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Submitted: 02-08-2010 by Dmoe
I bought a Cobra Navigator to downsize from a 17' ocean kayak. I was pleasantly surprised by the speed and stability of this yak. I use this to fish and tour 3 times a week, in generally calm conditions. here is the good. very stable, I am 6' 210 lbs and this boat easily handles my size, with room to spare. Tracks well for a 12'6" yak. handles wakes and small waves well head on, the bow easily directs water to the sides and allows a dry ride. pretty quick, I logged 7.5 mph on my gps. lots of deck and rail space for tie downs, rod holders etc. Lightweight allows for easy hauling and transport.
the not so good
The scupper holes constantly let water into footwells, plugs solve the problem, but without them my feet stay wet. I can only imagine a heavier paddler would be worse. no side handles and strange rail shape make hoisting the boat difficult. (I added handles). weird shape to stern tankwell does not allow larger cooler. Taking waves sideways does produce some slap, and wet ride (so don't take waves sideways) no seat drain holes, water in this area will make for a wet okol'e (hawaiian for butt)
all in all this is the best yak I've owned. I am an avid paddler, and don't baby my equipment. All of the things that may not have been perfect for my needs were easily remedied with minimal work and $$$. I recommend the following add ons"
center handles for lifting (I made mine with pvc and nylon rope for $2)
reinforced bow and stern points (glued on rubber pads $4)
scupper plugs (I made mine from a wal-mart pool noodle $3)
I've paddled so many kayaks both in calm lake conditions, and rough huge seas in Hawaii and I would trust this yak in any conditions. I can easily log 6 hours in it and many miles before needing a stretch. Easy to maneuver in tight areas. the stability and tracking make it very user friendly for experts or novices alike. I love it. go get one for yourself.
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