Submitted: 06-18-2004 by ChuckPeacock
I've had my Prowler out about 6 or 7 times now on a local lake and my next destination will be the Chesapeake Bay and one of the tidal rivers that flows into it. I have no doubt that it will handle the choppier waters of the Chesapeake without much problem. I've installed my own flushmount rodholders behind the seat and a Ram mount up front for my depthfinder. There are lots of useful surface areas to mount gadgets you might need if you outfit it for fishing.
It paddles well, very smoothly, and is very quiet in the water. I can maintain a 3.5 mph pace with almost no effort and have pushed it up to 5 mph and a little beyond with more efforts in my stroke. Its a very nice looking sleek kayak and cuts through waves and chop nicely.
Now for the negatives, at least for me - It is generally a good tracker but even with a slight breeze it wants to turn into the wind which I compensate for with more corrective strokes on one side. I will be adding a rudder, which I would have done anyway to enhance my drift for fishing, and dealing with rougher conditions out on the Bay or Ocean. I think it really needs one if you plan to take it out into bigger waters, and I can see it will be more of a pleasant paddle for me without having to resort to correction strokes.
My biggest gripe however, is that I don't seem to have the room I need for my feet. I'm only 5'10, but I have very wide feet and they feel uncomfortable and cramped in the narrow footwell area. I'm going to try and add some foam padding or mount a bar that will span the inside width of the footwells to rest my feet on.
As far as the amount of water that gathers in the footwell area and seat, its about average for a Sit On Top, and I bring a bilge sponge along and use scupper stoppers. There will still be water from paddle drip that collects, but not as bad as without the stoppers.
Overall, a good ride, very capable handler and a good choice for SOT touring longer distances and fishing. The only other sit on top kayak I can compare it to is the Cobra Tourer (see my review), which I paddled last year but was forced to sell because of dwindling finances. I actually liked the Tourer better overall for fit and storage, and it was just about as fast. The only negatives for me about it was the hull slap, and it was very awkward to load, due to its unusual hull shape. The Prowler is a little heavy to load but not as much of a bear as the Tourer.
Overall, I like this kayak a lot and its growing on me as I'm still getting over the loss of my Tourer. When I'm able, I will add another Tourer and keep the Prowler. I would recommend the Prowler highly, but take a test paddle for yourself if you can, to see if it is right for you first.