Submitted: 06-04-2008 by rrose
I have been reading a lot of reviews in magazines and on-line but have yet to come across one that has evaluated the Royak. It is a 14', sit-on-top with a narrow beam of 22". Some might think that this boat would be tippy, however, one sits very low in a molded seat. The bulbous bow and the stern offer additional flotation. A cavernous dry box is located between the feet and a large sliding hatch behind the seat can accommodate two-piece paddles, several vests, masks, fins etc. Even a scuba tank and BC will fit, albeit not at the same time as the rest. The foot pegs are adjustable. I purchased the cushion and it is placed against the backrest I find the seating very comfortable.
Initial stability is superior. So much so that one can flip their legs over one side into the water and turn sideways in this narrow boat. It has a built-in keel that helps tracking straight, but the real fun is in how easily it turns and accelerates. I'm a hefty 5'8" with about 10 years avid paddling experience in oceans, rivers (not white water)and lakes. My other kayak is a Romany 16 and my first boat was a Necky Sport. I can paddle as fast in the Royak as I can in the Romany, as measured by GPS. The bow will kick up quite a wake, yet it bobs over the swells. This boat is easy to use with rigid fixed handles fore and aft, but does not have deck lines or rigging. The rear compartment is very large, but is not close to being watertight. However, the sliding hatch is high above the water line, while the rest remains low. A large dry bag handles all my gear. One will get-wet in this boat, however, being seated low in the water enhances stability and a narrow boat allows for the use of a shorter paddle.
Several friends and my wife paddle this boat and as beginner kayakers, have experienced trouble tracking straight. With a little lean and/or paddle stroke correction and a little time, the problem self corrects. I have no problem whatsoever. I even enjoy paddling backwards at speed.
When I was first inquiring about the boat, Steve at Royak Marine, friendly and helpful as he was, stated that this was like a top-of-the-line mountain bike that did a lot well. I am not disappointed with the purchase made three years ago and agree with his analogy.