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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning on bringing my 'upgrade' forward and hoping to get a new, longer/faster yak in the next month. At the moment its a toss up between the Elite and the Tarpon 160.

So, I took the first steps today and looked at /sat in a Prowler Elite thismorning at my local kayak shop. My first impressions were that it looked and felt a bit 'plasticcy" - I know that sounds wierd, but I'm used to the Tarpon which seems more solid. There was no sign of the weak area in the cupholder, (I didn't push THAT hard though while the shopkeeper was watching me) although the plastic through the entire yak was definitely thinner than what is on my Tarpon. The weight of the 15 foot elite seemed similar to that of the 12 foot Tarpon - obviously the Prowlers are made thinner? (although if anything I think that the Tarpons are probably too heavy rather than the Prowler being too light)

I was also a little unimpressed with the front hatch on the Prowler - the Prowler hatch basically just sat on top of the rubber seal and looked like it could let in water if the straps weren't tied down TIGHT - anyone had this problem with other Prowlers?

Also, I wasn't aware that the centre hatch on the Prowlers was a sealed bucket - in itself not a bad idea for storing phone/camera etc, but on my Tarpon this hatch allows access to the centre area of the yak. I've found this to be a benefit if storing rods, thermos, sprayjacket etc inside the hull -allowing easy access whilst on the water rather than having to shimmy up the front to get access to the gear. Any comments from Prowler owners on the pros/cons of this centre / forward hatch?

I also note theres no rear hatch on the Prowlers - again accessing inside the rear section of the yak is therefore impossible. Fixing things like nav light, anchor cleat or electrics behind the seat area looks like it could be problematic (although theres a heap of deck fixing points which may rule out the need for internal access)

To me it does seem that theres a lot of wasted space behind the tankwell - on the Elite theres a foot or so of deck space behind the tankwell. As I intend to do some kayak camping and need to carry as much gear as possible inside the hull it seems that this has been overlooked. However it looks as though theres a provision for a hatch to be fitted at the back of the tankwell to access the inside of the hull area back there -anyone done this? Does the P13/15 have a similar area?

I WANT to like the Elite, but first impressions left me a little undecided. :? :roll:

What DID impress me was the exta legroom (not a lot more than I'm used to but enough for my taller frame), the hull shape - it just LOOKS fast!, the high raised bow (due to plenty of rocker in the hull shape). The big rear tankwell looks as though it would fit a full sized esky? , although theres small notches at the seat end of the well - about 8 inches back - these would seem to rule out putting a crate or esky at the seat end of the tankwell? Do the other Prowler models have this?

THe extra room in the cockpit was great where the tackle box sits, but the mounting point for the forward (Scotty) rod holder looked too far forward to comfortably reach - anyone else think the same? I currently use a forward flush mount rod holder but theres no spot to put this, so it's a Scotty or nothing.

Can any Prwoler / Prowler Elite owners shed any light on my concerns?

With the Tarpon 160i the Sydney retailer doesnt get any in till late October so it's a bit of a pain that I can't even look at one let alone test it until then.

Anyway, that's my rant... 8)
 

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Hi Davey,
I WANT to like the Elite
Why? Go with your gut instinct mate. IMHO if it doesn't feel quite right, it probably isn't.
 
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Heya Davey,

When testing for the 'thin area' on the Elite, press from the inside of the hull. It will give you a much better idea of the thickness.

Also know what you mean about the feel of the two boats.

The Tarpon's have a more quality/robust feel about them over the Ocean Kayak models, and some other brands as well.

Both would be good choices however, I reckon you'd be happy in either

:)
 

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Mate after the service ive got with Viking i would say go Viking.
I might be a little buyest, but then again ive never had a yak before this one so i dont know much about other yaks.
But i still say go Viking :D imo
 
G

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Heheh....good point Karl

Wonder what overnight air express, return, would cost to Sydney and back :lol:

Hey Rik,

A Q for you re: your Predator mate, the little hatch in the centre in front of your seat, whats under there? are you able to store rods in there or do the rudder cables get in the way?

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm sure the Predator is a fine kayak, but from what I've seen it doesnt have enough flat mounting areas or a user friendly deck layout IMO... Also I think the rudder cable design is a shocker.

I'm sure she's fast and comfortable to paddle though, and the customer service is obviously top notch. 8)
 

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Davey,

I agree with you re the Predator. After the great aftersales service I got from Viking for the Tempo I wanted to buy another, and the Predator looked like it could be the ticket. But having seen tryhard's, not getting a clear story from Viking in respect of their rubbish seat and paddle, the pedal/footwell setup which is the same as the Tempo and a long way behind the competition, and the use of screws to fit the rodholders I decided to look elsewhere. Viking make good yaks and they have great service but their channels really let them down and they are not listening to the needs of the kayak fishing market.

I've not seen the Elite, but I share your reservations re access to the hull.
 

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DaveyG,

I've an elite and have given it a bit of a thrashing now. Here's a couple of comments.

Access to back end of the yak. Although not factory fitted a moulded area for a round hatch has been made in the rear wall of the well. Can easily fit a round hatch in it. There are external mounting points already fitted some items but if you just want more I'd get the hatch added in. The P13 has the same spot of a hatch as I remember.

The centre hatch not being cut out to access the hull of the yak. Has its good points and bad points. I suppose if you wanted it removed it would be a very easy job. putting it back not (obviously). Keeps any chance of water outside the hull and allows bait to be stoad without leaking into main hull (getting the smell out is a killer if its in the main hull section.

The weight side of things? Haven't fished a tarpoon but the weight seems about right on my one and haven't have any issues with flexing of the yak. Can't even feel it flex under my ass when I jump in.

The forward hatch hasn't leaked on me yet and seems a simple yet robust system. Seems to drain from the outside of the seal well so no real issues from my side.

I'm 6 foot and don't find the centre scotty to far forward. If your 5 foot nothing then you might. The fact that tis forward allows for easier positioning of rod while paddling. If your trolling you could have rod there with line directly over your head to the water. I now have a scotty tripple on it but with only 2 holders. To take the piss out of some yanks I took some photo's of it home with 7 rods on and she looks like a pin cushion. The fish finder is mounted on removable plate where the tool box between your knees is with custom fitted transducer mount in the slot below. Get great reception with the direct water mounted transducer.

I mount a 25litre chilly bin tight up against those lugs in the well. It allows that 8 inches directly behind me for anchor and drift shoot or some tackle. The chilly is still in very easy reach and have found if I did mount it right behind me (as in my FND) it was hard to reach around to get the anchor, etc, which made half the well not in use. I actually find it better position to mount the chilly, giving me the best of both worlds. I'm also getting a custom made insulated fish bag to fill the well area,except the 8inch part. Will be flush with top and should fit a 70cm snapper on the angle.

Your right its a veryfast yak. I don't know tarpoons so can't comment on them.
Good luck with your choice.
regards
 

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Come on Davey you want a Hobie you know you do,

"The Hobie-side is
Faster,
Easier,
More seductive it is."
 
G

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I've been in the Prowler for over 6mths now and there is no doubt that the front hatch is a shocker as far as leaking goes, but the solution took five minutes to fix and a piece of EVA foam, mine was the early model so it didnt have the gasket but the neoprene cover wasnt a good solution.
On the water this kayak is a dream I can paddle into swell across swell with the swell it doesnt matter it is still quick and very stable, the rudder is easy to use and the cables are all out of the way, storage I find to be great the rear well is excellent for fish and gear (especially now I have the crate mate thingy (pictures up tomorrow)). The little storage area between your legs is great for phone, wallet and keys.
As far as hull thickness goes if mine gets pierced the speedboat probably hit me too so I wont mind if the hull is leaking it seems pretty tough as I have dropped it more than once and there is only the expected scratching.
 

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Unfortunately, due to the change in ownership of this web site and the lack of response by the owners to my requests to remove my email address from all administrative-level notifications and functionality, I have decided to remove my posts on AKFF. Thank you for the great times, the fantastic learning experiences and the many many fish. If you are desperate for the old content of this particular post, it is available below base64 encoded and bzip2 compressed.

Red.

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QlpoOTFBWSZTWRSJf+oAAAzfgAAQUAeAAhNCBAo+Zb8AIABUNQm0hoxD1GIPRBqnoINNBk0DT2qDVTcFBCcKkPvoyOIijBgjvJTX02k/avoJKxquKGovdfkkKIQ4gHpIYNELHcF+LuSKcKEgKRL/1A==
 

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Love your work Red, the guys at work here are wondering why the hell I am sitting on the floor laughing
 

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Unfortunately, due to the change in ownership of this web site and the lack of response by the owners to my requests to remove my email address from all administrative-level notifications and functionality, I have decided to remove my posts on AKFF. Thank you for the great times, the fantastic learning experiences and the many many fish. If you are desperate for the old content of this particular post, it is available below base64 encoded and bzip2 compressed.

Red.

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QlpoOTFBWSZTWUGnxrsAAC9fgAgSUIGyEiAjUAq/7/6wMAD6ysNU2KepB6IzUeJqeUBo0NA1U/InpT9Em0majNQBpiNNA1T1D0gAAAAaNDQpoNkBUDInQlLPay0aZIgelZqREN3loDjtsEIfDxME3K/VkxuJy6t9lVhLvOkH/cRfVIMBE/fNEYi2RpmDMXQtG32omJ4LmsL7jUtjQadTnyDWRzDaKtiOQtL5aVUMQEDFe6Rw9CuVcSpnI22aF3bQqQvi0VFdgC1lk0GKxWaoOECML8pG0a3J+mM6OwF0VlxhG4Ixwfpp5tWwW6qsfE+JOD3sBooJ6oHOY1mMaZWfgjwuEAS5YqCP8XckU4UJBBp8a7A=
 

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Red that a classic.

Dallas and little hatch right next to my seat was the only way into the hull.
Once you take the lind off theres a little bag you can remove and i slide my battary in and put it under my seat. But now i got this front well i could put loads of rods in there and the rudder line wouldnt get in the way. SEE PIC
hope that helped mate.

P.s Your right theree Karl im only 5 mins drive away from the factory.
 

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Hi Davey,

Have only had my Prowler 13 for a few months and still in the process of sorting things out but I can verify Gatesy's comments. I never use the front hatch on the water and have never had any water inside the kayak when I looked and I have paddled in some very choppy conditions with water coming over the bow. The centre hatch is where I store my keys, phone etc but wrapped in a few plastic bags for safety. I am thinking of replacing this with a hatch with 'o' ring fitted as there is a small amount of seepage with the current one.

As far as a rear hatch is concerned, a 6" hatch will go in there easy if need be. I am thinking of putting one in to allow me to thru bolt the anchor trolley right at the rear of the kayak and possibly to mount a transducer there later.

My current configuration for the tank well is a 25l Icekool esky that I plan to use as fish storage/live bait tank-it fits neatly in the large section of the well. In front of that, just behind the seat I have just purchased a Plano 1612 waterproof box to put tackle in and other bits and pieces. It is a TIGHT fit and wont slide all the way to the bottom but I plan to have a go with a heat gun to make it a bit better fit.

I originally had a Berkley adjustable rod holder up front but found it too fiddley and replaced it with a flush mount similar to your Tarpon and it is much more effective bait fishing.

I dont know the issues with the Elite build quality but I had a quick look at one the other night and it looked as robust as my 13 although I didnt poke it too much. I can verify that cutouts for rod holders etc have shown that the 13 is pretty solid.

Hope my comments are a help.

Cheers

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
thanks all for your comments. JB, Gatesy and Salty - your have been especially helpful.

Yoda / Smeagle - thanks for nuthin! :wink:

I'm sure that the front hatch is OK, it's just that perhaps I'm used to something that looks a little more watertight. I like JB's idea of using the centre hatch for bait, this also cuts down on carrying an extra container on deck.

I guess that my main concern was access to the inside of the hull, but as Gatesy points out theres no such thing as a perfect yak. Installing an extra hatch at the rear of the tankwell is a relatively easy job and as theres a dedicated area for this, it may prove to be the solution.

Will keep you all informed of my progress. In the meantime, anyone out there looking for a well loved Tarpon 120?
 
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