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Reviews for Stealth 14 Kayak by Malibu Kayaks


Rated: 8.88/10 Based On: 17 Reviews

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01-14-2014
Submitted by: rubrndedSend Email
Rating: 1 of 10

     My Stealth 14 leaks like a colander in medium to heavy chop. I have been in email talks with Alfa Felx of Malibu and have tried the professional etiquette route to resolve the issue but have been given the run around. I have documented the poor gasket/seal placement of the substandard hatch installs, the rod holder gaskets, and the fact that my yak was sold full price with a repair at the forward port rod holder from being an installer screw-up that does not give me a warm fuzzy. The installer miss placed the rod holder position, did a poor repair as acknowledged in an email by Alfa Felix, and sold as a 1st rate yak.
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10-14-2013
Submitted by: DmannSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Great yak, been out in the Great Lakes in 3-4 foot waves no problem and kept dry. Awesome for fishing, fantastic storage.

One problem was the wife tried it and we had to get a 2nd stealth...
The other is when you are trolling with 2 or more rods out and run into a school of fish, and hook on to 2 or more at the same time they will pull you backwards...but we can deal with this...
Could not be happier with both yaks.

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07-27-2013
Submitted by: RobertSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Initially bought the Malibu Stealth 14 for river camping trips. I was impressed with it's voluminous storage capacity. It packs a lot of gear and has proven to be a very stable ride.

I had gotten into some snags on one trip in some strong current. Got sideways and saw the boat was leaning into the current. I bailed out and the boat stayed upright. I was able to re-enter with no problem and pleased to see no water inside.

For fishing, the center bait well can't be beat. Best boat in my fleet!

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07-24-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have been fishing out of the Malibu Stealth 14 kayak for about a year. I am very satisfied but there are some draw backs. Since I am 6'4" and 220 lbs, I needed a SOT kayak that was stable. The Stealth satisfies that requirement well. I can stand up on it, but it I am not real comfortable doing so. On the other hand, I have been out on the bay in very rough conditions and never felt as if I might turtle. In calm water it is a relatively dry ride.

One of the best things about the Stealth is the hatches. One of the worst things about the Stealth is the hatches. They accommodate a lot of gear. In fact, I have a tendency to carry too much. But even after the manufacturers updates, the hatches still leak. Most of the focus on the forums has to do with the large front hatch, but the real trouble lies with the glove boxes and the rear hatch. On a calm day I get no leakage. On a rough day I get just a little. But if you leave it out in the heavy summer rains here in Northwest Florida, over time the hull will fill with water.

This is an inconvenience I have learned to live with. I keep a sand bucket and sponge in the front hatch and it takes about a minute to bail when it is at its worst. On a typical day of fishing, if I takes on any water at all, the sponge is sufficient.

The layout of the Stealth is great. The 14 foot rear well is larger than that on the 12, and I can easily accommodate a cooler for the fish and a cast net for bait. The rear hatch is great for carrying things you might not need every time out, like first aid kits, extra rope, lures etc.

The side hatches (glove boxes) are so handy that it is awkward for me to fish out of my other yaks. I keep a copy of my fishing license, tools, line, flashlight, etc. in one side, and extra lures, hooks etc. in the other.

The front hatch carries the battery when I use the built in live well. Most of the time I find I don't need to use the pump at all. I just take the drain plug our of the bottom and let the water circulate naturally. I have kept fish alive for hours this way and then released them if I haven't caught enough to make a mess. If using live shrimp or bait fish, the circulating pump is just the ticket.

The Stealth also has four built in rod holders. They are positioned perfectly. When I have rods in the front holders, they do not interfere with paddling. I usually use the rear holders for trolling and the front holders as extra hands when I am doing one of the million things you have to do while fishing from a kayak.

Transportation was a concern for a kayak this large when I purchased it, but with a bed extender on my truck, and a little bit of experience, it is no problem at all to load and unload, even for this 61 year old man.

Only two problems with the yak so far. The seal on the large hatch in the front came loose after several months. It was an easy fix with Marine Goop and has been fine since. The other problem had to do with the eye on one side that is used to fasten the straps of the seat in place. Malibu uses a screw in affair that makes good sense. However, the plastic fatigued on the yak and it pulled free. Epoxy worked great and there have been no other issues.

Bottom line is that there is no one size fits all kayak and everyone has to decide what is best for them. I am thoroughly happy with my purchase. If you are considering purchasing a fishing kayak I would recommend that you look closely at the Malibu Stealth 14. If you can find a dealer, or an individual who will let you take it for a test drive, you can see if it is right for you. Hope this helps.

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06-07-2013
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I purchased my Malibu Stealth 14 towards the end of last year (2012) and absolutely love this kayak! This is my second kayak and I can't complain about a single thing! This sit on top kayak is by far one of the best kayaks on the market, the storage, stability, tracking, and livewells are awesome! There's no need to carry a crate for all your gear with the Stealth, all your gear and tackle can be stowed in one of the three dry hatches while on the water and during transport or beach launches your tackle and rods can all be stowed in the huge front gator hatch! If you're a live bait type of fisherman, the center livewell is great, just unscrew the plug and let fresh water in or plumb it if you feel it's necessary, but either way your bait will last all day with out a problem.

I have had to deal with customer service about a few minor things unrelated to the boat but with the accessories and have gotten some of the best customer service that I've ever experienced! The few times that I have had to contact Milo at Malibu Kayaks/Crack of Dawn he has been very prompt and and replied with in 1-2 business days of receiving my email. The customer service team at Malibu is very quick to solve your problems and get the replacement parts shipped out ASAP and make their customers happy that they purchased a Malibu Kayak!

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05-24-2013
Submitted by: Yak TalesSend Email
Rating: 4 of 10

     I researched and demoed a fair amount of kayaks prior to purchasing the Stealth. I felt that I had picked the perfect kayak for my style of fishing. The Stealth would allow me to stand and fish the flats and also give me plenty of room in the front hatches to store my rods when doing beach launches and prevent them from getting drenched.

The boat has great stability and ample storage. On the down side the side hatches leak terribly. I had heard of issues with the side hatches leaking. So I inquired with customer service prior to purchasing my kayak and was assured that all issues had been resolved. Surprise there not!! My Malibu Stealth took in approx 3-4 gallons of water on a beach launch. The waves on this day were maybe 1-2.

I contacted Malibu right away to resolve this issue. Well lets just say that customer service is not Malibu's strong point. Their CS rep first offered to send me new side hatches. Being I just bought the Stealth for almost $1400 with tax, I did not really feel like having to do fixes on a new kayak. So he agreed that he would drop ship me a new kayak to replace the one I was having issues with at no cost. He explained that it was going to take approx 3 weeks to manufacture the kayak being they had none in stock. Wasn't crazy about the 3 week wait however if it meant I was getting a new replacement I was willing to wait.

Well 3 weeks has come and gone. We are now on almost 3 months. I have heard almost every excuse you can imagine. From I didn't receive the email or phone call to they ran out of resin to produce more Kayaks. I would call Malibu and leave endless messages with no return phone calls. Finally I call up and xxx tells me that my kayak is ready and they will be shipping it as soon as I pay $200 for shipping. Are you kidding me. I purchase a product that was not right from day 1 and you want to now charge me an additional $200 because you didn't get it right the first time. xxx stated to me that he had been told by upper management that I was to pay shipping. I get this if I had had the kayak for 6 months or longer, but not for a kayak that was never right to begin with. I asked xxx to speak with someone else about this issue and was told that know one else was willing to speak with me. So if I wanted the replacement kayak it was going to cost me an additional $200.00. Bottom line BUYER BEWARE. If you have problems with your yak then the night mares will begin. I have many friends in the kayak community and most of them will agree Malibu's CUSTOMER SERVICE SUCKS.
I have attached a link for you to view the leakage on my kayak
http://youtu.be/zVBnyYgIuNE

**MANUFACTURER'S RESPONSE**
"We'd like to take this time to respond to the reviews recently posted regarding our warranty policy. At Malibu Kayaks, we reserve the right to charge shipping on warranty claims during the first 12 months at our discretion. It does not always happen, but it can, and is determined on a case-by-case basis. That being said, our kayak warranty stands among the best warranties in the water sports manufacturing industry. Consumers are welcome to research us and our competitors to make an educated buying decision.

This consumer claimed his kayak was taking on several gallons of water in a single offshore launch. While our design and production teams are certainly not satisfied with product that takes on water, no polyethylene sit-on-top kayak is completely impervious to water leakage, especially through hatches. Again, we realize this can affect the performance of the kayak so we continue to work on the best possible solution for all our models. That being said, water still may come into the kayak, and we encourage our kayakers to review all storage and safety procedures for draining excess water and remind you to always wear your PFD!

The customer originally contacted our warranty department with his claims in February of 2013. According to our policy and industry standards, we offered to replace any defective parts at no cost. He was dissatisfied with the options presented and requested a new kayak be prepared and shipped to his location, among various other requests, in part to replace third party accessories he outfitted on the kayak in question. After some negotiation, Malibu Kayaks agreed to replace his kayak and even offered to include a Multipurpose Bait Tank for his troubles. According to policy, we did ask that the customer pay the shipping costs, originally quoted at $200, and we would have still allowed him to keep the kayak at factory price. The $200 is an estimate of typical freight costs to ship a single kayak from California to Florida, where the consumer is based. This is a pre-quote estimate only– the freight cost could be lower, and we had alerted the consumer that should the cost be higher, we would cover the additional. He did not agree to this option either and proceeded to call and email multiple times per day in effort to change the offer.

Malibu Kayaks has communicated daily, both via email and phone, with this customer since the onset of his claim to process his warranty beyond our typical guidelines, and we are still happy to honor that agreement. We are saddened that he is dissatisfied with his kayak, the warranty options, and the customer service provided him, as we have made a considerable effort to find an agreeable solution to get him back on the waters as quickly as possible. Malibu Kayaks stands behind our warranty and is working hard to improve our customer service; we look forward to continuing to provide the quality product and service you all deserve."

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08-07-2012
Submitted by: jdsSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought my Stealth 14 about a year ago and keep it in the water as much as possible. I can' t really add much to all the good comments, except to tell you when I first bought this yak, I weighed 350 lbs and had no problem with staying dry. It handled me and a ton of fishing gear. Now, I'm 50# less, and can't wait for cooler weather. The Stealth 14 is going to make me sell my Champion bass boat.
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06-23-2012
Submitted by: BLDSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The ultimate kayak for larger men or women, super sturdy and built to not tip!!! Whether in a pond bay or offshore fishing the Stealth 14 is the way to go, there is ample storage in the yak and on top of the yak, we always convert the live bait well into an ice chest the back hatch is great for storing snacks or your safety gear flares and such!! This is by far one of the best yaks on the market!!
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06-21-2012
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Malibu Stealth 14 has it all, and can do it all. It doesn't matter if you fish small ponds, lakes, creeks, streams, rivers, inshore or off the beach. It will get you there and back. The stability is amazing if you want to stand and sight fish, or fly fish. If you like to use live bait, the center bait tank will hold a days worth of bait and keep them lively. Even if you don't use the live well for bait, use it for extra storage. Storage is something the Stealth 14 isn't short on storage, you can take practically anything you want to take with you thanks to it's huge capacity. You won't be disappointed if you get a Stealth 14, I love mine.
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06-20-2012
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     One of the most stable kayaks on the market if not best one. Tracking is great. It is great for open water and light off shore. Enough dry storage for a multi-day camping trip. With the gator hatch you can take a child with you on a paddling outing.Would recommend it to anyone.
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06-17-2012
Submitted by: BowedUp804Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Malibu Stealth 14 is the best fishing kayak I have ever used, that is why I own 2 of them. Malibu really took the time to design a kayak that can handle it all, from paddling through breaking waves in the surf and offshore, to sight casting on the flats. The stability is unmatched by any other manufacturer, so standing in this boat is super easy. The casting platform gives you a stable, flat platform to stand on when searching for fish, as well as providing a vast amount of storage space and a baitwell. The Stealth 14 cuts through the water making an easy paddle for a boat as wide as it is, and also turns with ease. The gator hatch provides ample access to even more storage space- I can store 4-6 rods, paddle, net, PFD, dry bag, first aid kit, and still have a lot of room left inside. If your a serious kayak fisherman, or just getting started and looking to learn, the Malibu Stealth 14 is the boat for you!
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06-14-2012
Submitted by: NickyDSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     As a professional kayak angler I have fished from a number of kayaks out there on the market and while they all have their pro’s and con’s I have to say the new Malibu Stealth 14 makes it difficult to find a con. For the last year I have been fishing out of the Malibu Stealth 12 which is an amazing platform in its own. Since I have recently started fishing out of the Stealth 14 I am in shock with the improvements that have been added (they fixed things I didn’t even know needed it). The Stealth 12 I previously fished from was an older model that I enjoyed thoroughly and I only got the 14’ for a little extra stability since I find myself standing 90% of the time (on the 14’ I can walk all the way up to the bow and stern) and I like to bring my 80# chocolate lab out in the front hatch. The most recent model now has added some of the following features (from bow to stern):
- Flush front and rear handles: no more of those handles attached to a riveted loop with a little piece of rope, now they have strong durable rubber handles front and back.
- No more rivets: Most of the hardware is now mounted with heavy duty stainless bolts and screws, no rivets will be breaking or pulling out on you with this new model (not that it happened much on the previous model with anyone).
- Upgraded Gator Hatch: You may have read about some leakage issues with previous models… most of that was user error due to not affixing the gator hatch bungee over the provided hooks on the left and right bow of boat. The new Stealth now has more streamlined posts instead of the plastic hooks, it’s stronger… easier to use…and just plain good looking! The new gator hatch also has a much better seal to keep any water from getting in. The other day I was out and took several waves over the bow where I would have taken on a few teaspoons of water in the previous model, when I got back on the beach… totally dry.
- While talking leakage… the side hatches have a much better seal since that is where many have the problem of taking on water. In the older models when closing the hatch if you had the latches undone and you closed it, the door would already sit flush, on the new model if you do this the door needs a little force applied to be able to latch it closed…this is because of the amazing seal it now has. These side hatches also now provide access to the interior of both sides of the kayak, in the previous model only one side was accessible (at least on the 12’ it was). The red bags that insert also sit just above the base of the interior and the hooks to hold it are positioned just right where if you did take on water when the hatch is open the water still won’t go in to the bag unlike other brand name kayaks I have used. Just make sure you keep the hatched closed when taking on rough water, yes some water will pool around the hatch and when you open it some will get in, but this is less than a teaspoon, and a compromise I am willing to make for all the added interior storage.
- Live-well drain: the drain plug has a thicker easier seal and has been offset in the live-well to prevent from any damage to what drainage system you may install. My Stealth 12 is plumbed, but I will not plumb the 14 since I rarely use live bait, and when I do all I have to do is open the plug and let the water circulate through on its own. I picked up a mini strainer piece from a pressure washer hose that I place in there to keep small bait or shrimp from escaping on me.
- Rear Hatch: The hatch behind the seat is amazing now since it’s on a hinge and only requires one latch turn instead of the previous models that had four latches and then you had to find a place to set the hatch cover. With all the storage on this kayak I rarely even need to take out a crate, I can store everything inside which makes it great for beach launches.
- Just in front of each flush mount is an internal thread, I didn’t know what this was at first, but it’s there for a trolling motor mount! Malibu has listened to all their fans and actually put in to action the suggestions they receive, good to see this from a kayak manufacturer.
- Tank-well: This thing is WIDE! When and if I take a crate I use a large shopping basket instead of a milk crate, it’s very easy to carry and the elongated shape tends to fit more into it. The tank well is so large I can store 2-3 baskets back there perpendicular to the kayak (if I ever had to). I have a 5 year old daughter that likes to get back there and just crawl around…she couldn’t do this as easily in my Stealth 12… and she definitely could never do this in my WS Tarpon 14 I had.
- Performance: Comparing this to the 12 I find that the 12 can quickly get up and going very fast, however requires more work to keep up with the others. In the 14 it will get up and going with little effort, but once you are going it just cruises with no effort at all. Last weekend I was in a tournament that had 20 mph gusts of wind, I launched with someone in a Jackson Cuda, an Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 and a Native… once the wind was coming at us I just kept cruising with minimal resistance, the gentlemen in the Ocean Kayak fell slightly behind and the other two were unable to even go any further.

In conclusion, the Malibu Stealth 14 is the best kayak on the market. As a professional kayak angler I have fished out of some of the best including Wilderness Systems (Tarpon 12/14, Ride), Hobie (Outfitter, Revo, Pro Angler), Jackson (Coosa, Cuda), Native… you name it. All of them have their strengths and weaknesses and I find them all to be great in their own way. However, when I was looking for the most well rounded kayak that I can stalk the flats for tailing reds with and the next day launch off the beach in 2-3 ft waves to go out for kingfish and tarpon... the Stealth can stand up to the challenge.

Negative: Some of you may be reading this thinking the Stealth 14 is too good to be true…well it’s not… however I am an honest person and can only find two negatives, even though they don’t bother me a bit.
1) Size/Weight: With a kayak of this size you are going to have to deal with some additional weight. It weighs in at 64 pounds and once loaded down with everything can be around 80 lbs. I like that I can store all my rods, lifejacket, seat, tackle, anchor, stake-out-pole, etc in the front hatch during travel (so it tends to be a little heavy at the ramp. I can load it all up the night before, load it in the truck, wake up and go. I would not recommend this kayak for a 90 year old man that needs to put it up on his roof, however if you are fishing with a buddy (which you always should be) then it won’t be a problem. I have seen some creative ways out there to slide a kayak from the hood up on to the roof. If you have a truck then weight should not be a concern. If you just have a sedan… this kayak is soooo worth it I would check out craigslist for a jet ski trailer or the Harbor Freight site ($300-400 for brand new trailer).
2) Hull Slap: Since this kayak is capable to take on 550 lbs (which I would argue it could carry more) if you are a lighter person it will sit a little higher in the water and cause some hull slap if the wind is blowing over 10 kts and you are stalking a flat. First off, if you are trying to be stealth on a flat in a 10kt wind then it doesn’t matter what kayak you are in…it’s going to slap. If this is a major concern of yours simply distribute your gear weight properly and don’t position your kayak in a direction that will create this resistance. It all comes with experience; this reason should absolutely NOT lead you not to consider this kayak. I also had some custom SeaDek put on the kayak and it has practically eliminated this issue completely. A company in Florida has scanned the Stealth and can cut up a custom SeaDek kit for you at a VERY reasonable price.

If you are looking for a great seat to put on this please consider the Crack of Dawn Spider Angler Seat, Google it you should find my video review, it’s the best thing out there and worth every penny.

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06-13-2012
Submitted by: CGSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is my first Malibu Stealth 14 and I couldn't be happier. I have been kayak fishing for over 7 years and have owned 4 different brands of kayaks. My Stealth 14 is unsurpassed in stability and storage room. I've felt closed in on other kayaks, they never felt like they had enough room in the lap area and I'm not a big guy at 5'8".

The Stealth has more than enough storage room. I really enjoy the wide cockpit area and I use the live well on every trip. I don't even have to use a live well kit, I simply undo the plug in the live well area and the well refreshes itself all day long. I've had a 20" trout live all day in that live well. I also love the pocket bags in the kayak. It makes cleaning the kayak so much easier. I no longer have to worry about spilling Gulp juice in my kayak. I simply take out the pockets and wash them in the sink. I've never had so much storage area before.

My favorite feature is the ability to stand and fish. Sight fishing has opened a whole other dimension to the areas I fish. I have stood up in 30mph winds to take a picture of my fish on a measuring board with no problem. Now, I stand just as much as I sit.

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05-16-2012
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Great kayak, if you are looking for the ultimate kayak then look no further, excellent stability at 33" wide, can hold up to 550#. Tons of storage, rod holders and a built in livewell. This kayak tracks great and is very easy to paddle. It also comes with the gator hatch, in which a child can ride with you. If you want to purchase a kayak, you can't go wrong with the Stealth 14.
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04-23-2012
Submitted by: Nathan W.Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Malibu Stealth 14 is one fishing machine! If you're looking for stability and fishability, this kayak is great. The storage compartments on each side of the livewell tank provide a nice area for your feet while standing and sight casting as well as provide a place to put your soft plastic bait, tackle, bugspray, etc. If plumbed, the live bait tank in the center is perfect for keeping your bait alive and you no longer have to drag around minnow buckets or bait tanks making it difficult to paddle any longer.
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05-24-2011
Submitted by: SteveSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Overall: 7.5
Design: 10
Manufacturing: 5

I am 6'5, 220# and have used the Stealth 14 primarily for river fishing in PA for about a year now. Functionally, it is a great boat for me. Comfortable, stable, room for my dog, versatile, perfect. You CANNOT tip it (you will fall off first). I also love peoples' faces when I float by them fishing while standing up. As far as the design and function of the boat, I love it and give it a 10. My dog loves it too.

As far as the manufacture quality of the boat's design, I give it a 5 for Two major reasons:

  1. it had a pinhole leak from the factory. This spring it developed another. Easy enough to patch, but I have had the boat for less than a year. I am worried about longevity.
  2. The various hatches are basically WORTHLESS unless you are on a calm lake. They all leak water, even just from me getting in an out on a calm day. I recently took it through some class 1 (maybe 1.5) water. Let me tell you, whatever water gets on the deck drains directly into one of the hatches or the boat's interior.
In summary, I love using the boat, but draining several gallons of water after each use and having NO dry storage outside of drybags is annoying.

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09-23-2009
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Purchased and paddled this kayak for the last 3 months. It looks like an X-Factor with a re-designed deck. It's a great fishing kayak, and great for taking out kids. The three hatches in front of the seat are brilliant for fishing gear and bait. I had myself, 180#, two 70# boys with me, stable as a rock. Easy and comfortable to stand in for sight fishing. It paddles much easier then it's large size would suggest. Once up to speed it glides effortlessly and tracks straight. She's a heavy boat to cartop, but experimentation with your technique will help. I take the hatch covers off to lower the weight and provide handholds to load it.

I had a couple gasket issues but an email to Mailbu and the problems were fixed very quickly. MK's customer service is second to none! I got a call from the president of the company and a rep to assure everything worked out. Thanks for standing behind your products! I'll probably buy a couple of Mini-X's for the boys next summer so Dad can go solo next year...

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