I got a lot of great advice here on my boat choice. Now my Inuit 13.5 just arrived, and so far the fit seems right on. I have a couple of question for other owners though, as a couple of things seem different from the website descriptions I had found.
First off, the foot pegs. From what I've seen on the web, this boat was supposed to come with rod-adjustable oversized ergonomic foot pads. The one I got has the cheap pinch-and-slide pegs, that you have to grab to move. Is that how they're supposed to be now? I noticed that when it was still called Native they advertised that, but Liquidlogic is mum on this - did they do away with that?
Also, the hatch covers are VERY loose. Pretty much falling off. I wonder if they mis-matched them or something, I asked the company.
And lastly, it seems VERY light! It is said to be quite heavy, but it feels much lighter than boats listed at 4-5 lbs less than this boat's supposed 55 lbs. I was expecting a thick, tough hull, as they claim they use the same design employed in their WW boats, but this hull seems really dainty to me…
Any thoughts from current owners would be much appreciated.
just remembered this vid
toward the end, some design changes to the Marvel & Inuit series are talked about to bring the price down from past years:
He actually says specifically that they dropped the foot braces. Oh, well, too bad.
Funny they mention the cost cutting. I dont know what they were like before, but it feels a little cheaper than I had expected…
Foot braces are easily swapped out
A variety of companies offer foot pegs/braces
I personally like the Yakima product:
-Strong aircraft aluminum with milled
in 'sand slots' for clog free operation
-Plastic track - aluminium rail combination
for a corrosion free mechanism
- Simple spring loaded lever lock on foot pegs
- Easy, 'blind reach in the cockpit' readjustment
I can replace that
Thanks, the foot pegs are not a huge deal really. Anyone have any advice on the hatch cover issue though? The rear one looks like it would fall off if I just turn the boat upside down and shake it… Technically I could return the boat, but I’m not going to do that over a hatch cover, seems silly and just the schlepping to and from the store makes it not worth it. Is there something I can do myself, like add a gasket or something? Does anyone know where I can order the replacements? The company just said “contact the dealer and they can order a replacement”. I’ll ask REI to do it, but is there a faster solution? And is this a common problem for these boats?
Contact LL Customer Service
I had a LL Coupe that also had ill-fitting hatch covers, so it could be a supplier QA issue. “Obie” was very responsive and sent replacement covers that fit better, as well as an improved design skeg wire.
The old Native “Easy Foot” oversized pegs might still be available as an upgrade, but there are other options.
As far as the weight goes, take a bathroom scale outside and weigh yourself, then weigh yourself again while hoisting the boat and see what it comes out to.
I’d be curious to take a look at it…
the Native-branded Inuits I’ve seen looked like excellent quality. I recall being impressed by the bulkheads and the overall fit & finish. Wondering what other manufacturing changes were made in transitioning it to the LL brand and bringing down the price. LL’s whitewater boats are certainly known for being pretty bomber.
That’s the assumption I was going on!
I think you mentioned you were in the DC area. We could certainly meet on the water (or off) and I’d be happy to get your opinion. Is there any private message option here? I’m on the Maryland side, close to the city.
they do seem great
I got in touch with Ben from Legacy, my contact in LL customer service, who has already been helpful in the choice and fit. He immediately offered to send replacements, and I will confirm a couple of details and measurements with him. This speed and availability certainly bodes well for a future relationship with the company.
A hatch cover should be tight
If not a wave will take it right off at the worst time possible. You’ll be having trouble in waves higher than you are used to paddling and then you’ll be dealing with a sinking boat. Bad deal. Don’t just accept this. Find a way to modify the boat so the hatch is held down or send the boat back and get a safe one.
there’s no PM
but you can email me via the icon below this post. I’m in VA near the Occoquan Reservoir and a few other great paddling opportunities.
Pegs will be a problem
Nothing sucks more than having a peg fail
when you want to brace in waves and chop
Hatch Covers = Safety
The covers should be secure and nearly waterproof (if not entirely waterproof). They should withstand self rescues and rescue attempts and should not budge when hit by waves or rapids. It is very dangerous for them to open or let lots of water in - try it some day during pool practice this winter (you do plan to check the pool days at CPAKayaker.com, right?) to see what happens to your stability and your ability to directionally control the boat with water in one or more hatches…
It is a serious safety issue for the covers to be good. Hopefully, the replacements will work, but with plastic boats sometimes the mould of the boat is bad and there isn’t a choice of covers that would be tight without additional gizmos to keep them in place… A boat replacement should be done by the manufacturer (could go through the store if you like too) in such cases.
safety is my concern too
…and now you guys are scaring me! Thanks
I know, I have to fix it. I just honestly don’t feel like going through a return, exchange, take the boat back and forth etc. I know, I’ll do it if I have to, but after I already had a botched order that had me wait for a boat for 2 weeks and it never came, I just want to go on the damn water!
I will ask them to get me the tightest covers they can find in their factory, and see if that fixes it. If there is indeed a moulding issue, I will have to return it, because I won’t know what else could be wrong… Now, what makes me a bit worried here is that there is a video review of an inuit out on the web - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCfZD-K4imw -and if you watch it, the guy seems to snap the covers off with a finger, very easily. Any other inuit owners out there (either the Native or the LL incarnations) know if this might just be a systematic problem? If this is the case, those videos of the inuit in the Lava falls and the other WW play ones have to be fake
Also, will a trip to home depot potentially help? Are there gaskets I can just add to the system, and fix it myself?
DIY is an option
If the replacements don't fix the issue, I can think of several ways to secure them. Luckily, plastic is easy to drill and good hardware stores sell stainless steel hardware and rubber-lined washers, much like what you probably have on the foot braces and the seat. With a length or two of webbing and plastic clamps for the ends in the center (also sold in these stores) you ocould fashion a strap for the hatch covers that keeps them secured down and is easy to unclamp for use. Should not be more than $10-$15 in materials. I'm sure there are other ways to do it too...
Looks like a nice kayak though, just enjoy it if this is the main problem and you find a solution.
I had a CD Nomad (Extreme) at one point and it came from the factory with similar straps over the hatches. Problem was, they were made of nylon, which stretched a lot when wet. So lots of water was entering and there was no way to tighten them enough when dry. CD sent me replacements that were made from some other material that did not stretch when wet - problem solved. So, if you get webbing, make sure you pick something that does not stretch when wet. Bungies might work too and many boat manufacturers use then or webbing from the factory over the covers...
As for the weight, this is a 14 foot kayak afterall. Around 50lb should be acceptable and it can still be strong enough for most uses. My WS Zephyr 15.5 (that Sapien bought from me) was about 52lb and never felt it was flimsy at all. The P&H Delphin I now have is probably over 60lb at the same length and that extra 10lb are *very* noticeable in a bad way. So consider yourself lucky if yours is lighter than advertised without obvious issues otherwise -;)
one thing that might be worth a try
3M #84901 protection film strip – made for protecting the edge of car doors. applied on the perimeter of the hatch rims, it might add enough of a layer to make the covers fit tighter.
I'll try some additional thickening of the rim - 3M is a good idea, thank Sapien.
I took a better look at it in the light today. The foot pegs are actually not bad at all. They look like the cheap pinchers, but they are not, they feel pretty solid. While a rod would be more comfortable, these nonetheless feel like I can kick solidly on maneuvers.
A different concern comes up though on closer inspection: the central portion of the hull is very soft. It indents with just finger pressure in the highest surface areas. Remember, this is that specific design with a greenland hull, so there are additional chines contacting the water, on both sides of this central area, but this center part can still be the first point of contact with a bank. Should I be worried? The softness on the deck, aft of the cockpit is not that concerning, but I never expected the central part of the hull to feel that way.
boat on the water = bitching aborted
OK, I have to say that it's very hard to grumble about little things once you paddle this thing. I just came back from a few hours on the Potomac with a giant grin on my face. I'll have to post a full review soon. It paddles like a dream! I track straighter in this thing than I did in longer boats with a skeg! I think that flex in the hull might be by design, although I'm still curious if other owners were struck by this too. It probably improves its shape once in the water. Edges, turns, and tracks very nicely, certainly for the price I paid! The fit is great, and it's in fact big for me. This is important for folks to know, I think the fit comments might be mostly when regarded as a rec boat. Because this is the smallest of the series, and I feel I could use an even significantly tighter one, at my 5'10 150 lbs frame.
A happy man, I :)