Perception Tribute 12

I have been looking to find a nicer boat than my current Rec boat, just something sleeker that I can grow into as far as my skills go and I keep coming back to the Tribute 12. I’m on the smaller side 5’5" 115lbs and since this boat is marketed towards women and smaller paddlers I figured this would be a good boat for me. I’m leery of buying a boat I haven’t demoed but I’m not seeing any more demo days from the outfitter by me that sells the boat so I was just wondering what other kayakers thought of it, whether it be good or bad, or even if I should wait to buy it since I won’t be trying it out first. The reason I would like to get one soon is since the end of the season will be fast approaching I figured I could get a good deal on one.

Only one bulkhead, and high seat back
It has the deck lines that you were asking about installing in your present boat, but from what you have said in prior posts I question whether spending money on this boat gets you anywhere.

It appears - though details aren’t stated - that subsequent to buying your current rec boat you had enough of a class somewhere to find out the advantages of perimeter lines and forward flotation. (The post asking how to install these.)

If you are asking about this stuff, you may be just one lesson away from finding more about the features of a boat that help you grow skills. That would include the remaining issues with the Tribute, lack of forward bulkhead and high seat back. “Skills” often means bigger water stuff - are you eyeing the Great Lakes or similar for your paddling longer term?

I suspect that you’d be better off saving your money, figuring out what will really serve your needs and it appears that a rec boat isn’t it, and buying used to get to more boat.

for all your advice, I really do appreciate it. I think you’re right. I’m not in any huge hurry to buy a boat, I just want to make sure I’m buying one that will suit my needs and serve me well. I hadn’t really planned on using it for the Great Lakes but considering how close I am to them I should be looking for a boat that can handle those conditions. Thanks again!


– Last Updated: Aug-14-13 10:32 AM EST –

I've demoed one, and thought it was a nice boat for smaller folks. The proportions and fit are much better than a typical rec kayak if you're below "average" size, and the light weight is a bonus.

That said, the lack of a forward bulkhead should limit it to sheltered-water paddling. It'd be nice if there was a fully outfitted version because there aren't many inexpensive choices for smaller folks.

It might be possible to install a foam bulkhead and deck lines if you found a great deal and wanted a project.

For roughly the same cost and weight, there's the Tsunami SP, which does have two bulkheads and deck lines and a tighter-fitting cockpit. You'd be on the upper end of the size range, so it would be very responsive. The length would limit your top speed, so it probably wouldn't be an ideal big-lake boat, but for safely developing skills and learning to enjoy bigger water it might be worthwhile.

If you aren't seeing demo days, try to at least find a place where you can test-sit in a showroom before buying.

I am Dennis’ wife - Katherine. I have had my Tribute for 2 years and have used it on flooded creeks, any and all rivers, and many lakes. I use it for day trips so only one hatch is not an issue. There is ample space behind the seat for lunch/drink storage. This boat comes with adequate perimeter lines and bungee cords for securement of GPS, GoPro, camera, throw rope and bilge pump.

I love that this boat fits my smaller frame (5’4) and weight. I can navigate anywhere in this boat and find myself taking it when I should really be taking my plastic Swifty. Oh, that being said, I have the awesome thermaform version. I can hoist my boat up on my shoulder with gear on the other arm and walk for a mile.

This boat is extremely responsive to power strokes and navigating strainers. With a skirt, it loves up to class 3 waters.

I saw other posts where you were talking about the Great Lakes. This is not a boat for those waters. I just finished a 7 day trip that ended in the big waters of the Mississippi. I was in my Eddyline Fathom LV. If you are a small volume paddler doing big waters of the Great Lakes then I would recommend that boat. 3 hatches, great rigging and perimeter lines. I have the thermaform version. Love that boat too!

Tribute 14
There is a Tribute 14 with dual bulkheads.

Too big
Dimensions don’t work for a small paddler.

It’s quite (23.73 in) wide
but the maximum weight (275 lbs) seems to support Perception’s contention that the Tribute 14 is a “touring kayak for smaller paddlers”. Do you have seat time in the boat Celia?

another low volume boat
You might also want to check out the Venture Easky 15LV or Islay 14LV if you get a chance. I’m 5’5" (though 40 lbs heavier than you) and love my Easky 15LV – I have also loaned it several times to two of my woman friends, one 5’ 4" and 105 lbs and the other 5’ 2" and 135 lbs and both liked it very much. It’s a slender, low volume boat that is beginner friendly but capable of handling rougher conditions. Properly equipped it could be used in the coastal Great Lakes. Reasonably priced and relatively lightweight too – 46 lbs. I have not yet tried the newer Islay 14LV but it appears to have similar features in a slightly different hull design. Both models are for smaller, lighter paddlers.

Cockpit, compare to others
Like I said in another thread, until someone tries to use a boat aggressively it can be hard to tell what kind of fit is needed. Weight capacity is worth watching for the sake of getting a good waterline, but it can have very little to do with boat fit in terms of the contact points. One of the prime examples is the NDK Romany/Explorer LV, which have way too much weight capacity in the hull for a small paddler. But the LV versions still have great cockpit fit so someone too light for the hull can get away with a lot of maneuvers.

Here are dimensions for the Necky Eliza, which is a proven boat in terms of fit for an average female paddler. I have demo’d this boat and did not feel it was a way tight fit at an absolutely average set of female dimensions. Capacity is 255 to 275 pounds, tops out same as the Tribute.

COCKPIT: 28.5" x 15" (Couldn’t find height)

Dimensions for WS Tempest 165, also a boat that myself as well as decently larger paddlers in our bunch have owned or used. I have had a Tempest 165 upside down and sideways at annual demo events up here - can definitely attest to its cockpit fit.

Max Capacity: 300 lbs. / 136 kg

Deck Height: 12.5" / 32 cm

Weight: 55 lbs. / 25 kg

Cockpit Length: 34" / 86 cm

Cockpit Width: 18" / 46 cm

Now combine the dimensions listed for the Tribute 14 to above, and add in their statement about “and the roomier cockpit and upgraded zone outfitting…”

Deck Height: 13.75" / 34 cm

Cockpit Length: 35" / 89 cm

Cockpit Width: 19.25" / 49 cm

I have been in boats of that deck height and general width, if not the Tribute 14 itself. The OPer is looking for something that would be a step up in terms of her ability to perform skills, and IMO this boat would not be it.

You’re probably correct.
All the online information, most of which is publicity (but also forums like this), should be consumed with a dose of skepticism. The best thing is of course to demo boats before purchase, which for some (perhaps many, myself included) means choosing from a limited sub-set of kayaks, determined by what “local” stores stock and by what is available second-hand. All of which makes threads related to “should I get this or that model canoe or kayak?” somewhat moot. (Not that I don’t enjoy reading them anyway…)


– Last Updated: Aug-16-13 12:18 AM EST –

Surprisingly there aren't many outfitters around here, which to be honest I don't understand, so unless I want to drive to the other side of the state the selection is rather limited. Even the craigslist around here is pretty shoddy. I do appreciate everyone's opinions and advice, because it's helps me figure out what I should be looking for in case I should stumble across something good.
I don't want to be one of the people on craigslist who buys something new uses it a few times (or never) and then sells it at a loss.

Seat back

– Last Updated: Aug-17-13 4:55 PM EST –

The Zone seat is one of the best seats on the market and the seat back height is adjustable. I would see this seat as an advantage for this kayak.

But I would personally never own a kayak with just one bulkhead. I owned one once and experienced what it feels like to try to move a swamped kayak back to shore.

Tribute 14 for small paddlers??
The specs for the Tribute 14 are a little funky:

23.75" x 14’

Depth 13.75"

Cockpit 19.25 x 35

Weight 48 lbs

Capacity 250 lbs

Those specs raise some questions. First, how did they get the weight down to 48 lbs? I’d like to see that on a scale.

The cockpit is wider, longer, and deeper than most transitional cockpits, so how is this for a smaller paddler? The cockpit would fit a larger-than-average person.

And yet the capacity is only 250 lbs, which is low enough that it wouldn’t work as a touring kayak for people over about 175 lbs.

Those specs make me wonder whether the plastic is especially thin???

Wilderness Tsunami Sp
I’ve been researching and looking around and I think I’m leaning towards the SP. I like how it is built for smaller paddlers (ok children). I’m really happy about the two bulkheads, that kinda seals the deal for me. And the weight of the actual boat isn’t much. The max weight for it is 120, but I guess that would just be good incentive for me to work out. I tend to want a boat that I can carry around on my own, I don’t like having to depend on others to help me load and unload a boat, because sometimes nobody is around.