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Napali The Napali by Perception
a field review by Henry E. Dorfman


Specifications, NAPALI:
15 feet, 7 inches long
26 inches wide
Weighs 74 pounds
Maximum Capacity: 375 pounds

The plus is speed, turnability and low wind resistance. The drawbacks are no midship handles, difficult hatch covers and sadistic seat outfitting. The relatively narrow beam and low profile provide some of the speed as well as good access to the water for a vertical, powerful stroke, and it deifinitely has a lot of glide in its stride. I test drove this along with a Tarpon and the Napali's edge in speed was discernable. Even with a somewhat skinny waist, the kayak is stable. The boat is responsive to leans and turns well.


I haven't had the opportunity to paddle in big water, but suspect the Napali could benefit from a skeg (I don't use rudders). The adjustable foot pegs are great, as are the handles at bow and stern. There are no midship handles, which would help lug around this heavy boat. You have to use the thigh straps for solo carry. The hatches are plastic covers strapped over neoprene/heavy shock cord caps that you have to be an octopus to get on in under a minute. If I had wa Some special feature. I just threw in a pad and, after an hour, comfort came about as easily to me as acting comes to Steven Seagal. I'm chucking the entire rig for a supportive seat-back combo (deck hardware comes installed). While the boat has a few warts, if you feel the need for speed without the instability of a needle boat, this is the ticket.

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