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The boat has plenty of stability for relaxed fishing but not so overly stable so as to not allow some leaning for quick maneuvering. The front hatch is big enough to get most anything you want to bring along inside. The smaller center hatch is good for key's or wallet. The TW is big - perhaps to big. I'd prefer it wasn't so deep. If you take some big waves in there that much water/weight could be trouble. I also would have liked it better without the FM rod holders installed. I like to put things where I want them not where someone else thinks things should be. Otherwise I love it.
A real pleasure to paddle and fish from. Anyone looking for a really good fishing kayak in the 13-14'length range should definitely check this one out.
The original Prowler 13 is one of the very best fishing kayaks ever designed and manufactured. It does not have a sexy cockpit or lawn chair seat like some of the new fishing yaks nor does it have all the whistles and bells that come with some of the newer fishing yaks. But the ancient Prowler 13 will take it's owner through the roughest of waters and storms in complete safety and not require exhaustive paddling. It is extremely stable, reasonably brisk speed though not a touring yak, and it turns quite well even into the wind.
Having spent more money than I care to admit in search of the perfect fishing yak only to be disappointed time and again, I can say without hesitation that the original Prowler 13 is one of the best fishing yaks ever made. And you can still find them for about half of the price of the so-called new and improved fishing yaks. In addition, the Prowler 13 is much lighter than nearly all of the newly designed fishing yaks. Said another way, when I am paddling my ancient Prowler 13 I feel as if I have come home after a long and misguided journey.
I had no experience with kayaks- this is my first- I am 65 years old and 6 foot tall 250 pounds- I did not know what to expect so I'll just tell you my observations- the prowler is an all around fishing kayak that does everything good but nothing best- it is like a Swiss Army knife- the Hobie Revo's and PA are the rage with my fishing buddies, but I have had four knee operations and peddling hurts my knees so I am happy with my Prowler- it handles rough water in the Chesapeake Bay and works well in the creeks and rivers-
I have never turtled the Prowler and the more I fish from it the more stable I feel- it isn't as fast as some but isn't slow as others- the hull cuts through swells and boat wakes with ease- I think I made the right choice as I wanted an all around kayak that can do everything- I would have given a 10 if the seat were more comfortable but my butt gets sore after about four hours of fishing-
Speed: At 13'4", I can outpace just about any rec kayak, including a paddling buddy's Pungo 120. When kayaking with friends in their 14 ft touring boats, I can keep pace, but I do work harder. However, in a sprint, the Prowler plows water quickly, and touring boats pull away easily. It is quick enough, but not fast.
Tracking/Maneuverability: Small streams have never been a problem, and I don't see the point of a rudder except under very demanding conditions.
Stability: I've had this boat in ocean surf and whitewater up to class III. It handles Class I-II with absolutely no problems. It is maneuverable enough to be a decent river runner, but it isn't a whitewater boat. In class III without thigh straps, I got dumped in a hurry. With them, you can surf it. However, the length makes all of this challenging. In normal conditions like handling larger boat wake, punching through surf, or river running, you won't get dumped unless you're just not paying attention. The Prowler is rock solid.
Capacity: One reason I bought the Prowler was capacity. Iím about 6'2", and at the time of purchase, I was 310 lbs. My weight made it a wet ride with the foot wells and seat being almost completely full with water. Now I'm 225, and the ride is much drier. Without scupper plugs, there is about an inch of water in the foot wells. Now, my 6 year old daughter will ride in the tankwell with no problems whatsoever.
Convenience: People tend to either love or hate SOT's. To me, you can't beat the ease of use. On a hot day, the ability to take a quick swim and climb back on is a real plus. If you do capsize, just flip it over and get back on. No problem.
Dislike: The 6" screw-in hatch is a PAIN. It has always been difficult to open and close, and now something appears to be warped, and I can't get the thing on at all. I'm replacing the hatch with a twist lock style hatch. Also, my boat has holes in two of the scuppers. A little Lexel caulk took care of it, but it does make me wonder a little about OK's build quality. Also, the angler addition is heavy, about 60 lbs. However, one person can car top it.
Bottom line: You can do a little of everything very easily with this boat, but don't expect to win any races. The Prowler 13 is a great all around kayak. I sometimes think about selling it to get a faster touring SINK, but then I think about the versatility that I'd be giving up, and I always decide to keep it.
Get caught in horrible chop and wind and the P13 will bring you home with confidence every time. It has the best secondary stability of any yak I have had experience with and it is tough as nails. I stuffed swimming pool noodles in the gunnels just for added security, but I have yet to get a drop of water in the hull even after horrid weather conditions. Primary stability is also excellent as well. Unless you are out in seas with strong currents, you do not need a rudder to go where you want to go, and the P13 will glide almost forever it seems. I fish the bays of Southwest Louisiana where there is heavy tugboat and barge traffic accompanied by considerable waves and wakes. The P13 handles them as if they were not really there in the first place.
A number of yak fishing colleagues who own far sexier and more recently designed yaks have often sold their modern yaks and purchased a P13 after giving my old P13 a test paddle. I am 63, 200 pounds, fit and love to yak fish: I have a Prowler Big Game which I like as well, but the P13 is easier for me to load by myself. Save for paddling in horrible sea conditions, the P13 is not truly great at any one thing, but it does almost everything else quite well indeed.
The purpose of this very latent P13 review is to share my experience and conclusions with the rapidly growing body of men and women interested in yak fishing, particularly saltwater yak fishing. Install a high end comfortable seat and the P13 is very hard to beat for safety, endurance and price. It will not disappoint.
I've had the Prowler 13 for two years now and alternate it with a composite Valley Nordkapp LV sea kayak, using it mainly for journeying when I get the chance.
Here's how this mini test panned out:
Over a 2.65 mile leg against the tide (not strong), across a hellish choppy and relentlessly windy open stretch of sea, the Prowler made 3 miles per hour. I don't have a rudder, but despite the wind hammering the kayak from an angle, very little correction was needed to keep it on course. The bow cuts through the water with negligible "slap", casting spray aside. Very smooth in fact. Waves coming "broad side" are wet... I wear a wetsuit in this kind of weather.
I pootled about a bit, in and around the local harbour etc taking in the sights, which added a couple more miles, then timed myself back on the 4.2 mile return leg, with the wind and moderate tide on the stern quarter (about 4 o'clock in relation to the kayak). On this course I used a lot of right hand paddle to counteract the slight broaching effect of following waves and wind on a moderate angle. This was good fun, with waves sluicing around, under and over the kayak, and the prowler made its usual "fair weather" progress of 5 miles an hour back in the bay where I started.
And that's it.
Hopefully the above has addressed some questions you might have about the Prowler 13's performance when it starts to get a bit "naughty". It feels very stable and maneuvers amazingly nimbly in this wind strength, tracking very well without a rudder... considering; rewarding a relaxed approach.
In normal conditions, you can paddle the Prowler at 4 Ė5 miles an hour all day with no need for a rudder. It also maneuvers easily in rockpools and tight spaces, and is a reasonable weight to load on the car single handed... I'm average build.
Compared to the Nordkapp LV, the Prowler 13 is slower as you might expect, being an entirely different kayak, with a little more effort needed to maintain "cruising" speed, but not by much, and easily puts in 20 Ė 30 mile days. I can't see a longer SOT, such as the Tarpon 160i being much faster. I'm going to try one in the future some time to see though... and a Prowler 4.5 Elite.
With great performance, load capacity, fitness for purpose, price, build quality and all round SOT convenience, the Prowler 13 is in my view, a very capable kayak, that gets you out there, and lets you hop on and off... coves, etc... with ease. A design classic.
I bet it's good for fishing from as well.
If you have a single purpose need in a yak this model isn't for you. If you believe it's not the tool but the man behind it and like variety a P13A is perfect. My main advice is make sure you have a rudder as even in calm conditions I found it allows me to focus on speed and my surroundings rather than being distracted with constant minor paddling corrections to maintain a straight line.
I do a lot of angling, as well as a lot of long camping and day trips on Lake Mead, and if any of you have ever been there you know it is always, always rough water. The first time I had my Prowler on the water it was during the weekend when the lake is most busy. I had 10-15 mph wind coupled with 2-3ft chop from both boats and wind. Needless to say I was a bit hesitant, being my first time on this particular yak. After about 15 minutes I knew I was in the right boat for me.
The boat handled the chop with no problems, tracked straight and true, in spite of the strong wind. The boat handled all of my gear, and is relatively fast for a shorter kayak. I felt solid on the Prowler, meaning I didn't feel like I was tipping or unstable at anytime.
I can't express enough how this boat is suited as perfectly for a first time kayaker as it would be for the professional kayak angler. I not only use mine for angling, but also multi day trips, the tank well will fit a 55 liter dry bag, full of stuff very easily with room to spare. The front hatch is another story, I put more stuff in there than I could have ever expected.
This kayak is a great all around kayak for multi use. I am 5'11" and weigh 250 and it has sufficient room for me and all my gear. I would recommend this kayak to anyone looking to buy a Sit on top. Ocean Kayak is head and shoulders above the other sot companies, and makes a far superior product.
My only complaint is that it is a little on the heavy side. It is a little tippier than the wider OK boats but it is way, way, more stable than the Scrambler (also 28" beam) If you are a larger guy and are considering a Scrambler, you'd be miles happier in the Prowler for sure.
One thing I heard with the Prowler was the molded in footwells dig into your calves. I have not experienced this and actually do not think I'd like adjustable footwells because it be awkward to reach down to move them. Second thing you hear is you get wet. It's hot in Alabama so I actually don't mind, but with scupper plugs, you stay dry as a bone. All I do is fish close to where I put in so I don't care about speed and turning radius. I have no frame of reference anyway. But I can tell you the Prowler 13 is a superb fishing platform. I catch more fish (bass mostly) out of my yak in the out-of-the-way creeks and streams than I ever did out of my bass boat.
1st, it is awkward loading & unloading, I bought some "sticky" gloves to handle it and they made a difference.
2. In the twisty streams it turns good, not like a 10' but good, fast and accelerates well;
3. rugged over snags & oyster beds.
4. the front well is very hard to access so don't plan on using anything in it while underway.
5. the paddle drip is there but it is a (mostly) dry boat if using the plugs.
6. the most negative: on a three hr trip I abraded patches of skin the size of a silver dollar on both calves where they rubbed against the non-skid surfaces on the foot wells, did not feel any pain at first but that afternoon wow! looking for a way to solve this problem besides wearing knee pads turned around on my calves; any help?
Last, the "bungee cord" paddle keepers are too close to me & slightly behind for me to use them one handed. Sugestions? Oh! get a foam pad for your butt if you are in the seat long. Love the boat and would buy it again.
When I paddle, I do hear the scuppers sucking air and realize it diminishes speed by adding friction. It's a roto-molded design problem. I will say the boats are tuff; I drag them along a wooden dock, use the dock as a boat ramp and am pleased. I paid about 1900 for two boats and two Kevlar paddles. As the other guy said, your feet will stay wet but the paddle itself will soak you from the knees down anyways. I've had them about 3 months and pull them out of the river and have never even rinsed them off. (SALT WATER) as I live in Ft Lauderdale FL, no corrosion and the hulls don't leak in calm water. Will be trying the ocean soon.
Good choice in boat; rugged, carries well and is stable. Fast? NO. Light? No, but maintenance is zero and they can take a beating.
Specs are roughly 13.4 * 28, real weight with seat & tackle box is 61.2 pounds. Awesome boat, very seaworthy, stable & fast yet extremely maneuverable. As any other SOT is a wet ride being a insignificant nuisance to anyone that is into kayaking or kayak fishing.
Hard to understand those folks that write a review & complain about a kayak being wet, doesn't make any sense to me, it won't ever, I do find that kind of reviews a bit annoying since they low rate a product that could be worth for someone like you looking for a kayak (and eventually discarding that model ) cause some "once a month" gets on the water not willing to get wet (??!!), so you go for another model that maybe it wasn't as perfect as the one "once a month" low rated on a review that probably starts with "this is my first kayak, I tried it once in my bathtub...." .....please.
Oh, well, freedom of speech is called.
If you are into fishing from a kayak you might like to consider this model, easy to outfit, great carrying capacity, comes with flush mounted rod holders, one handy tackle box, cup holder, huge front hatch full of possibilities, well designed tank well, paddle tether & one decent seat making her a "plug & play" ride, safe & fun.
Did some deep water re entry practice finding the Prowler the easier one to get back on, Had a WS Tarpon 120, have a Perception Aquaterra, two Featherlite 9.5 & 12', have used my friend's Fish 'n' Dive & his adored OK Drifter.
For a couple of years of experience doing very light touring & hard fishing the Prowler is the safest & easier to use.
Rudder? I wouldn't bother, the more weight you had the more you'll need to hustle car topping.
Rough, windy seas you say? give it to her , she'll take you home safe, you'll remember this review. The Prowler 13' this yak is as good as it gets.
However, the P13 does suffer hull slap with waves of any size, your behind will fall off after a couple of hours on the standard seat, and although it tracks "on a glide" just fine, the bow sways from side to side with each stroke (even taking various stroke techniques into account). I'm thinking a skeg or rudder would be a useful accessory. I want to go the retractable skeg route if possible, just haven't found one for this boat yet. The rudder adds a bunch of "stuff" at too high a price IMHO, and seems as if it might complicate the standard arrangement for foot placement (that is, anyplace you like). Others who have the rudder can weigh in on this.
Oh--while this boat is not excessively heavy, it is a bit awkward for one person to handle when loading/unloading (aren't they all?) I have a sit-in yak that weights just a couple of lbs less, and it too can be a handfull when I move it around alone.
Lastly, I'd recommend the scupper drain plugs for calm water. I weight 195 lbs, and when I pull the plugs out while on the water, water comes into the boat. With ocean waves, I suppose the plugs would actually hold water in the boat, but on calm water they will help keep you dry (dryer actually--as my feet always end up wet from entry/exit and paddle drips). If you buy the plugs, realize that the newer boats take 2 small, 2 medium, and 2 large plugs (you can confirm this at the OK website)
So, would I buy this boat again if I had it to do all over again? You bet---especially if I was big into fishing, or needed to carry a bunch of gear.
I have been guiding out of a Prowler 13 since October and really like it. There's plenty of space in both the front hatch and tankwell. Both the cockpit and tankwell are the same size in the 13 as in the 15. Both kayaks have the same 450lb. weight capacity too.
Though the 13 only weighs two pounds less than the 15 it is much less mass of boat to lift on and off a vehicle when alone as well as easier to store. The kayak was a wedding gift from my husband. He thought it would be more suitable for me to handle by myself than the 15, and it is!
The 13 is stable enough for me to stand up on without the pontoons though I do use those for drifting the flats on windy days. It is seaworthy offshore as well and I won't hesitate to use it off the beach this season for triple digit tarpon. Both kayaks have an angled bow entry along with the built in skeg which minimizes weather cocking and so track tremendously straight when paddling against the tide coupled with wind from the side.
Because of the additional length of the 15, a charter guest who has never paddled before will always be paddling a little faster in the 15 than me by the end of the day.
BTW, the first fish out of the new kayak was a tarpon. I took that as an omen that it was meant to be mine!
The layout is great. You have grab handles fore and aft, as well as on each side. There are paddle holders that let you go hands-free and a deck line, should a lunker yank you over the edge. The forward hatch is of good size. It's a hard cap over a neoprene cap. The inner cap is a tight fit, so you have less to worry about in the heavy stuff. The console consists of a 6" hatch, two cup holders and a tackle box recess with bungee cord. Can't ask for more than that. Even the base model comes with this, plus the seat, which is a bit unusual.
While some brands seem to see how little they can give you, this model strives to see how much. It rides pretty high and dry, especially if you're used to fishing from a Scrambler or other cousin. The aft well is cavernous and has quick release bungee cords. The footwell is long and the seatwell wide, so it takes on all comers.
While it appears to be designed as a fishing rig, I'd say it's retained enough speed to make it a very attractive all-round boat. Someone put some thought into what we like to carry and how, and it's panned out in a great design. Very few boats bring together superb design, materials and quality. This one comes real close. I'm guessing that this will be a very hot boat among those who can tell the difference, so I wouldn't expect to see much discounting.
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