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Name: bmwbob

Most Recent Reviews

Tried this pedal powered boat at the East Coast Canoe and Kayak festival this year in Charleston. Here are my observations which I (verbally) conveyed to the Native rep on site:
  1. The gear ratio and/or prop pitch is TOO high for tbs boat. It requires too much pedal effort to take it to hull speed.
  2. To compensate for the higher workload, the crank arms are so long that it makes smooth pedalling nearly impossible, thus eliminating one of the advantages it has over the Hobie pedal system.
  3. The seat needs some means of securing it's front edge to prevent it tipping backwards in response to the effort you put into pedalling.
  4. The rudder, which mounts to the end of the keel is not effective enough. With a small breeze blowing on the pond, I found it quite difficult to turn towards the wind.
I say all of these things as the VERY satisfied owner of a Native Ultimate 16 tandem. If they would reduce the gear ratio or pitch, and correspondingly shorten the crank arms, this would be a real consideration for a replacement (as a tandem with the Ultimate tunnel hull) for our current boat. I did watch several different size (and gender) folks try the boat, and their results were comparable to my own.

The boat we had intended to buy was the Ultimate 14.5. But when a clean used Ultimate 16 came on the local market, with paddles, for less than the discount price on the 14.5, we jumped on it.

Our dilemma of how to cartop the boat on our (tall) Honda Element was solved. We eliminated the Yakima Hull Raisers ("J" saddles) and added pads to the crossbars. Now, using the extendable Boat Loader bar to get one end of the boat up high, Carol and I are easily able to put the inverted boat on the car and take it off again.

Compared to the 14.5, the 16 doesn't turn quite as easily, but seems to be about the same in all other aspects. The extra room between the paddling positions makes paddle clashes all but non-existent. We carry our dolly in the rearmost space, a large cooler aft of the front position (between my feet), and the little doggie goes wherever he likes!

We've done up to 4 hours at a time in the boat, and I come away with NO back issues at all. That's a relief, since my attempts at getting friendly with sea kayak seating just about had me giving up on paddling. The boat is so stable that I can pull alongside a dock, Carol can stand up and take the dog ashore to do what he needs, and re-board with no fear of capsizing.

For those looking for stability, comfort, and ease of transport, look no further.

My wife and I, and our new Yorkie pup demo'ed this boat at the Okeeheelee Park Expo last weekend. We were looking for something to replace our "serious" sea kayaks for our more recreational use. Also, I hoped for something that would treat my injured lower back more kindly than anything I've been able to rig in my sea kayak.

Conditions were quite windy, so this was a good test of how a boat with more freeboard would behave on all points of sail. To my surprise, I was easily able to turn and point the boat wherever we wanted to go. Tracking was never an issue.

Pressing a foot against the easily adjustable (though somewhat flimsy looking) footrest and slightly "edging" brought the hull about smartly. Speed was not a requirement for us, but I noticed that we were moving about as well as any of the "rec boaters". Our fore and aft separation was enough to prevent all but an occasional out-of-sync paddle clash. Our paddles were a bit short for the beam of the boat, so I splashed in a bit more water until I slid the drip rings further out. The seats are WONDERFUL! I could sit in them all day long with NO discomfort whatever.

So why didn't we buy the boat on the spot?
Simple. Even with the seats removed, the 60-plus pounds of the hull was more than my wife and I wanted to wrestle to the Yakima Hull Raisers atop our Honda Element on a regular basis. A spoiler mounted at the top of the rear door prevents the use of the suction cup mounted wheel accessory for rear loading.

We are waiting for the chance to demo the new light material version (composite) of this boat.

I found this product easy to use, and very solid. My only negative is that, while it does fit on the front tire of my Honda Element, it will not fit into the rear wheel well to go over the tire. So, it only helps when loading boats on one of the two sides of my vehicle.

My wife and I are new to sit-in kayaks, having come from sailboats, and Hobie Mirage Sport SOT pedal kayaks. We've been demo'ing everything under the sun, and finally refined what we wanted. She got an Impex Montauk, and I got a used Kevlar Susquehanna.

I'd been in the Currituck and the Montauk, but the Susquehanna's additional initial stability and GREAT maneuverability were just what I was looking for. The boat will get blown around a bit by the wind, but the easily operated skeg lets you put your energy into going straight. I'm 5'8" and 185 pounds, and the boat fits me like it was made for me.

Danny from Impex was at the demo, and noted that my used boat had the wrong backstrap in it. He told me to E-mail him and he would send the right one right out to me. I'm really not used to this level of customer service from a company.

In speed the Susquehanna, with its additional rocker, is a little slower than my wife's Montauk, which is fine, as she is easily able to keep up with me.

The boat edges with the slightest pressure on the footrest, and the skeg can trim it for straight running even in the quite heavy breeze that came and went today. The hatches are not quite as water tight as the Montauk's Valley hatches, but they work pretty well.

In Kevlar, I can easily carry the boat in one hand by the cockpit coaming.

My advice: Buy it, you'll LIKE it!