Submitted: 06-10-2004 by Mike Amos
I just purchased an Ocean Drifter Angler edition yak. I am 6'1", 240lbs, so I clearly needed a big stable yak. I took it out, the day I bought it, to test it out. It was extremely windy -- white caps and huge reservoir waves. I felt completely safe and stable regardless of how I chose to hit the waves. I did what I could to make it tip, but it was simply rock solid. The only complaint I have is the amount of water in the cockpit. Granted, I am a big paddler, but I expected it to ride dryer--especially since the 2004 model is called the "dry" model. When I got home, I found some water inside the yak itself. I am assuming that it snuck in around the hatch. I emailed the company about this but I have yet to receive a response. In defense of the yak, I was hitting significant waves and, as a result, funneling quite a bit of water over the nose of my drifter. The hatch has a drain channel around the hatch. Unfortunately, the drains themselves are not flush with the bottom the channel (design flaw???!!??). Therefore, a certain amount of water always remains in the channel around the hatch. In my opinion, this simply creates an opportunity for water to sneak into the yak. I also emailed Ocean about this poor design feature -- no reply yet.
If you are looking for a relatively cost effective fishing platform with a huge weight capacity -- the drifter is the kayak for you. If you are looking for a happy medium between the short 9' yaks and the huge 15' yaks that still tracks relatively well -- the drifter is the kayak for you.
The drifter is a no-nonsense, extremely roomy kayak that is very stable. Is it perfect--NO! Is it relatively good at what it is designed to do--YO BET! I recommend the Drifter to my fellow "big boyz" who want a yak that will safely take them anywhere and give them the room to play. I just wish Ocean would address the two design issues I pointed out.