02-14-2008Submitted by: paul
Reviews for Prowler Kayak by Ocean Kayak
Based On: 21 Reviews
- Rating: 10 of 10 I just recently purchased my Prowler 15, and have to say that this is one of the best boats I have ridden to date. It tracks very well, is only slightly wet, and has very minimal hull slap. So far I have had a Heritage and a Wilderness Systems 160i Kayak and have found that this kayak is overall a better yak. The front hatch is great compared to the WS Tarpon 160i I used to have. It uses clips instead of just the rubber snap on lid. (which with the WS it is impossible to get off when you are in the water due to the weight sucking down on the lid.)
I bought my 2006 model because I got the kayak with rod holders, paddle, life jacket, and seat for under $800 brand new. The advertised Prowler 13 08' model was 850 by itself. My first paddle was near the Pali on Maui for a few hours, and I didn't find a single thing wrong with the performance of this kayak. A rudder option might be necessary for a long distance paddle.
Overall I rate this kayak a 10/10 and would recommend it to both novices and advanced paddlers.
12-01-2007Submitted by: TC - New Zealand
- Rating: 8 of 10 Sold my trusty Perception Swing fishing yak to upgrade to the Prowler Elite 4.5. Side by side this yak generally compares one for one to the Swing, with the Prowler being a little narrower and faster.
Likes: Plenty of room in the cockpit, good for the long hauls (I frequently do 30km round trips) Lots of attachment points, big rear well.
Dislikes: The front hatch should be replaced with a neoprene cover (I improved the leak here by replacing the rigid straps with some hefty elastic, but still dribbles inside.
This yak needs some sort of foam wall inside to stop your stuff from sliding back in the hull - I spent 45minutes cursing whilst trying to extricate my rod that had jammed at the rear of the yak.
The plastic in the cup-holder in mine was thin enough to flex with very little finger pressure - I am not too concerned about this as I was potting this up for a fish finder, but it came close to asking for another hull.
It needs a decent rear (leakproof) hatch.
Overall, I would put this hull on a par with the Swing and although I initially regretted selling the Swing, I think the Prowler will rapidly grow on me.
06-25-2007Submitted by: jaggedfin
- Rating: 10 of 10 I wasn't much for sit on top kayaks when I started kayaking. I got interested kayak fishing and proved to be a bit cumbersome in sit in kayak. I found a great deal on a 15' OK prowler. I have went crazy rigging it up making it into the ultimate fishing machine. At 15' ft long it has good speed for a SOT, tracks good, stability is the best, and loads of storage area. You can go and fish anywhere you with this baby. I look at lot of the other fishing kayaks and the prowler seems to me to be the best and very affordable. I was sold on the prowler even before I found the deal that I did.
10-10-2006Submitted by: SWolf
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have owned a Powler 15 SOT for two years now. It is my 4th boat in 10 years. I use it exclusively for flats fishing in Florida. This boat has been tremendous. Like the WS Tarpon16 it is a very versatile boat. In retrospect I would not add the center hatch. A small dry bag or box serves the same purpose, and you don't have to put a 6" hole in your boat. Holes = leaks no matter how well installed. The newer OK Prowlers have an improved footwell drainage construction. Look for a molded channel that runs the length of the footwells. I would definitely look for this feature in a new OK. You can't beat this boat (or the WS Tarpon series) for kayak fishing. All kayaks are a compromise. The versatility of this boat allows you to less compromise in most situations.
08-14-2006Submitted by: Jeremy (Gulf Kayaker
- Rating: 10 of 10 Before reading any further, read this: Do not base your buying decision solely on the reviews of me and others. It is very obvious that some people work for other kayak companies and write bad reviews of competing models without ever testing them out in the first place (note the review on 1-11-05 who compares every detail to the WS brand). Also take into account that some people do not have a lot of experience and will give deductions because the kayak doesnít perform very well because of their low skill level.
First off, I am 5í9", 150lbs, very athletic, 5 years paddling experience in a Perception Sierra. The P15 is my first fishing and SOT kayak. No affiliation with Ocean Kayak
First time out was in South Padre Island/bay side. 25-30mph winds. 3ft high waves.
HANDLING: I wasnít expecting the kayak to handle very well in the rough waters, but it exceeded my expectations tremendously. After adjusting my paddling stroke I was able to track perfectly straight with a direct 25mph cross-wind. A lot of people complain that long kayaks are hard to turn. If you take the time to learn how to adjust your paddling stroke, you will be able to maneuver it just as easy as a smaller one. I was able to turn directly into the wind and then paddle into it fairly easy my first time out. I never had any problems with that P15 going in any direction I didnít want it to because of the waves and wind.
COMFORT: Iíve found the P15 very comfortable. The molded in foot wells fit me perfect. I was originally planning to buy the upgraded seat from OK. For now anyway, I donít see any reason to spend the extra money. The backrest that came with was very comfortable the first time out. I will have to see how I feel after a full day.
STABILITY: At only 28" wide, the P15 is very stable. I never once felt tipsy or thought I might flip over in the rough conditions. It didnít even cross my mind how stable it was until I got in. I think that is an excellent example of how well it performed in the choppy bay. It makes me wonder why people buy kayaks that are 34" wide, but I guess larger people might feel less stable in narrower kayaks.
LAYOUT and RIGGING: When I got home I put all my fishing gear in and set it all up with room to spare. The two rod-holders are very accessible. I really like the fact that it came fully rigged with two paddle keepers, plenty of deck loops, bungee webbing over the tank-well, 4 carrying handles, and the small tackle box in front of the seat is pretty cool. Ton of useable space in the front hatch.
It should also be noted that after an hour of paddling around in the rough conditions I came in to check if any water had gotten into the hull. I couldnít believe that there was not a single drop in the hull! I did have water come over the bow every now and then. I have never heard of a kayak not taking water over the bow in rough conditions. So if you want a dry kayak, buy a SINK. It never ceases to amaze me that people complain about a SOT kayak being a wet ride. Seriously, what do you expect sitting exposed to the elements and only 3 inches above the water line?
My second trip was to a lake in my neighborhood, perfect conditions, no wind. The P15 is very easy to turn. It tracks perfectly straight. Anyone who says itís not easy to turn doesnít know how to control their kayak properly. My only complaint about the whole kayak is that if any water gets in the footwells, it wonĎt drain out. You can get the water out using a sponge if it bothers you. I paddled under a huge fountain to cool off and came in and again did not find a single drop of water in the hull. Not "all" kayaks leak.
This is a perfect kayak for fishing and day touring. I couldn't be more happy about my purchase. And you can bet that I would have returned it to the store if I wasn't completely happy with it.
08-01-2006Submitted by: Dmitri
- Rating: 7 of 10 I own a prowler 15 which is used mostly by my girlfriend or mother.I bought it second hand and got a good deal and still happy with what i got for the money,for it's intended purpose the boat is great.
The GOOD: it's practically un-tippable-in flat water i can stand up and paddle, we had it out in 4-5 ft choppy swell and it always felt 'stable like a raft'. It's pretty quick in flat water-slower than my Elaho but not by a big margin. The hatch opening is very large. It's weight capacity really is enormous, it will probably take 500+lbs to sink it but i wouldnt paddle it with over 325. Probably it's best feature of all is the comfort, your butt is significantly higher than your feet,making it extra easy on your back.
Now, the BAD: It's only 57 lbs,but in reality its a VERY awkward boat to carry solo,the trick i found recently is to run a strap through the footwell scupper holes and hold the boat by it and the seat strap. if carrying with 2 people, the wide tugboat-like stern always hits my legs. one word here-CART. for comparison, i don't have any problems carrying and car topping a normal plastic 16-17 footer for a block,with the rest of the day gear if need be.
The plastic is thin and flexible and warps easy. I don't think it's as well made as the old Scupper Pro was. The scupper holes look like they'd catch and wear if someone has the nasty habbit of dragging their kayak over rocks or pavement. The main hatch really is downright stupid. The ridiculously deep recess eats up a lot of potential space,and the seal leaks some,i think at the seam. A normal neoprene+hard cover system would be a huge improvement. While it's pretty fast in flat water, it's a SLUG in chop.
Final Verdict: It's the perfect kayak for a non-kayaker who likes flatwater speed and occasional camping and exceptional stability. if you can find one for a good price. If not i'd look long and hard at the Tarpons(but theyre not exactly perfect either).
09-30-2005Submitted by: chuck
- Rating: 1 of 10 I was looking for a fishing kayak and researched all of the reviews to find a quality boat. The prowler 13' & 15' were both highly rated and a local outfitting company had a demonstration day on June 19th. I was able to try both of them out and liked the tracking and speed of the 15'.
I ordered the Prowler 15' angler with rudder and the H1 & H2 front and center hatches.
The boat finally came in on July 15th. The only problem was that it came in without the center hatch and the rudder. I left the boat at the store and the people there installed the rudder and hatch. "Great"
Picked up the Prowler on July 23rd. All the accessories were installed.
Didn't get a chance to use the kayak until August 3rd. It was a little heavy getting on my vehicle, but manageable. The kayak tracked and had good speed, really enjoyed it.
Went to take it out of the water and found that it was a lot heavier then I thought. I solved that problem, I drained several gallons of water out of the inside of the kayak.
I then took it home and leak tested it and found a hole half way up one of the scupper holes. Contacted Ocean Kayak and they said to return it to store and they would build a new one and ship it out.
It's September 21st now and I went to pick up my new kayak. Finally we're going to get a kayak and itís been leak tested. Went to the store and it was still in the wrapper.
My enthusiasm was soon diffused when the new boat I was about to receive didn't have the center hatch and the rudder.
Give me my money back. I got a credit immediately.
I'm very disappointed with the Ocean Kayak quality control, and the 3-months from the date of order that they still couldn't get it right. It's too bad, I really enjoyed the boat for the one day I used it.
They get a 1-star for that one day. BEWARE.
07-25-2005Submitted by: Lobo
- Rating: 8 of 10 Thus far, I am still feeling her out. I'm a detail freak and I try to pay close attention to the smallest little flaws/perfections. My first boat, veered left. I tried her out at Castiac Lake, then off Malibu. For the past 5 years I have been loyal to one boat, a Necky Dolphin, which I love. I returned my Prowler and was given another one. This seems to track straight. The Prowler was designed for fishing and it's as stable as anything that I have fished on. Long may you run.
05-17-2005Submitted by: sptomey
- Rating: 10 of 10 I recently bought a Prowler to replace my Scrambler XT. Overall performance was great. On our nearby lake, she handled well, fast, stable and a dry ride. My only complaint was she tended to pull to the left a little but I think that was me not the boat. This weekend I took her out in the ocean at Port San Luis and Morro Bay, again she seemed fairly fast and stable. Going through the surf was a breeze as the high swept bow went up and over all the waves and white caps. Once I got past the break water and into the open sea the water was pretty choppy with a sustained 15 mph wind blowing the normally slow rolling waves into a series of medium sized whitecaps. I was really impressed on how well it handled. Also earlier in the day I, my wife (on a Caper) and another couple (on scrambler XT's) went on a little picnic on an isolated beach. Well the Prowler was able to store the folding chairs, ice chest and Rubbermade box with the beach towels etc. No Sweat! In addition, I felt it was easier to load on my truck rack than my scrambler. Overall I think I made a great buy!
01-11-2005Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 7 of 10 I'm taking a point off for hull-slap right off the bat. For me, it's a deal breaker ( for these purposes a Minus 1) ... If you are stalking wildlife with your kayak forget it, it ain't happenin' with this 'yak. If not, read on ....
Second deduction is for hull rigidity/quality, compare it to the Wilderness Tarpons and I think you'll be amazed - the Prowler (yes it's 6 or 8 pounds lighter) oil cans relatively easily whereas the Tarpon 140 inspires more confidence in the quality. Looking down the keel/hull you'll notice ripples in the OK 'yak that you won't find on the WS units. Minus 1 for quality.
If you are a fisherman that may be poleing or casting (read: standing) in the kayak, again, forget it with this unit (Minus 1). The floor is WAY too soft and standing on it comes with the real risk of actually damaging it. It caves in with about 2/3 of my 6', 210 pound frame on it ... it made a big POP when attempting to stand so I stopped ... I was afraid I'd break it.
On the plus side, it tracks extremely well, glides forever and is less wind-sensitive than the WS Tarpon. But you're gonna get wet and that slap, slap, slap in the mildest chop will drive you crazy ... while the birds and fish flee for cover!!!!
10-17-2004Submitted by: yakmatt
- Rating: 10 of 10 I traded my leaky scratched up 10 year old Scupper Pro in for a Prowler. I loved that Scupper but it doesnít compare to the Prowler. The Prowler tracks straighter, is a little faster, much smoother and more stable then my old Scupper. I like Ocean Kayak and got a good deal on the trade-in so I never took a WS Tarpon 14 (my other choice) for a test ride.
I was worried about leaks from the scupper holes. Iíd read that had been a problem. I checked the hatch and not a drop.
The biggest thing I love about the Prowler is the space. The tank well is huge. I fit my cooler, cast net, anchor and pfd back there. In IMHO itís a great fishing machine. Itís a pleasure to paddle.
09-13-2004Submitted by: mm
- Rating: 10 of 10 Always demo the boat before you buy, there are demo days a few times a year because you can get horrible advice from here like the person who gave it a 1. I also have a tarpon 140. They are both great kayaks but I like my Prowler just a little more because it fits me like a glove. This is a great kayak for fishing or big people (me 6ft 210lbs). Its fast and very stable.
08-24-2004Submitted by: jeepguy2
- Rating: 5 of 10 I rented one of these for a couple of hours of paddling in San Francisco Bay last week. I was very dissapointed in this boat. There was no place comfortable to rest my feet. Instead of having adjustable footbraces like the WS Tarpon it has molded in notches. I am sure these are fine if one of the notches is in the right place for your feet...they weren't in the right place for me. Also paddling into a wind was a struggle with this boat. It feels like a barge compared to my WS Pungo 140, is not as fast, and doesn't track as well either. Waves also splash over the bow soaking your feet, and water ponds in the bottom of the foot notches. This is fine if the water temp is 75 or 80 degrees, but the water in San Francisco Bay was 58 degrees. BRRRRRR Good thing I was wearing neoprene booties!
The one thing this the boat does have going for it is that it is extremely stable. I think it would make a great fishing platform. I would definately reccomend that anyone considering this boat also consider the WS Tarpon.
07-21-2004Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 1 of 10 Was very disappointed in the Prowler, I must say. Those that simply love it need to try a few more kayaks, I'd say. The first disappointment was the fact that it doesn't deflect even the smallest wind-ripples and wakes. These slpash right over the front of the boat, near your feet. Incredible that a slight design change would have cured this -- makes me think that O.K uses John Q. Public for R. & D. Just like the Agean with it's complaints about poor tracking, O.K. let John Q. Public BUY and test the Agean, then quit manufacturing it after fielding many complaints. The Agean is still AVAILABLE, but it isn't manufactured anymore, as it has been replaced by the Malibu II XL. I rather LIKED the Agean, actually -- those who have dificulty with it's tracking need to "man-up," and learn how to "adjust your stroke." Once a few paddling techniques are learned, kayaking is SOOoo much more rewarding. But back to the Prowler; It doesn't handle very well [and THIS from a seasoned paddler!] it is NOT fast, and the hull-slap will drive you NUTS. If you're trying to use it as a fishing platform, it will scare the fish away with it's hull-slap! And let us not forget how hull-slap ROBS kayak and paddler of efficiency. In trying to make it "sleek" for speed, I guess, the seat area is cramped and UNcomfortable. I'm 6'4", 240 lbs., but you'd THINK that a 16' boat would be roomy and comfortable -- but NOT the Prowler. My wife, who's 5' 4" and a hundred and nothing lbs. didn't like the boat either, so, it isn't just me. Before buying two new kayaks this year, we decided to try several Ocean Kayak boats, as they're VERY popular, and are very EASY to re-sell as used boats, when we change our minds. Admittedly, we're kind of NUTS that way, insofar as we've had 28 kayaks through the back yard over the past four years -- some of them duplicates, but still, a great number of kayaks. So, wanting something that was easy to sell when the time came, we really DID try to want something from Ocean Kayak. But lo, we were QUITE DISAPPOINTED in everything O.K. had to offer. Wound up with a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 160 for me [see my review] and a Tarpon 120, and soon CHANGED to a Tarpon 140 for Kim. The T120 went to my 15 y/o stepson, who LEPT from his Scrambler [anyone want to BUY one?] and LOVES his mom's T120. So, after giving Ocean Kayak every opportunity to impress us, they just couldn't do it this year. Sorry, Ocean Kayak, but we think you'd be better off "thinking before you build," to steal a tag-line from Volvo.
07-05-2004Submitted by: richg
- Rating: 9 of 10 Great boat; fast as lightning, and very stable. I would have given it a 10, but there are two leaks in the tankwell scuppers that have to be plugged with sealant. I have heard this has happened to a number of Prowlers, so Ocean Kayak has to improve their quality control.
07-01-2004Submitted by: Ictalurus
- Rating: 10 of 10 I tried the Prowler a few months ago when I was in the market for a fishing kayak. I'm beginner, and I'm 6'5", 215lbs. There was plenty of leg room. I was really impressed by how fast the boat was and how well it tracked. I think it handled rather like a sink. I didn't find that turning was as bad as others had mentioned, but that wasn't a factor I was concerned about. Primary and secondary stability seemed very good (but I wouldn't try standing in it), and the ride was pretty dry (but it was a still day with no waves or wakes). The downside is that the boat is kind of heavy, but I would always use a cart so I could load my stuff on the boat and only make one trip. Storage seemed good, and there were plenty of flat surfaces for mounting rod holders and such. Overall, I'd recommend it.
06-18-2004Submitted by: ChuckPeacock
- Rating: 10 of 10 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.
06-16-2004Submitted by: Dr. Michael W. Popejoy
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have owned a Prowler by Ocean Kayak for about 6 months now and I have had it in fresh water (lakes and streams) and salt water (Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean). My particular boat is set up for fishing with two rod holders molded in the hull as purchased. I have added a large back cushioned seat with two additional rod holders built into the seat and a deck compass as well as several battery powered electronic devices(I am a gear guy)which fits quite well into the center deck moldings. I own five kayaks and the Prowler is my favorite but with some reservations. It is a large boat, but I am a large person (plus my survival pak weighs in at over 50 pounds--never leave home without it) so I need the carrying capacity of a big boat. This boat is both heavy and awkward to lift. It really takes two people to get this bad boy into the water without risking a back injury or worse. And, this boat absolutely needs a rudder which is an expensive addition whether it is ordered with the boat or retrofitted. But, without it, the Prowler has the turning radius of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier. Finally, when the boat is loaded to near its carrying capacity, it is more easily swamped by the wake generated by real boats with big motors who race up and down the Intracoastal Waterway. I am not a marine engineer but I believe it is because of the smooth curved molding on the spash deck and hull. I have seen other kayaks with higher, sharper splash decks and hulls that seem to handle the bigger waves and wakes better.
I am going to buy more kayaks because one can never have enough, but so far the Prowler is my favorite boat and as long as I keep carrying it to and from the water, I never have to go the gym.
06-14-2004Submitted by: DRF
- Rating: 10 of 10 I have had my Prowler for a couple of months now though have not had many chances to go out in it as yet. Initial impressions though - stability and ability to deal with long and short chop on the busy waters of the Solent here in the South of England is excellent. Despite a lot of traffic of all sizes and a lot of wash I was confident in the kayak from the first time in the water. I am used to "sink's" rather than "sit-on-tops" and am very impressed with the primary and secondary stability of the Prowler.
Tracking and straight line speed are excellent too though turning takes rather more effort than I am used to - though for a long boat I guess it is okay.
My brother was down over the weekend, he has never kayaked in his life but within minutes he was zooming about in the Prowler as if he was born to it. I think that says a lot. If you need a kayak that you will take you long distances with ease, or something that will take a fair load whether it be for camping, fishing or whatever, I recommend the Prowler.
One minor niggle though, the bungee straps across the tankwell at the back are useful but would be far more useful if they were easily removable/replacable - attached with hooks rather than loops perhaps.
Anyway, minor niggles aside, a definite 10 out of 10 for me.
06-02-2004Submitted by: redyak2
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've had mine for about a month, and love it. She glides well and handles sloppy water nicely. Very stable with lots of storage. I'm in the process of outfitting her for fishing. I'm leaning toward adding a rudder as well. All in all a great boat!
02-09-2004Submitted by: ibmikie
- Rating: 9 of 10 I rented the Prowler kayak today, and was very impressed. Much faster than the SOTs I am use to renting. At 16', and 65lb, it's a very large kayak. This would be a great fishing platform, the best I have seen. The Prowler is the big brother to the Scupper pro TW. Some improvements over the SP, are a much larger tank well, larger cockpit, built in flush rod holders, set up for a optional rudder, and in my opinon a faster crusing speed. paddles like a sink. I took it out past the getty at Mission Bay. I found myself in the middle of some large converging boat wakes, and felt completely comfortable, very stable kayak. The only down side to the Prowler for me, is the size. A little to much boat for me. I am looking for something smaller to store and transport. If you have the storage, don't buy anything else, until you try this kayak.
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