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-Capn Jimbo's Forum in Paradise
+--Forum: Revuz
+---Topic: Paddleyak Arrives started by Capn Jimbo

Posted by: Capn Jimbo on Feb. 21 2006,18:54

Wow, am I psyched!  Picked up my long awaited Paddleyak Kingfisher, first in America - my public thanks to Johan Loots for making this possible. The first pics are linked below.  But first a few observations.

< Link to More Kingfisher Pics >

This kayak is strong.  Very strong (details later).  It is designed to be driven hard in the surf, coming in on 6 to 8 footers and sliding into rocky shores.  The Kingfisher has a lot of volume and flare and should be faster yet than it's 26 inch beam implies (waterline beam is less than 24 in.).  The bow is built-up for strength and uniquely flared to minimize spray and prevent perling, has a serious towing fitting.  Front bungies useful as paddle holder.  Big round front hatch with a 3-way single clip strap system; cover remains attached when open.  

A roomy cockpit with a very substantial center hatch that allows complete access to storage of one-piece rods (allows you to protect your goodies launching/landing in the surf or in bad weather (esp. nice when lightning is present).  Cover remains attached when opened for safety, has a long indentation for lures, etc.  Hull is finished inside(!) and sports some nice bungie hold-downs.  Cupholder, bait-cutting board.

Separate footwells with fast flow venturi drains (that also reduce drag and turbulence).  Extremely strong and substantial metal footrests (drilled for lightness) with professional rudder toe controls - all easily adjusted on the fly.  The cockpit seat is deep and not overly snug for those who may want to sit sideways.

The aft section begins with twin rodholders with what looks like mini rod leashes, split by a medium-sized screw hatch.  All fittings and lines are extra strong and rugged.  The rear tankwell is well bungied and features a two level design to hold a rectangular gearbox or cooler - centered - with shallower storage both fore and aft (to limit the amount of water in the well when pooped).  You will notice two slots sitting quite alone - these are for a special strong yak cart designed specifically for safe transport of the Kingfisher.

Stern is fine for a smooth transition to the rudder - best quality I've seen in a long time.  The post area is built up for exceptional strength, and do note that the rudder yokes are drilled for lightness and feature 4 mounting holes to adjust rudder sensitivity.  This is awesome!  Turning lines run inside the yak (to minimize deck snagging).   All lines are strong dacron that won't scratch the deck or your legs.

The Kingfisher has a modest vee-hull with very smooth transitions; high prismatic coefficient adds both volume and top speed possible.  As mentioned, I suspect the waterline beam is probably around 23 (might be less), with plenty of flare to kick in with exceptional stability when needed.

All in all this is the strongest glass fishing kayak I have ever seen.  It is truly marine quality - and is overbuilt, but quite on purpose.  It's a kayak that will win in a collision.  It is clear to me that the Paddleyak Kingfisher was designed and built by yakfisherman who are deadly serious about their sport and top fishing performance.  All in a kayak that is built to take it.

To say that I am impressed would be an understatement.  I look forward to some time on the water and to be able to review the Kingfisher more critically.

Is it a Dorado killer?  You decide...


Posted by: PALADIN on Feb. 21 2006,20:31

Is it a Dorado killer?

If you really want to know how about we set up a contest between you and Lunasea....hmmmmm??

(Capn's Note:  No way am I gonna go there!  Luna is a good guy and the Dorado is a truly great fishing machine - I stand by my review of it.  I'm just asking the question - you decide.  Looking forward to hooking up with Luna so the two of us can compare, see what we think.  For me it's a tossup - we're looking at two very fine designs from two very experienced South African companies)

Posted by: Capn Jimbo on Feb. 23 2006,15:55

First Ride, First Impressions:

Whoa!  I didn't know what to expect from the Kingfisher, and really had some trepidations bout the minimal rocker and moderate full length vee hull (most glass yaks still to a shallow vee).  Boy was I surprised!

Went out in a good wind (15 - 20) with a decent fetch, lots of chop, ICW waves and current and enough passing yachts to get a decent feel:

First adjusted the rudders - this was easy, the King uses nice dacron line, supereasy to adjust both fixed pedal and toe pedal angle.  Same easy to handle dacron raise/lower lines and the rudder is lowered and raised easily and smooth (much easier than my Skua).  Pedal action is smooth, light, effective (the rudder was set for less sensitivity from Paddleyak, seems about right).  Unlike the Skua I notice little difference with it down.

But the King really doesn't need a rudder, even with crossing winds.  The moderate vee keeps this baby right on line.  The full length vee also means the King drifts neutral, with only a tad of weather helm (very safe).  

Paddling out into the bay I immediate noticed the heavy, smooth solid feeling of the King - like no other kayak I've been in.  No hull slap period.  Acceleration is smooth and steady, and the glide - well is just amazing.  Altho this kayak has only moderate primary at best, when you lean it goes right to the vee and stops smoothly right there - with PLENTY of secondary left.  

And this is where this unique hull really shines - despite it's excellent tracking (which usually implies an inability to turn), an easy and totally predictable intial lean (to the vee) and voila - it turns very nicely.   And the flare and volume is such that there is plenty - PLENTY - of secondary left.  The venturis (not scuppers) are quiet and effective at most speeds short of surfing.

I made sure to challenge the various chop, wind, and wakes on all angles of attack - these weren't even a factor.  I have no doubt the King can handle the absolute worst weather you'd even dare to challenge or in which you get caught.  Safe.  

The Kingfisher is so smooth and quiet - no hull slap period - that it's speed is deceptive.  It borders on 15 feet and it's almost all waterline (have to guess about 14 feet) - with its flare/volume and an estimate 23 in waterline beam - it's fast.  Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to wakesurf but caught some winddriven waves quite nicely and held them - without the rudder!

Last I tested stationary turning - I'd guess 180 in two sweeps - should be a bit less with a bit more time on the water.  Also easy to move about the cockpit, sit sideways safely.

Bottom Line

I'm not easily impressed but the Kingfisher is the best performing fishing kayak I've had the pleasure to paddle.  It is solid, smooth and fast;it inspires almost instant comfort and confidence in its seaworthiness and performance in all conditions.  It has the speed and comfort to go the distance, and handle even large game.

It's clear that the Kingfisher is a great fishing kayak.  I just can't wait to do bluewater and tie into something serious...


Posted by: snook4PSL on Feb. 23 2006,16:48

 OK, sounds fine. What does she weigh? What paddle were you using, by the way? That cart stowage is a different approach. It made me wonder if it would affect the stability of the K, being on top rather than below in a hatch.? We can tell that you were impressed.  :)

(Capn's Note:  PYK site sez 59 lb., feels a bit more tho to me.  Also they list it at 14'9" x 27" - my measurements are just an inch and a half short of 15 ft and 26 in., go figure.  The waterline beam is no more that 23 inches, probably less.  The moderate vee is WAY deeper than I've ever seen - and is a key reason why the Kingfisher is so capable.  

Used my SET wing - as otherwise it's hard to compare to my other rides.  Oh... as far as I know the cart does NOT stow on top - the slots are there to stabilize the cart when using it.

This was just a first ride - I will REALLY wring it out later)

Posted by: PALADIN on Feb. 24 2006,05:58

besides performance and good looks there are two things that glare out at me.

1) The hatch in the cockpit is the best idea I have ever seen. The ability to store your rods as you punch through surf, or ride a big one in is, well in a word , perfect!! Also dinner or lunch is easily bagged and stored.
Not taking anything away from the "Dorado" but its storage hatch has some concerns which the PYT seems to answer (full length storage).

2) The price .. am I reading the site right??
5,500.00 ZAR South Africa Rand = 899.166 USD United States Dollars
if thats right unbelievable price. Pray tell what was shipping?

I'm starting to get a warm and fuzzy feeling :cool:

Posted by: Yakinson on Feb. 24 2006,09:58

nice yak! nice price!!!!!
Posted by: PALADIN on Feb. 24 2006,11:15

One other question... in the cockpit hatch I notice there is a bungee system. What is that for, retrieval of fish bag , poles, etc. .??


(Capn's Note: It sure looks that way (bungies).  And I think full length storage is a BIG deal - and you can still store fish below.  Pricewise, I'm gonna guess it's gonna get delivered here around $1600 or 1700)

Posted by: PALADIN on Feb. 28 2006,07:32

$700 to $800 on top of yak price is a little stiff don't ya think??!!


Posted by: Shoey on Mar. 03 2006,19:43

Hi guys just joined up from Australia. Ive had a keen interest in the PYK for some months now and was very happy when Jimbo put a post up on our local forum. Im hoping to order one for myself in the not too distant future. Johan from Paddleyak has been very helpful and the ball is in my court now. I will hopefully be the proud owner of a PYK within 6 months.

In the meantime ill look forward to reading the full report when Jimbo gives the PYK a true test.

By for now,


Posted by: scwafish on Mar. 05 2006,07:18

Awesome looking yak!  I am really into these SA  boats, and want to get one to try.  A few questions about this yak vs. the Dodo.

How does the comfort compare between the two?
How does the finish/fit compare between the two?
Would the Kingfisher fit someone my size...6'1" 210
How well do the scuppers work in the King?
Are there any drains on the Kings TW?
How long is the TW in the King?

I know that alot!  Thanks for your time.  You definitely stay ahead of the crowd with the yak importation.

$700 to $800 on top of yak price is a little stiff don't ya think??!!

I don't think so.  I have seriously looked into importing SA boats to the Weast Coast and it ain't cheap by the time you consider all of the costs...shipping, recieving, brokerage, insurance...etc.  The good news is the final price is still the price of a mediocre glass boat built in the US, so who cares.

Posted by: Capn Jimbo on Mar. 05 2006,08:35

I'm not ready for an in-depth comparison - yet.  But soon.  Here's some preliminary impressions:

Comfort:  I've been in the Pelican and Kingfisher, know a number of people with the Dorado.  All are quite comfortable, will accomodate you.

Finish:  Dorado's gelcoat is nicer as Kaskazi sprays their gelcoat into the mold, while the King still paints theirs in.  Not a huge difference; both are quality made craft.  OTOH the Kingfisher is more solid, strongest glass kayak I've ever seen.

Note: have been informed that Paddleyak is going to begin spraying their gelcoat, this should make a difference.

Scuppers: are great.  As you'll note from the pics the King really uses venturi-like covers, very quiet, very efficient, work nicely.

Tankwell:  no drainage on either craft.  The Dorado's well is perhaps too big, made to fit a large rectangular storage crate.  The King comes with a smaller, two-level well.  The center portion will hold a proper crate snugly, with some very shallow storage both forward and aft.  

The King's well seems more sensible, will hold significantly less water.  Overall length is about 24 in., center well proper is 10 x 15 in.  Both fore/aft ends are very shallow and slope up to the deck (I believe this promotes a sloshing kind of self-drainage).  OTOH the Dorado's tank is very large and uniformly deeper, with vertical sides.  Whether the larger quantities of water retained will slosh out is questionable, need more info.

Cost:  The Kingfisher will come in at about $1700, but I'm told if a number can be ordered the price may come down some.  Personally I've seen imported glass come in damaged, esp. in mixed containers.


Posted by: scwafish on Mar. 05 2006,11:07

Thanks a bunch!  Thats the kind of info I was looking for.
Posted by: scwafish on Mar. 05 2006,14:48

More nagging questions...

While a lot of your biggest fish (e.g., tarpon) are typically C&R, most of our bigger fish are just plain delicious!  

So I took the TW measurements and compared them to what I normally use and was left scratching my head.  The TW is definitely too small for fish, so that means they would have to go down the center hatch, but its hard to tell if it would really swallow the a big ling or salmon...looks kinda small.  Do you think you could fit a fish bag like the one CFS makes   and a couple of biggish (10-30#) fish down in the center hatch of the King?

Better yet,  What do you think would fit a bigger fish, the center hatch on a Dodo or the King?  A typical dinner stringer around here looks like this.  Nothing huge, but a few larger units in the mix...


or my buddy Brent at our tourney with a primo load of fish...

Posted by: PALADIN on Mar. 05 2006,17:51

Now that's what I'm talkin bout!!
Scwafish where abouts in Norcal. I used to dive that coast and slay the Lings like you have there...nice pic!!

Posted by: BrianM on Mar. 05 2006,18:51

This kayak appears to be about the best fit to my idea of a great fishing kayak.  I like the looks of the Dorado but the lack of scuppers combined with the verticle cuts in the cockpit concern me a lot.  I also would rather have a storage area directly in front of me that will fit a full size rod rather than a fish well.  Any chance the guy that is importing the Kaskazis will import the Paddleyak as well ?
Posted by: scwafish on Mar. 06 2006,08:25

Paladin-I live in Mendocino County.  Those pics are from a little town called Elk.  Me and my wife own a tiny yak dealership, and we host a Tourney there in August.  Good fishing, lots of abalone, and one heck of a party!  Look forward to this year.  

Elk is actually one of the reasons I an interested in a SA yak.  There are a lot of insane spot there, but I am dying to try some that are about 7-8 miles each way.  The water there can get ugly, and there is no other way out besides paddling back to Elk.

Fishing around here is good in all direction though.  Many of my favorite spots are so close to shore you could paddle a dock there. :p

The real issue though is if either of these boats will have enough room for a load of Nor Cal alligators.

Posted by: Capn Jimbo on Mar. 06 2006,10:30

Hey SC... all I can tell you is that the center hatch is nice and wide - bout 8 inches - and gives you modestly safe access to the Kingfisher's huge volume.  The hatch just behind the cockpit is 8 in., the front hatch is 12 in.

But these latter of course should never really be opened at sea (yes, I know they are).  The center hatch is a safer option.  The Dorado is perhaps even safer, esp. in really bad weather, as the worst you'll do is to fill the fish compartment.


Posted by: scwafish on Mar. 07 2006,16:44

Okeedokee.  Which center hatch do you think will snarf a bigger fishy?
Posted by: scwafish on Mar. 25 2006,07:52

Anymore feedback on this yak?  Still drooling!
Posted by: Capn Jimbo on Mar. 25 2006,12:28

In answer and as a rough comparison:

[Comfort: is a relative thing, I'm comfy in yaks that Chef Mike's back won't handle.   Altho I'm tempted to say equal, I want a fresh ride in the Dorado.  But the King is quite comfortable.

Fit/finish: yes, they both have one, lol.  Dorado has a better finish but this will change as Paddleyak is going to a sprayed (not brushed) on gelcoat in the molds.  Fit seems equal to me.

6'1" x 210 lb:  You have a nice waterline, but I'm not sure about your beam.  No worries at all in the Kingfisher.

Scuppers: With the scupper hoods, these are really more venturis with LOTS of capacity.  Better yet, quiet and don't seem to produce nearly the turbulence of ordinary scuppers.

Tankwell: Center section is rectangular, 10" wide x 15 " long x 4.75" deep; outer well is 12" wide x 25" long x 2" deep, rounded.  The outer well tapers right up to the deck.  This is a clever idea!  Even without drains the normal movement of the kayak will cause water to easily slosh up and... out.

This is a fine design and made to order.  You can specify a lighter build (like vacumn bagging, etc., bring it down into the middle 50's) and the manufacturer is open to suggestions and customization.  


Posted by: scwafish on Mar. 25 2006,15:57

6'1" x 210 lb:  You have a nice waterline, but I'm not sure about your beam.

OUch!  Working on trimming the hull. Hope to be in the 190s by summer.  Thats about as light as I get, but the 15#s does need to go.

Any on the water shots of this sexy rig?

Posted by: Capn Jimbo on Mar. 25 2006,17:12


Posted by: scwafish on Mar. 25 2006,20:07

You look a LOT different in those pics!
Posted by: scwafish on June 15 2006,18:45

Anything more on this yak?  Dear god the suspense is FULLY developed...lets have the details!!!!
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