Submitted: 04-06-2012 by EAngels
I expected to get a good sit on top kayak. So I went to the boat show in Farmville, Virginia...home of America's largest small boat store. I saw every boat worth looking at from all the makers. When I saw the Ultimate 12, it looked odd... like canoe/kayak with an odd looking seat and those weird double hulls things. So I thought. The sales rep was blunt: "Go take it out for 15 minutes; it will not turn over unless you deliberately do it. It will be faster straight, turn faster, track better and far more comfortable than anything here..."
And he was right. I got the sand color one and have had it in the river, on lakes and even Lake Gaston, NC one day when it was windy. The local Orvis shop manager had my exact same boat and outfitted just like mine at a local fishing expo/event at the James River in Richmond, VA. The Orvis guy can paddle whatever he wants.
Mine has been out on the hottest summer day, the cold winter days and all in between. Never tipped, never a problem of any sort, totally reliable and faster than nearly any guy in any kayak. And drier than ANYBODY from the shore to the rapids of normal churn. The drop down 'skeg' at the rear stabilizes it in a straight line. I use it all the time.
The seat is amazingly comfortable and fully adjustable; has adjustable foot rests. I even made a steel bracket that clamps on behind the seat and add a 12V battery and 30# trolling Minn Kota. Runs all day on a reservoir lake to fish with and plenty of room inside for a cooler, baits,rod, etc. Be sure yours is the model with foot rests... the original Ultimate 12.
Summary: I have never seen any small boat that comes close. You will never wear it out or break it and likely never tip it over. Do not stand up in it to fish unless it is a dead still lake. Some fly fisherman do that, but not me. Take my tip: get a very good 2 piece paddle. I settled on an all fiberglass, long one (240 cm) that has bent handles (for wrist and forearm comfort and better control) called the Werner 'Cascadia' model. Pricey and worth every penny! A paddle for this boat is like underwear or shoes: not the place to skimp on quality and comfort!
Above all! Wear a damn life jacket (about 60-80 for a Mustang made Basspro self inflator pro type). A river or lake doesn't know what car you drive or what degrees you earned. Be smart.
Ultimate 12 or larger; your pick. A 12' cartops easily at 55lbs empty with seat installed. Go look closer at them now at Native Watercraft. When other guys see mine, they know I have the best small boat on the water. And so do I.