Group: Super Administrators
Joined: Jan. 2004
||Posted: 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.
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...
Edited by Capn Jimbo on Feb. 23 2006,16:12
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