With well equipped fishing kayaks crossing the $1200 price line and rising, it's very interesting to find the Vibe Sea Ghost 130 priced at $899 so feature rich. At 13 feet with a 550 lb weight capacity, a fantastic adjustable position seat, toe control rudder, locking hatches fore and aft, a nice pre drilled front console cover, transducer port, accessory rails, built in tackle box storage and 8 drain holes with plugs, you are not left with to many accessory purchases to make to go get on the water. The 79 lb weight is a shade heavy, but still consistent with its competitors and a pretty good trade off for the added weight capacity. It's available in 4 different camo schemes Orange, Brown, Blue and Gray. I chose the blue and while I personally prefer solid color boats, I received lots of compliments on it and I had the security of knowing that while I was cruising Compano Bay over Thanksgiving weekend that I was safe from submarine or aerial attack.
Seriously though its a really nice boat if you are a 200 lb plus guy like me, who is used to sitting in a puddle of water all day in your 350 lb capacity SOT. Its not going to win any races, but it does move right along for such a wide (34") boat. On my first trip out with it the water was fairly flat, but as the day progressed, the wind came up and I was very impressed with how it handled the waves, which kicked up to about 18" to 20" and how stable I felt moving across the chop and riding in the ditch. With the toe control rudder, I could also setup a line and stay right on it into the wind. It also maneuvered very well in waves in current as I was able to slalom though pier pilings and make cuts through narrow openings in breakwater rock piles like it was a much smaller and lighter boat.
I really did not uncover any real flaws with this boat, I think I made the right choice. My next project will be to remove the tray under the front console to add additional in hull stowage. It comes pre-marked, but I have not summoned up the courage to make the cuts yet. Between the console, the front and back hatches and the generous rear tankwell, there should be plenty of space to stow gear for overnight trips. I will keep you posted.
All in all a very comfortable and capable fishing platform for not a lot of money. I would highly recommend it. You can purchase them from local dealers or directly from Vibe via their website.
At 6'4" and 240 the boat as it came from the factory was definitely running bow down, so the seat and rear thwart went back 5 inches. The adjustable aluminum seat mount is noisy and even at the lowest setting, I found the boat to be a little top heavy with me in it, so I reconfigured it and dropped the seat two additional inches AND it does not rattle anymore, thanks to a couple of wing nuts and nylon washers.
Now that all the remodeling is done, the boat is a pleasure to paddle. It tracks nicely, handles chop on a lake or light ww ok and it is faster than a lot of kayaks of the same length. It's not a work horse, so do not expect to pile it over the gunwales with gear, but I can take about 100 to 125 lbs of gear and not adversely affect the handling.
At 47 lbs, its definitely a breeze to get up on the roof of the car and if I ever had to portage (not likely) I'm sure that it would be very simple as it seems very balanced. This is probably the boat to have if you do a lot of extended tripping, but as an over night or extended day paddles, it's great If you are lucky enough to find one, I would not hesitate to buy it.
I have had mine now for about 6 months and it has performed admirably in several different scenarios. Paddling the Gulf of Mexico, It tracked almost as well as a hard SOT and provided a solid fishing platform AND it as a fantastic boat to just play in the surf with.
With the skegs removed, I clipped in a pair of thigh straps and have run it through up to class III whitewater. I have other WW inflatables, but none with the drop stitch floor and the OK420 gives you the benefits of both the super stability of an inflatable and the ride of a hard boat thanks to the rigid floor.
I also made a strap on bench seat that sits on top of the tubes and allows me to paddle it like a canoe, plus affords enough space to tote enough camping gear for a weekend paddle trip. The OK420 is rated to carry up to 900lbs. Again the raised floor made the boat track very well even loaded down with my gear. After a couple of shakedown runs to get the load right, I am comfortable enough to take it on an extended expedition like the Rio Chama or the San Juan as it should be more than capable of handling up to Class III with a load of gear.
If you are a minimalist camper, you can also just throw a sleeping bag in it and get your 40 winks although you may want to let a bit of air out of the floor to soften it up.
Overall for the price and its versatility the OK 420 is a great buy. it comes with a nice carry bag, a two way manual air pump and two kayak paddles that are probably too short to be useful. (I use a 270 cm from the bench seat or a 250 or 260 sitting in a kayak seat on the floor.) Seats are optional and can be ordered separately or you can purchase them locally as any aftermarket seat will work.
It comes with 8 d-rings set up for seats or for tie downs. I added a couple of extras for my thigh straps and my bench seat. It also has nice bow and stern handles and velcro straps on the outside to allow you to stow an extra paddle out of the way.
If you are interested in any boat with a drop stitch floor, I strongly recommend in investing a good two stage electric pump as it takes an awful lot of pumping to get 8psi into that floor.
This would also be an especially nice boat for someone who is considering an entry level tandem canoe but does not have room to store it, plus its better made than a lot of the low end hard boats you see at the discount stores and is probably less expensive too.
Considering the price, versatility, quality of manufacture and ease of storage, I would give it and 8 out of 10.