Older Stellar SES what to look out for?

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10 months 1 day ago #40389 by LB
Hi I’m looking at a couple of Stellar SES kayaks for sale, which are around 2011 vintage.
Any thoughts on how they hold up at that age and anything I need to look out for?
Thanks

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10 months 20 hours ago #40400 by Bill L
I have a SES in excel layup I got in 2011; I believe it is the 2nd gen SES. I have over 800 hrs on it, all in the ocean. I have had no problems with it - no leaks, no cracks, nada. Relative to other skis, its construction has always seemed very robust to me. The leash attachment point is very strong.

I did have to do a minor repair the of the gelcoat on the bow, but that was from me whacking it into my garage, so, don't do that.

It's great secondary stability makes it my "storm boat", i.e., I often use it after a coastal storm in my area when I have rough seas with storm induced ocean swells that are on my rear quarter or beam from my travel direction with the wind waves. I find it as easy as any in its class to remount, perhaps a bit easier because it can lean all the way to the gunwale and still not go over.

Early on I replaced the dyneema rudder line with Q-power spectra, as I do on all my skis - but that is a matter of preference. I also changed the rudder to a 9" elliptical, which I consider best for control in high winds and big wave conditions.

Its shortcomings:
- takes longer than others to drain, the hole probably could have be placed better and have been bigger - but it is only really an issue of you get a wave falling into the cockpit. Add a bullet - it helps some.
- the cockpit has too much space, so it holds more water. A workaround for this is to strategically attach blocks of foam in various locations to displace some of that water. I calculate I have been able to displace 1.25+ gal of water using the foam.

So, I like it - no regrets.
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10 months 12 hours ago #40401 by Paul600
I have a 2012 Stellar SES in Excel layup and agree with Bill, it's the toughest lightweight ski I've owned and the only problem I've had was the carbon pivot pin on the footrest wore out and I replaced it with stainless steel. Apart from that, nothing's broken or fallen off and it still stays dry inside.

Mine has the bullet but still drains slowly and I too have put a foam block forward of the footrest to reduce the cockpit volume.

I also own a Fenn Spark and that is hands down a more dynamic ski to paddle but when the wind's blowing hard, the SES is the boat I grab from the garage.
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10 months 3 hours ago #40404 by LB
Thanks Paul and Bill for your advice that’s great info. Can anyone tell me should the hull flex? I previously looked at one where the glass flexed a bit when I pushed hard with a thumb. No cracks or soft spots but just wondering if that’s normal/expected?
Cheers

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9 months 4 weeks ago #40408 by Bill L
Others should weigh in because I am not sure how much flex there can be, but all my skis have very little (not really noticeable) flex when I push on with a thumb.

If it does have one spot that flexes though (perhaps a small soft spot?), I would think where it is would tell you whether it is easily repairable or structural.

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