After extensive reading on...
After extensive reading on Paddling.com and elsewhere I purchased the Cobra Tourer as my first kayak. I live in Baja on the Sea of Cortez, and my primary selection criteria were:
1) Sit on top configuration, for ease of spearfishing at anchor.
2) Suitable for touring in Sea of Cortez for unsupported trips up to 7 days.
3) Desired specs: Boat weight <= 50#, 400+ pounds load capacity, beam appx 26", length 14'-16'
4) Used price under $600
I have used the kayak for 2 trips now, and a considerable number of day paddles. It is a very good boat on paper and meets all of my specs. On the water it's perfect for day trips and spearfishing but I'm looking again for a better touring solution.
PROS: The manufacturer has been very responsive to my questions, a huge +. The boat meets all of my selection specs. Strong and very well made, best polypro material available. It is EXCELLENT as a spearfishing platform... easy and stable to enter and exit, a large open-well to load large fish, huge and easy storage for gear, perfect setup for a fish bag.
CONS: It is difficult for me to purchase parts (Mfr in New Zealand, I am in Mexico). The boat I purchased (well used for $300 US) does not have a rudder, but it really needs one as it is tough to steer with paddle alone, especially in open water and windy conditions... new self-installed Cobra rudder is $350 which is more than I paid for the boat. The boat is rated for 450# load, but sits very low in the water with only 335# (includes me at 230#)... max 300# load is my recommendation. BIG ISSUE: The boat leaks badly in spite of complete leak inspections, waterproofing and replacement of hatch seals... the problem is the 8" round hatch on the floor of the cockpit... in rougher water it is constantly submerged so I take on as much as 2-3 gallons per hour to the interior... I spite of my efforts, I have not been able to remedy this leak... not safe, and my camping gear is soaking is salt water.
SUMMARY: I would give 5 stars if not for the leaking hatch. This boat is fine for calm water paddling and would be great with a rudder. It is ideal for spearfishing, maybe the best solution available. At the price I paid it is a very good value. I think the steering issue can be addressed reasonably with a good kick up skeg. The leaking issue has been noted in other reviews on the Cobra Tourer, so apparently is a common problem... this renders the boat unsafe for the kind of use I require.
I have had my Cobra Tourer...
I have had my Cobra Tourer for around 3 years now, and it has proven to be fast, versatile and stable.
I have used it for both fishing and camping, had it loaded to the hilt with camping gear and punching through closed water chop in a 40 knot gale, punching through surf to get out fishing and covering large distances on both flat water and ocean swell. Never once did it feel unstable and it easily outperforms most SOT kayaks I have come across. It can tend to weather cock a little in a cross wind, but the rudder takes care of that at the cost of some efficiency.
I would not hesitate to recommend this kayak, I love it.
I bought my Tourer new in...
I bought my Tourer new in Feb 2011, I guess I got the last of the old ones with the external rudder lines, what a pity, I don't like them. I think Cobra got a bit carried away with the number of clips and things installed on the hull, too many! why not keep it simple and add in a bag of bits to let owners set the boats up as they want, not a generic catch all. I'd also love a waterproof cover and flush fitting bungs for that cavernous rear hold. If you don't use it its just a drag and somewhere to catch water if you shoot down a rapid. How about it Cobra?
I have heard of Cobra variable build quality but I have this and an Eliminator, the plastic quality is excellent on both, I don't have hatch leakage problems and the finish is fine. Its a great tourer if you want a bit of speed as well and I simply can't fault its stability, its excellent, even for a good average Aussie like myself at 6'3" and 230 pounds. It does push a bit of water as you approach hull speed but the way the tri-formed hull curls the water makes it feel fast anyway.
In Australia, Cobra is marketed as a quality boat, the two I have haven't let me down at all. The only let downs are the overly fussy hull fittings and lack of rear hatch. Go for it Cobra!
I just brought home the...
I just brought home the improved 2011 Cobra Kayaks Tourer, and I LOVE it!! Some of the changes I noticed from the one I tried last year: the rudder lines are now through-hull (nothing to get snagged on); I like the toggled foot-pedal tension adjustment; I LOVE the new flip-out mid-boat carry handles (so you're not sitting against them as you paddle); there's a pulley to make the rudder lift/lower line run smoothly; and they've sealed off a set of scuppers that probably didn't drain much anyway.
At 15' long, it paddles like a dream, with or without the sea rudder. It sits a little lower in the water than my Cobra Navigator, (I still stay dry in moderate chop) but that keeps the winds on our big lake from affecting the boat. It has scads of storage - way more than I'll ever use use, although my 35 lb dog has adopted the tankwell as his "seat"! And that's the nice thing about this kayak - even though it's sleek and fast - it's still rock-solid stable. Even the dog leaning over the side of the boat to get a drink doesn't make it feel tippy.
I can't say that I plan to paddle this down any of Michigan's narrow twisty rivers - I'll leave that to the Navigator. But if you want to simply cruise, especially for any kind of distance...this is a great boat!!
I got a Tourer also... it's pretty fast.
However, I find it unstable…
I got a Tourer also... it's pretty fast.
However, I find it unstable compared to the Tarpon 120... it's tough also but it's really noisy and the hatches are not water tight. Mine came with 2A hatches and a round one. I really like the plastic... way better than the Tarpon.
I e-mailed the company who makes 'em about getting accessories but they won't return my emails.
The Tourer is loud and not as comfortable and doesn't have watertight hatches.
I wouldn't rate the Tourer as a 10... I'd give it a 6. It's a nice looking boat with really good plastic and light and is fast, but that's all whats good about it. I'm probably gonna sell it and buy a bigger Tarpon where the hatches are watertight.
After reading reviews of...
After reading reviews of praise and test paddling the Tourer, I decided to purchase it with the rudder. I wish I could say my choice was a good one. Performance of this kayak is not an issue but, Cobra's quality control and customer service is. I ordered the kayak 4 weeks ago and still do not have my boat. The first kayak I received had to be returned due to imperfections on the hull surface. The next kayak was sent to Florida by mistake and the 3rd. had a leak in the front scupper hole and small hair line fracture near the top of the seat well. Later I found out this was not a fracture but, a flaw caused by the mold which was appearing on all Tourer's since they received their new mold from New Zealand earlier this year. On all occasions it has been the dealer who has helped me resolve these issues as Cobra will not respond to my e-mails or phone calls. I am dissapointed as I had hoped to share in the praise so many others left about this wonderful kayak. Unfortunately, Cobra has lost my confidence in their customer service and product quality. Performance of the Tourer I would rate a 9 but, quality of the boat and material used a 3.
I purchased my Tourer...
I purchased my Tourer used, but very well taken care of from "nahachagii" (see his review). The boat came fully equipped with all hatches, rudder, thigh straps, seat,paddle leash, paddle and cart.
I bought this yak as my first SOT, which I felt I needed since moving to So Cal from Sonoma County. I wanted a boat that I could do some warm water touring with, as well as fishing (of course). While the Tourer is not known as the "best" (is there one?)kayak for fishing due to its tank well design and limited gunwale space for rod holders. I found that I could rig it very well, with a "Scotty" rod holder mounted sideways in an un-used footwell, a fish finder on the center console, a compass mounted in another un-used footwell and a "D" shaped livestock water trough (modified for rod holders and live bait tank functionality)in the tankwell, its a fishing machine.
My primary concern with a SOT, was hull speed. Coming from a traditional style of kayak, speed is important to me. Second was weight, third being load capacity.
First of all, the hull speed was very good considering it is a SOT,though I have not clocked myself on the GPS, I am comfortable at the pace I maintain. Weight, at 50Lbs (stripped in transport mode)isn't bad at all for a plastic SOT of this size. Load capacity, at 475lbs is more than adequate. I weigh 175lbs and carry approx. 40 lbs of fishing gear, which allows me 260 lbs of additional gear, more than enough unless I nail a 200 lb thresher shark, hey what are buddies for?.
I've had the boat out a number of times, so far, in less than ideal conditions, 3-7 foot swells, with white caps. My advice would be ...get the rudder kit, the boat weather cocks, in big water, use the thigh straps(far more control)and wear a PFD!!!.
The hatches are great(though the multiple toggles may be confusing to those spatially chalenged folks out there), barely leaking an 1/8th of a cup in 11 hours of 4 foot swells and 4 surf landindings.
I would have given this kayak a 10, but thats god like, therefore I offer a 9.
I have owned a Tourer for...
I have owned a Tourer for several years now. I needed to move up from the Scrambler XT (an excellent beginner boat), and, in order to handle waves in Back Bay (southeast VA), I needed a long kayak. The Tourer has proved to be every thing Cobra advertise, and more! It is stable, and quite fast for a sit on top. Add the thigh straps, and the kayak can actually be edged slightly to assist in turns. The Tourer does weathercock, so I've added the rudder -- and excellent accessory as I do not have to move my feet to steer (it uses a "gas pedal" mechanism). The kayak does not get stopped at waves -- it cuts through them (a little wetter, but you don't lose speed hitting oncoming water). While the A-hatches do leak a bit, the Tourer definitely rates a 10+.
More kudos to the Tourer....
More kudos to the Tourer. I too recently acquired one - a local dive shop had a demo on sale with the rudder for 600 dollars, and I couldn't pass it up. Unfortunately, it had a lean to one side when it free floated in the water. No problem, I called Cobra and they sent the shop a brand new one with a rudder also and it was mine in mango. What a deal! Its a sharp sleek design, very stable and pretty good speed, not as fast as a Tarpon 160, but probably better than a Scupper Pro and more stable than the scupper. It tracks very nicely without the rudder but in the rougher stuff, the rudder really helps immensely. I bought it to fish, paddling is a means to that end, but I enjoy just paddling for the zenlike experience also. So far I've taken it down to the Chesapeake Bay about 6 times and paddled out to a couple of blitzes with the diving birds and bass underneath. The speed is appreciated for this, also a lot of fun at dusk one night fishing topwater when the stripers were busting on top, lots of excitement. I've had it also out to a local lake for crappies, bluegills and bass, its also a great lake boat, when the water is calm it flies along easily. Good points as mentioned the storage hatches, tankwell behind the seat is super too and the rudder has worked flawlessly. Water will stay in the footwells some but not too bad in the seat. With all the new fishing kayak models coming out like the Emotion Fisherman and the Malibu Extreme along with the Tarpon 140, this kayak may get overlooked, but I would put it on your list of tryouts or possibles, especially if you can get a good deal like I did. Only drawback is some minor hull slap in light chop, but other than that, an awesome fishing machine. I'm looking forward to outfitting it in the Spring with the rodholders, depthfinder, etc. Lets go fishing Tourer style!
Love my Tourer so far. I...
Love my Tourer so far. I just got into kayaking and decided to start with a sit on top. Maybe someday I'll move up to a composite sit in. But for now, I am having a pretty good time. I purchased it a couple weeks ago and have only had the chance to go out 3 times. Once in the back bay area of Newport beach, once in the harbor, and the best and last trip so far, out along the coast of Corona Del Mar. Very nice indeed. I like the tourer cuz it's a little longer, faster than most SOT's and I'm all for that. I also like the hot design, bombproof hatches, excellent rudder, stability, and weight. With the knee straps I feel like part of my new boat, and I like that connectedness. The rudder works great for when the tides are trying to pull you elsewhere. I also feel very secure in the tourer and can't wait to get up into the High Sierras to paddle the crystal clear lakes, relaxing streams, awesome views, and do some! wilderness exploring. Initially I did a lot of research for exactly which boat I would purchase and it just seemed to me that the tourer would be the best choice for the kinds of paddling I like to do. I don't think I'll be doing much fishing but I hear many fisherman like the tourer for it's stability. I'm more of a touring kind of guy in search of tranquil locations, but I know I'm going to like the excitement of going out on the ocean for a little rock an roll time. This last surf launch, and landing were a snap and I look forward to quite a few more wave rides in the near future even though it's not considered a surf ski by any means, ha! Well, guess I've said enough for now, but I will say if you can spring the 1200 bucks for this baby, it's one heck of a good choice. Happy paddling!
I purchased my Tourer to...
I purchased my Tourer to do some fishing in the Jamaica Bay area in New York. I must say that it is fast, and stable. The only draw back is on the seating area since the water have no place to go and if you get water in the seating area it will stay there. As a fisherman I was able to get my friend Jon to install two flush mount rod holders and of course a rudder (a rudder is a must when you ride a Tourer with a rudder you don't want to ride it without it) I can easily store all my gear inside the front "A" hatch and my ice box and tackle gear in the tank well in the back for easy acces. I am 5'9" and weight 200 pounds and I am very comfortable in my boat. Even with the wet seat situation I will still give this boat a "10"
I started with an Explorer...
I started with an Explorer and moved up to the Tourer after a year. The tourer lets me keep up with the club group I belong to, tho' at the rear of the pack. It's a fine boat for general paddling, fishing, and snokeling. The tank well makes it very nice for diving and fishing as it will hold a lot of stuff that is accessible on the water without opening a hatch. The boat is quite stable with you sitting sideways, dangling your feet in the water. To access the tank well stuff I turn around and sit backwards with my feet hanging in the water on each side. When I was taking the SOT class at MBK at Monterey, instructor borrowed my boat and stood up in for about 15 seconds. I haven't ever felt the need for a rudder. I find I can paddle the torutuously twisting side channels of Elkhorn Slougn quite well using extended paddle sweep strokes with no packpaddling or rear ruddering.
I plan to move up to an Expedition this fall or next spring, just so I can keep up with a mixed group of kayakers with less effort. See my review of that boat for my reasoning.
An excellent boat very...
An excellent boat very stable and fast.I paddle on Lake Mead and fish as well.It seems to me to be the best all around sit-on-top out there.The rudder is an absolute must! Personally I could use a couple more tie-downs but Im the only one to use it who said so.The boat is a little weak in the seat area,this can affect how well the small hatch in front of the seat closes.my first outing I could not close the hatch without taking my weight off the seat.However wedging styrofoam under the seat cured the problem completely and gives flotation thats the only reason the boat did not score a 10. I highly recommend this boat for all around use.
I just purchased my...
I just purchased my "Tourer" about 3 weeks ago int he Marina Del Rey. The salesman (Mike) was very helpful as this was my first Kayak. I launched in Ventura Harbor and found the boat to be stable and user friendly. The rudder is a must. I did find the seating area a little flimsy as it gets more sun. I believe the factory is now adding support underneath. Great boat.
I have had the Tourer for...
I have had the Tourer for about 7 months and paddle on San Diego Bay. I bought it because my smaller, wider boat would not keep up with my paddling companions. It is not quite as fast as their lighter, narrower sit-inside boats but is stable and has plenty of room. It is a wetter boat in weather than the sit-insides with skirts, but in San Diego - no prob. I have yet to need my wet suit. As previously stated, the tankwell is quite handy for my battery box (depth finder power) and flotsam found during paddles, as well as my dry bag. The rudder is a must, even in the Bay, as current, wind, waves and swell make the boat very difficult to steer. My friends have also noticed this in their boats over 12 feet in length. Camping with my boat would require dry bags for all internal as well as external storage, as it does leak, probably around the gasket of the 8-dog "A" hatch. The 10" by the seat barely gets condensation. It has a small pot for small items. This is a fairly fast and quite stable all-around sit-on-top.
Being new to the sport I...
Being new to the sport I did alot of research on different kayaks, when I compared the Tourer to The Scupper Pro,I saw that it was a little wider(28 inches) and also a little longer. I wanted the extra width for stability and after talking with other paddlers bought the Cobra tourer. It is a fast boat and a stable boat. To me the rudder really enhances the stability and makes paddling much more fun, I wouldn't do without it! I paddle in winds and chop on Lake Okeechobee and it allows paddling without a lot of corrective paddling. It is comfortable,I can paddle for hours without discomfort,plenty of cleats hooks to hook up attachments,very stable in waves,only problem is when you paddle with Scupper Pro's you have to do a little waiting.
I bought mine for fishing...
I bought mine for fishing on the Gulf Coast. I concur with the previous reviews. The hatches are flush mounted and reduces wind resistance. I can stretch a bungie across the hatch to slip my net under. Withdrawing the net is easy as there in no raised lid to snag it on. A 25 qt. ice chest and folding anchor fits nicely in the tankwell. It is great to have the tankwell and not have to sacrifice a storage hatch to have one. There are enough eyepads to attach net, stringer, bungie-type paddle holder , etc.,. The scupper holes near the seat allow you to set your pole into it and change out lures without getting the reel wet. The Tourer now comes equipped with a rope cleat to which I attach my anchor. There are plenty of flat places to mount a rod holder, GPS, and fishfinder. I unfortunately had a leak in mine. A phone call to Cobra was all it took to have a new one delivered (at no charge) within a week. There was no third degree. They were very apologetic and offered a new one without question. No trying to push me to have it repaired. It is nice to know that you can buy something out of state and not have to worry about being left out in the cold when a problem occurs.
I rented alot of boats...
I rented alot of boats before I bought. Being 6'4" tall I needed room. I am extremely pleased with the Tourer. Its fairly stable in winds and chop but I'm going to add the rudder kit for the convenience.I'm very happy with the boat.
This kayak is fast for a...
This kayak is fast for a sit on top and handles great. The best thing about it is it weighs only 50lbs. and looks good to boot. I have a rudder on mine and find it a must for easy turning but it turns ok without it. Iam 6'4 and 250 lbs. and 50 years old with this I can keep up with the young guys.
I have a tourer that I use...
I have a tourer that I use for fishing on the west coast. It paddles great and is very stable, as I spend alot of my time fishing sitting sideways. I strongly recommend a rudder so you don't spend your time correcting your course with the paddle. The length makes for easy paddling when chasing bird schools.
The only problem is with the hatches. They are not real user friendly, but there is plently of room inside to store your rods and fish.
I launch through the surf and have had no problems launching and landing as of yet.