Submitted: 11-19-2010 by David G
Had this 14' Ultimate tandem poly roto molded kayak for a couple years. I'm online now shopping to get an additional one because every time I want to kayak, BOTH kids want to go with me! What a great buy this has been.
I've had this out about 50 trips and I go from 4 to 7 hours at a time. I'm a strong, fit guy, age 43, so the extra heaviness of this boat and the extra power needed to overcome extra drag this boat has isn't noticeable to me. It may be to you. It's a kayak/canoe hybrid...and they added extreme stability to the mix.
I usually paddle on class I and ATTEMPT class II. I have swamped it only once when I went sideways over a 3' drop, and even completely full of water it still floats.
I use it primarily as a fly fishing vessel and sight seeing tandem. If you are a fly fisherman...just suck it up and pay the extra $ on this kayak because this kayak is the most practical fly fishing small craft I can imagine.
PROS: Extremely Stable (Yes you can stand in it but that's like standing on a floating log. The boat won't flip but you might eventually) The longer length 14.7' cuts water much better than the 12' version (I've used both). Tracks very well (skeg or rudder would be a waste on fresh water). It has TONS of room for 2 people plus gear plus massive cooler. Built tough. Very comfortable seating for long days. Lots of available add ons (great spray skirts, holders, great fitted coolers, storage cases, etc). Travels in 8" of water. Lots of people will stop you at gas stations and on the water complimenting this kayak.
Cons: It's heavy. It takes two strong people to portage without dragging (me and my athletic 11 year old daughter struggle at times). Needs a car loader to safely load on top of SUV if you are alone. The Ultimate is way too expensive, but no other kayak does what this one does. The stable W hull adds extra drag surface compared to typical kayaks. It tracks so well that you won't avoid all Class II water boulders. The stabilization cross bars are a mild pain to remove (I change their positions around every trip and in transit). Front passengers feel unstable and 'slightly' cramped until they get used to it.
Hints: Forego the Angler model and add the anchor trolley and rod holder mounts (actual rod holders aren't included) where you want them yourself. It's much cheaper. Also, buy the rear cooler. It is amazingly practical. Finally, get the front bow skirt. It makes front passenger feel secure and it keeps them dryer when a ski boat throws a wake over the bow.