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Considering an Ultimate 14.5 Tandem for deer hunting - questions

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#1 TFin04



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Posted 23 July 2017 - 06:05 PM

I'll try to keep this brief - I have experience with sit in kayaks and larger family style canoes. My big canoe is a bear to transport and paddle on my own, so I am shopping solo canoes and came across a used Native 14.5 Tandem for sale locally for $800, which seems like a decent price. I have a few questions from owners that I hope will help my decision making process. 


My main use will be recreational paddling, but I also need this boat to be a deer hunting vessel in the fall. 


- How long does it take to remove or install the seat? I will be transporting it upside down on a roof rack like a traditional canoe, and quick load/unload is important to me. I'll also paddle to my stand from the middle seat, and paddle home from the rear seat if the front of the boat is full of dead deer. Can the seat be folded forward for transport upside down, or does it need to be removed completely?


- Speaking of deer- are others hauling gutted deer in these things with enough room to paddle? I pack pretty light, I think my personal stuff will fit behind me. 


- How is the speed? Anybody have a solo canoe to compare it to? Or a sit on top kayak of similar length?


- How is crossing open lakes in the wind? I don't mind if it takes a bit longer to get there, I just need to be able to hold my line. 


- My wife may want to tandem with me from time to time. Is there paddle chatter when tandem or are the seats far enough apart?

Thanks for your time. 

#2 boykinsbuddy


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Posted 24 July 2017 - 04:07 PM

Depends on how much you and your deer weigh. I honestly would not load more than 300-350#s in a U14.5 and cross big water. The boat works well for an adult and a child or two light adults. If you are going to haul a load, I would look for an Ultimate FX15...it is a freighter.

You can certainly fold the seat and haul it upside down with no issues. Speed is excellent compared to a canoe. It catches much less wind because the sides are a lot lower but that is what can get you in rough open water. It tracks fairly well but you may want a rudder on open water. The seats are close enough you will get some paddle racking but that is the stern guy's job to prevent.

Just a drop of water in an endless sea...

#3 Tallgrass05



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Posted 25 July 2017 - 07:39 AM

I have a pair of 14.5s, and have paddled them tandem with an adult and with a kid, but 98% of my paddling is solo. 


The seat installs in less than a minute. Just make sure the foam blocks (clunky bit of lazy engineering) are included with the kayak. 


If it has nylon handles or a rudder, put some Loctite on the screws holding those in. I’ve lost one handle screw carrying it upside down and the screws on the rudder bracket will loosen with time. I always remove my seat for transport.


I often do group paddles and have become the “pickup truck” of the group because of all the space. Besides my own cooler, dry bag, and spare paddle, I often carry a large cooler and first aid bag and have plenty of room left. You should have no problem with you and a deer.


Speed and tracking are good, tracking is excellent if it has a rudder. I’ve done a lot of canoeing before getting the kayak, and there is no comparison for speed and comfort.


I use the bow skirt on really windy days, and have fished in whitecaps when I probably should not have. A quart sized plastic jug cut in half is handy for bailing, it conforms to the pontoon bottom well. In the 5 years I’ve had my Tandems, I’ve never turtled or felt close to flipping over.


It’s a tandem for an adult and small person. Paddling tandem isn’t too bad but fishing is difficult. I’ve paddled with myself and another guy (combined weight 380 lbs) on a calm day, but would not do it with any wind.

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