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Eric Jackson's $8,000 Fishing Kayak

Since Eric Jackson's departure from his namesake kayak company, Jackson Kayaks, paddlers all over the world have been wondering what the Olympian and four-time world champion kayaker would do next and we finally have our answer - attempting to revolutionize kayak design. He, along with other industry leaders and expert craftsmen, has developed a new fishing kayak that takes notes from not only every facet of the paddlesports industry but even the hydrodynamics of US Navy ships. This new venture, called Apex Watercraft, is attempting to embody the fusion of new technologies and design thought with the historical kayak fishing industry.

One would assume a pretty hefty price tag for a product that is tip-to-tip carbon but Apex Watercraft's first kayak, the Tyr, not only is trying to exceed expectations in performance but they seem to be exceeding most paddlers expectation in terms of price as well. Many high-end sea kayak companies offer models in full carbon layups and they range from around $3,500 to $5,500, so we would expect the Tyr to be comparable but this is not the case. The Apex Watercraft Tyr is almost double the price, coming in at $8,000 dollars. Yes, you read that right, this is an $8,000 kayak. Until the Tyr, Hobie took the cake for the most expensive fishing kayak with the Mirage® Pro Angler 17T, a 17 foot tandem kayak that more resembles a boat than a kayak. But the Tyr beats it out by almost $1,500, the price of a "normal" fishing kayak.

Although the price may seem a bit dramatic, the Tyr does come with every upgrade imaginable. After all, even the foot braces are full carbon! Throughout the boat, Apex Watersports makes use of Neodymium (super magnets) to hold tools, lures, your paddle and even to close the hatches. Along with a full carbon swiveling bucket seat and custom cork decking, this kayak may be the Rolls Royce of all fishing kayaks. So is the price tag worth it? We'll let you be the judge. You can get more info on the Apex Manufactures Tyr on their Kickstarter page and if you have $8,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you can get your own!

From Kickstarter

Imagine a fishing kayak you can pick up with one hand and walk to the water. Finally, you have the ability to stand and fish on your kayak with more confidence than ever before. Taking paddle strokes on your favorite waters you realize this kayak responds immediately. It skims the water effortlessly in calm conditions giving you an on-water experience like nothing else. With the piercing bow, it breaks through waves with ease and confidence, and water drains almost instantly with the open stern design.

The seat is based on the best in racing cars, kayaks, jets, and yes, even the tried and true tractor. It provides support where you need it keeping you free to engage your upper body in paddling, casting, and the all-important hook setting. The seat swivels freely to allow you to turn and still be comfortable and secure. Getting out of the kayak on shore has never been easier. Swivel sideways, put your hands on the sides of the seat and step out on the shore! The 12” of forward and aft adjustability allows you to trim your seat for different performance characteristics while paddling, (or simply to provide more room where you desire it). Fishing out of this kayak is simply a joy no matter where you bring it.

It's about the fishing experience for you and we tailor towards a minimalistic approach. Less stuff means less weight and more freedom for you to move.

The reverse facing rod staging area, allows you to keep your rods quietly and safely next to you when not using them but makes them easy to access if needed.

Our Natural Cork Decking is a treat to the eye but has performance benefits not found in foam. It has more slip resistance, more sound dampening, and is entirely more environmentally friendly. This type of decking is most commonly found on multi-million-dollar Yachts. The custom made carbon fiber foot braces are nearly weightless and offer the best comfort, fit, and support of any foot braces I have ever used.

If you're like me and desire something that looks great to the eye and feels good to the touch, you’ll appreciate the custom paint job we complete on every boat. Our in-house painter has been responsible for some of the most admired airbrush jobs on show cars, motorcycles, helmets, and race cars. Starting with a high gloss perfectly applied clear coat to protect your epoxy and carbon, we have a stock paint job with the best pigments, and a focus on bringing the best of the carbon out, while adding functional style. We are building these boats as showpieces. They will amplify your personal experiences on and off the water, as any elegant piece of equipment truly does.

This kayak is 12’10” long and is an extremely versatile design that is based on the latest in hull design. A reverse piercing bow replaces the traditional lifting bow found on plastic fishing kayaks. A full planing hull replaces the keeled displacement hull and eliminates the unsightly and high drag scuppers found on fishing sit-on-top kayaks.

We created a unique fin system that allows the user to customize the tracking performance of the boat to the conditions they can expect on the water.

Weighing about 1/3 the size of most larger paddle fishing kayaks, the Tyr is easy to turn and accelerate. Loading and unloading is a joy in comparison, and portaging is made much easier.

We are using the strongest and lightest materials possible to build this boat. Epoxy resin, carbon-fiber, innegra fibers, and foam core for the main construction materials. The infusion process produces amazing results.

Ever since I started seriously kayak fishing I’ve desired to build lightweight kayaks for myself and others. It wasn't just me asking for a lightweight kayak. While hosting an annual "Dealer Summit" of the best kayak dealers right here in Rock Island they have all pointed to fishing kayaks as being too heavy as a major common complaint. "Make lightweight kayaks" was the most common feedback the dealers provided year after year.

It didn't make sense to make just any carbon fishing kayak, I wanted to push all of the performance features of fishing kayaks forwards along with the dramatic improvements you get from lighter weight. Our hull designer, Bob Blair has been creating winning SUP racing hulls using the latest technologies in hull design. We are changing what the kayak fishing hull will look like in the future. The deck design followed suit and didn’t match anything anyone else was doing in kayak design. We were also using different materials so the shapes are both limited, but also set free. No longer did we need scupper holes, those unsightly holes in the bottom of plastic sit-on-top fishing kayaks. Our kayak was designed on CAD but was hand cut for our first model.

We have done 90% of the work already. Every boat that's ordered on Kickstarter has a plan for manufacturing and delivery at a rate of about 4 boats a week starting when we get funded. We expect to be shipping the first completed boats in August with a “White glove shipping” method, or pick up at factory. We’ll be hand-delivering and giving you a walkthrough on your new boat personally when feasible. Also offering shipping or if possible the opportunity to have you come by the factory to pick up your boat yourself.

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