Anyone know the Wilderness Systems Alto?

There is one for sale on a lawn near me and I finally took a better look at it. Overall good condition even with the age, obviously stored inside and someone took better care with the hull than I bother with my boats. It is ruddered of course given the era and in need of a float bag up front, but it appears to be a small person’s boat. That is intriguing, I am wondering about getting it and leaving it stashed in an alternate vacation location.

Anyone know this boat? Thanks if you do.

Google finds quite a lot of info on them.

Hmm. Thanks for that link. I am in an often challenged location for connectivity. Appears to be a good fit for someone bigger than me. Will have to be sat in.

When I bought my first “loaner” boat 11 years ago it was from a guy who was selling three older poly touring boats and one of them was an Alto. He lived in the country and I was able to test paddle them on his farm pond. I actually liked the fit of the Alto (of course, I am a little bigger than you) and the way it felt in the water better than the other two choices, which were a Prijon (forgot the model but it had too much rocker for my taste) and a barge-ish Dagger Magellan. I did end up choosing the Magellan instead (with some regret) because I suspected it would feel more stable for the beginners I was apt to put in it. But if I could have afforded two at that point I would have bought that Alto.

This boat is a bit of a rail, probably why it seemed like a low volume to me. I suspect its stability is not overly kind. But the owner did add a rudder and replaced the cables for sale - I will probably go by and sit in it sometime today. Just out on a front lawn so that should be easy.

Jim and I tried the Magellan, had real hope for it. But we were lucky enough to get it into some good clapitois and we both felt the boat wallowed some. Not something we would have noticed on the flat. Tried a Prijon that was supposed to be perfect for us the same day. Almost opposite response, it was very stiff and kicked around rather ridiculously. I think that day we finally landed on our first two sea kayaks, or at the next visit to this kayak outfitter.

I tried an Alto as one of my first demos. Weathercocked badly, but I was a total newbie also.

I owned an Alto for many years and loved it. It’s comfortable, fast and stable for a fairly sleek kayak. Kept it indoors and remained in excellent condition. I glued foam pads to the ceiling for leg comfort. As with all polypropylene kayaks it’s a bit heavy but still doable for one person to carry for short distances. If you can find one for a good price it’s worth it. I sold mine for $300 and threw in a pump and new $150 paddle. Now that I think about it, I was ripped off.

That Magellan served my purposes (as a fair-weather loaner) for many years but I got tired of loading and hauling it, even with help – those old Daggers were built like battleships and it weighed close to 65 pounds. It was still in great shape and I sold it for $400 (what I had paid for it 5 years before).