Problems with Prowlers.

I sent the letter below to Ocean Kayak and then Faxed it. One Month and no answer. Don’t be a fool buy a Tarpon.

I have been paddling for about two years in borrowed Kayaks and My Tarpon 120. I started on canoes almost 20 years ago. Most of my paddling is for fishing in the intercostals area of Florida. I have been in Pungo’s, Loon’s, Malibu’s and Tarpon 120 and 140. I have never had a Kayak that required earplugs until I purchased a Prowler 15. The hull slap scares mating alligators much less red fish or bass.

My Tarpon 120 was a joy to outfit. I have added pad eyes, directional anchor lines, anchor and pole anchors, bow and stern rod holders, depth finders, dual position paddle holders, Front “milk crate Catcher” (Milk Crate between the front hatch and the foot pegs) and dealer installed the rudder. All of these I have complete faith in because they are nylock nutted with stainless steel fender washers reinforcing the composite haul. This is possible by the three haul access hatches one on front, one mid and the rear hatch.

Now I have to fish out of a milk crate on the prowler because there is absolutely no access to the rear of the top deck from underneath to mount any accessory, which requires a substantial mounting system. I would be limited to nylon rivets, which leak and have no real mounting strength.

I was lead by some internet articles to believe the prowler was a fast vessel. I think the haul noise fooled them or they were shills for your company. I can get five MPH on my Tarpon 120 and six MPH on the prowler as measured by the same GPS. I am using the same paddle and in the same water. The differences are on my Tarpon I can hear speedboats approaching.

The foot area on the prowler has some amazing engineering. It manages to retain water, be extremely uncomfortable, have rudder straps flying everywhere, and be completely unusable for any storage for modifications to hold tackle. (I have placed pad eyes on the tarpon to secure low profile tackle trays below my knees. I also have cork area on the left to hold hooks from lures while change bait.

The front hatch only takes 10 minute to open and 15 minutes to close. I will grant you the Tarpon and the Prowler are equally hard to approach to open on deep water, however the tarpon is open with one flick of the wrist and closed with one slap of the hand. Also the tarpon hatch comes with a cord that allows it to fall to the side and makes it easier to retrieve and re-secure.

My tarpon dealer (Travel Country Outdoors) told me I had one week to return since I was purchasing a demo boat. The Prowler dealer (Orlando Outfitters) assured my satisfaction. What I did not understand was it meant like it or lump it they do not take back any kayaks. I guess if I sold Ocean Kayaks I might have the same policy.

I have advertised the Prowler on Paddlenet and in the Disney internal ebay at $250 less than I paid and have yet to have a serious inquiry in one month. I paid $950.00 plus $95.00 for a Seat with comfort. This appeared to be a great deal, because the owner immediately told me I was quoted the wrong price. It was supposed to be $1159.00 , But he would honor it. I must admit he sets a hook as smooth as Eddie Baurer.

A wilderness system dealer has offer $400.00 to upgrade to a 160I, if I wait till it he sells out it out of his shop. He wants to use it as a demo on why to buy a Wilderness systems kayak. I am holding out from him until I hear from you.

If I take that kind of beating on a boat with less than eight hours of fresh water use I will try to post this letter on every kayak review site I can find. Several coworkers know I average eight to ten miles a weekend on my yak and ask my advice. Right now I don’t give my opinion of your product or your dealers. I just tell them I don’t have it outfitted and I am still using my tarpon. I will change this if I don’t hear a satisfactory response from you.

I understand that different people have different opinions. What upsets me is no one would give me a demo of the yaks. Cheap Yaks are sold by Bass Pro, Sport Authority, down to Pep Boys, and Sam’s Club, and all of these have a 90 day “No Questions Asked Policy.” I understand your dealers have the same policy “No Questions asked” because they don’t care and they are not taking it back” At this point I will have to recommend these cheap Yaks, because they won’t lose big money on what I consider bad design.

David, don’t know where you are, but
the Prowler would sell fast at, as well as most of the coastal kayak fishing web sites in Florida and California.

not many dealers will take a yak back simply because you decided you dont like it.If there was a defect of some sort thats another story.I personally prefer WS’s Tarpons as well but i dont think it’s fair to get down on a dealer or mfg for the reasons you mentioned.FWIW,Ive demoed the Prowlers and didnt care for the footwell fit either though otherwise they were nice yaks.It’s been stated a zillion times on every yak’n site ive come across-Try BEFORE you buy.Sorry it didnt work out for you.

? ? ?
First, let me preface by saying that I have a Prowler and a Tarpon. I consider both among the best plastic fishing kayaks out there. (Something tells me I’m wasting my time, since the crusade has already begun)

1.I’m not quite sure which Prowler you have, but in any case, 6 mph IS, in fact, faster than 5 mph. 20% faster, to be precise.

2. Do a web search for “wellnut”. You may re-discover the joys of outfitting.

3. While neither hatch is perfect, my experience has been a wee bit better than “10 minutes to open and 15 minutes to close”. I actually like the security of the prowler hatch better in the surf and in transport.

4. I know that the footwells in the Prowler are an annoyance for many, but I simply adjust my seat forwards or backwards with the rear seat straps until I find the sweet spot.

4. Hull slap has never been a problem with me in either boat. Sometimes, when the fishing is slow, both boats have horrible hull slap! :^)

Good luck on your return. There’s plenty of folks who would enjoy that Prowler.

Prowler 150
I had a Prowler 150 for a short while, and while I agree on the footroom issue (which is the main reason I sold it), there was no problem with hull slap at all.

I sold it to get back my Cobra Tourer. I’ll admit it, the Tourer has a decent amount of hull slap, but fits me better and is just about as fast.

If you go over to the Kayakfishingstuff website and post your yak up for sale there, it’ll get a lot of attention and Prowlers sell pretty fast there in general.

You can also use wellnuts to attach accessories if you can’t get inside the hull.

I think your positions are a little extreme, the Prowler is overall a nice yak, and not nearly as noisy as you make it out to be…

If your trying to get
people to come out of the woodwork to join you in Prowler bashing, I think your post will have an opposite effect. Most people that own Prowlers are pretty happy with their choice. If it wasn’t for the footwell issue, I’d still have one. Hull slap, never had it -

curious about the hull slap…
did you have any excess weight or anything in the aft end?

I’ve never heard the Prowler had a slap issue, even from the the flats guys in FL.

Wonder how long that 6mph, or 5mph
can be maintained…probably not for a longhaul.

C’mon, exaggerate a little?
I’ve rented prowlers before - no problem with hull slap. I also rented boats that do have hull slap, pretty bad at that, but claiming you need earplugs, or claiming you can’t hear motorboats coming your way - putting that in your letter makes you sound a little ridiculous. I’m not saying I don’t believe you on the hull slap, or that you are just being difficult and the prowler is a great boat. It didn’t work for you, I believe that. But a lot of people are very happy with it. If the boat is not defective, OK has no liability to return your money. This website, many other kayaking websites, ebay, even your local newspaper give you plenty of opportunities to sell it and get what you want. I suggest going with that. By the way, I am in no way an OK shill, if you don’t believe me, read my review of the OK Yak Board - 5 out of 10.

Wondering …
Did you try it before you bought it ?


I don’t want to sound like a Monday morning quarterback, but you need to “try before you buy.”

I own a Tarpon 140. I love that kayak. I have not tried either of the Prowlers. I know several people who have them and love them. When I was getting into kayaking a few years ago a lot of people told me I should buy a paticular kayak. I tried this model out and hated it. I was told “Don’t worry, You’ll get used to it.” I decided to look elsewhere, and tried out lots of different kayaks. I finaly found one that was right for me. No kayak is perfect. What is “the ultimate” for someone is a nightmare for someone else.


Regarding the first post
Also try advertising the kayak at classifieds classifieds

If you extol what you don’t like about the boat though, you may not sell it as quickly as you like.

Sorry to hear that you did not like the OK Prowler. It is a boat that I have not only guided from all this past year, but have put most of my charter guests in as well.

Most of the guided fishing I do is sight casting to redfish out on the flats. I have found the kayak to be well suited for that purpose whether a guest is seated in it or towing it while wading.

Kayak preference is a personal thing but like any other boat they cannot be all things to all people. Some folks hate them and much prefer fishing out of canoes. Some like SOT’s while others prefer SINK’s. I am lucky to have all three and use them in distinctly different scenarios.

Good luck in the future and hope you find the kayak that makes you happy. Safe paddling and tight lines,

Chrystal Murray

Tarpon vs Prowler

– Last Updated: Nov-23-05 8:55 PM EST –

Tarpon Vs Prowler...those were the two finalist in my boat selection process. It was a tough call but I opted for the Tarpon mainly due to the foot rest/cockpit issues (bumpy Prowler floor vs smooth, wide Tarpon floor). The noisy hull of the Prowler was something I noticed on my second demo. The only noise that's made when I'm out on my Tarpon comes from the paddle. The Prowler was lighter and I felt it was a little faster but couldn't say for sure. I have a Tarpon 140 and my only gripe is that the cockpit floor holds more water than I think it should, even when lightly loaded. No boat's perfect so demo, demo and demo again until you're satisfied.

Either buy scupper plugs or get some
practice golf balls. That’ll help with the water in the seat area. Wouldn’t use them in rough water or in the surf/ocean.

Plugs on Tarpon 140s
I have them (scupper plugs) but I still bring in a little water into the cockpit while getting in and out. I also get some water that gets around my drip rings, especially if there’s a bit of a cross breeze. After a while it starts to collect and you would think you could just pull the plugs and it would drain off but it lets even more in, especially through the front scuppers. As I said, it happens whether I’m running light or heavy and I’ve heard that it’s more of a problem with the 140 models, not so in the 120s or 160s. Thoughts?

None other than what they always say
on, its a wet sport. You might post their, especially in the salt water forum and someone may have an answer.

Scupper Plugs
Most of the time I don’t mind getting a little wet except for my last outing when the day started out in the 40s…luckily it warmed to near 65 after an hour or so!

Scupper plugs
I have a feelfree nomad and I use the yellow ocean kayak scupper plugs. On choppy days I get water in my kayak if I catch a wave against the side, or when I’m getting in the yak. I too thought you could just pull one and drain it out, but it let more water in. So I went to home depot and bought a mortor sponge in the masonry isle and keep that on board to soak up any water from splashes or whatever. Works well.