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Reviews for Carolina 14 Kayak by Perception

Rated: 8.92/10 Based On: 12 Reviews

Carolina 14 Kayak by Perception

Length: 14' 0" - Width: 24.50" - Starting at: $969.00
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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Love my Carolina, got lucky and found it pre-owned, I paddle lots of flat water including creeks with log jumping obstacles to twenty mile plus day trips, biolumes at night in salt water to purest fresh crystal spring water. This boat edges so well that even though it is 14 feet long it will maneuver well enough to easily maneuver in swift and twisting spring runs with ease.
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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is a great all-around kayak. We have had two of these for 5 years and have paddled on lakes, rivers, and coastal waters from New England to the Mid-Atlantic. Our kayaks have handled everything well and still look great. The only repair we have done is replace the small yellow seat back lever.

Durable, reliable and predictable. Have been in surf and the yak behaved very well. Still look great, not much color fade (and our kayaks are outside much of the time). We have looked at other kayaks, and may buy a couple of smaller kayaks for ease of transport and to use with friends and family, but (other than MUCH more expensive kayaks) have not seen a kayak for the price that is as well made and versatile as this one. Never regretted this purchase.
Rarely miss having a rudder and have not had any problem with the footbraces popping out.

9 out of 10 because the seat, while comfortable, could be better (but we have paddled 3 - 4 hours straight and not had a problem).

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Submitted by: John
Rating: 7 of 10

     Lets be honest here; the Carolina 14 is for big fat folk (like myself - 250 lb 5'10) who want to get on the water, and can thus get their fat bottom and inflexible trunk-like legs in a Kayak. The Carolina 14 is the only choice (unless you want to paddle a bathtub). Perception designed the perfect boat for fatties, but the seat is ridiculous. The seat is for yogafied nimble-butts. If you are heavier (why else would you buy this boat) plan on installing a "sit-on-top: seat. It will cost you an extra $100 plus a full day of installing/tweaking.
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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     This is a great day/weekend touring boat. It is very stable, responds well (with and without rudder deployed). I am 6ft 1 and have no issues fitting inside. The storage capabilities are adequate yet not abundant. On week-long trips things are very tight but able to be done.

This is not a fast boat but gets you where you are going. I've owned mine for 10 years now and have played rough with it in small creeks and rivers taking it over rocks and trees. It shows all the scratches but I have no concerns over the wear and tear other than visually.

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Submitted by: TonySend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I recently bought the Carolina used, to upgrade from a 10 ft Pelican. It is very stable, easy to paddle, and also very comfortable. Tracking with or without the skeg is beautifully straight. A very nice all around choice.
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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Carolina 14, a great tried and tested kayak that wants to be on the open water. This kayak tracks beautifully and is very graceful in the water. The kayak is 14' long and 24" wide making it very stable even in choppy conditions. The kayak has sealed front and back bulkheads and has plenty of storage space for long weekend trips. The kayak edges well and the seat is quite comfortable.

If you're looking for a solid reliable touring kayak this is a good choice. This kayak is great for beginners and intermediate paddlers. This kayak however, does not lend itself to fast flowing small windy rivers and is very hard to control on the turns.

Overall, a great touring kayak that will give many seasons of reliable pleasure.

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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had my Carolina 14 for about 2 years now. I can't say enough good things about this boat. I had previously been paddling a 10' rec kayak and the transition from it to the Carolina 14 was very easy.

The Carolina's initial stability is excellent. With the rudder, it tracks great and it paddles well, even in rough choppy water. The seat is very comfortable with adjustments to lift your thighs and the back has about 4" of adjustment up and down. For overnight trips it has a ton of storage space. In fact, on a recent overnight camping trip I chose it over my sea kayak just so I could take some extra luxuries.

If you're looking to upgrade from a smaller rec kayak, this boat would be an excellent choice.

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Submitted by: scott rSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought the Carolina 14 as a trainer for expedition paddling and find that the kayak is a smooth, straight runner that edges beautifully. I have only had it for a month, but the Carolina is my go to boat now. I had a Jackson Journey for about three weeks and finally sold it out of disgust.

There are a couple of things I would change about the Carolina though... first off, the foot pegs are a pain to lock, the rod bounces out too fast and I have to reset the pegs every time I go for a paddle. the hatches are a little small for a 14 foot kayak and the lack of a cup holder is evident. No rudder needed for this one though, it goes exactly where you are looking.

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Submitted by: NicoleSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought this boat approximately 4 years ago from the LL Bean outlet used, and I loved it from the moment I first sat in it. It didn't come with a rudder and I have only had a few occasions where wished I had one; to make paddling with the wind behind me a little easier, but all kayaks have that issue. I have taken this boat out in all weather and any where from a quiet still lake to the choppy and wavy ocean, and it performs like a champ every time. The only time I have had ever had issues is maneuvering it through a narrow winding 14' it just isn't built for that and when the boat is longer than the stream is wide turning around is interesting to say the least.

The storage areas at the front and back of the boat are great for day and weekend trips, although I would check the seals first if you are putting anything in there that you really don't want to get wet as mine do leak. The seat is comfortable but I do find that my butt hurts after a few hours of paddling, and it tracks well even without the rudder. I'm female, 5' 6" and I use a 240cm paddle. I feel like the lower height of the deck is a great advantage over other boats.

This was/is my first boat and I will never sell it even though I now need a boat with a bigger cockpit to accommodate my dog; my love of this boat is making everything else I try pale in comparison.

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Submitted by: Joe MontanaSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I am going to write this review how I would want to read it. This kayak is amazing. I have it in blue and white and it looks super legit. The kayak is incredible fast and it is very very light. If you thought of getting an airlite kayak, it is not necessary. It has a very comfortable seat, thigh pads, and foot rests. I didn't get it with a rudder because I didn't like the one that came on it, but I will probably put one on it eventually. It turns very easy, yet tracks super well. It does like to try to whip a 180 when I paddle into the wind, but any kayak wants to do that.

I bought this boat because I moved from the ocean to a lake and didn't really need a sea kayak anymore (Perception Shadow). I couldn't even tell the difference between the two when it comes to rolling. Any roll I tried worked great, even hand rolling. The back hatch is big enough that when I take kids for rides they just rid in there with there legs extended. I would highly recommend this kayak.

If you are wondering why I didn't pick the other kayaks, here are my reasons for all the other main competitors. The Wilderness Systems Tsunami, that boat is straight up ugly to me, I have also heard horror stories about WS customer service. The Dagger Axiom was my second choice, but I didn't like the fact that it didn't have those lines on the bottom used for tracking.
Hope this is helpful!

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Submitted by: Hal Xena - Rating: 9 of 10
This review courtesy of

     This is a great kayak plain and simple. I am a big guy at 230 pounds yet there is plenty of room inside, and it is very easy to get in and out of. There is plenty of storage and it has a nice little area behind the seat to stow stuff. The seat is very comfortable and also very adjustable. One caveat though, I took mine out yesterday for the first time in strong 20+ mph winds. It tracked well into the wind and even sideways but when the wind was behind me I had to constantly fight to keep it from turning broadside. I just ordered the rudder for mine. If you are in a windy area like I am, I highly suggest getting the rudder too. All in all I am very happy with my new boat.
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Submitted by: Waldo R Aparicio - Rating: 10 of 10
This review courtesy of

     This yak is so great! It fits like a glove, moves swiftly in the water, is very comfortable, and there are just too many things to say about it. I am new to kayaking and feel so stable in this boat that I push myself, and the boat, past my comfort zone. I love it and would recommend it to ANYONE! I have been researching and demoing boats for about 1-1.5 years. It was my first boat, and a big investment, and I wanted to make sure I got the boat that suited me the most. As soon as I slipped into this boat it was like magic. I am about 5'8 250lbs. I was worried about my weight being a problem, but it was wonderful. Not even an issue! I have been paddling it so much this season I can’t keep my paddle out of the water. It pays to do your homework!
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