RTM Kayaks and Canoes
I've had a few boats now one…
I have been kayaking in a…
The kayaks are both the same width, but the Midway slips through the water much more easily and quietly than the Vector and leaves far less wake. The Midway is definitely faster for both top speed and cruising speed (a friend and I took both kayaks out together and paddled them both for comparison). I think this is because the Vector is wide for most of it's length and has a very flat bottom. The Midway is far narrower at each end, and has more of a V shaped hull (particularly at the ends). The Vector seems to push a lot more water at speed.
I weigh 190 and both kayaks are a wet ride as I'm effectively sitting at or below the waterline. The Vector seat has scuppers under it which eventually let water in, even with the fancy Necky scupper plugs. The Midway plugs are not so great at sealing (weep a bit) and the water from the footwells gets into the seat when you lean for turns.
Both kayaks are well designed. Summary of each as follows:
Vector: very comfortable seat and backrest, the best I've had. Lots of storage (two hatches + tankwell), one hatch easy to access on the water, and handy net bag and storage areas in the cockpit. Feels less tippy (higher primary stability) than the Midway. The handles tend to catch on your paddle until you get used to avoiding them. Excellent at traveling in a straight line (I don’t have the rudder), but slaps on waves in sea conditions (flat bottom).
Midway: comfortable enough, but carl brace does limit movement if you need to shift position after a couple of hours paddling. Tippy at first but good secondary stability and carl brace helps you lean to turn. Drier storage than the Vector after a day on the water (in fact, no water got in at all). Only one relatively small hatch storage (with bulkhead), which you can't access easily on the water, but large tankwell. Lighter to carry/lift than the Vector and better carrying handles. Cuts through waves cleanly and has good glide, but is harder to keep in a straight line than the Vector (due to tippiness) when not paddling.
My overall conclusion is:
Vector 14 is more comfortable and OK on flatwater: best of the pair for fishing.
Midway is faster and better in sea conditions: best of the pair for touring.
I tried a Midway lately…
I consider myself to be in…
I just received my RTM Midway from Masthead in South Florida (one of the few RTM importers in the U.S.). I settled on this design after a lot of research and eventually decided its speed and advertised weight capacity of 355 would fit me quite nicely. While, the previous reviewer gave it low marks due to water in the scupper holes and marginal turning capability, as well as, poor stability, I would say it is the fastest sit-on-top you can buy for the money! While, I will have to lose weight in order to take full advantage of its speed, and I believe the weight capacity to be GROSSLY overstated, it is FAST! I use a 240cm Aqua-Bound Manta Ray carbon fiber paddle with a high angle stroke. Due to the narrow beam of this kayak, I will be getting a shorter paddle.
I am amazed at the quality of this roto-molded kayak and all the thought that went into its design. It's initial stability takes a little getting used to, but I believe this to be a product of the market--most SOT kayaks have become lumbering barges, while this one is a sleek narrow--did I mention FAST?--design. You can find the edge of its secondary stability, but I have not fully tested it to capsize.
I have the optional thigh brace, which most reviewers dislike. I LOVE IT! It adds a nice touch of stability and control when properly adjusted and is easier for entry/exit from the kayak (especially in the event of a capsize--compared to leg straps). Its stainless steel hardware, multiple tiedown points, spare paddle carrier, paddle carrier on each side, recess for diving pole and many other features make this an EXCELLENT intermediate kayak. I believe I'd have to move to a less useful wave ski to get anything faster, and for under $900, I would consider it a best-buy.
Once I lose the 30 lbs, it could easily be a 9.5 on the 10 point scale. I currently take 3 full points due to a GROSSLY inaccurate advertised weight capacity.
The Midway is of Rotomolded…
The length is 14'9" and 26" wide. Weight of the bare hull is 52#. The yak has very good glide and paddles easily with a 220-230 cm paddle. Initial stability is fair upon entry and sitting still, it improves under motion. Secondary stability is good. If you anchor or stake out the boat in heavy current or higher winds the stability is only fair, it is not conducive to fishing.
The yak is more of a fitness/touring type craft, with excellent tracking and glide. As expected manuverability is a little slow but not bad. The main negative with the yak is there is always some water where the scupper plugs are, and the drain channels meant to drain the seat work in reverse at times chanelling water to the seat area where there is no drainage.