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Hi All,

The Spirit CRT has been mentioned a couple of times in forums. I recently purchased one (as a second kayak to go with my Barracuda SOT) and thought that I would submit a review.

First, here are the requested details:
Make/Model of Kayak: Spirit CTR (surf ski cross trainer)
Length/Weight of Kayak: 4 M / 18 Kg
Approximate Price (New/Used): $700 (used)/$1000 (new)
Key Features / Layout: Basic surf ski with rudder
Allround 'Fishability': Relatively low
Ability to Customise/Accessorise: Possible (within reason)
Best Aspects: Very light (18 Kg), fast, has a rudder, is surprisingly stable, quite inexpensive, not too long (4 meters is easy for me to store)
Worst Aspects: Cannot carry much gear, not suitable for anyone over 185 cm tall or over 100 Kg
Conditions best suited to (Estuary/Offshore/Rivers): Estuary and nearby ocean - I would not take it too far offshore
Overall score out of 10: 3 for use as a primary fishing kayak and 8 for use as a secondary fishing kayak

So the question is - why purchase this kayak? Essentially, I purchased this as a second kayak, the idea being that I would paddle around with my son or friend, most of the gear (and lunch) on my own kayak (Barracuda SOT), and the other person can just have a good time paddling and occasional fishing. For me, weight is a huge issue. My shoulders are not all in that great shape, so I wanted to get something that is as light as the Barracuda. I also wanted something that is relatively stable: I went to Prokayaks in Narrabeen and they let me paddle their Spirit around. Considering how thin the boat is, and the shape of the hull, I was surprised at the primary stability: Much more stable than I had anticipated. More importantly, my son (13 years old) loved it and found that he could paddle along with me (for 15 minutes at a stretch at least).

I wouldn't recommend this boat as a primary fishing platform, but rather as a basic recreational kayak that, with the addition of a couple of rod holders, could act as an ancillary fishing boat for the occasional friend. There really isn't much storage - a single six inch hatch, a small area with a bungee at the back, and that is about it. I suppose that you could create another hatch for storage , but I don't think that it would ever be a primary fishing boat. Also - the stability: While it is quite stable in paddling position, I don't think that it is particularly good at turning around to store fish and just relaxing while fishing.

Where it shines is simply the fact that you can put a weaker paddler on it and they can keep up. Indeed, I found that my son could easily outpace me while I am paddling in my Barracuda. We took it out in Botany Bay the other day and had a grand time in the 1.5 meter swells near the entrance of the bay.

If interested in purchasing one, I would strongly recommend going for a test paddle first.
 

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