Kayak Reviews • Stealth Profisha 575

Stealth Profisha 575

Postby dru » Thu May 03, 2012 7:28 pm

Firstly these ski's are only just rolling of the production line in Durban. I think there were three at Paindane. And Stealth probably consider them prototypes for now. I was paddling the one we saw photo's of earlier. There will be a wait list and no doubt Des and Nat at Stealth Australia are still sorting out pricing. Worth the wait but. And take it from here that it's hard not to be a little biassed. Caveat Emptor. But I do also have three days on the ski with something like 20 hours time actually on the water fishing in up to 15-20 knot winds. Sorry that this blurb is long-winded but I'm bored waiting for a plane and filling in time. Pics will follow, both of the basic 575 and how a very experienced Saffer has set it up.

SIMPLE SUMMARY
If you want a 550 with full fishability, fish hatch, rod chute (easily took rods 6'6" long with room to spare), some new Stealth thinking for fishing, if you target in-shore fishing zones or simply pelagics - THIS IS YOUR YAK. Very probably the world's most perfect yak-based game fishing platform.
Last edited by dru on Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Stealth Profisha 575

Postby dru » Thu May 03, 2012 7:51 pm

Description/Design

SPEED

By association alone the Profisha is extrordinary. Let's see if I can make a comparo. If you bought a Ford Falcon and a review said, "well it's not quite as fast as a Lamborgini, doesnt handle quite as well as much cornering G force as a Ferrari, and stops a couple of feet later than a Porsche" - you'd be thinking what a brilliant car.

So the Profisha, doesnt quite match the glide of a Fenn XT, doesnt have quite the explosive power of an Epic V10, and doesnt quite match the low windage of my wonderful Zegul 550 SIK (which is purpose built for Scandinavian high wind conditions 30 kn+). Clearly,this is not a criticism. It's an extordinary complement that a fishing ski can be discussed in the same sentence as purpose built dedicated speed freaks. How fast? No idea. Not even slightly fit enough. But Des had some top speeds from the GPS noted as 12km/h (this is during fishing, not a time trial). Down wind trolling takes a concerted effort to keep an eye on the rod tips to make sure you are not overloading the lures with too much speed. Not exactly on the brakes, but definitely easing off the speed button and engaging idle is required.

Note as well that my fitness level was non-existent at the start of my time with the Profisha. Injury plus illness had me off the water for weeks before play-time.

DESIGN
Bruce at Stealth should really speak here, however... take the famed Stealth fish hatch and rod chute system, make it better. Much better. Take the 550. Morph the two and you get the Profisha 575. The additional length seems to have gone into the nose, which also has more volume. It's gotten wider, (Bazzoo allowed me to complain about this late in the design phase, so I dont know if they considered it or not but the width is only) nominally wider. By a whole half a centimeter.

Rudder is 550-like being a dagger design, not a skeg rudder like the Evolution range. It's nicely situated like good race ski design to ensure it stays in the water as much as possible. Do note this rudder only works if the ski is moving. No complaints from stationary positions please.

There are venturi drains which seem to work (didnt notice anything to talk about). Double drain plugs for hull and hatch (I think).

For the technically minded the plan shape is so symetrical to be almost "fish-form" (most of the volume in the front half). I'm used to "swede-form" (most of the volume in the rear half). This does change sea and wind behaviour. I struggled a bit until I worked out how to drive it. This answer is definitely "not like a swede-form SIK".

STABILITY
Look, everyone's previous yak experience will make comment subjective. My current fishing platform is much narrower and wouldnt be considered stable by any fishing yakker. So, I reckon (quoting something Peril once said) you could land aircraft on it. But I guess if you have been stand up fly fishing on a Hobie PA you might be inclined to take an independent view. Certainly, like the 550, I wouldnt have a problem with a total novice starting with this ski. As long as there was a modicum of flexibility and an ability to get fit (er).

I found dealing with fishing knots and re-rigging easiest by turning around 180 degrees and playing with tackle in the the rear hatch. Lie on your back from here and stretch out legs on the tail of the yak and stretch the back too. Really nice way of stretching the kinks out during a long day on the water. (I had a lot of kinks). Side saddle is another way to break the kinks, not bad for jigging.

Re-mount? To be honest I just realised now that I had so much confidence in the Profisha I didnt even try it. :shock: Oops. But the additional bouyancy means I'd have to climb a little higher and it might be a tad harder that say on my Swing. OTOH, a mount from the tail would be piss easy. I'd try a normal mount directly to the seat, but if troubled go over the tail. Stop for a stretch before returning to the seat. 8)

THE HATCH
You'll need the photo's I think. But seems to me that Stealth have increased the volume. This allows a aluminium bar to be installed close to the top of the hatch running sideways. This is a rod "shelf". When you're finished, fish in the bottom of the hatch, rods slide in and sit comfortably above the fish. The usual rod velcro ties to hold it all together. I found space at the back of the hatch, squeezed in underneath the seat for a small soft esky/tackle box. Completely out the way and not impacting fish storage or rods.

There has been some conjecture in Aus about the tie down system. Some concern with the original system not being tight enough and then suggestions that the new system is "fiddly". We all have our thoughts, but have to say that this particular pickiness just passes me by. I found the system fine and wouldnt have thought to question it. But Des is talking about some possible improvement so who knows. I like it the way it is.

The Saffers tend to leave the hatch not dogged down once they get past the surfzone. I was happy to leave it open when changing rods etc even 1.5m swell and didnt feel at all precarious. But if you did swamp it would be interesting. I'd add a hand pump to keep me covered if my behaviour catches me out and the hatch flooded.

USUAL STEALTH STUFF
Rod holders: three holders behind the rear hatch. Plenty of space to pimp in more.
Paddle holder: usual Stealth fare which I like a lot (but I wouldn't be going out without a paddle leash as well).

BAIT BOX
That's right. New from Stealth with the Profisha. A detachable box colour coordinated with the ski, togged down behind the rear hatch. I just know that the Long Reef boys and King-hunters everywhere will be thinking "live bait tank?" Possible, but my suggestion is to dream up something that can sqeeze into the hatch, maybe that spot I kept my soft esky.

Saffers used that bait box for dead baits.

That's about it for the physical ski.
Last edited by dru on Sun May 06, 2012 12:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Stealth Profisha 575

Postby dru » Thu May 03, 2012 8:40 pm

So sea worthiness, how to drive it, etc. I remember an article about driving power cats, titled "walking the cat". Cats have to be walked quite different to monohulls. I like it, so let's call this:

WALKING YOUR YAK

I walked it all wrong for two days. The yak dragged me around, wouldn't "heel". Snappy boy did not like what I was doing. Tried to drive it like my SIK. What an idiot. Down wind and paddling a broad sea, OK so far. Actually, easier than on the SIK, which of course you dont really notice, do you? But into the wind. Just shite. Honest. How many have experienced the "hull slap" of a BFS in choppy conditions? Like that but much worse. Nose bouncing like a yo-yo in chop and seas only 0.75m.

So what I was doing was "walking a SIK", not "walking your yak". My SIK is swede-form and a skeg boat (no rudder). Swede form means that the wind smacks the bum and tries to constantly push you directly into the wind. The waves want to push the SIK broadside (happens quickly if you get a little off the wind line). Without a rudder, steering (by leaning) gets painfull when it is constant, so you drive directly into the wave (with a knife sharp nose there is no pounding), then on going over the crest combine edge and paddle to change direction down the wave face, semi-protected from the wind. Square up for the next wave. You hope overall you are tracking on the direction you want to go.

Not the way to walk this yak! Firstly there is a lot of volume up front, that's where the wind hits, not on the bum. Feels a little like the wind and waves work more together. Taking on a wave directly just exaggerates the pounding as you go over. So the trick is to use the rudder, take any line that is NOT directly into the waves, and approaching the crest you negotiate a line and slight angle change to ease the nose and keep the boat water line engaged properly as you work the sea.

Bingo. That's how you walk your yak.

The big volume nose is still going to bounce a little, especially if you let it - but we want that magic fish hatch, don't we?! That means volume in the nose, so I had to learn to love it. Paddle it right, and it's wonderfull. I had two days of discomfort, changed over to a 465 to get my paddle "feel" back. (The 575 may well be the trophy, but the wonderful 465 is still the pearl in the Stealth range.) Then on day 4 everything came together. I learned how to walk your yak.

BROAD SEA
Reckon you still land an aircraft on it in a broadsea. No idea how big the conditions would need to be to be a bother. Mind you, a breaking broadsea isnt fun in anything, but just steer the thing and it's all fine. The Profisha actually likes this line.

DOWN WIND
OK, so after my SIK, which has probably half the wetted surface of the Profisha, I struggled to find that wave feel that tells you to punch in the pace on the face of the runners, and thus ballistic downwind speed is engaged. Described as a "tap on the shoulder" you get with good feel on the runners or "OK... NOW!". There will also be a fitness issue here. With a bigger more powerful motor :shock: this would have come together much quicker. Absolutely.

What I can say is we still recorded 12km/h top speeds, no attempt at speed trials here, just normal fishing. And down wind is a buzz, everything pulls together, get's quiet, calm, collected. Makes you prepared to punch into the wind again to get in another down wind trolling run.

But then I spoke to a Saffer (hello Marcus, we'll have a look at your set up later) who's last ski was a 495. He was STOKED with the glide. Blistering downwind speed that can't be matched. There you go. This experience is going to be much more common than mine. Certainly our fictional PA guy we mentioned earlier who might be thinking about stability, his head will simply implode. (It's fictional, no need for the hobie nazis to come out. This is a Stealth thread.)

ON THE FLAT
No idea. Those conditions just didnt really come up. Yes, yes, most of the mornings were very calm once you got past the break, but I'd like to try it on the flat. If your are fit enough, the speed is only limited by the water line. That's gotta be fun.

OK, pics when I get back to Oz. We also ran up a little video showing how easy the Profisha is to turn. If I can sort out the technology, my crap paddling technique still gets the ski turning around very nicely. Turning is not limited by a straight tracking long ski, you just have to use the paddle as part of the ruddering. Especially when still as the rudder cant do anything without water movement.

Cheers all!
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Re: Stealth Profisha 575

Postby Stevie » Thu May 03, 2012 10:45 pm

Nice in depth review Dru. Sounds like an awesome trip in SA!

I miss the Think Evo (similar to a V10) I had a few years ago before I took up fishing. I want one of these!
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Re: Stealth Profisha 575

Postby dru » Sat May 05, 2012 9:29 pm

indiedog wrote:Great review Dru, thanks. Got any pics of the new hatch etc?


Brad, I am so bloody sorry. Really thought I had heaps on the hatch, but all I have is here. Bugger.

rod shelf.jpg
rod shelf


hatch under the seat.jpg
looking under the seat from the hatch


I don't think this does it justice, but first pic shows my soft esky stuffed up under the seat with rods "shelved". The aluminium bar is part of the yak - specifically for holding the rods up above the fish. Second pic shows the space under the seat. Man, I thought I took better pics of this! The hatch is really the feature of the Profisha.
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Re: Stealth Profisha 575

Postby dru » Sat May 05, 2012 9:41 pm

More pics

on the beach.jpg
Profisha on the beach


forward motion.jpg
pushing the 575 Profisha


transfer to sideways.jpg
Blade steering to sideways


stealth lifted nose.jpg
Traditional lifted Stealth nose
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Re: Stealth Profisha 575

Postby dru » Sat May 05, 2012 9:49 pm

And a professional setup.

Marcus fishing.jpg
Marcus out in the blue


marcus rig.jpg
Marcus' rig


Marcus rig 2.jpg
Marcus' rig 2


bait box.jpg
Bait box


modified hatch lid.jpg
Modified hatch lid

Not sure the pic does it justice, but the hatch lid is re-moulded to shape for the ectronics and to face them towards the paddler.

ditsance travelled.jpg
Distance travelled

Give you an idea of how far you need to travel to do well in a fishing comp like Paindane. Marcus came in the top 5, travelled close to 120km in 3 days, including one point to point from a bay further north doing 45km in the one day.
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Re: Stealth Profisha 575

Postby dru » Sun May 06, 2012 12:25 am

Stevie wrote:Nice in depth review Dru. Sounds like an awesome trip in SA!

I miss the Think Evo (similar to a V10) I had a few years ago before I took up fishing. I want one of these!


Steve, forgive me. And everyone else give space for the usual Spork arrogance. Mate, you've picked the third of the top three novice racing ski's. You're in Sydney right? I'll send a PM because we may have similar fishing thinking.

BUT, to be clear, the Profisha is NOT a racing ski. It is an unbelievable fishing ski that pushes against ski's like the "think".

Btw, there are a couple of guys who were fishing out of XT's at Long Reef. Stuffed if I can work out how.
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Re: Stealth Profisha 575 - now with pics

Postby ArWeTherYet » Sun May 06, 2012 8:43 am

Nice write up Dru.
But why? apart from covering large distances I cant see any practical reason for having a boat nearly 6mtrs long. Stick with the swing, much better fishing kayak.
Look forwards to your trip report, must of been a great adventure.
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Re: Stealth Profisha 575 - now with pics

Postby nad97 » Sun May 06, 2012 8:57 am

Nice review Dru. Its nice to here it from someone that spent a resnoble amount of time on the ski and not just been for a quick paddle.
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Re: Stealth Profisha 575 - now with pics

Postby dru » Sun May 06, 2012 10:42 am

ArWeTherYet wrote:Nice write up Dru.
But why? apart from covering large distances I cant see any practical reason for having a boat nearly 6mtrs long. Stick with the swing, much better fishing kayak.
Look forwards to your trip report, must of been a great adventure.


"why". It's a bloody good question. And a personal choice. For me it's about ease of covering distance, either simply for fun or to get to Spot X. And having a lot more flexibility in current. Especially if I can play in the runners on the return home. But I doubt many will answer the question the same way. I suspect that Stealth would say its all about the fishing setup. The fish hatch is well thought. Stability is amazing. Joy of paddling is way beyond the swing. For me I'd like it narrower and I'm definitely not going back to the width of a Swing. Which is a fantastic fishing yak, but I feel like I've moved on and am looking for a yak that has done the same. I hardly use the Swing anymore, my primary fishing platform is the Zegul which really isn't much shorter. So I'm already used to fishing from a yak that is 5.5m long (and only 54cm wide).

Perhaps try "why not". The usual response is length of the ski and by inference how hard it is to manouvre. I think this is bunk. All the same loading on the car, carrying down the beach, storing at home... You need to think these things through. Note though that the Swing and the Profisha are very much the same weight.

That said, I have some choices in front of me. I need five functions from my yaks. 1. Fishing platform, 2. Speed fitness yak for training on the harbour and for playing in the runners 3. Set up for camping, 4. A kayak for Kerry (SWMBO) for weekends touring in the fresh, bass hunting. 5. Sea kayak for traditional kayak training. I can't do this with one single yak, and I'm struggling to do it with two. The Swing doesn't fit in this group, as good as it is. I'd really like to keep the fleet down to two yaks. Tricky.

I remain confused as to how to fit the 575 into this set of requirements. My fishing yak may need to double for Kerry in fresh water. So it's possible I'll end up with a 465. One thing for sure, there's a Stealth in this micro fleet somewhere. And the 575 is VERY hard to say no to. And btw its possible that the fleet of two (maybe three) yaks will ALL be nearly 6m long. Guess its what you are used to.
Last edited by dru on Sun May 06, 2012 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stealth Profisha 575 - now with pics

Postby BrisbaneJamie » Sun May 06, 2012 11:56 am

.....................
Last edited by BrisbaneJamie on Wed May 09, 2012 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stealth Profisha 575 - now with pics

Postby Stevie » Sun May 06, 2012 1:58 pm

Yeah Dru i wouldnt like to try fishing off a Think or V10, my hat goes off to those who can.I used to compete in Adventure Racing, which are Ocean Swiming, Mountain Bike, Paddle events. I got the Think Evo for the paddling legs. I found it pretty tough at the start but got used to it after for a fair bit of training. No way Id fish off the bloody thing!!! I stuffed my back at work a while back so no running ever again, Im pushing 40, so started fishing...now Im here destryoing all my spare cash on fishing gear :lol:
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Re: Stealth Profisha 575 - now with pics

Postby DennisT » Tue May 08, 2012 3:11 pm

.
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Re: Stealth Profisha 575 - now with pics

Postby ChrisUK » Thu May 17, 2012 11:29 am

Thats a good review, thanks for posting.

Here is a pick of my PF 575, she is still in SA waiting to go on a container, Should have it here in the UK by mid to end June. Can't wait to get my hands on her. Lot's of rigging to do, will be longest anchor trolley I ever installed! Will report my rigging/mods here once I get round to fitting her out.

Image

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