I have owned my Cobra Expedition for 6 years and have paddled it for approximately 1,500km during that time, with about 90% of the time being on the sea, which has given me a good understanding of how it handles in various conditions. I chose this kayak because of these 4 main reasons - Fast to paddle - Easy self-rescue, being a sit-on-top - Fishing from the kayak - Storage capacity for expeditions Below are Pro’s and Con’s, as well as Modifications that I have done to address the Cons PROS: Plastic – strong with little maintenance required Long and thin – fast. Easily sit on 6kph for several hours. Tracks straight – excellent boat for touring in a straight line Stable – I have found the kayak very stable, even in choppy conditions. A well fitted seat assists here. Rocker – has reasonable rocker for a long kayak Low – less windage in crosswind. Easy to enter from deep water. Storage – massive storage space for multi-day expeditions. Large hatches allow large items/bags to be added. The thick nose and tail enables you to push items all the way to the ends of the kayak. Multiple places to slide 1.25-litre sized drink bottles underneath the cockpit without taking up any space in the main hatch area (I can fit 7 of them in the spaces) Rudder – needed in turning the kayak and assisting in tracking in windy conditions. Venturi drain – works well to suck water out of the cockpit whilst paddling. At full speed it will suck air from the cockpit, to under the kayak. Mine does not leak. Carry handles – 4 of them (2 at the ends, and 2 in the cockpit) allow 4 people to carry the fully-laden kayak.
CONS: Leaky hatches – in choppy conditions water will leak through the poorly designed hatches (mine are the toggle variety) Turning circle – will not edge to turn. Rudder necessary, otherwise difficult to turn. Exposed – cold in winter – this is a wet boat with low sides. Warm paddling gear is essential in cold weather. Steering pedals / foot pegs 1” higher than the deck – they get in the way when you slide up the front of the kayak to access the front hatch whilst on the water. Poorly designed seat – flat with little back support No deck lines – needs deck lines to assist with rescues
MODIFICIATIONS: Leaky hatch problem fixed by adding self-adhesive strips of rubber door sealer underneath the lip of the hatches – this has fixed 90% of the leaking issues. I have also made hatch caps that cover the whole hatch, secured down with thick rubber bungy straps, for 100% sealing in choppy conditions. Steering pedals / foot pegs have been lowered by 1” so that they don’t protrude above the top of the deck. This was accomplished by moving the horizontal strut that holds the pedals down, in addition to angle-grinding the top of the metal pedals off too. Seat – 3rd-party seat added for comfort and support. Assists in stability when snug around the hips. Paddle leash – added so that the paddle will not be come lost whilst fishing or performing rescues. Decklines added so other paddlers can have something to hold onto whilst performing rescues. Fishing rod holders – 2 added to hold rods.