West Marine Kayak

We purchased this Kayak a few months before we left to cruise. It was an introductory Kayak to see if W/ wanted to spend time off exploring small shallow areas, get more exercise, and enjoy a different way of being on the water. Needless to say the kayak was a miserable experience.

We first used it at our boat christening, and then a week or so later when we had family visit. We packed it away to use once out cruising. It was packed in the bag in which it came and placed in a dry Sun less locker for about 4 years. Remember it was only used 2 times prior to this and before being packed away we completely washed with mild soap and dried.

On the North Coast of Panama at Puerto Lindo W/ had some friends that were Kayakers So we got it out and blew it up. She tooled around for a bit and then we stored it on deck. The following day she went with a small group to a local restaurant and then I returned in it. Fortunately we took the dinghy over too!

That evening we stored it on deck again and the following day she went to use it. It was a little low on air (it isn't the best) and I put some more air in. About 15 minutes later she was sinking! Back at the boat she climbed out and we brought the Kayak on deck. I discovered a leak at the PVC valve. I tried to fix it but fixing a circular piece of PVC out here cruising is nigh on impossible. Using the kit that was included with the purchase I thought I had it repaired only to find a new leak next to what I had repaired. I tried to take off more of the valve only to discover I would continue to chase the leak all the way around and never get a good seal.

The end result is that we threw the Kayak out. Although West Marine should guarantee it by the time we struggle to get it packed in Panama, taken on a plane (luggage is now getting expensive to fly with) I figure we'll end up simply throwing good money after bad. The best thing to do so this doesn't cost us anymore is to ditch it and let others know of the quality of the product. If you are buying it for one or two uses and than expect to throw it away go for it. If you expect it to last as I would expect any marine product to last longer then four uses this is not the one.

Grade ... F

Grade F...