Submitted: 07-18-2006 by Treg Renoud
I recently purchased the Spike used, it came with a rudder upgrade and I, like the other Necky owners foud it to be a little unstable when sitting still, however I found that after using it awhile I've completely forgot about it. I think it was more my inexperience at kayaking than a fault with the boat. I have had a blast with this boat taking it in 5' surf, loading it down with at least an additional 120 lbs of camping gear and paddling a round trip of 5 miles, I have fished it along the mangroves for redfish and snook. This boat really track and has carries lots of momentum without having to paddle to correct direction, however I find that the rudder helps tremendously, allowing me to correct for current or strong wind or drift without having to enploy corrective strokes with the paddle. Giving increased forward energy to each of my strokes. My friends are completely envious of the rudder as they have to paddle with just one blade for long periods of time when encountering the above. Another great feature is the bow design which is extremely quiet when under normal speed, (pushes water to the side instead of cutting it)allowing me to come right on top of fish before the bust. Other boats I have been around cut through the water spilling it back onto the surface creating a noisy wake. While I see many of the fish w/ polarized glasses, my friends only see their wakes out in front of them. The flat decks are great for stacking dry bags and gear on, and having the flat deck behind the seat allows me to either put my cooler or livewell well w/in reach, somethig that other SOT designers totally forget. Hull is quite dry, but the biggest downfall is the front hatch opening is rather small, interior storage is tremendous but accessing it can be difficult. To remedy this I have installed an additional 6" deck plate behind the seat. As upgrades I have installed an anchor trolley, 2 flush deck rod holders, 1 adjustable Scotty rod holder up front, a water bottle / map holder, additional 6" deckplate and a removable waterproof LED light. I give it 9 out of 10 only because of the front hatch design but I'm being very scrupulous in my rating. For a fast, manueverable, comfortable all around SUV of the SOT world choose this boat, its worlds more fun and better designed than the "SOT Barges" on the market!!