08-09-2007Submitted by: CJC
Reviews for Monterey 14.0 Kayak by Perception
Based On: 11 Reviews
- Rating: 9 of 10 Quick update.
Have done many day trips since I purchased the kayak a few years ago and it has been through some tuff times. Paddled over water level rocks, sand dunes and branches, portaged through woods, rocky trails and streams and repelled down steep mountains and water falls. It has many scratches to prove it. All in all I am happy I bought a poly and not a fiberglass kayak. Can't wait for the next trip.
09-14-2005Submitted by: Rick
- Rating: 9 of 10 My wife and I bought Monterey 14s after testing 9 boats in the Adirondacks of NY two years ago. Before buying any boat you must decide what you most want to do with it and test several models if possible. Any design is a compromise. We wanted a not too heavy poly kayak that would handle, and be fun in, Upstate NY rivers as well as have enough speed and storage for three day camping trips. The Monterey 14 seemed to be quite sporting, i.e. responsive, compared to all but the most dedicated and expensive designs we tried. While not quite as fast a touring boat (Shadow), it moved along nearly as well, while turning much better, especially with the skeg up and when leaned. It felt small enough to feel a part of, while not being so tight as to feel restrictive. We are 5-4,130 and 5-8, 160. We have a third Monterey now as a lender boat. We find that even people much larger than us can fit in it. This was not true of some other models.
After two years, we are still pleased with our choice. We've now had the boats in rivers, on lakes and on three day trips. The Monterey moves along well on long river trips way better than any rec boat like the Acadia. We've found that the flat bottom of the Monterey slides over rocks and logs with ease compared with round or keeled bottom designs.
We've had lots of fun doing eddy turns and ferrying into waves. Being a rockered design, the boat turns easily when you want (granted for a 14' boat) yet tracks fine. I felt initially that the skegs caused drag when down; so I removed and filed them to sharpen (foil)the leading and trailing edges. (Stay away from the hinge point and don't over sharpen if you do this.)This did reduce drag. But, with better paddling technique, we have found we don't use the skeg as much as we did. We still use it in windy conditions when paddling quartered (diagonally) to the wind and some times on long flat water trips.
While we, no I, some times feel the urge to get a touring and a white water kayak (and may yet), I realize that the Monterey serves my needs real well and I continue to enjoy it every time I'm in it.
11-07-2004Submitted by: atmoltmaker
- Rating: 9 of 10 I've been paddling for several months and this is my 2nd kayak. It seems to be the best kayak that allows you to grow with your skills at such a short length. I had to go shorter because of storage concerns. It seems to track straight with the skeg up or down. Even in a strong cross wind and a very strong current I had no problems tracking straight. It edges very well, but you will definitely need a spray skirt. My first experiment in edging I got very wet. My only complaint I have is the fact that at 6ft and 200lbs I have a problem with the foot pegs. I wish the seat was back about 6 inches. I found that I can't really paddle with shoes on. I have to wear water socks or nothing. That gets cold paddling in Michigan in November. I have only paddled so far in a couple of rivers and I like what I see so far. I just wish it was a little higher volume in the front so I could wear shoes. Other than that it is an excellent kayak. I bought from a dealer who uses this kayak in his pool lessons for rolling, etc
07-19-2004Submitted by: AFP
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought a Monterey a week ago and I am rather impressed. It edges excellently but when I tried to do an edge with my paddle farther out i tipped over. The skeg is excellent and even with it down I can turn rather sharp. When I tipped I noticed that water seeps throught the bulkheads to the dry storage. It isn't too much of a problem if you are using a spray skirt but if not, you might want to avoid bigger waves. Great beginner boat and it even fits me a 4 foot 10 inch 80 pound kid. Overall a great boat but the reason I give it a 9 is that it does not have very good stablity.
06-10-2004Submitted by: CJC
- Rating: 9 of 10 Went for my first day trip last friday and it was great. There was hardly anyone around which made for a very peacefull and relaxing ride. Caught a little bit of wind and current on the open lake which tested my still new paddling skills but with the skeg down everything was ok.
I also went down a calm, narrow and winding river. On several occasions I had to execute quick turns and reverse moves to avoid last minute rocks and debris below the water line and the kayak handled fine.
Just a quick note about the sport. People sometimes buy CDs with nature sounds on them. I was wearing cheapy headphones connected to a radio which I tuned into a classical channel and with the birds chirping around I had my own REAL nature CD going.
Happy yakking season to all.
08-19-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have had my Monterey 14 now for about two months. I use it only on the big flat lake near where I live. Most of my journeys are about two hours in length. The kayak tracks straight without any additional effort when the skeg is down and will turn on a dime with it up. The skeg will not snag seaweed and that's a plus for my area. My boat came with the remote cable for the skeg which is very helpful when crossing over the many fishing nets on my lake. The skeg does make a "thump-thump" sound while paddling because it is a little loose and flops back and forth as I lean into each stroke. I'm pondering whether to insert some teflon washers to help reduce the noise. With the skeg down crosswinds are not an issue.
I drive a large and very tall minivan with roof rack and I find it easy to lift the boat up and slide it onto the rack. It is not that heavy to lift and walk with but if the wind is blowing hard then you'll have your hands full.
The cockpit is small and this craft is only suited for smaller persons. Try before you buy. I happen to be small so there is not a problem. The seat has the ratchet adjustment which is handy but I find the seatback just a little too short for my comfort. Every position hurts after a while. The padding is OK but after two hours things start to get tender. I will be adding some YakPads for sure very soon for the seat as well as the footpegs.
Both cargo hatches seal tight and keep out water. Twice I found water in the rear compartment but have yet to figure out where it came from. Other reviews stated that the skeg mounting allowed water to seep into their boats but this newer version has absolutely no skin penetrations. The skeg and it's mounting are completely external. The skeg cable does penetrate the skin but way up above the water line. All my other trips have ended up dry. If I had to I could get quite a lot of gear into the two cargo hatches. The front hatch is oval shaped to allow for larger items.
I did not have a choice of color as my supplier over here on the other side of the world only had one. It is red faded into yellow. I would recommend this for others if they are concerned about being visible to other craft on the water.
I agree with the other reviewers here in that the bottle holder is just plain in the wrong spot. The indentation is just too far aft to be of any use. (Maybe Britney Spears could make it work for her) But that is not a problem as there are plenty of straps over the fore and aft decks for fastening things down.
The special indentation on the aft deck for inserting the paddle makes a paddle float entry all the more easier.
Initial stability is very good but I find secondary stability to be frightenly almost non-existent. But this was during our get-aquainted-voyage and I was pushing the envelope to see where my limits were. I have yet to get this thing out on the whitecaps but have already been in some big swells and boat wakes and don't feel uneasy. Have even surfed a few earthquake swells. As long as you are properly seated with your thighs locked under the braces this is a very stable and responsive kayak. Thank you Perception.
08-06-2003Submitted by: CJC
- Rating: 9 of 10 Just bought the Monterey 14 a few days ago and finally got time to take it for a good spin, other than testing it a bit at the store of course. This is my first kayak so keep that in mind while reading my comments.
It feels a little heavier than its listed 54 pounds but its still light enough for me to car top by myself.
The cockpit was a bit tight to get into due to the kayak's 24" beam but once in it felt ok for my 5'6" and 185 lbs frame. I did not like the built in bottle holder too much. I opted to tie my bottle on the front rigging which I tough was more safe and accessible when using a spray skirt. The ratchet backrest adjustment is a nice touch but I`m not sure if it's worth the extra money. Once adjusted properly, you probably won`t use it again for a while. The padding on the seat and back rest seemed ok.
The hatches and bulkheads were ok. A little bit of water leaked in but nothing major. They have lots of room to store whaever gear I bring. The listed cargo weight is 375 lbs, one of my reasons to buy this model instead of others, which means that minus my 185 I can still pack quite a bit. Can't wait for an overnight or even a weekend trip then I'll now for sure how it stands.
The weather during my outing was a touch windy and I quickly discovered that the skeg was a welcome addition since the kayak tended to turn into the wind without it. Tracks very well with it and I was able to maintain a fair speed. It would be nice though to have somekind of retrofit that would allow the skeg to be lowered or raised directly from the cockpit.
One thing that also caught my eye with this model is the indentation on the rear deck. I was told that it was designed to accept your paddle when preforming a paddle float assisted wet entry. Have not tried this yet so I don't know if it's any good.
My color of choice was the yellow/red fade. I picked this one because I think it`s more visible on the lake plus it looks better than just plain old yellow or red. I figure if I think it looks better then I will probably use it more.
My initial thought was to purchase an Acadia 12.5 since I am new to this sport and I thought, go recreational for now. It is also listed very high on this site's review section. The reason I opted for the Monterey 14 instead is that many Acadia 12.5 users who have reviews on this site have said that after a year or two they were ready to move up. I figured that the loss in money that I would encounter in selling the Acadia was not worth it, at least not for me. Without having tried the Acadia, I'm happy I went directly to the Monterey.
07-07-2003Submitted by: jrmashburn
- Rating: 8 of 10 After paddling the Monterey 14, I found it to be a fun boat to paddle for a day on the water. It tracks well with the skeg in the down position & wanders with the skeg up. The seat is comfortable with limited leg room i.e., the design is for paddlers under 6' tall. Quality appears to be good with nice styling. The boat is a bit over priced at the MSRP of $899.99.
06-12-2003Submitted by: JH
- Rating: 7 of 10 After testing several kayaks at a local paddle days, I decided the Monterey would be the best fit. I soon found out that I had made a mistake. After the first extended trip I nearly gave my self a hernia trying to portage the vessel back to my vehicle. The back haul had taken in substantial amounts of water. Water was leaking in through the pivot bolt for the skeg. After just three times out the skeg was continuously hanging up. The only other complaint would be the storage space available. You must pack very light if you are going on weekend camping trip. However, once the above-mentioned problems were worked out, the Monteray has been an above average boat in its class. The versatility to take it out on larger bodies of water and smaller rivers makes it ideal for the weekend warrior. Also, the ability to track with larger boats allows you to fit in with any kayaking group.
04-17-2003Submitted by: DB
- Rating: 9 of 10 First had a chance to demo the Monterey 14.0 in October of last year (2002) and had to have one! Purchased one the first of this year (2003). It makes a great day touring boat for some one my size, (5’10”- 170 lb.), or larger. (Lighter paddlers might opt for the 13.5 model.) The low coaming height works well for those of us with a “short waist”. It has proved to be perfect for use in the narrow rivers and the tree lined lakes here in North Florida. (Have not had a chance to try it in the surf yet.)
Perception calls this boat a shallow V, but it is almost flat at the area under the seat, combined with a definite chine it allows for the boat to be quite agile and predictable when edging, and quick to turn with the skeg up. With the skeg down it tracks like a much longer boat, holding a line well when going up stream or with a quartering wind, or both, requiring only an occasional tilt or sweep to stay on course. The Swede form makes it easy to bring up to speed and seems to maintain speed easier than my wife’s 14’ Perception Shadow. It is stable enough to use for photography or bird watching with out being a “barge”.
The seat back has a nice adjustment system but I had to move the anchor bolt to get the back vertical enough to be comfortable for me. The seat back is also a little too tall. I find it more comfortable to use a PFD that is either short in the back or has a mesh back. (The only reason I didn’t give it a full “10” rating.)
The fit and finish is very good for a poly boat with the hatch covers fitting their openings snugly and the padding in the seat, seat back, and thigh braces enhancing the all day comfort.
01-31-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 I got to test the prototype at a kayak show. The weather was nasty and the boat was sweet. I was able to keep pace with my wife on the Hobie Mirage with little to no trouble. I didn't have a spray skirt on since it was a joy ride. It's a tad tippy but feels okay because of it. It likes to track. The skeg keeps it in line. I'd like to had more time to work with it, but had other fish to fry. I wound up with a sit on top because I'm politicking to get the rest of my family on the water. They'll ride a SOT before the squeeze into the cockpit. Maybe my next boat when I've got something of a fleet started. It'll be MY boat.
Don't Miss the Paddling.net Weekly Newsletter!
90,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!