The Ocean Kayak Trident Ultra 4.3 is the fastest sit on top I've paddled. It's length (14') tracks well without a rudder but a rudder is good for windy situations & fishing. The bow is shaped well to turn waves out for a dry ride, even in chop.
At 29" wide, it's a little narrow to stand up to fish from comfortably but that makes it a very fast boat. It's narrow stature doesn't compromise paddling stability though. The Ultra can handle some pretty rough water and never make you feel uneasy.
O.K. has designed a great console that provides a nice flat area for working with your gear (fishing, photography, etc) and a water bottle. But the great thing is that the console flips to provide a surface for mounting a fish finder and/or anything else you may want there. My graph is just small enough to stay mounted on the console and flip over to be stored in the compartment below with the battery and my lunch.
Behind the seat is a large storage area for more gear. It's perfect for a wide-sized milk crate for fishing tackle but is large enough to carry a fair amount of gear for camping. O.K. does make a cooler that is designed to fit in this spot. The bow also has a locking storage hatch which is much easier to operate than traditional hatches and still keeps the water out but doesn't seem to seal completely.
All in all, this is a great fishing kayak for a serious paddler - someone who likes a fast, efficient boat that is also a very well thought out fishing platform.
I just unloaded my Trident 4.7 off of the delivery truck and (racing a January cold front) strapped it to my truck and took it to the water with great anticipation.
1. This thing looks like a wave eating, fish catching machine.
2. It's a little heavy to load on a roof - especially after paddling.
3. There is a little slap in the hull in big chop but the slap created a bit of a rattle (?). Weird...
4. The transducer port creates a little drag in the hull that I wish it didn't have but I'll appreciate it when fishing.
5. This is the driest kayak I own (of the 11 in my fleet)
6. Very stable in the chop & whitecaps of the oncoming storm.
7. I like the decking and setup but have not used it yet. 8. Plenty of storage behind the seat. 9. Pretty comfy seat but certainly not the best on the market. 10. The 4.7 sits the paddler higher which creates a higher center of gravity. But it still handled the chop and whitecaps well - even turning and drifting. 11. I think I'm going to love this boat...
The bow is low and kind of rounded so it pushes some water which slows it down a little. It's medium length and slight rocker makes for a maneuverable boat in creaks & light whitewater but with the skeg down it tracks well for a relatively short boat. The open cockpit is nice for recreational paddling, fishing and photography but not so much for whitewater - I have a light spray skirt for winter paddling. Blackwater's hatch has plenty of room for an over-nighter and if you get creative, more gear can be stowed in the cockpit and on the deck.
In a nutshell, I love my Blackwater - at 16 years old, its scratched, a little oil canned but still paddles well, in fact my oldest son has claimed it for his own. But if you want a fast boat, keep looking; whitewater boat, keep looking; expedition boat, move on... but if you want a solid little boat that is up for almost anything (non-extreme), you'll love this boat.
I adjusted my front seat back to trim it for my heavier bow partner and it works perfectly for a longer solo boat now for me - paddled backwards.
Out of my four canoes (2 OT poly, 1 OT fiberglass & 1 MR Malacite), the Malacite is by far my favorite. I can easily pick it up, carry & load it by myself - even after paddling all day