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Submitted: 07-27-2010 by mudpuppy75
I purchased my 2006 Prowler 13 angler used in 2008. Since then, I've had the boat in just about every kind of water: slow rivers, lakes, whitewater, and ocean surf. I really like this boat. It is very stable, tracks well, and also turns easily.
Speed: At 13'4", I can outpace just about any rec kayak, including a paddling buddy's Pungo 120. When kayaking with friends in their 14 ft touring boats, I can keep pace, but I do work harder. However, in a sprint, the Prowler plows water quickly, and touring boats pull away easily. It is quick enough, but not fast.
Tracking/Maneuverability: Small streams have never been a problem, and I don't see the point of a rudder except under very demanding conditions.
Stability: I've had this boat in ocean surf and whitewater up to class III. It handles Class I-II with absolutely no problems. It is maneuverable enough to be a decent river runner, but it isn't a whitewater boat. In class III without thigh straps, I got dumped in a hurry. With them, you can surf it. However, the length makes all of this challenging. In normal conditions like handling larger boat wake, punching through surf, or river running, you won't get dumped unless you're just not paying attention. The Prowler is rock solid.
Capacity: One reason I bought the Prowler was capacity. Iím about 6'2", and at the time of purchase, I was 310 lbs. My weight made it a wet ride with the foot wells and seat being almost completely full with water. Now I'm 225, and the ride is much drier. Without scupper plugs, there is about an inch of water in the foot wells. Now, my 6 year old daughter will ride in the tankwell with no problems whatsoever.
Convenience: People tend to either love or hate SOT's. To me, you can't beat the ease of use. On a hot day, the ability to take a quick swim and climb back on is a real plus. If you do capsize, just flip it over and get back on. No problem.
Dislike: The 6" screw-in hatch is a PAIN. It has always been difficult to open and close, and now something appears to be warped, and I can't get the thing on at all. I'm replacing the hatch with a twist lock style hatch. Also, my boat has holes in two of the scuppers. A little Lexel caulk took care of it, but it does make me wonder a little about OK's build quality. Also, the angler addition is heavy, about 60 lbs. However, one person can car top it.
Bottom line: You can do a little of everything very easily with this boat, but don't expect to win any races. The Prowler 13 is a great all around kayak. I sometimes think about selling it to get a faster touring SINK, but then I think about the versatility that I'd be giving up, and I always decide to keep it.
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