I am planning on buying a Cobra Expedition.
I originally wanted a yellow or mango one but the shop only has raspberry or granite grey.
Which colour should I go for - raspberry or grey ?
For use on the sea here in Guernsey.
Are you sure about that boat choice?
Have you paddled the Expedition? It’s a very wet ride in any significant chop, so much so that I disliked it even in tropical waters (paddling a full bathtub gets old). I’d think hard about it where you are unless you plan to stick to flat water.
Well I was going to get a Fenn Mako or aMark-1 but the shipping makes it too much…
The Cobra seemed like a good compromise ?
Any better ideas ? Any advice ?
Expedition is a totally different
animal from a surfski and wouldn’t be an acceptable substitute in my book (I previously owned an Expedition and currently own a Mako Millenium and an XT). What else is available to you that isn’t cost-prohibitive? I suspect that closed-deck may be your best bet if you want a fast boat. If SOT is important, what can you get?
Sent mine back
to GoBananas last year for the same reason: really wet ride and takes 40acres to turn around, even with the rudder (I hate rudders)
I can’t get anything locally.
I live ona small island.
I am interested in SOT/surfski because I will be in and out for freediving reasons.
1- hot calm day trips in summer (mostly paddling - not in the water)
2- calm freediving/spearfishing trips (bit of paddling - mostly in the water)
The Cobra seemed like a good bet compared to the OK Scupper Pro (windage/heavy).
Ideally I would like a surfski but to get one here is really really not worth it (£450 if you buy one in SA but the shipping is £700 ! If I buy one in France it is £1000 and then I have to get it home or ship it : +£200).
So I went back to the idea of plastic open boats.
The Scupper Pro at £370 all said and done delivered to me was tempting due to price but I have heard it is a bit sluggish.
The Expedition seemed to get a good review on this site and on others ('cept for you guys !) - comes in at about £650 delivered to me here. Maybe a bit more.
So - looking for a fast open kayak which isn’t too tippy for diving off (exclusively and not voluntarily in the first month :)) and for general paddling about.
The one Expedition
I saw took on so much water the paddler had to cancel a race. Believe it was water seeping through hatches in the cockpit area.
OK - so from what you are saying is that it takes on alot of water…
Is this only in choppy / race conditions ?
Would it work well for my calm sea idea ?
I dont dive if it is rough…
Are there any suggestions for what I could use ?
Should I stump up the extra cash and buy a surfski (Fenn Mako / Mark-1 both come in at about £1000 … [ouch] - but might be money saved if the Cobra doesn’t work…)
It’s OK in a mild chop
Water comes in two ways: backflow through the venturi drain when the boat is at rest (which can be fixed by closing the drain) and over the bow and/or sides in rougher water. The backflow thing shouldn’t be an issue for you. If you’re diving, you’re going to be wet anyway. But the other problem is bigger if you’re going to be out in significant chop, because the water comes in a lot faster than it drains and the cockpit volume is pretty high. It’s not a safety issue–the boat is controllable with a cockpit full of water–but it isn’t a lot of fun.
I’m a big fan of the Scupper Pro (have one of those, too). It definitely has its limitations in the speed department, and it’s not the boat I’d choose for a long paddle, but for getting out to a dive site and back it ought to work fine. A lot of people around here use them for that. It’s a lot more versatile than the Expedition, handles rough water much better, and I find it a lot more comfortable. YMMV.
If you can arrange a test paddle of the two boats, it’s worth doing. They’re very different. You may be able to make either of them work, particularly if you’re sticking to calm days, but I’m pretty sure you’ll end up liking one a lot better than the other, and I’m a little hesitant to predict which it will be for your intended uses.
A surfski probably isn’t what you’re looking for as a dive boat. I suppose you could bungie a little bit of dive gear on the deck, but they’re not really designed to do anything except paddle fast.
Thanks for giving me the low down.
I guess the Scupper would be a good option to start off with - considering that it is about half the price of the Cobra.
I can’t test paddle them but I guess if I go with the Scupper then at least it is a boat that is good for beginners and should also be easier to sell or easier to keep (ie might as well keep it as it only cost me not much…)
By the way what do you consider a long paddle ?
I live by the shore of a large bay and would be using it in the bay to begin with (maybe a mile to the mouth) and then from my house just locally - ie always using it from where I live.
Guess the dive spots I have in mind are about 2 miles one way along the coast.
The good thing is the bay is calm.
About turn AGAIN ! Guess I am swaying towards a Scupper … so which colour !
Can you get a WS Tarpon?
If there’s that big a price difference
the Scupper would strike me as the way to go, too.
Re long paddles: I’m thinking of paddles of more than an hour or two at a stretch. To go out a couple of miles, dive, and come back, I think you’ll find the Scupper’s advantages outweigh its disadvantages.
Color: you’re asking a guy with six lime green boats (counting my son’s)! But mine just sort of worked out that way. I like high visibility colors so would go with the lime green, yellow, or something else that shows up well against the water.
I poo-poo’d the Scupper several years ago while demo-ing one along with a Sea Dart, Necky Dolphin, and Tarpon 160. I bought one this year mostly for family members to use and was surprised at how much I like it now that I’m a little better paddler. I can paddle 2 miles in under 20 minutes in the Scupper - a few seconds faster than my Tarpon 160. The Scupper doesn’t have the aircraft carrier feel that the Tarpon does. There are a lot of happy Scupper owners.
Well these are the two prices :
–> Cobra Expedtion (raspberry/stern A-hatch/small rect. hatch/shipping) = £690
–> Scupper Pro TW (sunset/as it comes/shipping) = £379
So I guess I am after some advice for these two at these prices…
Can anyone help me out ?
Has anyone owned/used both ?
What is the Cobra limited to ?
What is the Scupper limed to ?
Cheers for any help that you can offer.
Scupper Pro’s are a great do anything boat. Check the internet for Mikes Kayak Journal for some interesting adventures, many in a Scupper Pro.
How about another Cobra?
Speaking specifically of the Tourer. Its a lot more forgiving than the Expedition, less of a wet ride and faster than a Scupper. Also better storage. I owned a Prowler 15, and for me the Tourer is a better all around boat, and the Prowler is supposed to be the next step up from the Scupper Pro. Just my subjective opinion of course. Also keep in mind that depending on your size, that the Scupper seat is a little narrow for some people.
All that being said, I just picked up a used Cobra Expedition that I paid off today and will take it out this weekend, so I’ll give my impression. It is very light at only 48 lbs and has very nice lines.
I’d be very grateful if you could give me your opinion - you have used or are about to use all of the ones that I am interested in.
I looked at the Prowler but seemed to be not much different from the Scupper - I’d be interested in how the Tourer compares ad also how you rate the Expedition not only on it’s own but also with regards to the Scupper.
I owned a Prowler 15 for
about 3 months and so got a good chance to take it out paddle and fish from it. It was very nice, quieter than the Tourer, but my feet and legs always felt cramped, and I always found myself missing the Tourer that I had had to sell because of financial problems. I was lucky enough to buy my Tourer back and sold the Prowler.
I still feel the same way, for me the Tourer fits better and only gives up a very small amount of speed to the Prowler, the storage can’t be beat.
I have a feeling that the Expedition could be a great add on boat but I think the Tourer would be a better all round boat for you, stable predictable and fast with great weight capacity. I will paddle the Expedition most likely tomorrow on a big lake, so I’ll give you my 2 cents afterwards. My opinion now is that you will have greater stability and drainage capability with the Tourer, and it would be perfect for the distance range you are interested in.
How tall are you just out of interest ?
I’m 6’2" and about 180#.
If you found the Prowler cramped would the Scupper be based on the same seating set-up ie do you find that cramped too ?
Anyway - cheers if you could post some details on your Expedition findings !
For what it’s worth
Around here, there’s a strong preference for the Scupper over any of the Cobra or WS boats. That may be largely a matter of different paddling conditions–we have warm water and quite a bit of wind and surf–but I continue to be a Scupper fan in the class of boats you’re looking at.