kudos to Perception - I think

Finally I emailed Perception regarding their specs on the capacity of the Sonoma 10.

Their customer service person, Emily, took my experience to her supervisor. They found out that the specs in their website for for this boat’s capacity are wrong and plan to make it right by both myself and the dealer.

All of the summer I’ve been kicking myself in the ass over the Sonoma 10 purchase. Then yesterday I decided to send them an email about my experience with the boat.

I’m impressed with their response and wanted to give them credit here.

I’ll feel even better once I’ve returned the boat, though and have my money back in my hands for a choice I will actually demo before buying next time.

what was the problem?

specs say capacity is 400 lbs is wrong
The website specs say this 35 lbs airlite boat capacity is 400 lbs. It was early summer, I felt if I spent my bonus money on a kayak I could lift myself I’d get more experience going off by myself. A dealer wrote and told me he had one. He sold it to me even after seeing me, so perhaps he believed I would be able to use this boat.

I took it out once and it filled up with water twice because it rode too low in the water with me in it. It has rested on my patio all summer -a reminder to me that although I can breathe and walk these days - I’m too heavy.

Meanwhile my old 50 lb Pungo has been on and off the roof of my van all summer. Makes it easier to find my van in the parking lots.

Perception’s customer service representative told me yesterday that their website data is indeed wrong, but she didn’t tell me what the actual capacity of that boat is.

She said they would contact the dealer and arrange for me to return the boat and compensate him for the mistake as well. I hope to hear soon from them again and set up a time for me to drive back down there to return the boat.

actual capacity
that’s the problem with these numbers,they are kind of helpful but some manufacturers simply make stuff up, the weight a boat can carry can vary according to conditions and paddler skill. If a manufacturer said “it’ll hold 200-300lbs” someone will find out that it’s really not that good with 275lbs in waves,or another manufacturer will say “can hold 350lbs” and the two boats are essentially the same.

A reputable and honest dealer would never have sold you that boat. He (or she) would have (tactfully) suggested a better fit for your personal stature and backed up that recommendation with an on the water demonstraton.

I would guess that way too many people have missed out on such a great sport due to getting initial bad advice and then assuming that all kayaking is bad.

Your experience only backs up that same old tiring, overused time and time again adage of “try before you buy”. It also confirms that you can’t beat a real Pungo. It is always a great fit whether you are tall, short, narrow, or wide!!!

Hats off to Perception for their good customer service to you. If they were smart, they should remove their franchise from that dealer. But, if he keeps making bad recommendations (as he did to you) he will soon be out of business anyway.

Now . . . get that Pungo out and enjoy a good paddle ! ! !

In my experince perceptions labels on the boats have always been a little high, they really only are general guidlines, i normally take 50 pounds off, especially with thier rec boats

Bully to you lindakeith
for not doing what most would do and simply give up and sell the boat at a loss. Sounds like you fought the system, and won. Perceptions are, IMHO, not great boats anyhow, rotomolded kiddie boats great for the rental shop at the local park, but not something you’d want to own. I’ll bet there are a ton of Perception owners out there who would disagree, but hey, I have my opinions and I am sticking to 'em. I hope you do get a really fine vessel that will give you years of good experiences, lindakeith, as you are a frequent poster on p-net and you sound like a really nice person who deserves more than a lowly Perception.

lowly perception…
I will have to disagree with you. We have 2 Perception America 13.5’s and think they are great. Guess that just makes me a lowly person not worthy of posting on this site. I have always said I was born into the wrong family—and now it’s been confirmed!

ALL boat builders…
Have good and not so good models, Perception is no different…I have a Carolina 14.5, and for it’s stated purpose it’s an okay boat: Flatwater rivers and lakes for the Land locked… I’ve found it to be more than adequate for both rivers and lakes such as Guntersville lake (Tennessee River in Northern Alabama), where you can get miles from shore in some really deep water; as weather builds whitecaps and a 1 to 2 foot swell develop…the boat is fine in those conditions as well…

That said, If I begin regular travel to Salt Water, I’ll be looking for a different boat…

different boats for different people
A P-Net member lives near my original hometown, offered to sell me his used Pungo 140 when I go to Mi for Thanksgiving. This should be a comfortable step up from the Pungo Classic 12. I know I will want to take it out ASAP but that will depend on the weather and with my lungs I have to be careful.

I plan to keep the Classic for use on rivers or if I take a friend with me. If I feel safe in the boat, then an inexperienced friend might also feel safe in it.

Some of the experienced excellent paddling folks in this area have beautiful looking boats by Perception. I admire them and their boats but mostly I appreciate the thoughtful and considerate but honest help I’ve received from the local club and espcially the 105 lbs paddler with the beautiful boat by Perception. She has warmed my heart and looked out for me.

Regarding Perception I noticed when I got home from the one night I tired it - I had sudden severe sciatica (along with my being soaked) Shortly after that I went paddling in Mi with a yonger gentleman who had just bought a very attractive long Perception but he cut the morning short due to a pain in his hip. I wondered if the boat style caused his hip pain.

Perception does not seem to have a boat for a bigger paddler, and I’ll never believe their specs again. They were, however, very nice on the phone though. The dealer himself did not refund the state sales tax though.

I’m wondering if boats are like cars, if you get one you like you hate to part with them. At least they don’t cost as much to take care of or store. Especially if one plans to store them in the living room…during the winter months.

Maybe someday I’ll be thin and even stronger and can handle a Kruger or something from Eddyline, but I have to remember 9 years ago I was walking with a cane, had some heart problems from the asthma meds, and had inhalers within immediate reach at all times. Sometimes I have to stop kicking myself and remember how lucky I am.

Maybe the Pungo 140 will be all I ever will long for, after all I’ve felt very safe and comfortable in the shorter one. Alas I’m the type who gets attached to things — I’d buy another 1980 VW Rabbit if I could find one, I still dream about that car and still wish mine had not rusted to bits at about 200,000 miles.

I dare say…
the Perception Carolina is one of the most popular kayaks in this neck of the woods and one of the most ones that people are looking for in a mid range poly yak.

Also my 12 year old poly Perception Eclipse take a licking and keeps on ticking.

I have a feeling some people buy the wrong yaks and then have to downplay the ones that they should have bought!



Don’t be surprised
if kayak dealers lock the doors when they see you coming in the future. There is nothing generically wrong with Perception boats, in some areas of the world they are the boat of choice.

The basic rule is you should sit in the boat or a demo, and paddle it for an hour or two at least before buying it. IF you don’t try the boat out don’t complain about how bad it fits or how poorly it performs. I hope perception will keep posting what they believe are the weight capacities for their boats on there web pages. I don’t see the difference between 350 lbs and 400 lbs as a huge discrepancy. Also it depends how the weight is allocated, so your results will depend on your body build, not a number based on solid mass in the boat and boat displacement volume. Lot’s of kayaks are uncomfortable out of the box, you have to modify the seat and the braces so it fits the paddler. You will see lots of posts from paddlers here tinkering with their boats or waveskis trying to make them work, not complaining about how poorly designed they are.

Test paddling not always an option.
Many dealers don’t have a test paddling option. I’d have to travel at least 90 miles to find a dealer that offers test paddling. It is a great idea if it’s available.

Dealers should be familiar enough with their boats to be able to tell a perspective buyer if it will fill up with water just from them sitting in it. If they don’t, then they need more training. The manufacturers claims for capacity should be viable, don’t blame the perspective buyer for a manufacturer’s inaccurate published capacity specs.

cooldoctor1, have you paddled Perception
? Or are you commenting from the way they look or from your perception (he, he) of the quality of their plastic as compared to your Prijon boats? As others have pointed out, Perception makes a wide variety of boats, many of which are not well suited for “kiddies”, but for more advanced paddlers.

My Keowee 1 and Keowee 2 have taken substantial abuse at my hands and at the hands of several others and have held up pretty well. I do admit that I haven’t paddled them much since I’ve bought more boats.

I kind of liked the Eclipse that I test paddled last summer.

Builders are in business

– Last Updated: Nov-09-05 6:08 PM EST –

For one reason only . . . to make money. Same with shop owners, although them may start out just wanting to “spread the word” they soon find out the have to sell boats to stay open. That is when many begin to stretch the true to fit what you want to hear so you will buy a boat. If model “A” is not selling and they have a bunch they may tell you anything in order to make the sale and pay the rent.

Therefore you must try before you buy. Even if it means driving 90 miles. If a dealer will not let you try it out than how good is their service and support after the sale going to be.

I traveled 3.5 hours to demo mine. It is the best way to buy. Go ahead and travel to a demo if you can’t demo locally. You will be glad you did.

Dealer Tried
In defense of the dealer in question, I was in his shop yesterday and saw a red Sonoma 10 sitting in the corner and asked about it. After hearing the story I put two and two together and figured it was the yak lindakeith is talking about. Apparently he tried to tell her the yak would not be a good choice for her but she had seen the website info and insisted it was the one she wanted.

I’ve bought 7 boats off the guy and always get the straight scoop. I’m glad that things worked out to her satisfaction and that Perception took it back after 4 months. I’ve always had good experiences dealing with them over the last 25 years and have owned more than a dozen of their yaks.

thanks for that post now I am pissed
He seems like a fair enough person, but the only thing he said to me - he pointed to it and said it will ride this far in the water. He didn’t warn me! Now I’m pissed. I have not mentioned his name or anything bad about him. Just the story but here you are mentioning my name and implying that I had information I did not have.

In fact he is the one who first contacted me about having a Sonoma there - I had put out an inquiry and he had answered it.

Perception Acadia 12.5
It seems okay but I would much rather find a 14 foot, flat bottom canoe. Kayak paddling doesn’t give me much of a workout.

Dirty Ed
Who are you? What gave you the right to slander me?

I did call the dealer just moments ago. I read him your post as well as told him some other things - in fact I told him quite a bit today.

If I didn’t question his overall integrity before - and I did give him the benefit of the doubt for the most part - I question it now. However I’ve not posted his name or the name of the shop. I know people who have bought boats from him and have been very happy, thin people but happy people.

I also told him that as a result of your post and his account to you I would most likely not return to his shop for another boat someday down the road, even if I lose 100 pounds.

Your post worked me into a fair state of agitation and dispair with the human race. I’m so angry I wanted to break something.

There there came the self loathing because I never planned to grow up to be sick, get put on prednisone, get fat, or fall on the ice and damage my knee.

You thin folks just have no idea what it is like.

When I was in high school I was thin, then I developed asthma and got put on prednisone. I almost died at age 46.

In fact I can usually spot a person who has been taking prednisone by where and how the fat sits on their bodies.

I swim, I do water aerobics, and I always wanted my own canoe or kayak and to be able to take care of myself. You wouldn’t know that - I’m so furious I can barely see straight.

I want to break something, eat something, bring home a bottle of tequilla tonight, and I want an apology.

wow, that’s quite the over-reaction…
I don’t think Ed’s post was malicious in it’s intent and it definitely was not “slander” as you put it. I can’t believe that a post with a differing opinion on a shop and a quick sentance as to a conversation had with the shop owner has made you “dispair with the human race.” Also, in regards to getting Ed’s name from Brent, that’s a lost cause. I’m sure Brent respects our privacy enough to protect our anonymity.

I’m sorry you’ve had a tough life but I don’t see how Ed owes you an apology or anything else for that matter.