The Superyaks are here!
The next generation...
It's 'bout time!
Those of you who've read Yak Design 101, Myths, Reviews and Marketing Madness have surely been struck by the dearth of good design among sit-on-tops. And the few that are really good all-around fishin machines were achieved more by accident than by design (eg Scupper Pro, Mars, Spike). Bout the only purposeful successes are the Prowler and New Drifter, and perhaps the Tarpon 120.
And more than a few of us have really begun to question these shortcomings. We all admire the speed and grace of SIK's, especially those Greenland styles that can handle tough water and maneuvre too. But that are perhaps (and I stress perhaps) too confining. Some of us have been thinking about a niche or special purpose yak for offshore and/or extremely long distance yakfishin.
Enter the Superyaks.
The yaks pictured above are just a few examples of this genre. Many hail from such seafaring locales as Australia and South Africa. Unlike our marketing dominated American manufacturers these companies produce true high performance sea kayaks. They are intended for just such challenging offshore conditions.
The Superyaks run 17 to 18 ft, 22-24 inches in width, weigh 35-40 lbs. Most will easily cruise at 5 knots; the surf skis can catch even small waves and hit 8 to 10 knots! Compare to the typical 2.5 to 3.5 cruising speed of our sit-on-tops.
Some are designed as fast tourers; others as Greenland style, manuevreable sea kayaks. All use modified sit-on-top designs that yakfishers (and racers) prefer. One yak in particular is especially worth viewing.
More than any other design, this yak demonstrates how much more advanced yaks from South Africa really are. The Kingfisher is a polyethylene yak like our own. But take a look at it's incredible design. Allow me to quote the manufacturer:
The PY Kingfisher is a well-tested, sit-on kayak which has been completely adapted for fishing and diving. The PY Kingfisher offers adjustable footrests, a flip-flop rudder, self-draining footwells and super-stability, making cumbersome outriggers obsolete. It features a proven, fast and seaworthy hull, a wave-piercing bow and an integrated wave deflector.
For the fisherman and diver it offers a stern well which can carry a large cool-box, aqualung or live bait, two sturdy rod-holders, a small screw-in inspection hatch with bottle attachment, built-in back-support, a small cutting platform and indents for a kayak trolley. Its most distinctive attribute is a central hatch which gives direct access to the inside of the hull from the cockpit(!!). This hatch offers ample storage for gear, rods and fish.
An additional medium-sized hatch on the bow allows for easy removal of the catch and for rinsing and cleaning. The bow hatch offers various options in respect of the size of its opening. An optional, smooth, internal, pod-like fibreglass liner is available to complete the picture. PaddleYak offers the craft in polyester, carbon or Kevlar composites to suit various requirements and budgets.
FYI, the Kingfisher is 14'7" x 24" x 59 lb (poly, less in fiberglass, way less in Kevlar). Available at about $750 - in South Africa! Allow me to comment on this advanced design:
Let's start with the hull. Full to accomodate a modest and safe tankwell, but still a sleek 24 inches for speed. Good entry and smooth transition for a likely quiet yak. And the kind of "wave deflector" usually only found on high performance surf skis (or the old Ocean Kayak Manta) that prevents perling in steep seas.
A rudder is standard, with recessed tracks and wide, adjustable top-quality footrests. The front hatch has double covers both for appearance and dryness, excellent drainage, top quality screw in, and triple straps. Wow! This attention to detail and performance doesn't stop there.
The cockpit is a real jewel. Deep conforming seat reminiscent of the Scupper Pro, but with a molded in sensible seat back. A substantial and unique center console with cup holder, cutting board, and a large strapped hatch that allows you to store rods and fish below - from the cockpit!! Great! Even the hatch cover is molded with a useful recess, and is double strapped. And headed by a single flush mount in the only sensible place for one - in the cockpit and away from the siderails. Thoughtful.
It's hard to see but there appears to be a recessed and well-drained flat area (suitable for milkcrates) just behind the cockpit, with two small hatches off to the sides. This leads directly into a modest and safe shallow tankwell with triple straps. No bungees anywhere. Last, keep in mind that this manufacturer offers options in front hatch size, inner liners and construction in poly, fiberglass or kevlar.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not recommending this yak for South Florida waters, they are not even available. I don't particularly like the tankwell position, but I also note that there appears to be a recessed and drained area directly behind the seat designed for a milkcrate. If so, that works. I'm not much for rudders either, but it's standard, and can be removed. The fully adjustable foot pedals are large and appear substantial, should provide good support. Keep in mind that this design is for very rough offshore South American waters where rudders and top performance are de riguer.
Need I say more? This performance-driven design is truly impressive with features (bow wave deflector, unique center hatch, cutting platform, trolley indents, optional hatch sizing, optional inner liner, and choice of materials) not offered on American poly SOT designs.
These are tough, no compromise, top performing purpose built yaks that certainly have application for tough offshore conditions.
Hope ya enjoyed this page! For more incredibly satisfying info...Ft Lauderdale Yakfishing Club
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