Delta 17.5 Traverse Tandem Kayak
We got our Delta Traverse 17.5T tandem kayak a couple of weeks ago from Western Canoe and Kayak in B.C. The WCK staff was very helpful answering my many questions. We ordered it in blue which looks spectacular! The fit and finish is top notch. Getting into the rear cockpit, I noticed the middle hatch takes a bit of getting used to as it impedes slightly into the foot well. You can't just slide your feet straight in, they need to go under or around the storage hatch. Once I did it a couple of times, getting in wasn't difficult at all. The front cockpit is a perfect fit for my wife. Both she and I are fairly small, and I would strongly suggest that larger paddlers test the fit of this kayak before buying, because I would categorize this boat as a good fit for small-medium paddlers. I really like that the peddle tracks are mounted to welded-on studs and there are no hole drilled through the hull. One less place for leaks. We took it on its maiden voyage at Estacada Lake in Clackamas County, OR. It was a clear, mostly windless day and the water was smooth. I was impressed with its stability, we could enter and exit easily from the dock, and on the water it was confidence inspiring and quite maneuverable. The middle storage compartment was very handy for a camera, snacks and other small items, and it kept the cockpits spaced far enough apart that we didn’t clash paddles at all, even when we were completely out of sync. The thoughtful design of the deck kept paddle-to-deck contact to a minimum even for inexperienced paddlers like us. The thigh-braces are a nice touch and add to the coziness of the cockpits, and the seats were very comfortable for our 2 hours on the water. The foot controls for the rudder worked perfectly, but I had a bit of trouble finding center, which caused us to serpentine a little. At 65 lbs., it was light enough for me to lift it out of the water on to the dock by myself. I should reiterate that the smallish cockpits of the 17.5T fit us well, but larger/longer paddlers should test before buying. In comparison, the cockpit of the Eddyline Whisper CL seemed huge. The Delta 17.5T seems very well put together and the attention to the small details made it our choice vs. the competition. We hope to spend many hours on the water with her.