Poke Boat Description

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Poke Boat Reviews

Read reviews for the Poke Boat by Phoenix Poke Boats, Inc. 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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Submitted by: paddler2793301 on 12/27/2023



I purchased two poke boats…

Submitted by: Denisc on 12/28/2020
I purchased two poke boats back in 1988, one in kevlar, one in fiberglass these were the standard 12ft models. Both of these were purchased primarily for duck hunting. I made a cockpit cover for both and added large snaps midship on the combing. Leaving the cover intact and snapped this allows me to keep half the cockpit covered with an area to grass the boat over except for where I am sitting. This design also allows me to hunt bigger water and not take on water from wind swept waves. These boats are Incredibly light and responsive sometimes even problematic in a strong wind. I have hunted out of the boat for an entire day being able to slide down with a PFD under my back and head and keep a low profile. There is plenty of room for my 6'1" 215lb frame, 10 over sized decoys, pack, gun. extra paddle. In the case of hunting a pot hole in the middle of the marsh, the loaded boat pulls easily over the marsh grass. I put a fresh coat of paint on both every couple of years and have only managed to crack the kevlar ( applied too much pressure when strapping the boat down on top of the larger boat) 5 minute epoxy fixed the crack and continues to do the job. Overall, amazing little crafts and well worth the price.

Great, is the answer to…

Submitted by: paddler865485 on 8/31/2020

Great, is the answer to question number one. Ducks Unlimited's never failed to write of it's marsh worthiness when the topic was small and stealthy craft. My 25 year old 12 footer has been thru Hell, high water and back! So I donated 5 stars today and I miss your bi-monthly ad in the DU mag.


Have had my Poke Boat since…

Submitted by: paddler577517 on 1/13/2020

Have had my Poke Boat since 1988. Still use it regularly. I have done some touch up work on the bottom but for as much use as I get from it that is to be expected. Very stable and has ben great for fishing. Light enough to take anywhere without being concerned with it being too bulky to handle by myself.


Just picked up a Poke Boat…

Submitted by: Out_of_Line on 3/5/2018

Just picked up a Poke Boat in Kevlar, as a lark really, wasn't really looking for one. What a surprise! Paddles exactly like my Santee 126 Sport. Very utilitarian construction, the footbraces are pretty crude, but at least do not require hull penetration. Handles wind and waves pretty well for such a small craft. When you think about all the large cockpit kayaks out there (Pungo, Santee sport, etc.) its pretty amazing that these boats have been out there for decades catering to fisherman and duck hunters! I can't believe what they want for a new one, but if you get a chance to pick one up used, you will be pleasantly surprised! The best part is the weight.........25 pounds in Kevlar, not much more in glass.


I recently purchased a use…

Submitted by: paddler418995 on 2/15/2018

I recently purchased a use vagabond Poke Boat that needs a front seat. Does anyone know where i can get one for fair price? I borrowed a poke boat last year and like it so much I searched and found one for me.


I have 3 Poke boats I bought…

Submitted by: paddler236358 on 7/13/2015
I have 3 Poke boats I bought 25 years ago and they are as good today as they were when I bought them. I have used these boats for fishing small rivers and streams primarily. In 25 years and thousands of miles my boats still years of life in them. Yes there are newer boats out that have a lot more features built in storage, drink holders and padded seats but I'll take my poke boat over all them.

I have owned the standard…

Submitted by: dudlee on 9/5/2014
I have owned the standard Poke boat for over 15 yrs and have paddled it in all kinds of conditions, portages, five foot wind driven lake waves, and it has performed well. Its chief asset is low wgt (29 lbs) and maneuverability. It is slow compared to other boats I have but for nature viewing and stability it is excellent.

Just got a maxi Poke Boat and…

Submitted by: paddler235633 on 7/1/2014
Just got a maxi Poke Boat and think it will be great. Tried it on the Saluda River in SC and was very pleased. NOTE: To the guy who wrote here in 2008 (with the bad back like I have!) and was going to use a trolling motor on his Poke boat---if you are still out there, would really like to see your rig and hear how the motor worked on your Poke Boat. Recent convert----Ben

I have owned a 12' Poke Boat…

Submitted by: paddler235343 on 9/17/2013
I have owned a 12' Poke Boat for over 18 years. It has been my sole transportation to an island camp on a large lake. I am 98 lbs, a little light for the boat and have found a water jug in the bow keeps the bow from bouncing. A heavier person may not have any problems in rough weather. I much prefer to have the Poke boat loaded in windy conditions. The weight makes the boat very stable in wind and waves. Have not found a problem with water over the bow or splash. Adding floatation in the stern and wearing a life vest adds to back support.

The boat is a bit wide and deep for someone short, 5'1" but adding a cushion helps. I have had to make some small repairs from cracks where heavy boat fell on it in in a storm. An emergency repair with a little Gorilla glue and tape worked just fine.

The black PBC paddle that came with the boat is perfect for me- very light and balanced. Drilled a hole in the top of each blade so that the paddle can be locked with the boat when I paddle to town. I have paddled my Poke boat fully loaded with groceries, a 20 lb dog, furniture, lumber etc. and have a great deal of respect for its stability and ease to paddle.

Great boat for a camp - mine often is so loaded I have to think outside the boat. I also have shared the boat with another adult - not comfortable but easily done.

Most importantly I use the boat because it is light, not a chore to move or to car top. The only improvements needed would be a less minimal seat and the cost to buy a second one.


This is the strangest kayak I…

Submitted by: paddler234545 on 8/1/2013
This is the strangest kayak I have ever paddled, and that includes dozens that I have owned. I took it out on the still lake this morning to get used to it's characteristics.

First, it draws very little water so between it's relatively wide and crowned bottom it is very sensitive to every stroke. Stroke right, it goes left, stroke left, it goes right so if you don't stroke with equal force & duration you will be using adjusting strokes to keep the boat straight. That also means it responds quickly to a strong stroke, lean, and foot pressure so that what you lose in one capacity, you gain in another.

Next, it collects water easily and I should have put a skirt on it. it rides high even though I'm 6'3" and 225lbs. currently. The seat top is pitched forward and bothered my lower back the entire time even though it had a padded seat. Next, I will try it on a rough lake with a skirt.

I'm of two minds with this boat, it's light, draws 3", easy to maneuver, but back hurt, it collected water easily w/o skirt, and is easily drawn off course with each stroke. It may turn out well, but was tiring to paddle for such a stable, utilitarian boat. I bought mine used. I suggest you paddle before you buy to see if you like the ride. I'm going to try it next with a canoe paddle to see if leaning it over & paddling it that way makes a difference. The jury is still out...


I have owned a kevlar maxi…

Submitted by: paddler234831 on 11/1/2012
I have owned a kevlar maxi pokeboat for 23 years, if you're a serious duck hunter and like to chase them back in those hard to get to areas this is your boat. I recently saw what they cost now and put mine in the garage; I used to leave it outside. I could fit me, my dog, a dozen and a half decoys, gun and shell bag no problem. I'm 6ft 190 pds.

Poles good in shallow water; can get out of easy and drag into those nasty spots. Everybody I have let use it, wants one. They are a little pricey; I bought mine with a minor defect and have not had a problem.


First, ruggedness. Bend the…

Submitted by: paddler233635 on 6/8/2010
First, ruggedness. Bend the boat in two – not figuratively, but literally – have it spring back; put a few pieces of duct tape on it and immediately go out on the river for over two hours with only very minor leakage. How did this happen? Well, the boat was on top of our SUV, on the two cross bar racks, upside down (i.e., flat bottom toward the sky) and I was in the process of taking off the tie down straps when I discovered that we had left our paddles back at the camp site. So, off we went back to the campground. There was no problem the first three miles since the speed limit was 35 mph. Then we hit the open road and so I cranked it up to 60. After about a mile we heard this terrible crunching crashing sound. Upon looking in the rear view mirror I saw the cockpit of the boat. After exiting from the car I discovered that I had removed the front tie down. The back tie down had held the boat in place, but when the car speed and resulting wind had gotten strong enough, the boat bent totally in two upon itself. One third of the boat was still firmly attached to the back cross rack of the car and the other two thirds were bent 180 degrees down over the back of the car with that end of the boat scraping along on the pavement (the boat actually dented the top of the lift gate on the back of the SUV). When I removed the second tie down, the boat flopped onto the ground and much to my amazement the boat sprung back into its normal shape. Yes, there were about four spots, each about three inches long where the resin had cracked off a bit, but everything considered it was in remarkable condition. Being determined, we put duct tape on the bad spots and went out onto the water for over two hours with only very minor leakage. That’s one tough boat.

Second, stability. The Maxi II has the broadest beam of any Poke Boat at 37 inches. This fact along with its flat bottom provides what I consider extreme stability. I paddle with many thousands of dollars of photographic equipment and thus stability is extremely important to me. The first time out I tested stability by standing up in the boat and then gently starting to rock the boat side to side. I’m 5’11” and 220 pounds. I proceeded to rock from side to side as hard as I could. I didn’t even come close to tipping over. I have absolutely no qualms that I’m risking my camera gear in this boat. Yes, with a flat bottom and a 37" beam there is a down side, but it also helps to provide a draft of only three inches and together with Kevlar I have a 51 pound boat with extreme stability, which for my usage is just great.


Have f/n poke boat. light at…

Submitted by: paddler232896 on 9/24/2008
Have f/n poke boat. light at 28# and tracks great. Have paddled 32miles in one day on Lake Mead but it was tough. Replaced seat with foam back on plywood and 20x48 Therarest pad. It is like sitting in an easy chair. In wind and waves, boat bounces into waves but surfs with them. Boat is slow and a little wet but stable in tough conditions.

Had a Wilderness Ride,…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 7/1/2008
Had a Wilderness Ride, enjoyed it but was too heavy for my bad back... so, bought me the Maxi Poke (Kevlar) and have not looked back. Bought me a canoe seat, put some pool noodles on the canvas back and buckled it onto the regular seat. Comfortable paddling around the edges of lakes and down the rivers. Stand up fly fishing and enjoy the room and carrying capacity of 500 lbs. Now installing trolling motor bracket (self made) so I can get to the fishing spots faster. Would do it again and have not had a real complaint about how it handles. At 65, let the young ones paddle faster... I'm enjoying the fishing and the view at my pace.

I have paddled my Maxi…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 4/27/2005
I have paddled my Maxi Pokeboat for 15 years now-first in CA and OR, and now for four years in FL panhandle. I have three other boats but leave them at home due to Pokeboat's lightness (32 lbs.) and comfort. It is slow, as any boat this wide would be, and I hate the seat that comes with it-no support at all. Fortunately, the rear cockpit wall is high and several inches wide, so makes a fine back support. The fiberglass hull is subject to injury from rocks, gravel, or-running over it in a Chevy Astro (whoops!) But an $8.00 repair kit from Wal-Mart fixes all cracks instantly-I have added new layers several times-not pretty but watertight. Wish there was flotation built in-one Voyageur bladder blew away in transit and the other has pinprick holes. I am substituting cheap inflatable toys. But for comfort-there is no rival-I can cross my legs or stretch them out or use the footpegs. How about a new seat Pokeboat designers? Janet Reno told me she paddles one, too. I am 61 and weigh 280 and this boat's for me. Especially good for diabetics with poor circulation.

I bought a kevlar Maxi Poke…

Submitted by: paddler230618 on 6/11/2004
I bought a kevlar Maxi Poke bought seven years ago. The boat is very unstable and not suitable for duck hunting...the recoil of shotgun can easily capsize it. I tipped mine the first year I had it, and my loaded gun is rusting away at the bottom of the river. Talked to a Florida hunting guide service who related similar experiences with several of his clients, who instead recommended the Aquapod. Just like camping tents, beware the claims that a given model is a "two-man" or "three-man". In reality, such boats are one- and two-man, respectively. Very hard to tie these fragile boats securely to a vehicle, particularly for long drives across the wind-swept Dakota prairies. They ARE very light, however, so good for select purposes, but not worth the money or the risk to your life, in my opinion. If you decide to sell yours, good luck finding someone willing to out anything close to what you paid for it new.

I give my tandem Vagabond…

Submitted by: paddler230187 on 6/10/2003
I give my tandem Vagabond Poke Boat 4 stars for ease of use and versatility. The lightwieght kevlar allows my 72 year- old mom to port it and the rudder allows for improved tracking. You can change to a one man kayak by simply moving the seat aft.

I have the standard size…

Submitted by: paddler230073 on 3/19/2003
I have the standard size (orig style) in kevlar. It is not a white water or even rough water boat, but it is very light and easy to carry with one hand. I have carried it through the woods and put into ponds where noone else can go. Keep in mind as a prev review said that you need a wide beach area to launch from, as you have to get in from firm ground from the side. It is great for nature photography.

I bought a kevlar vagabond…

Submitted by: paddler230070 on 3/13/2003
I bought a kevlar vagabond one year ago based on the New Yorker ad that I could have "more than a canoe." While there is some comparison, they really are different creatures. I have since bought a canoe which can be landed nose first on a shore-line - the poke boat must be "sidled-up" and not every spot has 15' of open shore for landing. On the other hand, I live on the mid-Atlantic coast and enjoy streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, bays, and ocean. A lifetime favorite memory is taking the poke boat out from the point at Cape May, NJ and paddling parallel to the shoreline with schools of bottle nose dolphin. The 16' Vagabond took the rolling 2' swells beautifully as long as I avoided becoming perpendicular to the waves. I would NEVER try that in a canoe. So for fun, for paddling and for versatility - get a poke boat. For practicality and quiet water fishing - especially for more than one - get a canoe.

I have a Poke Boat, the…

Submitted by: paddler229864 on 8/7/2002
I have a Poke Boat, the regular one made of fiberglass. I use it mostly for duck hunting in the fall/win and fishing in the spring. They are light weight at less than 30#'s and handle well, unless there is a strong breeze or current as the boat has no keel to help keep you headed in the desired direction. Would recommend some kind of back support, either a folding type camp chair or just a pc of plywood(cut out similar to a tomb stone), works great and gives you the support needed for long hauls. I have been on an open river when the wind picked up and so did the waves, 2-3 foot swells. Pointed the nose into them, put on the life jacket, and paddled for shore, for every stroke fwd if I stopped to rest I would get pushed back 2-3. These are great boats for small creeks, streams, backwater sloughs, and canals. Enjoyed many many trips and look forward to another season!

Purchased Micro Pokeboat - At…

Submitted by: paddler229759 on 6/24/2002
Purchased Micro Pokeboat - At 7'11" in length and the fiberglass version weighing in at a mere 17lbs, it is unbeatable when it comes time to carry.

Found it a bit weak though on shallow water where rocks were present, current was swift and it took a bit of a beating and I bought one small crack in the bow which was easily repaired. Great to fish from, though I do recommend a miniskirt for the overly large cockpit. Great for calm water or rivers where rocks are not a threat.


I bought a Micro Poke Boat…

Submitted by: paddler229673 on 5/6/2002
I bought a Micro Poke Boat (7'9", 17 lbs) last winter, because of the attraction of being able to one-hand it out of the garage and into the back of my "RV" -- a little Toyota pickup. Have spent many winter days on flat water fishing from it, now, even in snow, and for this purpose it is superb. The high sides are good protection from wind, and the shallow draft gets you into places no other boat can reach. I accidentally got into some standing waves near at the base of a huge dam after a surprise high wind began opposing the current there; this was was class III water. If there had been rocks I might have been killed, so I don't recommend river running with this thing; however, it handled the situation beautifully, and when it was all over I found the entire interior was dry in spite of the huge cockpit. I really, really love this boat! I also have a Critter, which is not at all bad (and MUCH faster), but the Poke Boat meets my needs best.

The light weight makes this a…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 12/10/2001
The light weight makes this a great fishing buddy. It handles well and has a large cockpit. Don't know that I would want to go down the Gauley, or New River in it But it does well on small rivers.