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Gannet Reviews


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Necky Kayak
Gannet Reviews

Read reviews for the Gannet by Necky Kayak as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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I bought my Gannet in 1995…

Submitted by: paddler237090 on 9/6/2016
I bought my Gannet in 1995 and still love it!! It has great stability and very manueverable in all types of water. I have taken it to the river, ocean and lakes. The seat can get uncomfortable after a while so switched it out. I added a new skeg and cables, because mine were old. I would recommend for sure.

I have an older 11' Gannet. I…

Submitted by: draega on 7/2/2014
I have an older 11' Gannet. I LOVE my Kayak! I have felt safe and secure in it as it has never let me down in calm waters or waves and tracks well. It has taken me away from the world for awhile when I need the calmness and serenity of just kicking back and floating or paddling to a destination. It is my Soulmate.

I have owned my Gannet for…

Submitted by: paddler235330 on 9/7/2013
I have owned my Gannet for 17+ years. I have paddled other boats, but the Gannet is by far my favorite due to it's ability to respond well in white water (up to class III) and track with the skeg down in bays and lakes. I often let my friends paddle my Gannet when I take them out due to it's great stability. I especially enjoy how the bow rides the waves. Other boats do not have the same action and I consistently want to paddle my Gannet for the fun factor. My boat is showing it's age though I don't believe I'll let it go until it actually gets a puncture...

I have had the Gannet for…

Submitted by: paddler235298 on 8/21/2013
I have had the Gannet for over 10 years and think it is one of the best kayaks for all around use. It tracks great on open water and is stable on class 2 or 3 rivers. In the Great Northwest it is nice to have a kayak to float the rivers or take it across open water lakes. Mine is a plastic shell that has held up to sliding across rocks in the river. I would suggest in any kayak to get the dry compartment so you can take your phone, wallet or camera along.

Too bad Necky doesn't make this model any longer. I couldn't be any more happy with the 2 of them I still use.


Loved this kayak! I rented…

Submitted by: paddler235133 on 7/23/2013
Loved this kayak! I rented it for a day trip in Alabama, went with friends, had been a couple of years since I kayaked and this one was super easy to handle and maneuver. When I buy one, this one will be it!

Gannet, is a great boat for…

Submitted by: paddler235093 on 7/14/2013
Gannet, is a great boat for the river, we use these kayaks in class II & III whitewater, and lakes. This is a very stable kayak, great with adults, and children. Necky makes a great kayak that lasts.

I can't even remember how…

Submitted by: paddler234664 on 7/17/2012
I can't even remember how long I have owned mine. I have thoroughly enjoyed each year. I needed one that my son, who was living with us then, could fit in (6'4") and that was suitable for rivers & lakes. The salesperson recommended this one & I couldn't be happier! I have people stop me out on the lakes asking what kind & where I got it. Unfortunately - I have to tell them they don't make it anymore. Necky - you should take the hint from everyone here & reintroduce it. Retro is in - right?

Necky would be wise to start…

Submitted by: paddler234576 on 6/6/2012
Necky would be wise to start making this boat again. Would not sell mine at any price. A superb kayak.

I bought an 11' Gannet 2…

Submitted by: red1 on 9/6/2011
I bought an 11' Gannet 2 years ago, secondhand but unused (still had tag inside!) absolutely love the low profile, how it surfs waves, tracks perfectly even with wind... simple pivoting rudder. Use a skirt for rough days or when lots of wake about because of low profile...or end up with a lap full of water. We kayak 6km into campsite every other weekend for 3 months. Might buy a bigger boat one day, but will never part with this one.

I have had a Gannet for 7…

Submitted by: paddler233928 on 3/30/2011
I have had a Gannet for 7 years, I also have a Manitou Sport. I LOVE my Gannet. it is comfortable, it is stable, and it tracks perfectly with the skeg down. IMHO I think Necky made a huge mistake discontinuing this model and others with the skeg. I find the boats with the built in skeg never track well, specially in a breeze or wind. I would Love for Necky to bring back a medium size boat with a similar skeg to the Gannet. I would buy one!
If you can find a used Gannet buy it, don't ask questions, just buy it!

When I was 12 years old, I…

Submitted by: paddler233037 on 3/8/2009
When I was 12 years old, I developed an insane passion for kayaking. That Christmas, I was given a card from my parents along with this long box.. I unwrapped it, found a paddle. confused I opened the card, and found an invoice. a 200 dollar down payment my parents had put on a Gannet! So I was 12 years old when I first used the Gannet, and I am 20 years old right now.

I have taken this boat from London, Ontario to little current in Georgan Bay to Lake Utopia in New Bronswick. It's a great boat for light recreational fun. it handles extremely well with and with out the skeg, the ONLY drawback I really see, is the lack of storage space.

Now that I'm 20 years old, I want to go on over nighters and so I will have to buy another kayak, but that is okay, because now I will be able to take friends with me for little day trips! I have NEVER flipped it, not once... and so I have complete faith when letting a beginner friend take it out for a spin.

So, if you can get your hands on one, take it and run, these are great, fun good learner boats with lots of advanced possibilities!!


I have owned my Gannet for…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/7/2008
I have owned my Gannet for many years, and I bought it off a friend who had it for a couple years. We have journeyed on the big waters of Lake Erie and the Gulf of Mexico for day trips, without any issues. Loaded down, we have journeyed down swollen Michigan rivers (Rifle and Manistee). And have spent hours relaxing on placid inland lakes.

The Gannet is stable and forgiving. The skeg is wonderful and simple to engage/disengage. If you don't have one attached, call Necky, they are cheap and easy to install. The people at Necky are pleasant to deal with over the phone. My children have all used this kayak, from ten years old to 21. Its a favorite.

Complaints: Definitely the seat. It does get uncomfortable, especially the seat back. They (Necky) do not make an alternative seat or a slip-on pad for it, so you have to glue closed cell padding on it for comfort.
The second complaint: No bulk heads or compartments... everything must be stuffed in via the cockpit.
Those are the only two things that have kept it from a 10. Would I recommend a Gannet... Absolutely!


Fantastic. I'll second the…

Submitted by: paddler232513 on 4/2/2008
Fantastic. I'll second the review that mentioned this thing takes everything from a dense pond to the ocean. Added a Carolina at a deep discount to the mix just to get dry storage. Added a stern drain plug just to make things easier, and extended the fwd deck bungees to be able to hold a few more things after adding bow and stern fitted float bags. The only time I've dumped this thing was on purpose once to know how to get out - and that includes Nauset, LI Sound and most of Mt Desert under sketchier conditions than I'd have guessed she'd be tolerable. The skeg is great and the short length means I can pretty much follow longer boats with rudders.

I bought this kayak used on…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/9/2007
I bought this kayak used on Craigs list and I couldn't be much happier. This kayak is stable enough for a new paddler and yet has a nice turn of speed and responds to a more experienced hand. The skeg helps her track well and lifting it allows the paddler to carve through a narrow twisty creek with ease. The seat is comfortable for me. A nice discontinued kayak that should be a good buy to someone looking for a mid size recreational kayak.

I already owned a Sevylor…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/28/2006
I already owned a Sevylor inflatable when I borrowed a Caspia from a friend. The Gannet is a much better boat. It tracks well, has enough room for my 6ft 225lb frame, and seems very durable. I can lift it by myself and put it on top of my truck.

I thought the seat got uncomfortable after a very short period and added minicell foam, which seems to help greatly.

I swapped boats last time out with my girlfriend and never got my boat back on that trip.


I just rented this yak for 3…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/4/2004
I just rented this yak for 3 hours on a class 0.5 river. I am 6' 175#. This was my first yak trial. The boat did not have a skeg. The first problem was that the seat was very uncomfortable. It was hard plastic and the top hurt my back. After awhile, the bottom was not very comfortable. It seemed to have good primary stability but when I leaned beyond a certain point it seemed like it was about to turn over. I did not find it tracked well at all. At higher speed there was quite a bow wake. The finish was poor inside and out. It is a cheap yak and I would not even consider buying one.

I love my Gannet, I would not…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/15/2004
I love my Gannet, I would not trade it in. Its a perfect 10 as far as its versatility in the water. Tracks like a big guy. However, I did expand my Necky family and added a Chelan to my collection. I hope they get along. I have not tried her out yet. I find that Necky's diamond design of the hull is great and makes the boat very responsive to its paddler. The other plus for me is that I usually paddle with a passenger. My little Pekingese Gyzmo is also an avid kayaker, even though I was not yet able to teach him proper paddling techniques, ( he has developped his own,)he is a hard core yak doggy. Behind the cockpit of both kayaks there is a nice flat surface for my copilot to set and sit himself. I love the skeg and how you can lift it so you can spin on a dime when you want. Great little yak.

I've had my gannet for 4…

Submitted by: paddler230516 on 4/14/2004
I've had my gannet for 4 years now, and in no other boat could I start a trip way back in a snag strewn pine barrens creek, and finish up in a bay or an ocean. I kayak the New jersey pine barrens, as I enjoy the creks and lakes, and no other boat has the manuverability and speed for such paddling as the gannet. In tight spaces, it is agile, yet still cruises out on the open water. I occasionally paddle tidal bays with longer boats, and while it may not be as fast or cruise as well, I have no problems keeping up, and I can even surf the boat wakes!(something they can't do). So, for the true adventurer who wants to be led by his curiousity, this boat can't be beat. It will take you anywhere.

This is my 3rd season with…

Submitted by: jcpeters46 on 12/29/2003
This is my 3rd season with the Gannet, I concur completely w/the criticisms of the other kayakers. Hand grabs are fine for hauling, but I like to secure my bow and stern for hi-way travel, and find these don't inspire confidence, augmented bow with a more substantial tie down. Necky should beef up the floatation, for liability purposes as well as safety. This is still a good performing boat, have used it on the Hudson, and Long Island Sound as well as numerous lakes and ponds, and found it to perform well in a myriad of conditions. I use it for fishing and find it to be very stable both spin and fly fishing. I have never dumped her by accident or design and feel very confident in her ability to get me home. Tracks well, something I didn't find in other yaks I tested. The skeg is an added bonus, not always found in kayaks of similar lgth and wgt. Overall I give the Gannet high marks.

Own a folbot greenland 2 for…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/2/2003
Own a folbot greenland 2 for the whole family to boat in, and recently bought a new Necky Gannet for my solo trips and in the off season when my wife looses interest. The Gannet is a dream on the water, I love the way it handles. It is smooth with just enough spunk to keep you on your toes. Pretty good speed and handles swells well. Easy to cartop solo and plastic seems thick and sound. Excellent value for the dollar. I have had no problems with deforming. If your looking for a little boat for an afternoon outing this is the one.

I am just a beginner but…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/9/2002
I am just a beginner but tried out other boats, approx. 9 before purchasing the Gannet. It was so stable and easy to turn. I wanted a stable light weight boat to have fun with - it is perfect! I did get a dent because I hit a stump...but it still paddles like it did without the dent. If you leave your plastic boat on a roof rack in hot weather it will warp if you don't loosen the straps.

I have owned one for 4 years…

Submitted by: paddler229767 on 6/26/2002
I have owned one for 4 years now and have paddled everything from still water to class III rapids to ocean surf. This boat even brought me through a major storm an an ocean bay. 80 mph gusts 10 ft rollers. Awsome boat don't fall for some of the other junk in it's class.

I've had this kayak for 3…

Submitted by: paddler229663 on 5/2/2002
I've had this kayak for 3 seasons, and I still love it. I got it because I wanted a recreational starter boat I could fit my dog into, and cartop myself--I figured I'd upgrade to a touring boat soon. But I like this boat so much that I use it all the time. It's stable, it turns well, it's lots of fun in waves, and even though it gets noisy at high speeds, I can easily keep up with my friends in longer boats. And my wet dog can haul herself back into the boat without flipping it! Even though I keep meaning to get a "better" boat, when I try out fancier boats, I like the Gannett better. It has taught me some bad habits, since you don't need to brace as often as in other boats. But it's a great boat--and foam cartop cradles (that don't cost much) solved the warping problem easily.

As a new kyaker was easy to…

Submitted by: paddler229400 on 8/10/2001
As a new kyaker was easy to use.Went 12 miles easy in half a day at a very liesure pace. On the roof of the car Kayak warped in 2 spots. This was very disturbing after only just bought it. Contacted Gannet by e-mail with no reply to warping.

I am a brand-spanking new…

Submitted by: paddler228874 on 8/31/2000
I am a brand-spanking new Necky Gannett owner. Found me a cool fade - from teal to purple - very fine. I've named my beloved yak "Stella" and find her to be an excellent ride whether on a creek or on a pond or paddling across a lake shaking with whitecaps with a stiff 25 mph wind blowing in our faces. Perhaps her greatest strength lies in her ability to turn - that girl can whip her face around like nobody's business. I really can't say enough about this swift little boat - she keeps me smiling.

We were beginners and…

Submitted by: paddler228745 on 7/15/2000
We were beginners and purchased two Gannets three years ago. Our whole neighborhood bought 5 at one time and we just added another. As beginners we never doubted their stability and, in fact, tested three different kayaks in a swimming pool to see how far they would tip before turning over. We obviously thought the Gannet was the best all around. I agree that it does dent/warp when on a roof rack. It was necessary for us to store them on our rack for a week at one time while renting a cottage; however, it straightened in very little time once off the rack. It is a kayak that takes a fair amount of abuse, it tracks well, and feels sturdy. We would heartily recommend them.

When I tested the Necky…

Submitted by: paddler228699 on 6/22/2000
When I tested the Necky Gannet I was pleasantly surprised. With the skeg up it turns well. With the skeg down it tracks straight. The roomy cockpit is a big plus for me. Access is easy from any angle and there is room to bend your knees to relieve cramps. The boat can handle being in rough water and is stable. It is the best all round boat I have tried and is small enough to easily transport. I did have to take off 2 points on the rating. There is an optional dry hatch, but the hatch is only 6". Too small for most items. The other deduction is more serious. It sinks! The built in floation is not enought to keep it afloat when filled with water.(models without the dry hatch) Additional flotation is needed. Dispite the two faults it is probably the best boat for the money that is usable for most purposes.

I've had my Gannet for about…

Submitted by: paddler228678 on 6/13/2000
I've had my Gannet for about 2 years now. It was purchased originally as a beach toy. As I have lived with it I have grown to admire Its capabilities. I removed the foam block from behind the seat and re-attached it in the stern. I've also added some seat foam and a 6" access hatch on the rear deck, This lets you put 2-30L seal-line bags in the back and 1 in the front(don't overload the front one or she plows badly.It was enough space to handle 2 weeks on the Nahanni River. Pull up the skeg and you're ready to go on Class II to III water. Also great for playing in the waves on the great lakes. The only downside is, although VERY stable It is much harder to roll it back up than either whitewater or narrow touring kayaks.

I've owned my Gannet about 4…

Submitted by: paddler228625 on 5/22/2000
I've owned my Gannet about 4 weeks now. It's also my first kayak. My only complaint, and one experienced by other reviewers, is the deformation in the plastic hull caused by the roof-top rack. The dent in my boat has not returned to normal after 2 weeks. On the plus side, it appears to have little or no effect on the boat's handling or performance. I'm 6'3" and experience some difficulty in positioning my legs. The seat back would benefit from foam padding.

I like this boat. I have…

Submitted by: paddler228507 on 5/11/2000
I like this boat. I have four other kayaks and have been paddling for 4 years now. My three kids (11 y/o son and twin 8 y/o daughters) LOVE it! It's a great boat for beginners and those hesitant to try kayaking. Everyone (adults included) that has tried mine has been very pleased with how easy it is to handle. With the skeg, it tracks like a much longer boat. With the skeg up, it turns on a dime. Very nice. My son paddled 22 miles of the New River on a recent river camping trip (class I and II) and did very well. It can cary enough gear for a 2 or 3 niter. It's light and easy to car-top. The only criticism I have is the seat. I would recommend buying some after-market padding to make it more comfortable. I added some mini-cell to the seat and backrest...much better now. It's a great recreational kayak but not really a good touring or WW boat. It's a little slow for touring and a little big for anything more than class II. It does class I and II rivers very nicely though. Truly a FUN boat!

I tried out several yaks.…

Submitted by: paddler228570 on 4/27/2000
I tried out several yaks. This one (actually two) is what I bought. The Gannett tracks great and it is pretty quick compared to others in it's class. I think the fit and finish is excellent. When I strapped it on my car the top pushed in, just like any other plastic kayak. When I took it off, it poped out. If you can find one in some of their cool fades, grab it. Got mine for 419 + ship. Great Deal....

My wife and I tried out…

Submitted by: paddler228395 on 12/31/1999
My wife and I tried out several kayaks, including a Perception Carolina, which we bought, and will be selling this spring (too long, too heavy) as well as a "swift" kayak that handled like a barge. We also tried out a variety of whitewater boats, but once we got into a Gannet, there was no doubt, for our purpose (recreational) this was the one! Handling in any water, value, space, fun for my money, the Necky Gannet cant be beat! It is incredibly stable in the Great Lakes and we look forward to trying them (the Gannets) out in the Pacific North West waters.

The Gannet is a great value.…

Submitted by: paddler228358 on 11/10/1999
The Gannet is a great value. I wanted an inexpensive starter kayak. I read the reveiws here, and did some shopping around, I am 6'1" and did have a problem getting my feet on the pegs, that was easily solved by drilling 1 more hole and moving the foot rest bracket down.

I like this boat. It's…

Submitted by: paddler228199 on 7/27/1999
I like this boat. It's stable, manueverable, small, light. I use it regurarly for lake paddling. The flat transem creates a large wake, a fair amount of noise and a bit of drag when going fast And the skeg can be noisy. But the boat does track well. I have also used it on class I rapids but would not recommend it for more than that because it's not sturdy enough (could get legs pinned) and because the skeg could be a problem. A great beginners or general recreation boat. Not good for large people.

Rented this kayak while…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/26/1999
Rented this kayak while trying out several before purchasing another. I may not be the best person to review this kayak since I only rented it for one day, but I was not all that pleased. First of all, the thing 'warped' when I strapped it to my roof rack. It's not that I strapped it down that much either. Worse yet, the warp remained in the boat ALL DAY. The man at the rental store said that the warp would pop back out...but... by then I was returning the boat and was done paddling for the day! Secondly, I think the drop down skeg is a good idea, but Necky could have put a little more effort in to the R & D of the skeg. The one on the Gannett that I rented may have been just off center because the boat seemed to pull to the right when the skeg was in the water. Lots of little fit and finnish problems that made the boat look like it was cheaply built. Finally, the seat was incredibly uncomfortable. On a positive note, I did like the way the boat looks and it was very easy to turn due to the heavily rockered bow.

Serious all-purpose boat from…

Submitted by: paddler228082 on 5/3/1999
Serious all-purpose boat from the king of kayaks. Perfect for small touring trips, yet unscathed in class III rapids. With dropdown skeg, tracks like kayaks 4' bigger. If you want to get out on the water, get this boat. Just relax, it can take whatever you throw at it.