pelican fishing kayak

-- Last Updated: Feb-22-10 2:20 PM EST --

are these kayaks as bad as everybody says? Have they made no improvements? I just purchased one and people are telling me to return it, before I use it. These are mostly serious paddlers from high end stores.Are they really that bad for somebody just having some fun on the weekends or should I return? Its the getaway 120 angler It seems solid the Ram x material gets a good rating so why is it so bad.

cupholders are too small :wink:
just kiddin’ ya’. Pelicans in general would be okay for the grandkids to use as an island to jump off of at the summer cottage. I’ve seen no less than 3 Ram-X canoes on the banks of rivers,broken, or pieces of them stuck to rocks in the past 2 years. Pretty sure the material is quite susceptible to the sun, and they get brittle.Other than that, you’ll be “branded” by those in the know if you buy one. Probably still have fun with it, but seems like the manufacturers are getting more into gimmicks lately with low end boats and ignoring neccessary things like portage ability, weight, decent hardware, and smooth finishes.

Pelican never made a good boat, mainly stupid boats. If you do look into it, check hardware and finish smoothness.

Pelican Kayak
I looked at one of their SOTs a couple of years ago - I think it was a 12’ or 13’ model. I couldn’t believe what I was lookin at. The scupper holes in the foot wells were actually angled backwards - bow to stern. Paddling forward, the water would rush in and spray back towards the paddler. Such a fundamental design flaw really has to give you pause, but maybe they’ve improved.

Money is always an issue, but if it isn’t the only issue for you, I think you’d be happier with another manufacturer.

In fairness to Pelican . . .
Here’s a review: .

You should be able to test paddle it before giving up on it. If you got it at a local store, you might ask if you can return it if it turns out that it doesn’t track well. I am not familiar with this company, other than my having seen their boats in stores.

It does seem like a lot of p-netters paddle them judging by the number of reviews here: .

Ultimately, your best decision would be based on what you like to paddle; not how you will look paddling it to those who may have spent much more . . .

dealer network
It’s typically the dealer network that makes the Pelican kayaks bad. Most of their dealers are big box stores who haven’t the first clue about paddling. We get some customers in our store looking for replacement parts and help because the place they purchased from won’t help them.

Looks great from 5 feet away
I’ve seen them and at first they look like a really good deal, but up close you see design problems (like scuppers not right, seats all wrong, open holed rod holders) that make it a boat I’d never buy. If you are getting a first boat from a big box store, try to find a swifty, or something made by Old Town. Atleast it will be more likely to be designed right.

Many of the pelicans I’ve seen are obviously designed by folks who have never paddled a kayak. It seems really weird that htey would not pay more attention to the design because the molds are very expensive to make and once the mold is made a good design costs no more to make than a bad design.

Pelican kayak
All I can say is if you purchased it as a fishing kayak, it will work fine. It’s made for slow, calm water. I’ve never owned a kayak by pelican, but I’ve owned one of their canoes and can say that I enjoyed it. Pelican makes cheap boats. You buy them because its what you can afford at the time. When your ready for a higher quality boat, you sell the pelican on craigslist to someone else who is looking for an affordable boat and use the money you get to upgrade to a better quailty boat. If this is your first kayak, enjoy it. If you use it all the time, you know its worth purchasing a better kayak that has all the bells and whistles because then its an investment, not a whim. And you can then justify to your wife (haha, yes I know from experience) that its not just gonna sit in your garage taking up space.

Check out the Swifty
or an Old Town as another poster suggested. I dont know where you live but all 3 are generally at places like Dicks. I started with a Swifty -still have it for ease of throwing in the van by myself. Not great to paddle with its width and short length, but it serves the purpose to get on the water is made pretty decently. Old Town have some nice boats even in low end also. I have seriously looked at those Pelicans (for friends who want a cheap boat) and feel they are not worth the $ for their quality (or lack of). The Swifty should be priced similar and is pretty decent in comparison. Even a lower end Ocean Kayak sit on top for fishing maybe. Just thinking!

you get what you pay for
There are better boats out there for sure. Go with Friends that want you to have a good time. Ask them lots of Q’s. Try lots of different boats on familiar water where you see yourself paddling a lot. Only buy when the boat speaks to you. Dont buy a boat if it doesnt speak to you. The best boat is the one that feels the best to you. New or used, chances are you can find that boat to fit your budget.