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Product Reviews > Kayaks > Upper Canada Paddle Co. > Tomahawk 13 Add Your Review Now!

Reviews for Tomahawk 13 Kayak by Upper Canada Paddle Co.


Rated: 8.6/10 Based On: 5 Reviews

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07-28-2010
Submitted by: JBSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     My wife and I each have a Tomahawk 13. We started to kayak 5 years ago and the easy entry, affordability and the stability of the boat made us choose this one. We have been paddling ever summer as much as we could and got real enjoyment and use out of these boats.

On the positive side:
Huge cockpit with super easy entry and exit.
Super stable.
The boats are inexpensive.
The boats are almost indestructible.

On the negative side:
In windy conditions you got to know/learn how to paddle because the kayak wants to turn into the wind big time. At the beginning I found this very frustrating and hard work. But I guess it made me a better paddler.
I find the foot rests very uncomfortable especially if I paddle more than one hour. Due to the wide hull of the boat the foot in a leaning in an outward position. My biggest complaint about this boat!
The seats are also very basic and my behind hurts after an hour or so.
The hull of the boat is very porous and gets very dirty when stored outside which is what we do during the summer. The dirt really gets in the hull and it is impossible to clean completely.
There are no leg braces and it is difficult to get a good connection with the boat and if feels like sitting in a bath tub.
In windy condition there is a lot of splashing.
The bulkhead is not at all watertight and water is actually building up in them.
The workmanship of this boat is really very rudimentary and rough.

Conclusion:
Despite the negative comments we really enjoyed these boats and they have been great for learning to paddle and to find out if we like the sport. But now I can't wait to get a real kayak.

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08-25-2009
Submitted by: Andre GermainSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     The Tomahawk is a cross between a traditional and a Greenland-style sea kayak. It is 13' long with a 25.5" beam, constructed of 2 layers of super linear polyethylene making it virtually indestructible. At 56 lbs., a bit heavy but not unmanageable. The hull is very stiff and doesn't "oilcan" at all, even in the worst of conditions. The bow and stern are plumb and in cross-section, the hull is of a "shallow arch" design. The boat has a very straight keel-line with no rocker. The cockpit is 50" long by 18" wide. Definitely not a "rolling" kayak with such a large cockpit, but entry and exit are a breeze! I use a "mini-skirt" (which covers the front third of the cockpit) to stay dry in rough waters and big waves. The seat (molded plastic with a high back) is positioned about 10" ahead of the rear of the cockpit affording enough room behind the seat for a tacklebox or whatever. The boat has a watertight bulkhead behind the cockpit with a good-sized oval hatch on the rear deck with its cover battened down with two nylon-webbing straps. At the 4" waterline, the beam is actually about 25" at the widest part. The extra beam width above the waterline adds to the "final stability" of the boat.
    Advantages:
  • Easy entry and exit.
  • Comfortable seat with good back support.
  • Paddles easily and travels well with minimum effort.
  • Has great initial and final stability.
  • Tracks exceedingly well under all conditions with no need for a rudder.
  • No "weathercocking" in quartering or crossing winds.
  • Surfs effortlessly without need for correcting strokes.
  • Feels stable and safe under all conditions although a sprayskirt is necessary in very windy and rough conditions if I want to stay relatively dry.
  • The cockpit is roomy enough to fish out of, even trolling!
  • The boat is virtually indestructible.
  • Looks and feels and paddles like a sea kayak.
  • Easily adjustable foot pedals.
  • Foredeck bungies.
  • Ergonomic carrying handles fore and aft.
  • Enough bow and foredeck rise to shed all but the biggest waves. The bow's fine lines punch into a wave and then the kayak has enough volume to rise above the wave before swamping the cockpit.
  • Short enough to handle Lake Erie's "chop" when the wind is building. Longer boats (ie. 15' or longer) are great on calm waters out here but get really "shaky" when paddling in crossing waves or surfing.
  • Low profile that effectively precludes windage while at the same time affording a closer intimacy with the water.
    Disadvantages:
  • A bit heavy for its size.
  • The rear hatch and its cover stick up above the deck a bit too high and destroy the "sleekness"' of the kayak's looks.
  • No watertight bulkhead and hatch in the fore portion of the hull (should get some flotation up in the bow...).
  • Padding for the seat a bit skimpy.
  • Definitely not a "roll" boat (although for me that's not an issue because I'm "out there" for enjoyment and not to get wet.)
  • Cockpit could have been 8" shorter without compromising ease of getting in and out.
Considering the fact that I'm out there on Lake Erie paddling under all kinds of conditions about 300 days a year, winter, summer, spring and fall, I've yet to find a kayak that fills the bill all around as well as the Tomahawk 13! I guess if I wanted to be a true "kayaker", I would get myself one of those long sleek ultra-narrow boats with a small cockpit (well, truth be told, I bought a 17' stripper-built Steve Killing design Endeavour on ebay in May, 2009, strictly for fair weather use), all kinds of foul-weather gear including booties and gloves, inflatable paddle buoys, etc., all the accouterments in case the kayak flipped (pretty well inevitable in those boats...) and I'd have to do a recovery in freezing cold waters, and learn all those self-rescue techniques and rolls etc. But all that defeats the purpose for which I bought a kayak in the first place. I just want to be able to climb aboard when I get the urge to "get out there" no matter what the time of year or water conditions, without having to worry about all that gear and having to spend an hour getting ready to go out, not to mention all the practicing I'd have to do in warm weather to get efficient enough to hope to survive in case of an inevitable upset in January or February. The Tomahawk's inherent stability precludes all that. I've paddled and surfed it in 6' waves and high winds and learned its idiosyncrasies to the point where I feel comfortable enough to paddle it any time of year. I also know its limitations and am not so stupid as to try to push the boat beyond those. Funny thing is that all those "true kayakers" with their "designer" kayaks, who have all the right gear and technical expertise (and who no doubt laugh at my Tomahawk), are nowhere to be found during the late fall and winter months while I'm out there paddling amongst the ice floes... That suits me fine. I love being the only soul out there with the wintering ducks and geese!

The fact that the Tomahawk with its roomy cockpit is a good fishing boat, whether drift fishing, casting or trolling, is a bonus! Not to mention the fact that it paddles relatively easily while traveling at a good pace. Definitely not a racing kayak but, as a good paddling friend of mine is fond of saying, "Paddle slowly, the journey is too soon over!" So it goes...

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08-11-2008
Submitted by: AAFSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     For a cheap plastic kayak this ain't bad. Used it all summer for day trips/overnight it proved just fine. I did add some decking and I'm going to add another bulk head and forward hatch. Good plastic fun boat or learner kayak. Lack of rudder hones paddling skills. Use float bags forward and aft!!!
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08-12-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     After paddling this yak for 7 weeks (about 75 hours paddling time on Lake Erie in all kinds of conditions including 30 mph headwinds and 4' seas) I've got to say that I'm amazed at its performance!

As stated in my previous review, it is not a "true" sea kayak and with its huge cockpit, not a boat for performing rolls. BUT, its stability precludes having to worry about that. I've had the opportunity to paddle a 17'4" Sea Wolf (which is now up for sale) and although it is a very fast "true" sea kayak, its confining cockpit size (30" x 17") and its seating configuration just doesn't allow me, with my bad back, the comfort of the Tomahawk.

I've paddled my friend's Prijon 15.5' Touryak and had to do a lot of correcting to keep it tracking straight. When I paddled my Tomahawk alongside him in his Prijon, I had no trouble keeping up with him with minimal effort and the added bonus of little or no correcting strokes in a hefty crosswind. I also paddled alongside another friend in his 16' Necky (which cost over twice what my boat cost me) and again had no problem keeping up with him paddling into 4' seas in a strong headwind. His, with the upswept bow, is a drier boat in that it generates less spray going into 4' waves, but hey, a little water in the face feels good on 90 deg.F summer day.

As previously stated, the large cockpit makes entry and exit a breeze and allows for ease of carrying gear. A great yak for fishing or photography or just plain cruising. Oh, and it also surfs very well with minimal steering in strong following seas. Add to that the fact that the double-layer linear polyethelene construction makes this boat virtually indestructible and how can you go wrong? I look forward to paddling it amongst the ice floes in Lake Erie come next winter.

Again, a spray skirt is a must if you plan on punching through heavy surf and I've procured one for just such conditions. I've also built myself a trailer using mountain bike wheels for transporting the boat down to the water and launching it is now a breeze.

This boat has forced my home-built (1989) stripper canoe into permanent retirement. 'Nuff said.

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06-11-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is a recreational touring kayak made of a 2-layer polyethylene. It has the lines of a sea kayak although with a large (50"x19") cockpit. Molded seat with padding and hinged backrest. It has a bulkhead and watertight compartment in the stern along with a waterproof hatch within that compartment. Bungy cords on the fordeck. Adjustable foot pedals.

This kayak rides nice and low in the water and with its 28" beam and 13' length travels and tracks very well. Its large cockpit makes entry and exit a breeze. Handles waves very well but you'd definitely need a skirt in breakers or really windy heavy seas. Definitely not a roll boat!
A very nice boat to fish out of with lots of room ahead and behind the seat for gear and tackle.
A bit heavy for a boat this size (56 lbs.) but that's to be expected with this type of material.

The inside edges of the cockpit are rough, the molding process could have been done with more care and that's why I'm giving this a 9 instead of a 10.

All in all, a very comfortable, great looking, easy paddling, safe kayak which gives the paddler a feel of being in a longer boat in spite of its mere 13' length. Canadian Tire Corp. had them on sale for $649 CAD! A real deal!

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