Feedback on Native Brand 'Magic'

Line of SOT. We enjoy doing trips on small to medium size rivers & creeks. My wife currently has a ‘Liquid Logic’ Manta Ray, which was bought out by ‘Native’. Native has keep the line with some modifications, probably good. We’ve enjoyed the ‘Manta Ray’, but its time to move on. By the way, I modified the foot rests to ‘Native’ full feet rests and I also had to repair a leak under the seat. They had a drain hole under the seat and the bottom of the drain hole extended a little past the bottom of the hull, which over time weakened and pushed through on the top (under the seat) and allowed water to fill the inner hull. It has been repaired, although that drain hole no longer works. To make a long story short, we are looking to replace our SOT with another SOT. My wife has a little trouble with her knees and requires a SOT design. We have been looking at ‘Native’s’ Magic line of boats. It resembles the ‘Manta Ray’, but has some nice design features and has a sleeker top profile, which could make it a bit faster. I was wondering if anyone has a ‘Magic’ and could shed some light on its performance. We had looked at the ‘Ultimate’ line, but the ‘tunnel’ hull doesn’t seem like it would lend itself to manuverability. With the smaller rivers & creeks, she needs the manuverability of a modified ‘V’ hull. Sorry for the L-O-N-G posting, but any advice would be helpful.

Searching in Illinois

I don’t think a “tunnel” hull will be
harder to maneuver, as long as you are just poking around creeks and not slamming from eddy to eddy in whitewater. The main factor in practical maneuverability is that her boat be reasonably short, enough to swing in the spaces.

There are tunnel hull boats with very good maneuverability, such as the Aire Force inflatable.

I got to paddle

– Last Updated: Jan-08-09 2:38 AM EST –

one of the Native watercraft with the tunnel, or channeled, hull during the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival (good place to test and buy a boat, if you can wait). I was surprised at both the speed, for the hull design, and the maneuverability. I enjoyed the boat so much that I lost track of the time - heard somebody calling from the bank and realized it was a company representative telling me it was time to come back!

P.S. Noticed you are in Illinois. Perhaps, you can find a dealer or occasion in your locale where you can test-paddle one of these boats.

I paddled one for 3 days in the Keys
last year. I have a Tarpon so I do have some basis fopr comparison. The native SOT sit higher out of the water, are a very dry ride for a SOT, are not much affected by the wind, and are surprisingly fast.

They weigh a ton, but most SOT do.

Ultimate line maneuvers fine
I’ve paddled the 14’ solo, tandem, and 12’ solo. In creeks, ponds, etc this boat will do very well. You should try before you move on. I think you’ll be surprised at how well it moves.

For all the input. I will search for a local dealer & try to demo an ‘Ultimate’. We’re thinking ‘Rutabaga’s’ in Madison, WI, we need to call and check if they have a place to demo boats.

Paddled an Ultimate 12
Paddled an Ultimate 12 for a couple days while out of town recently. I was also impressed by the maneuverability given the tunnel hull. Heavy as a dickens, really loud double bow wake if paddling with any vigor or against current, surprised at how much water accumulated in the boat just from paddle drip - but I paddle with a pretty high angle stroke that brings the offside blade across the deck.

Like all boats, pick the right tool for the job at hand.

Test paddling at Rutabaga…
…usually starts around May 1, sometimes earlier if it is a warm Spring. They have a big pond connected into the Yahara River between Lake Monona and Lake Waubesa. And, of course, a huge selection of boats to try out. You might want to think about coming to see them at Canoecopia first.

Demo’s after April 15th

– Last Updated: Jan-09-09 10:25 PM EST –

Rutabaga has a large pond, which connects to the Madison lakes. They encourage demo's. However they don't allow them until April 15th., due to water temps.

Sorry... I didn't see the reply above. It has been April 15th in the day!!