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Abaco 13.5

by West Marine

Reviews

My wife an I went rented a tandem kayak during a vacation…

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My wife an I went rented a tandem kayak during a vacation in big bear this year. We both loved our experience and decided to buy our own. We have 3 children so we both bought tandem kayaks so the entire family could enjoy sometime on the water. I purchased the Abaco 13.5 tandem from West Marine. I started my research by selecting all the features that I wanted in a kayak, then taking that list and narrowing it down by reviews and finally cost. I'm not an expert by any means but I really like the Abaco kayak.

I needed to buy a fishing kayak for fishing in the gulf…

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I needed to buy a fishing kayak for fishing in the gulf, and in the Tampa Bay inter coastal waters. I went in to West Marine to get a Prowler kayak. But when I saw the Abaco, I realized that it was essentially the same size and width, but had way more room inside - I find all that space for inner hull storage to be a waste of real estate for a fishing kayak. This thing has almost the entire length of the 13.5 foot deck available for use to the fisherman. The only modifications that I had to do was add two rod holders, a seat, a paddle holder and an anchor trolley. Now it's a better fishing kayak than a prowler, or any other fishing kayak that comes with half the hull sealed off and useless. It also carries over 500 lbs of cargo! Again - beats most other fishing kayaks of this class in weight capacity alone.

I have taken this out fishing in Tampa Bay and the inter coastal waters, and find it to be really stable, moves fast enough for my liking, and can carry me (250lbs) plus all my fishing stuff comfortably. With all that weight, the water still doesn't even come up the scupper holes. My butt was completely dry and so was the deck.

I can also convert this back to a tandem kayak by moving my seat back (I sit in the middle seat in fishing mode) and adding a front seat for my kids. So it's a tandem yak, and a really awesome fishing yak for less than the price of a Prowler!

The only thing that sucks is how heavy this thing is. It feels to be about 100 lbs. I'm a big guy and can put this on top of my mini van by myself, but it's no easy feat and requires a lot of strength and balance! Also, in fresh water, this thing is the equivalent of paddling a refrigerator filled with rocks. It's SLOW. But in salt water (because of the difference in buoyancy) it floats high, and cuts through the water quickly.

In comparing this West Marine offering to other SOTs designed to accommodate…

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In comparing this West Marine offering to other SOTs designed to accommodate 2.5 people, this seemed to be identical to the Perception Tribe also manufactured by Confluence, but at a lower price point.

Pros: eight scuppers (trial and error Ocean Kayak small plugs optional) that work well, without keeping the occupants wet, heavy but sturdy and very stable tri-hull supports 550lbs. functional center seat position allows good control as solo paddler, and most can sit cross legged if optional back rest/seat is not used. Good handle locations for portage. Storage: small center screw type compartment, bungee cords front and rear with well on stern.

Cons: heavy, weather cocking, not available from other than from West Marine in CT

A great value SOT that makes for a versatile rec kayak.

This appears to be identical in all but color to the Perception…

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This appears to be identical in all but color to the Perception Tribe. Purchased for as a rec. kayak for people with small children or dogs, this versatile voluminous 2.5 person sit-on-top kayak is very functional, paddles very well. Price on sale made this a great buy.

Pros: molded seating for tandem or solo use, bungee front and rear, built in comfortable side and end T style carry handles, strong shell without the worry oil can deformation, functional scuppers, tracks well even in light winds, value, accommodates any seating system,small center storage chamber. Very stable, surf suitable.

Cons: heavy but justified by capacity of up to 550lbs.