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Choosing the
buyer’s guide
BeSt KaYaK

For you
What’s ne
k aya k t yp e s e X tr a s
sit-On-tOPs: by far the most popular, singLe versUs tanDem: most
sots are self-draining and unsinkable fishing kayaks are solo kayaks, but you
in surf. the open deck means lots of can also get a tandem or one that has
space to mount accessories and easy an optional second seat.
access to gear at all times. it’s easy to
hop in and out, wade, stand and fish
materiaL: most kayaks are made of
Wer or
inexpensive and nearly indestructible
polyethylene. other materials—
sit-insiDes: add a rod holder to thermoform plastic, inflatables, and
a traditional recreational kayak and composites like fiberglass, carbon or

you’ve got a capable fishing craft. kevlar—are usually lighter and more
fishermen in colder climates like sit- expensive.
insides for the protection they provide
from the water and weather. they are
stOrage: does the kayak have a place
usually lighter and have more interior
for everything you want to carry, inside
dry storage.
or on the deck? does it have waterproof
storage hatches and bulkheads? does it
hYBriDs: some kayaks are neither have a tank well?
sots nor sit-insides. boats like the
W and Cool
For 2009
Along with the traditional lineup of SOTs, SIKs, hybrids
and inflatables, this spring brings new materials, hull
designs and propulsion options. Innovation to traditional
kayaks is the name of the game as our spor
nucanoe and the native ultimate
PrOPULsiOn: some kayaks now come
combine characteristics of both.
with pedal power, or are set up to take
a trolling motor.
infLataBLes: inflatable kayaks are
lightweight and easy to store and
rigging: does the boat come
pre-rigged the way you want it with
features like rod holders and a
comfortable seat? is it set up to take
l e n gth
the accessories you’ll add later, like a
and W i dth
rUDDer: often available for extra
BOat Design Basics: Longer kayaks
cost, a rudder is very useful in windy

t continues
its rapid evolution. Here’s a sampling of what’s in the
delivery ward for 2009.
pedal, po sail
Notable among new additions, Native Watercraft’s MultiSport kayaks
feature a hull with a port for dropping in either an electric drive or a
pedal drive—your choice is included in the price and you can always
add the other later. Both are eco-friendly and affordable; the V
are faster and carry more gear. shorter
conditions and for hands-free drift
kayaks are more maneuverable. wider
hulls are more stable and roomy while
Weight: if you plan to car-top your
narrow ones are faster.
boat or carry it long distances, weight is
Where DO YOU fish? Long, narrow
critical. several of the above factors will
kayaks are best for covering large
affect weight.
distances between fishing spots and
cOLOr: many kayaks come in natural
doing overnight trips. shorter boats are
costs four cents per mile to run. There’s also an optional sail, for
which the drive system acts as a centerboard. This could be the most
versatile craft ever, kitted out to paddle, pole, pedal, motor or sail.
that’s hoW We roll
If those are not enough ways to get around,
Feelfree Kayaks’ new Moken 12—a full featured,
scaled-down version of last year’s Moken
13—has an in-hull wheel for rolling it around
without a trailer.
the Cats Multiply
Long known for its stable and speedy tunnel
hulls, Native Watercraft is joined in the catamaran
category by a unique upstart. Delta Kayaks’
radical new Catfish piques our curiosity with dual hulls, a see-through
underwater viewing port and a hidden drop-down rudder between its
twin thermoform plastic hulls.
CustoM sizing
Ocean Kayak adds 11- and 13-
foot lengths to its popular Trident
Angler lineup. Now you can find a
Trident Angler sized for any venue
from bayous and borrow pits to the
Cortes Bank.
colors like olive and tan. bright colors
lighter and easier to maneuver in small
are more visible in open water and
rivers and ponds. either way, you want
high-traffic areas. CosMetiC surgery
a kayak with a lot of initial stability,
Wilderness Systems updates its
meaning you can lean from side to side
Price: don’t compare prices at face
respected Tarpon series with “bow
or even stand up without feeling like
value. every company includes different
lift enhancements” and bigger tank
you’re going to flip.
standard features. a rudder adds up to
$300 to the cost.
wells, code for a higher and dryer rough-water ride and more storage.
It’s also added user-friendly turn-and-lock hinged hatch covers and
rails in the tank well and accessory rails in the tank well and cockpit.

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