Native Ultimate 14.5 tracking issues...

Picked up a brand new Ultimate 14.5 basic this past week and couldn’t wait for Saturday for a leisurely 10 mile paddle down a slow river near my home. This is my first Native, but I’ve canoed and kayaked this river many, many times. I removed the bow seat and set it up for solo using the foam blocks just like the instructions stated. I’m 200lbs and my weight distribution was pretty well centered.

I have to admit that was a pretty miserable 10 miles. For every starboard stroke I made, I would have to make two or three port strokes just to get it pointed in the right direction again…it pulled hard to the left the entire time and I zigzaged the entire trip(no wind). I tried shifting my body position various ways, moved my little ice chest around thinking maybe it was me, but nothing helped.

Just curious, has anyone else heard of a possible manufacturing defect happening time to time? I went through the reviews here on and a couple of the reviewers stated that theirs pulled hard to the left and after returning it to the dealer, the replacement tracked just fine. Any input is appreciated, thanks.

Eyeball the hull carefully
If the boat really is pulling that hard to one side, you should be able to see the cause. It may not be as easy as it would be with an ordinary plastic kayak though. The problem with Native kayaks, as I see it, is that they have a very irregularly-shaped hull with a weird combination of inward and outward bends. It’s as if the designers did everything they could possibly do to increase wetted surface area and drag. Of course, the real reason is probably that the boat wouldn’t be stiff enough otherwise, but nonetheless, with so many extremely prominent irregularities built into the hull, seeing any asymmetry that causes the boat to turn toward one side will probably be a lot more difficult, so you need to look very carefully. If you can see asymmetry, you’ll have more evidence that the boat is defective than you’d have if simply giving the seller your version of how the boat handles.

Good insights, guideboatguy.
With a complex hull, irregularities that are hard to spot may have large effects.

Or, it could be those remoras.