Ultimate Superyak #4: MacSki Kingfisher
The MacSki Kingfisher. A whole new breed of serious fishin yaks from (where else) South Africa. These are called fishing ski's: purpose built for punching through the heaviest surf, fishing for big game and surfin back in safely and with dry equipment.
Aside: Please note the protective non-skid bungied paddle rest and shallow netted storage area.
The no nonsense design is complete: from bow to stern this is nothing more or less than a serious fishing machine. Specs: 14-1/2 ft. x 25 in x (don't ask). Capacity "348 lb. plus catch" (doncha just love that). Glass. Made by the leading manufacturer of surfboards in South Africa. This is a craft designed to launch and return in almost any surf condition. Every element is focused on fishing. Let's begin...
The bow is broad and buoyant and raised to facilitate surfing and prevent perling. It will rise over any wave. The first third of the hull has a center ridge for stiffness and to assist in tracking.
The stern features a strong skeg protecting a through hull permanent rudder. This is controlled by a smooth, bungie dampened foot pedal system.
Now let's move to the deck.
The front storage area is concave with anti-slip protection for safe, accessible, scratch-free storage. The net is bungied and easily opened or removed. Just behind you'll see the bungie dampening system for smooth rudder performance.
And on to the cockpit...
The front of the cockpit is taken up with leg tunnels, ending with ankle straps, and large sturdy rudder pedal. The straps are adjustable - can be opened in calm water, closed for rough conditions. The center hatch is humongous; it's topped with a special bait cutting surface; open it and...
You have a proctected dry tackle tray. Great place to keep your GPS, etc. Note also the center rodholder which is slanted forward, to allow hands free baiting or lure changing. It's just forward enough that you can paddle too. The deluxe version of the Kingfisher goes one better...
That's right - a heavy plexiglass outer cover so you can see your - fishfinder! Awesome. And underneath it all...
A cavernous opening to a fish and rod storage area, with internal velcro attachments for your rods and a separate drain plug at the bow for cleaning. The concept is to store your rods and valuable inside, safe and dry. Then punch out through the surf; the same on return. If you dump, no problem. Now let's move back...
Like all skis the seat is shallow, although an adjustable backrest is an option or can easily be added. Two flushmounts angle back and out for trolling. Note the built-in rod leashes. And just behind is a large screw in hatch. Big deal, right?
A very big deal indeed. In addition to storage this space is actually sealed for use as a bait well!
And that brings us to the end. For our waters the Kingfisher is overbuilt and heavy but it is truly bulletproof. This is a yak that will take abuse. I do own a Kingfisher; my impressions (in 20 knot chop and open inland waters):
The rudder system is super smooth and self correcting. The obvious rocker means the Kingfisher is not fast but turns very well. It surfs quickly and easily, with great control. The rudder was great for drifting down the mangroves. I love the center hatch and the ease of access to the front deck storage.
I've never liked flushmounts and found the two rear holders wet (I'd use a PVC extension to get my rods up). The center flushmount is perfect, a great place to have a rod-at-the-ready, or for lure changing. The bow takes any wave nicely and the flat rear hull surfs easily.
My thoughts: This is a truly great design for anyone who wants to go offshore for fishing or diving in all conditions. These are the rage in South Africa. The MacSki Kingfisher meets its objectives without compromise. It's a tough, efficient single purpose fishing machine.
Hope you've enjoyed this. I just love good design, performance and value - in one way or another, these 4 yaks do it for me.
Availability: ask and I can set you up with the importer through the club for the best price.
Late Update: Dorado by Kaskazi
Check this out. It's a beefed up Pelican with a unique fishwell and more!
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