the large volume of boat around you. It is a different kind of paddle, but nice to have the fear factor of a less experienced paddler quelled so that you can enjoy their company.
A week after delivery I took the boat out with my paddling partner. He pronounced the boat an aircraft carrier and scoffed that it could be any fun. We skirted in and took the boat out for a shake down and were amazed at it. With strong paddlers this boat is incredibly fast and agile. It handles waves without a care and is stable as they come. We are already planning trips to include our wives and we are not concerned about their safety or ability to keep up. I still prefer the connectiveness of my Extreme, but think that if you have a spouse and child or dog that you want to include in your paddling adventures, you can't go wrong with this boat. I gave it a 10 for layup quality and design. It is not a 10 in handling, but it is a much different boat than a single and I doubt any double has the paddling characteristics as a single. I can say that even my snobbish paddling partner thinks it is a great boat.My wife kept complaining when I went off alone kayaking. So I traded my single in for a new Current Designs Libra XT. Believe it or not, I do not regret the transaction... We've gone out on Lake Michigan on Sunday mornings before the drunken sailors hit the waters. The Libra XT handled 3-4 feet waves without a problem. It is very fast and extremely stable, even when handling the wakes of the big boats, intentional or otherwise.
We passed Navy Pier on our way back and the spectators all cheered us... I guess they got tired of watching beer bellied sailboat operators and wild-eyed jet skiers... Can't think of a better way to be on big water. My wife and I even had fun together...