03-19-2012Submitted by: ---
Reviews for Navigator Kayak by Cobra Kayaks
Based On: 20 Reviews
- Rating: 3 of 10 Had a Cobra Navigator (can't recall model year or other specific, was a long time ago,) but I think it was a 2007 or 2008 model. Took it out just once, off SoCal. It's hard to rate, (gave it a 3 out of 10) because in many other respects it might have been a great kayak... but within about 10 minutes of getting it in the water, I leaned over the side to look at something... I wasn't leaning far, but the thing flipped on me, plunging me into the Pacific. I spent about 10 more minutes trying to get back into the thing (good thing I was wearing a wetsuit!) which I found impossible from the side. (I got on top of it and it just flipped right over again, sending me across the other side at speed back into the water,) I had to flip it upright (again) swim around to the stern, shove the stern into the water, and shimmy my way up to the cockpit, then got back upright. I CAREFULLY retrieved my paddle, and took it back to the dock where I'd launched from, removed it from the water, and went and bought a different kayak.
Another reviewer mentioned secondary stability and turn-over point... I second that. It may be stable as all-get-out until you lean out over the side. Then you're going for a swim.
I picked an Ocean Kayak (can't recall which, sold it when I moved,) that had VASTLY better stability and resistance to roll-over.
11-01-2011Submitted by: james hunt
- Rating: 8 of 10 To begin with, I have very limited experience on a kayak and have only tested a handful. OTOH, this might be an advantage as my thoughts are not skewed in looking for things that may or not be there.
I just got my 2008 Cobra Navigator XF from a private party sale. The boat came fairly well equipped with anchor trolley, anchor, rope, live bait bucket with pump, battery, case, charger. It was also rigged with what I guess are thigh straps, a fairly sturdy high back seat. The weight is supposed to be around 44 lbs, with a length of 12.6 Ft.
Loading: Not so bad for going solo, but a little awkward for me probably owing for my lack of experience. I carried it to the driveway by heisting one of the thigh straps over my shoulder. I used a Hobie, Quick Strap, soft carriers to attach to a naked roof of a 2011 Hyundai Sonata. Getting alongside the car, I was able to lift it high enough to get the bow on the roof, then gently turned it over hull side up and swung the stern over and centered the load. I had pre-strapped the Quick Strap to the kayak before attempting to load it. In time, I think this will not be much of a problem, but I will invest in a set of kayak wheels or at least a padded four wheeled furniture dolly as I know I would tire easily going any distance.
Launched from a boat ramp without problem getting most of its length afloat before hopping on settling into the seat. First impression was it glided very smoothly and I was moving at a good pace within a few paddle strokes. It seemed to track fairly straight and hardly ever required a correctional stroke. The conditions were relatively mild but there were a lot of power boats at speed out in the middle of the bay. (Mission Bay San Diego, near the Hilton). It plowed right through the boat wakes and did not take on water. The front scuppers did allow a bit of water in the molded in foot holds but not enough to make it uncomfortable. The rear scuppers were plugged and made for a dry seat and tank well. The boat seemed fairly fast for its size almost as fast as the Tarpon 160 I had previously tried, but did require a bit more effort. I had a bit of aching in my thighs and felt it also in my upper body. I am assuming this will get better as I become a better paddler or at least I hope so. The Tarpon 160 did not tire me as near as much as this one did, but still it was bearable and I had paddled for about two hours straight.
Maneuverability: I was a little disappointed in its sluggish turns using sweep strokes. It would immediately turn, but required a few to make it around even 90 degrees. Using a rudder stroke, holding the paddle alongside the stern did cause a fairly pronounced veer to the same side. (using a feathered paddle). I learned that if I executed a wide sweep stroke immediately followed by a reverse sweep on the opposite side, it would turn in place but obviously lost all forward mobility and sort of stalled, which I guess is what it is supposed to do. (Remember, I am very new at this). I thought the Tarpon 160 turns easier and it is a good four foot longer!
Stability: Seems to have a great deal of initial stability and felt pretty solid although I did not really try anything really aggressive. Also I did not really crawl around much, but it felt stable enough that I felt as though I could access the forward A hatch and turn around enough to retrieve a bait from the live bait tank behind the seat (I did leave it at home this trip so I cant really say for sure).
Tracking: as mentioned above, this boat tracks straight and true, barely a trace of wobble unless I get more heavy handed on one side or the other. I am more of an upright paddler, reaching for the beginning stroke, keeping it very close to the hull. Pushing with the high arm while pulling the with the lower during the first third of the stroke with a fair amount of power (hope I am describing that right).
Wants: This boat needs adjustable foot pegs as the molded in ones limit you.
06-04-2011Submitted by: KayakerDeb
All in all, not bad at all for a 12.6 foot boat.
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've had my new 2011 Cobra Kayak Navigator out a few times now - and I really love this model!! It's just the best all-around kayak for anything you want to do - it'll surf big waves; get you through the twisty stuff on a near-flood-stage river; or take you for a perfectly lazy lake paddle. It's stable beyond belief; feels like a much narrower boat when you paddle it (doesn't knock your knuckles!); tracks straight and doesn't weathercock, yet a sweep stroke turns it on a dime. I let my elementary-age grandkids paddle it around on our lake without any worries.
Mine is the "Recreational Model" with hatches and rod holders (the rod holders work perfectly for taping a 360-degree light to a piece of PVC for nighttime paddles!!). I like the new center carry-handles that flip out of the way while sitting! And after watching a friend lose his $500 camera when his kayak's rubber hatch lid popped open during a capsize - I REALLY appreciate the locking hatch toggles on the Cobra kayaks!! The front hatch is huge - I carry my disassembled boat cart in there!
I appreciate the stability of this kayak - I've paddled it many times during Michigan winters (even did a few mild whitewater runs); and stayed dry and comfortable. It's a cinch I don't want to risk a tipover when it's 20-degrees outside - so that's why I LOVE the Navigator!
02-08-2010Submitted by: Dmoe
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought a Cobra Navigator to downsize from a 17' ocean kayak. I was pleasantly surprised by the speed and stability of this yak. I use this to fish and tour 3 times a week, in generally calm conditions. here is the good. very stable, I am 6' 210 lbs and this boat easily handles my size, with room to spare. Tracks well for a 12'6" yak. handles wakes and small waves well head on, the bow easily directs water to the sides and allows a dry ride. pretty quick, I logged 7.5 mph on my gps. lots of deck and rail space for tie downs, rod holders etc. Lightweight allows for easy hauling and transport.
the not so good
The scupper holes constantly let water into footwells, plugs solve the problem, but without them my feet stay wet. I can only imagine a heavier paddler would be worse. no side handles and strange rail shape make hoisting the boat difficult. (I added handles). weird shape to stern tankwell does not allow larger cooler. Taking waves sideways does produce some slap, and wet ride (so don't take waves sideways) no seat drain holes, water in this area will make for a wet okol'e (hawaiian for butt)
all in all this is the best yak I've owned. I am an avid paddler, and don't baby my equipment. All of the things that may not have been perfect for my needs were easily remedied with minimal work and $$$. I recommend the following add ons"
center handles for lifting (I made mine with pvc and nylon rope for $2)
reinforced bow and stern points (glued on rubber pads $4)
scupper plugs (I made mine from a wal-mart pool noodle $3)
I've paddled so many kayaks both in calm lake conditions, and rough huge seas in Hawaii and I would trust this yak in any conditions. I can easily log 6 hours in it and many miles before needing a stretch. Easy to maneuver in tight areas. the stability and tracking make it very user friendly for experts or novices alike. I love it. go get one for yourself.
12-21-2008Submitted by: Nemo
- Rating: 9 of 10 Rented a Navigator down in the Keys for fishing. Hi back seat was good support. This model was not fully equipped due to a rental, so no hatches for storage and rod holders.
This Yak tracks very well in calm water and in choppy conditions. My wife had one and was very happy on her first time out fishing. She said it was the best part of our camping trip! Very fast I kept up to a 9.9 dingy for 100 yards and did not get tired out! Never once did I feel like it would tip over.
Very light to transport I could pick up with one hand. 5'7" and 220 no problem. I will be buying 2 of these very soon.
10-23-2007Submitted by: JRP
- Rating: 10 of 10 I sold my Old Town Loon 138 which was getting more difficult for me to get in and out. It was a great kayak. I am 250#.
The Navigator is easy to use, easy to get on and off, and very light weight. I have no problem transporting it in the 6' bed of my truck. On the water this is a safe & stable craft. I have crossed the wake of many large boats in a large bay on Cape Cod with no difficulty. It tracks and handles very well & is easy to use even for a novice like me. The hatches seal tightly and I never got a drop inside. On the negative side it lacks carrying handles. I made my own. Also I use the longer paddles due to the wide width. You can't go wrong with this boat.
09-05-2006Submitted by: mainman
- Rating: 9 of 10 This is my second summer with the Cobra Navigator. This is the model that has been replaced by the Navigator XF, which has the same shape and dimensions but weighs a few pounds more because of added deck space for rod holders. This is a good recreational kayak. Very, very stable. I take it out into the opean ocean out here in So. Cal and it handles rough chop and decent size swells very well. Its speed is as good as any other SOT that I have paddled in its length, 12', 6". My model is also very light, 44lbs. Easy to cartop. I think the new XF is 47 lbs. My only complaint is that it lists significantly to starboard when no one is in it. However, it does straigthen out and paddle straight when I am in it. All in all, a very good recreational SOT. I give it a 9.
07-28-2006Submitted by: swfly
- Rating: 9 of 10 I have found the navigator easy to load, easy paddle and tracks well. It seems to do well in a chop but has a slight hull slap which i do not find to be any both. Stable to fish and plenty of room for gear and fishing assecessories.
04-26-2006Submitted by: willie
- Rating: 8 of 10 just got it a few days ago. been on the water three times and love it. im 6'1" and 230# this is the yak for me. its easy to track and load/unload. it has lots of room and is great to fish from
09-05-2005Submitted by: nh
- Rating: 10 of 10 Kayak with my 3yr old or 9yr old and we fit comfortably. Mom is 5'4" so loading on car top not easy.
07-22-2005Submitted by: Tony77
- Rating: 8 of 10 No one carries Cobra where we live and after trying to deliberate between the Navigtor and a Malibu boat (also unseen), I decided on the Nav. Beautiful in Mango coming out of the cardboard and plastic wrappers. Upon inspection most of the fit and finish seemd good outside of some bubbling in the plastic along the seatback edge of the tank well. One of mounting pins on a rod holder had sunk into the hull allowing the kayak to breath, but that should be easily remedied.
The two scuppers just before the center hatch should be plugged as they appear to be more for structural support. Ocean Kayak Blue scupper plugs fit. Red for the tank well (below) if you need it.
The Maiden Voyage: I am 6'4 285lbs ± 33/34 inseam. 42" waist. I had plugged the high scuppers but I put about 2 inches of water in the tank well and near my feet. Making the hull air tight should help because it will increase the air volume under me but I also put scupper plugs in the tank well as soon as I got home. The kayak fit me perfectly. In a relaxed position my feet just touch the last foot rest.
Despite sitting a little lower in the water than expected, the ride is excellent. Hull speed is exceptable and is very easy to paddle at that speed. Trying to maintain speed above that is truly a workout. (A word about paddling skills and speed: We were 3 on the water. My friend who is nearly twice my age with far superior paddling experience was able to stay ahead of me, and smoke our buddy in a Carolina 14.5, in an 11 foot Explorer.)
Even after taking a few waves over the bow and the A hatch - the interior was bone dry.
03-20-2003Submitted by: BrianPage52
- Rating: 10 of 10 I live in Florida and have owned my Cobra Navagator for about 8 months. During that time, I've used it to travel and explore a variety of places, including rivers, lakes, springs, coastal estuaries, and even deep open ocean on calm days. The Navigator tracks well, is very stable, and is relatively fast for a short, sit-on-top yak. I recently used it for a kayak/dive trip to a Florida spring and was surprised to find how much gear I was able to load into the hatches and scuba tank well with minimal sacrifice to speed, stability, and performance.
I spent quite a bit of time shopping before choosing my first kayak. Some of the reasons I selected the Cobra Navigator include the fact that it is lightweight (only 44 lbs.), it has a large forward A-shaped hatch for internal storage, a tankwell for scuba equipment (or any other gear you choose) for external storage, and is nimble, stable, and quick. I might add that I've gotten a lot of compliments on the look and style of the boat, too.
If you are looking for a kayak that you can take on long trips across rough water, you'll want to look at a longer touring-type sit-inside boat. But if you are looking for a kayak that is versatile, stable, and just plain fun to paddle, consider the Cobra Navigator. In addition, I've found the Cobra Kayak company staff to be extremely professional and accommodating.
03-13-2003Submitted by: Phil
- Rating: 10 of 10 I've had a sea kayak for some years, but it's cumbersome and heavy to get on the 4x4 roof-rack by myself, especially for a quick paddle - I tried a Navigator, and found it responsive, stable, tracks well for a short craft, but most of all - quick and easy to load up for an afternoon at the beach.
07-01-2002Submitted by: Pigrat
- Rating: 9 of 10 Great Kayak, just bought a used one for $700 with all sort of cool extra's and compartments. Very Stable even in the roughest chop, fast, and very light for it's size. This beats my old ocean kayak which weighed like, 20 lb's more and which wasn't nearly as comfortable or as dry as this, great kayak.
06-20-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 Just received my Navigator (my first kayak) - It's a great sit-on-top. I've only had it out a couple times here in SE Alabama; once on a lake for a short 30 min paddle with my son and again on a slow moving creek for a 3-hour paddle. My 3-year old son easily sat in the rear tank well and enjoyed it greatly, although scupper stoppers will be needed for cooler weather to keep him dry. The 3-hour paddle was comfortable, even without a seat, but my bottom side did begin to hurt near the end of the trip - my seat is due in later this week. Boat tracks very well yet turns easily with a simple lean and sweep. For a SOT, the speed seems quite fast.
I'm 6', 210 pounds, with a 34" inseam. With my legs fully outstreched, I still had one footrest available. In my normal paddling position I had 2 positions available. Initial stability is great, but I had plenty of weight to submerse down to the "rocker" panels; lighter paddlers would need to try before they buy. I got mine with both hatches which I highly recommend - lots of storage for those overnighters and have not noticed any leakage yet. Boat is light weight and I can easily load and carry it by myself (see minuses below). I haven't surfed it yet, but when I do, I'll report the results.
MINUSES - No mid-ship hand holds for solo handling/loading (I plan on adding knee straps and will use those for handling as well. Seat holds small amount of water which doesn't drain which may become irritating on long trips, but hey, this is a SOT and I expect to get wet. Also, there are no tie-down loops on the front for packing stuff on the front deck, but these could easily be added if you plan on loading the full 450 pounds and need the space on top of the front hatch.
05-28-2001Submitted by: barrell
- Rating: 9 of 10 I am a dealer for Cobra and its only fair that I tell you that up front. The Navigator is my personal boat. If you flip it you have no business being in a kayak. The Navigator is the most stable yak on the market in its length and width range. It tracks straighter than any other boat we cary. If someone drifts of course in a navigator they dont have a clue how to paddle. The navigator like the rest of the Cobra line excells in the chop. The boat parts the swells and deflects the spray back down on the water. The Nav has leg room for guys well over 6 foot and floats a pretty heavy load before water apears in the drain tubes. The cobras are easier to rig for fishing than any other brand and I have carried quit a few others in my shop. The company stands behind every boat they sell and replaces any boat with a problem no matter how old it is.
05-24-2001Submitted by: Dave
- Rating: 8 of 10 If you don't feel stable in this yak, buy a John Boat I have logged over 500 miles and 100 + days of fishing in this kayak, from Freshwater Texas Bucket mouths to Tarpon, and Redfish in the gulf. I have never turned it over on accident. The speed is great for a short boat. Can be tossed on a car or van by yourself. Cobra is the only manufacture to offer a lifetime warranty on defects etc. Hatches leak a bit in bow crashing swells and heavy rain. I can pack 5 days of camping and fishing gear in this boat and float the Brazos. Great Boat!
05-22-2001Submitted by: s.m.
- Rating: 7 of 10 I used to own a Boston Whaler but sold it because of the costs/hassles involved in boat ownership. Nevertheless, I longed to return to the beautiful ocean waters surrounding Oahu. At 52, I purchased my first kayak. I tried many models, but my size of 6'2" and weight of 245# severely limited my choices. I desperately wanted a Scupper Pro but felt like a sardine in a can when I sat in it. The Hobies were beautiful, but at my weight I couldn't carry a water bottle without maxing capacity. I tried the Ocean Kayak XLT and found it slow and very wet. I waited patiently for the new Drifter and loved how it surfed but didn't like always sitting in 4 inches of water for hours on end. Other models which "worked" for me cost much more than I was willing to spend. I purchased a new "blemished" Navigator for under $400 and love it. I've had it out on canals, lakes and deep ocean water and always stay relatively dry. Last week I paddled it almost 3 miles off shore to a deserted island and loved the experience. I never once capsized despite some large Pacific swells. I fish, snorkel and get a great "work out" on it every weekend. Storage capacity is great and I don't feel like a sardine in it. It's a great "blue-color" craft. Sure it ain't perfect, and secondary stability can be tricky if you don't know the yak. But overall, for the price, I got more than my money's worth. It's a great yak for the person who wants an all around and dependable craft!
04-09-2001Submitted by: JAW
- Rating: 7 of 10 Tried this one out at a lake and creek. Was not pleased with the tracking at all. Speed is OK. After comparison with OK brand, decided that turning is also a little wide. Center of gravity is high, which gives you a dry ride. Initial stability was good, but beware the secondary turn over point...it will sneek up on you suddenly. One minute you're there, leaning over to look at the fish, the next you're wondering what happened.
The hatches are nice and flat though. Makes for ease of lashing on extras. Gives the yak a clean look. Did I mention that I opted for the OK Drifter?
12-28-2000Submitted by: ken7556
- Rating: 8 of 10 This is a great all around kayak. The tracking is good and is pretty stable. There is plenty of room in this kayak. I tried and the OK Scrambler XT and found it slow and hard to paddle...but very stable. I also tried the Cobra Explorer and thought the Navigator is a better kayak. I am 5'5" and can load and unload the Navigator by myself. The speed is good (not great) but it is a good all around kayak that I plan to setup for fishing.
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