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The Classic 12 is the fastest and safest kayak we have on the water, so my son is the king of the water with the Classic 12.
The Victory Classic 12' tracks incredibly well, storage space is great, large surface area on boat and higher deck allows for tremendous stability and easy portaging in and out of water. I would rate this boat as a 8.5/10 for my needs. It is incredibly stable and tracks surprisingly quickly on flat water.
All Victory Kayaks are models that had previously been manufactured for the Wilderness Systems brand. The suggested retail price of all of these models has been reduced significantly. At the time this web page was posted, there was not a company sponsored web site for Victory Kayaks
The "CLASSIC 12" by: Victory Kayaks $399.95
The "Classic 12" offers simplicity and stability, in an efficient, user-friendly design. Ideal for a wide range of conditions from calm, protected waters and mild river currents. It's perfect for the paddler looking for a versatile kayak that retains excellent performance. The Classic 12's extra large cockpit opening will easily accommodate all sizes and shapes of paddlers.
This solo recreational model kayak features include adjustable seat, rear storage hatch, shock cord deck rigging, adjustable foot braces, and Kayak Karrier handles.
Overall: Length 12'2" / 370cm, Width 25.5"/ 75cm, Depth 13.5"/34cm
Cockpit Opening size: Length 55.5"/ 141cm, Width 19"/ 48cm
Weight 49 lbs./ 22.2 kg
Maximum Capacity 325lbs./ 147kg
Colors: Red, Blue, Yellow, Green
This kayak model was previously manufactured as the Pungo and Pungo Classic by Wilderness Systems. Confluence Watersports, recently created the Victory Kayak brand in order to develop a line of kayaks that are extremely competitively priced. The differences between this and the previous model include simpler seat adjustments and better attachment of the foam flotation.
I bought this one simply because it looked like a decent deal, and should make for a good base as a fishing rig. I'd think this would make a very good starter boat for the budget minded. I gave it a 7 now, but I expect that will rise after the first paddle day. In all honesty...if the seller had 2...I'd have bought both at this price each. It screams stability at first glance, and the huge cockpit would also ease the mind of a new kayaker. There's foam bow and stern, but it looks like only enough to keep the boat itself from sinking.
My other boats are...Perception Monarch 15, Necky Looksha Sport w/rudder, and an Old Town Discovery 158 canoe, I'm new to kayaking, been canoeing for 20 years.
It is slightly skimpy on the high dollar features like a good, comfortable seat and foot pegs. All of this can be fixed easily and inexpensively. My biggest complaint about this boat is that the plastic is thinner than the old Pungo Classic and the cockpit opening distorts if left upside down or strapped to the rack for too long. I have a skirt that will not pull tight to the lip because of this distortion that occurred after I bought the boat.
Even with the thinner plastic this is still a great boat.
I bought a seat pad for about $40 that is close to equal to one of the Phase3 seats. I would agree that the floation leaves something to be desired but again buying a couple of floation bags is still cheaper than the Pungo. I have also added a bungie rigging kit to the front of the kayak that works just fine. Although I do wish it had a bulkhead for what I paid I am not complaining.
This is a great kayak for someone who is just beginning to learn to kayak and is a kayak that will not be quickly out grown as your skills improve.
A friend and I bought Classic 12s a couple of weeks ago and we're happy with them. Given that they are essentially re-badged Pungos, they have the same stability and superior tracking performance that people love Pungos for.
So what don't you get with a C12 that you would if you spent the extra money for a new Pungo? (1) Most noticeable is that you don't get one of those great Phase 3 seats. The C12 seat is pretty basic and could do with some cushioning. (2) There are also no bulkheads in the C12 and only a small rear hatch. The C12 flotation is a piece of pretty skimpy foam in the bow and stern, and I think at least one of these should be replaced with a flotation bag. Like the Pungo, the foot braces are also skimpy and some might want better ones. (3) The C12 has only minimal bungie cord rigging and more would be needed for anyone planning on carrying anything on deck. (4) As of 2004, I think the C12 only comes in the 4 primary colors (yellow, red, green, & blue).
Bottom line: If you want a less expensive, barebones yak that has most of the wonderful attributes of the Pungo, the Classic 12 may be what you're looking for. It's a good recreational kayak for beginners, and for those who'd like to pick up an extra one for not much $. Even though it lacks some of the nice features of the new Pungo, I give it an "8 out of 10" score because it paddles well and is lots of fun.
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