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Submitted: 01-07-2014 by Paul
I have been kayaking in a Necky Vector 14, but was slightly disappointed with the cruising speed. I have recently bought the RTM (DAG) Midway. The kayaks are similar in length (14' vs 14'6") and the Vector probably has slightly longer wetted length due to the raked overhangs on the Midway.
The kayaks are both the same width, but the Midway slips through the water much more easily and quietly than the Vector and leaves far less wake. The Midway is definitely faster for both top speed and cruising speed (a friend and I took both kayaks out together and paddled them both for comparison). I think this is because the Vector is wide for most of it's length and has a very flat bottom. The Midway is far narrower at each end, and has more of a V shaped hull (particularly at the ends). The Vector seems to push a lot more water at speed.
I weigh 190 and both kayaks are a wet ride as I'm effectively sitting at or below the waterline. The Vector seat has scuppers under it which eventually let water in, even with the fancy Necky scupper plugs. The Midway plugs are not so great at sealing (weep a bit) and the water from the footwells gets into the seat when you lean for turns.
Both kayaks are well designed. Summary of each as follows:
Vector: very comfortable seat and backrest, the best I've had. Lots of storage (two hatches + tankwell), one hatch easy to access on the water, and handy net bag and storage areas in the cockpit. Feels less tippy (higher primary stability) than the Midway. The handles tend to catch on your paddle until you get used to avoiding them. Excellent at traveling in a straight line (I donít have the rudder), but slaps on waves in sea conditions (flat bottom).
Midway: comfortable enough, but carl brace does limit movement if you need to shift position after a couple of hours paddling. Tippy at first but good secondary stability and carl brace helps you lean to turn. Drier storage than the Vector after a day on the water (in fact, no water got in at all). Only one relatively small hatch storage (with bulkhead), which you can't access easily on the water, but large tankwell. Lighter to carry/lift than the Vector and better carrying handles. Cuts through waves cleanly and has good glide, but is harder to keep in a straight line than the Vector (due to tippiness) when not paddling.
My overall conclusion is:
Vector 14 is more comfortable and OK on flatwater: best of the pair for fishing.
Midway is faster and better in sea conditions: best of the pair for touring.
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