Found "the" boat? Maybe!

At a kayak expo a few weeks back , just on a whim, Carol and I (and Cincy, the wonder Yorkie!) paddled a most unlikely candidate, considering just coming from sea kayaks.

It was a Native Watercraft Ultimate tandem, 14.5 feet long, in poly.

We are looking into a tandem to reduce the storage situation at our TINY new house, and also to accomodate the muttinski, who MUST accompany us everywhere (according to someone I live with!).

Anyway, SURPRISE! I LIKED the boat!

It was quite windy at Okeeheelee park, and the boat tracked like an arrow on all points of heading. I was able to turn it as easily as any kayak I’ve ever had, and the SEATS! To DIE for!

As for speed, well, I’ve pretty much written that factor off as a real requirement, though the boat seemed to move around at least as well as any of the rec boats the other folks were paddling.

My (mostly hosed-up) lower back never uttered a peep the whole time I was in the boat. No problem with numb glutes, either.

Though the weight of the boat (60 pounds with the seats removed) initially put me off, a local dealer demoed the Thule hydraulic-assisted boat loader for us last weekend, so weight is not the decider any more.

Now we’re just waiting for the other boat we want to try (Hobie inflatable Mirage tandem) to come in to try them both on the same day.

Never thought I’d take to such an open style boat after the SINK kayaks, but, what can I say?

Guess that’s why they make different boats.


I just tried the solo 14.5
at a symposium. I was impessed also. Quick to accelerate and in the 15-20mph wind it tracked really good and turned pretty easily. I am a backband guy, but you do have to love the feel of that seat. I even tried some stand up paddling in it. Wish it was just a little narrower. Not sure what the material was but I do not think this one was that heavy. Of course I was sliding it around and not lifting it.


After February, the Ultimate will come
in composite and Tegris, a new and lighter roto-mold plastic.

'the one’
I said that 15 kayaks ago :slight_smile:

but the boat you described sounds good…how many other kayaks have you been in?

Own a 14.5 foot
I currently own one and really liked it until we decided to use it for camping. The boat is really shallow and doesn’t allow you to carry much gear. Probably be an issue in fast moving water also. I also noticed when paddling with two full sized adults, 200 lbs each, that it traps a bubble of air underneath and you feel like you are sitting on a ball, wobbling back and too. Solo, I love the boat but wish they had the 16 footer out when we bought our boats, much deeper sides. Flotation is said to be an issue when capsized but I haven’t experienced that yet. Handles great for day trips, fast, and tracking is excellent. I’m a little disappointed with the attach points for the seats as they look like they might not hold up in the long run but this hasn’t been an issue yet…

Other kayaks
Due to the availability of kayak expos, and multiple dealer days, I’ve been in more different styles and sizes of kayaks than I can remember!

I guess we’re a little “spoiled” in that regard here in Florida.

About the ONLY types I haven’t been in as yet are folding boats (Klepper, etc.) and skin-on-frame kayaks.

I spent an afternoon in a S&G 17’ boat which was WAY above my skill level at the time, but I really liked the light weight.

The truth is that neither Carol nor myself apparently have the right genes to be “true” kayakers, though we are in pretty good physical shape.

So, going “fast” (as determined when the speed of your shadow exceeds the speed of a known fixed object!) in a kayak is NOT going to happen for us. It didn’t in our Impex sea kayaks, and we have abandoned that idea.

When you ditch the need for “speed”, it opens up a lot of possibilities for boats you can use for manatee watching, slow river cruising, etc.



– Last Updated: Nov-06-07 6:28 AM EST –

We paddled a 12' Ultimate solo made of Tegris.
The boat was feathery-light, and a ROCKET!
The specs say the 12' model has no wider beam than the 14.5, but that's NOT the case.
The 12 footer, measured at the point where the seat hangers attach is at least 4" wider than the 14.5, measured at the seat hangers of the rear seat position.
The extra width made using a kayak paddle quite a chore.
We are still toying with the idea of a Tegris tandem 14.5.
When you remove the seats (as we would for transporting, the poly 14.5 weighs 60 pounds, vs the Tegris at 35 pounds.
Of lesser import, but still noteworthy: A local dealer has '07 poly tandems at $879.
A new '08 Tegris tandem is about $2300, IIRC.
The fiberglass tandem 14.5 is also above the $2K mark, and is only about 6 or 7 pounds lighter than the poly, and MUCH more susceptible to damage in normal use here in the land of the oyster shell middens!