We have owned our triple for at least five years. It is nick-named the 'Bismarck'. It is fabulous for stability and the fun factor. It has carried a load of four large adults across an estuary. The best thing ever for kids at the beach. Totally safe. Has also been used as a surf boat (1 meter breakers) for three large teenagers who have proven that it is indestructible! Great fishing platform and has been bloodied and performed very well. Were going to trade to a two man - but the family revolted and we had to keep it as it is so popular. We tow it on a trailer as we consider it too heavy for a roof rack. Also made up a little trolley to help cart it which fits into the drain holes.
Only drawback is it acts like a sail in a cross wind and is hard to steer. We fixed that by fitting a steering kit from a cobra dealer. It is very heavy and one person will struggle to load onto a trailer.We've had our Triple for 2 1/2 yrs. Best solution we could find in a car top watercraft for the family - me, wife, 9 yr old son and 70# labradoodle. Yes it was very difficult for my wife and I to load on our Ford Explorer, so I bought the canoe loader from Cabelas for $80 and now easily load and unload it myself.
We've had this boat out in 2' white caps on wind blown lakes multiple times and have never felt in danger of flipping. My son stands in the front to fish, and it's so stable you can easily climb in and out while swimming without fear of tipping over. It's aerodynamic enough that I've seen no decrease in fuel economy hauling it and it also service as car top storage for all the fishin and some camping gear.
It paddles fast with the 3 of us in sync, and isn't too difficult to handle from the middle alone. The middle compartment isn't self bailing, so it will collect some water, especially when the waves are high. I still think it's the best solution in economical family water recreation you could find. I caught 17 smallmouth bass from it in one afternoon this spring:)Thanks for all the above reviews, they were helpful in deciding to buy. There are not many 3 person kayak options. We were considering a kayak from Ebay from New Zealand but finally found a Cobra Triple for a good price from Ron Jon Cocoa Beach, FL. They had one that had been there for 4 years that they reduced the price to sell.
This is our first kayak and our first time ever with more than one person in a kayak. I can say that the Triple meets our expectations. I am 6'6" 250 lbs and take the back seat, wife is 180 and son is 80. I didn't notice any warping of the kayak in the center as discussed above. None of us had any water in our seats. The foot wells keep a little water though. Our son in the front experienced no spray or splash. The kayak is a little difficult to turn but I am not unhappy with the speed. The rear seat is a little narrow but a good pad (not the cobra seats) raises you up and a larger bottom fits. We all climbed in from a dock two feet above the boat deck and it felt very stable. We took it out in the banana river and nicely took the boat wakes. What a great way to see nature for a family here in Florida.
As far as downside, this is a heavy boat to lug around. I can carry it sideways slowly. And it takes two guys to get it on the roof of a Tahoe. My wife doesn't feel comfortable carrying her side. Therefore, our second day owning it I went to Ace Hardware, purchased 2 wheels and some PVC and have a very functional cart using the drain holes ($20). I think I may need a rear roller on my truck to allow me to slide it on better. I also must confess that I do most of the paddling and did notice that the rear paddler has to mesh with the middle paddler. I think the solution is put your most frequent paddlers in front and back.
Overall, if you can handle and don't mind a little weight to lug around, I think this is an great kayak as far a stability, safety for a family. I have been looking intensely for 3 months and am happy that we ended up with the longest triple and the one that can carry the most weight (and thus keep us dry). Looking forward to some fun! I guess I can rate this a 10 as it is clearly the best of giant, 3-man sit-on-tops, being the only one. I've taken a few kids with me to escort swimmers racing off La Jolla a few times, but this boat is mostly our play platform on our lake. I've seen 8 high school kids float off around the point, some standing, some diving off, etc. Where else are you going to get a boat that can do that? I've also paddled it alone, seated in the middle, for workouts. Lots of work, too. This big barge is SLOW, but you won't buy it to race with.
It's been a fishing boat, a diving platform, concert seating down on the harbor, and once a garbage skow in the bay. Carrying this boat on a car is a drag. Have very wide-spaced bars or avoid it. It's 80 or so pounds will feel like a lot more loading it alone in any wind.
Being that I own this boat mainly so we can all have more fun at our lake, I've avoided the labor of hauling it often by chaining it through a drain hole at the lake and just forgetting about it. The poly material has been in the sun for three or four years, and it's not showing yet. And it's so clearly fun for us that there are now three or four Triples at the lake.The positive: Lots of room, great stability and ok tracking on flat water.
The negative: as soon as we're out at sea, the waves make it very difficult to track. My main complain is probably a desigh issue: the center seat bends under the weight of regular size persons which makes for a very uncomfortable ride and in time will probably end up breaking the plastic... what then? I guess I'll call Cobra to claim the warranty.