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Name: TJ

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Just picked up the Ozark Trail version of the Boss 12 SS kayak ($499 Walmart) and spent a few days putting it through the paces on the lake.

What I like: It's stable in waves, and stable enough on calm water to stand up and move around safely. I've only had it out on the water for about 10 hours so far, but it seems to track nicely, although it's not as fast as a touring kayak. I like the hatch doors; they are big enough to let me store larger items like my rod holders, large waterproof containers, etc. I think the seat is remarkably comfortable. I also like the rails installed on each side, which allow for YakAttack pole holders to be mounted and re-positioned. I bought two Omega Pro holders, which work very well and stay out of the way. Also, the camouflage pattern is very nice, which differs from the Boss version.

Lastly, I love how the seat folds all the way down flat, rests fully inside the kayak when laid down, and has a bungie and hook position to keep the seat laid flat during transport. Excellent!

What I dislike: The 1/4" scupper holes are not adequate. I think the hole could be drilled wider to almost an inch. The scupper channel is large, but they just used a tiny drill bit to make small holes. But more than the small hole, the problem is this larger kayak has only 4 scupper holes. My smaller 10' kayak from Lifetime has six scupper holes. With only 4 tiny holes, the water doesn't drain quickly, the holes get clogged easily, makes annoying noises when paddling, and water tends to gather in the back if it's not perfectly level. When I got back to shore I had several gallons of water collected in the rear of the kayak where there should have been some scupper holes. Seriously bad design. Get a pump or sponge! Only 4 scuppers would have been a deal breaker for me if I'd have noticed it before I bought it.

Another problem is the paddle holders, they were loose and several screws weren't even in the plastic. A lot of water got inside the kayak just paddling around the lake from water dripping off the paddle. I had to unscrew everything, put on some marine goo sealer, drill new holes, and remount the paddle holders. Same with the seat, one of the four bolts was completely stripped and loose.

Also, the plastic feels softer than my Lifetime kayaks. I'd use bolts with lock-nuts, not simple screws, on everything.

The one pole holder that comes with the kayak is positioned right at the end of the foot peg, so if you are tall and put the peg all the way to the end of the rail, the pole holder hits your foot. No big deal if you use YakAttack holders mounted on the rails.

Another problem is the cheapness of the seat side buckles. The buckles that let you adjust the seat position are really brittle and cheap plastic. I leaned back on my seat to reach over to my cooler behind the seat and one of the seat buckles just shattered. I replaced them with metal buckles, which is easy to do as the strap is simply bolted to the seat frame. I just unscrewed the bolt, folded over the tip of a 1" black strap with metal buckle cut to the proper length, solidified the end with super glue (rather than stitching) drilled a hole in it, and remounted it to the seat. Now I have metal buckles.

Other than that, it's a pretty cool stand-up kayak design. I love the larger hinged bay doors, and the convenient bags.

Best part about this kayak is the $499 price. For a stand-up 12 foot kayak, that's a pretty reasonable deal. I probably wouldn't have bought it, but I loved the camouflage color scheme and seat. I've added a waterproof zipper bag behind the seat and am installing a kayak stand-n-cast rail built from a cheap walker to help while standing.