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Submitted: 04-01-2009 by wborkowski
Bought a 14' Stingray as a 2007 leftover/demo in February of 2009. After mounting spinning and flyrod holders finally took it out for its shake down cruise March 30th in a very windy and choppy St. Marks Wildlife Refuge in Florida. The large cockpit had no problem providing lots of room and comfort for my 6'2" and 275 lb frame.
The boat tracks very well and had a nice glide for a recreational kayak. I have only had 16' sea kayaks in the past but find the Stingray fast enough to cross big expanses of water fairly quickly. As with most sit-ins, fishing takes some finesse. A rear mounted rod holder and spinning reel with topwater lure produced an 18" seatrout while trolling across an open bay near some oyster bars.
Wind likes to turn the back end around when sideways to a chop but compensating with a longer stroke puts in back on track. My test paddle was without a Seals 7.0 sprayskirt I purchased for the Stingray which I would recommend for the type of chop I found myself in. However, I took on no water in spite of a couple of unexpectedly large waves.
Overall good boat for large paddlers and stable enough for fishing. Minor issue, built in bulkhead limits rod holder placement to a couple inches further than comfortable but the boat is stable enough so reaching back will not upset the boat. Also, built in console behind the seat is neat but obviously cannot be used for tall items when using sprayskirt.
I had looked at a number of kayaks including the Pungo which is also a fine boat. For my needs, and the clearance price, my bright yellow Stingray--especially with the very comfortable seat--was a good selection. Today, weather permitting, I plan on taking it to a lake and seeing how well it does on flat water.
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