The boat kind of sailed on this one since I already purchased the Redfish 14. It was a rash decision, based on a sale after all other sales were over for the year and I was told it was pretty well liked for all things. This is Heritage’s site and their claims which are the same at other sites, but maybe they just copied Heritage’s info:
I did miss a recent and I think last of the year’s symposiums to demo. I may demo next spring and would love some ideas to narrow down other kayaks, SOTs, that may be faster, track better better and still have enough stability.
I do like my Redfish. My husband’s Big Game Prowler 13 w/ a different hull design does track better, but I can compensate w/my paddle techniques. So I don’t know if my kayak is as good as it gets or there are better ones for tracking and if so, do you lose something by gaining something else since hubby’s yak is less quiet in the water and the width makes him slower and as well as the length???
There are too many reviews to sift through on the review site, so I’m hoping I can get reviews from all of you.
If going fast is what floats your boat, take a look at this thread: http://www.paddling.net/message/showThread.html?fid=chat&tid=731469
for SOT info, lots of good stuff.
is a very fast kayak. The hatches are a little small but theres tons of room inside if you can live with the small hatches. I mostly fish out of this yak but I go pretty far and its nice to have the speed to get me back.
You were also talking about stability. I can stand in this kayak with no problem. One thing is if your really heavy the overhanging spontons might hit the water whoch would defeat kill the speed of the kayak. Overall this is a great kayak and if your looking forn a fast Sot for day touring nothing else fits that catogory much better.
if you know anything about paddling technique you’ll be able to turn this kayak with no problem.
www.vandusenracingboats.com Designed bt MIT naval engineer whose boats won olympic gold. I am 57 and weigh 225. I can sprint that boat at 8.5 mph. A friend who is in shape said 9mph against one foot waves becuase it is faster against small waves
Without a doubt
Look at surfski’s.
Is your primary purpose for the Redfish
paddling or fishing?
I think Heritage has "retired" the SeaDart design and discontinued production along with their Shearwater, Expedition (SeaDart 17), Nomad, SOT Tandem, and Sea Otter models.
Seems like they are abandoning Paul Cronin's "sponson/stability flange" designs and pursuing wide barge beach toys and fishing platforms like the majority of the other domestic SOT manufacturers.
They are a stock owner held
company. Purpose…make money. There are more fishermen with money to spend and a willingness to part with it than those who want a speedy SOT.
Long and skinny is fast, short and wide is slow.
In reality, if you look at the drag vs. speed curves the truth of the matter is
There is very little difference between most kayaks at the speeds that most people paddle.
I’ve demoed a Redfish and it’s not a bad SOT for the money. It tracked pretty well and felt pretty stable to me but it was slow as compared to a lot of others out there I’ve tried. I think the OK Prowlers (Big Game’s are similar) and WS Tarpons are both faster (especially the Tarpon 160i) but, of course, are usually more expensive. My concern with the Redfish was in the smaller details and quality…the almost brand new demo boat I tried already had a broken foot peg.
Was it a Demo boat? They sometimes
get hard use.
It was a demo boat but it was so clean and relatively unscathed it couldn’t have been out on more than a couple of demo’s. I couldn’t imagine how the entire footpeg was almost snapped off in a simple demo other than product defect.
18’4" and only weighs 44 lbs in kevlar. It is pretty quick.
Wouldn’t condemn a whole procuct
line for a relatively minor defect. Most dealers and makers are very good about replacing items like that. It happens. On the other hand, there are lots of SOT’s I’d rather have.
depends on who’s paddling it;)
seriously~ i started off with a scupper pro and then picked up a heritage shearwater, added a 12ft pungo to my fleet for my dog, started paddling a sink after feeling that the shearwater did not perform well in rough water, sold the scupper pro to a friend, and added a surfski (which i have yet to become profficient on)
truthfully, i seldom have any trouble keeping up with other rec paddlers in any of these boats…
i think that SOT’s over 14-15 feet perform better with a rudder, and that once you move away from a rec/fishing/light day touring boat you are better off with a ski if you’re looking to use an SOT for fitness paddling…
if you’re looking to use an SOT for rec/light day touring/fishing, get the one that’s most comfortable for you, loaded with the gear you usually use, and feels fun in the type of conditions you normally paddle in. then if you want to go “fast,” concentrate on learning how to do a good forward stroke:)
The Heritage Shearwater will be terribly effected by wind on larger lakes, etc. It’s best in calmer conditions; once she’s off course its almost impossible to bring 'er back, period.
This said, Heritage included a “permanent” removable skeg which will fit in the stern of the Shearwater. If you KNOW its going to be windy, the skeg works fine.
The design of the slot where the skeg goes concerns me. I always thought we’d loose the skeg when landing/to rocks, etc. A stronger paddler can forgo the skeg in moderate winds, but it takes strength. Big winds cannot be compensated for in this boat without the skeg.
my shearwater had a surf fin~
not a skeg. i know how to use a skeg, as i have one in my avocet. i actually prefer skegs to rudders in sinks, but feel when you have a long SOT, the design benefits from a rudder for steering~ like a surfski:) i paddle in the monterey bay, and found the shearwater with it’s surf fin was not easy to paddle one day when i found myself paddling in very large swells into 20+ mph winds.
My own design
I designed a skeg of fin for my Shearwater and it works great. Mine is minimal in size and a different form than board fins. this is the 3rd or 4th design and they kept getting smaller. No trouble holding in 20 mph wind.