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Seabird Design Expedition combines speed, stability, volume, weight and design very well! Few kayaks on the market matches its all round capabilities. One of the first things you will notice is its elegant lines. The Expedition has a modern Swedish form, whitch means that it is wider behind the cockpit and also has a long waterline. This means that it is fast compared to stability with topp speed around 7 knop. In the sea you will notice how stable and secure it feels when you are surprised by a wave. Youll be able to keep up the speed even in case of bad weather. If you are planning a long trip youll appreciate its spacious hatches. The manufacturer has been able to produce one of the best open sea kayaks on the market, with a unique feeling of stability and safety. This kayak has only one limit, you! It comes with two generous compartments and one small hatch to hold your camera and cell phone. There is also a special hatch for your fishing rod and lantern. This comes extremely handy when you are fishing from the kayak, or paddling in the dark.
Weight: Glassfiber/kevlar/carbon 23kg / Kevlar/carbon 21kg / Sort carbon 19kg
Let's start positively: this boat is a bargain and if you are shopping for a BIG boat on a tight budget, you will land here sooner or later. I had the chance to paddle one when I was looking for a new boat about a year ago.
The fish-form makes for a very stable ride, and beginners will feel safe in this hull from day one. Another benefit of the swede form is the great tracking and high speed. The smaller hull around and in front of your knees and feet let you put the paddle in the water closer to the middle line; perfect for a good technique. The downside is a hull that will always sty pretty flat on the water/wave surface, so when the waves get higher, you might not be able to counterbalance the hull. I could NOT verify this, because I tested the boat on a calm day.
There's not a lot of rocker, so the hull is rather piercing the waves than bouncing up and down and this way the front hatch cover gets a lot of exposition to water and spray. While the boat tracks beautifully, turning the boat without the rudder is hard work. The Expedition was designed with a rudder and it should be used with one.
The boat is not well built. I saw cracks in the gelcoat of the two month old boat I paddeled, and the owner asured me that some of them have been there from the start. The edges of the cockpit were rather sharp - I feared for my spraydeck; another minute of sanding would have done good here. Same with the front hatch cover: it only fits so-so and paddling the boat for two hours on a rather calm sea (50cm waves, building up to 1m in the surf) added around 3 liters of water in the front cargo compartment. That's inacceptable!
A serious kayak builder would not let a boat like that pass the quality control, but that implies you HAD quality control in first place. And while you might say, that it's all just minor points, I will answer that sanding the gelcoat down and start a repair will take two to three weekends and around 100.- Euro for the material. But the real killer is the water in the front hatch. That's safety critical and I do not tolerate it.
Add 150.- Euro for a new hatch cover and a bucket of gelcoat and 20+ hours of work (cockpit rim, hatch rim, gelcoat) to the initial price, and the boat is not a bargain anymore.
• huge rear cargo bunker
• comfy cockpit for big and tall paddlers
• quite fast
• easy to handle with the rudder
• metal parts rust away
• hatch covers not watertight - everything gets soaked inside
• turnig without rudder nearly impossible
• tricky in hevy weather
Here you really get value for your money.
A sure buy if you ask me.
I got the SB Expedition Kevlar/Carbon last year.
Stabil. Never lets you down. Perfect in rough water and waves.
Perfect for beginners.
Some fittings rust and so do the wire for the rudder. So they have to be replaced. But thats minor things.