OK, I'm probably not really qualified to review this boat but I did just buy one to supplement my OT Loon 138 tandem (duck hunting boat for me & Lab) and replace a single seat Loon 138 that I bought to keep up with the girlfriend's new Impex Sea Breeze. It did, but was just too heavy.
We looked at the Lincoln's last year while on vacation in Maine, and while they didn't have anything that suited her, I was struck by the Chebeague. I happened on a clearance 2006 model at Blue Mountain Outfitters in Marysville,PA; talked to them about it last year and bought it this year. I can recommend them as nice people do deal with and for having a VERY fully equipped store.
I've paddled the boat 4 times now, once on flat, still water and the rest on Lake Ontario in mild, barely white capping waves. It seemed just almost twitchy the first time out and I almost twitched myself into the lake by over controlling it. But after a bit more seat time it's settling in and my confidence is increasing. From everything I've read it's typical new and improved boat adjustment.
I managed to turn it nicely a few times and had zero trouble paddling it into, across, and downwind with a steady 15-20 mph breeze. It seemed pretty fast, although I really had no comparison.
Going again tomorrow and Saturday but with some other boaters this time so I'll get their opinions of it and see if it keeps up with other light touring boats. I rolled it over a half dozen times to see how a wet exit would be and it was stone simple. Next, putting the skirt on and figgering out how to roll it back upright.
It's got a wonderfully comfortable seat and, in my VERY limited use, a pretty comfortable backband. And maybe the best thing about it besides the weight is that nobody seems to ever have seen or heard of one before. Cool.
The Kevlar/fiberglass Chebeaque is a fun boat to paddle. My only complaint is that I am a BIG GUY (270Lb) and getting in and out of the cockpit opening is a bit difficult. I had to totally remove the knee braces, and that helped a lot. The cockpit width is fine at 17", but the 28.5" length is tight for me.
The learning continues...
The boat is great for lakes and the local river (1 mile wide) and it handles my weight well, but I wouldn't want to add much gear weight. I find the boat tracks fast and straight when paddling, but likes to drift sideways when I stop paddling for a break. This is slightly annoying, but not a problem. It handles rough water well also, but 18-20" swells is the most I have had it in. I have not hads any trouble with leaking harches, but I have never rolled in it either.
The boat feels very stable. I like to photograph wildlife, and I take my camera along all the time. Speed seems very good too. Over all it is a great, and lightweight boat that I would reccomend to anyone. Pricing was decent for a kevlar layup too! It seemd to have a vewry strong hull and deck also.It is one year since my last review. Had a rudder installed by Lincoln over the winter, which was a great improvement. Tired of fighting the boat down wind. With a rudder it is fine. They did a nice job on the install with quality hardware.
The hatch design will leak a few thimbles of water if waves are over a couple of feet high. Not a big problem, but put stuff in zip lock bags. Offshore would want flotation bags in the hatches. Added a compass, some lines and have paddled quite a few miles. Boat is holding up very well. Basic layup of hull is quite good.
The Lincoln is an odd boat. You never see another one. And, if you are headed to the North Sea in a gale it is probably not the best choice. If your paddling, however, tends to be large lakes it is a well made quality boat. I go through 4' boat wakes with ease. Good stability and speed. Bottom line, I like it. But then again I like odd things. Her name is Blueberry. She is about that color.Have to agree with the previous review. Boat is actually quite seaworthy going to windward. Through a 3+' sea it was very comfortable. The bow cuts through the wave passing water over the bow, but then the high rise near the cockpit easily sheds the water. Have never gotten wet. Downwind, the factory option rudder would be very desirable, and will have mine upgraded to add it.
I trimmed the thigh braces back a little for comfort, which I understand is a common mod on these models.
Bottom line is that if most of your paddling is on lakes, this is a fast boat in compact package. Same comments on hatches.The Chebeague is an unusual kayak. In an age of Hutchinson inspired Kayaks designed to take on the mightiest offshore swells, it is a machine designed for moderate waters. And, in the sheltered waters of Long Island Sound's outer harbors, this boat is wonderful. It tracks straight as an arrow, which is unthinkable in a short boat. The bow and stern with almost no rocker, give a water length equal to many ~16' boats, which makes her very fast for her length. And, the boat is very stable and yet maneuverable. A real confidence builder. The manufacturer says she is 33 lbs in glass/Kevlar, and while my bathroom scale is not tested, I would call it closer to 36 lbs. The paint colors don't look quite right hanging in my basement, but somehow look good when floating in the water. The hatches are fine for moderate seas, but leak when doing rolling drills. I put bags in the compartments.
So, if you are planning a trip to the North Pole, you will not be happy with this boat. But, if your daily fare is sheltered waters and you want a fast straight tracking little boat, the Chebeague is in class by itself.
It also carries my ~200 lbs, yet my 140 lb wife loves it (and she normally paddles a Tchaika).