I recently purchased the…
I recently purchased the Navigator by Seaward Kayaks. My first impression is the depth of the bow- I have to admit, I have never seen a single kayak with the volume such as this.
I just returned from a 8 day kayaking/camping trip, and here is my review of this kayak.
First off, I was easily able to fit a lot of gear into this boat. I live in a cold water environment so a lot of gear is essential. But what I was most impressed with is how sporty the cockpit is! It is my experience that larger kayaks have bathtub like cockpits, but not the navigator- the seat was super comfortable and plenty of room for warm boots. This boat did great in all conditions, has great primary stability, and is a perfect multi-day kayak.
Ok, now for the improvements I would make; I would love to have deck lines and depressed deck hardware.
If you see one of these boats pop up on craigslist, I would highly recommend the Navigator. I got mine for $750 and feel I got a great deal!
I've spent about 70 days…
I've spent about 70 days paddling a loaded Navigator. I'm 6'3" 240 lbs, and usually carrying enough for a week. The Navigator is your basic bombproof, straight-tracking expedition boat. I can't imagine it being any fun for a little guy, or for someone paddling an empty boat. For me, it's just the right amount of responsiveness for expedition paddling, and the volume is just right.
The best part of paddling a Navigator on expedition is when you get home and paddle your play boat empty, feeling like superman. But the play boat stays home, and the Navigator does the heavy lifting when it's expedition time.
I am 6'7" and 250lbs, and…
I am 6'7" and 250lbs, and this is the first kayak that I have ever felt comfortable in. I have no problems turning it, and no problems packing in the extra gear that makes yak camping so very sweet!
I've used a Navigator on…
I've used a Navigator on several occasions, as part of a commercial tour company's equipment, and found it sturdy, well-built, high volume, and more than adequate for week long "expedition" use. It did seem to handle better when loaded down, and I experienced no handling issues. Stability is excellent. If I was shopping for a high volume "expedition" single, I would have the Navigator on my short list. This boat seems to be able to take punishment and keep right on going. I can't agree with the negative comments in some of the other reviews.
This kayak is superbly built,…
This kayak is superbly built, the fiberglass work is top notch, and the only construction weakness is the color coat which scratches easily. The brand name decal on either side of the boat also scratched off easily.
The outfitting is top quality also the fiberglass hatch covers allow for trouble free paddle float rescues, they are also very dry, and I found no water in the hatches after hours of rescue practice. I found the paddle float holder useless it’s an unnecessary extra step.
The deck bungies are strong and secure with recessed deck fittings.
This boat accommodated me well. I am 6’ 2” 235 size 13 shoes. My feet did not touch the top of the inside deck even with my NRS wet shoes.
The rudder system is in my opinion the best in the industry it allows for bracing as well as turning. Other kayak manufactures should adopt this system. The closest I have seen is the Prijon system, which is not as stable or as strong.
The seat in this boat is its shortcoming; it is not more than a dish sponge. It has to be one of the most uncomfortable seats in modern kayaking. My legs and hips go numb after about 30 minutes and the boat is unbearable after 45 minutes. The seat cushion doubles as a paddle float. And it works… at least the seat is good for something… I built a foam seat with 4 inch foam that solved this problem.
I found this boat to be quite fast especially for 24.5 inches wide. The hull has a deep V shape with no rocker at all. Tracking is the stiffest I have experienced, turning this boat around takes an act of congress and 5 to 7 sweep strokes with maximum lean. Yachts can turn sharper than the Seaward Navigator can. No joke.
Seward advertises their boats as Safe Strong & Seaworthy. This boat is not seaworthy. Quartering winds make a tuff to maneuver boat almost impossible to handle. Swells and surf are not suited for this boat. This boat is better suited for protected waterways and calm winds.
I owned this boat for 1 year that was all I could take. Performance was such a disappointment, but this boat was built so well I rate it 6.
Lets just say i know where…
Lets just say i know where you can get a great price on a used one, mine. Tracks well, carries more than you should carry, but absolutely won't turn into a stiff wind and has a really ugly tendency to broach in following seas. Paint seems to be really soft and scrathes readily. Bought a QCC 500 to replace it and it is in every way a far superior boat!
A great boat if you're…
A great boat if you're running away from home and need to take all your possessions. It's huge. But I could never get my thighs up against the braces in the Navigator I rented recently. The foot pedal, made with a significant amount of plastic, was badly cracked. And, as noted below, this boat mostly wants to go straight. It's about as nimble as a boxcar. Not a lot of laughs, but it's stable and capacious.
I picked up a fibreglass…
I picked up a fibreglass Navigator last year and have used it in flatwaters on local rivers and lakes and on Georgian Bay. I do not disagree with the favourable comments by other reviewers---well built, good volume, tracks well. However, in my experience, it simply does not handle adequately. It requires a substantial edging effort to turn the boat under normal conditions without the rudder. When I am running into wind waves and attempt to turn downwind it is a real brute: with the rudder down, the blade pushes the stern downwind as fast as the bow can be pushed with strong sweep strokes; without the rudder it is possible to spin the boat on the wave top but that requires excellent timing and a great deal of bow sweep and stern rudder. Once turned downwind, I find it has a vicious tendency to a persistent broach---not abrupt but very hard to break. On a recent trip, others tried the boat and had much the same experience. In the never ending attempt to balance tracking with turning it appears the designers have leaned much too far toward the straight line tracking. Very disappointing.
The Navigator is a typical…
The Navigator is a typical Seaward kayak. It is built with incredible attention to detail and with a bombproof layup. This model is a real freighter, carries a big load and has fair speed. The rudder system really puts other manufacturers to shame and I prefer over the boat that I own with a skeg. Use it when you need it and you neednt be ashamed to have it. Great boat as noted.
Seaward makes the toughest…
Seaward makes the toughest boats, anywhere! The layups are all hand crafted and will withstand the roughest treatment. The Navigator that I paddled for 3 years provided excellent stability, tracked like a train and holds tons of gear. Although somewhat heavy (60 lbs), this boat had the expedition layup with re-enforced deck, keel and bow. The Navigator was a dream to paddle, very fast, easy to steer without the rudder, and good under severe conditions. Turning around under tight quarters requires lots of leaned sweeping strokes; this kayak likes to go in a straight line. Overall, this is an excellent boat for the larger paddler or one who requires lots of volume for extended trips. You will not find a more rugged, well designed and produced boat anywhere.