07-10-2006Submitted by: Ironvic
Reviews for Sky Kayak by Necky Kayaks
Based On: 15 Reviews
- Rating: 9 of 10 When we bought the Necky Sky from friends, they said it was tippy and impossible to learn how to use. Of course, they are desert people and not really boat savvy... Being a ship modeler, I was immediately taken by the Sky's lines, she looked almost like a destroyer below the waterline and her hull said, "try me..I'm going to be a good boat..."
We gladly paid $250 for the boat (it had only been used once) and that's a good 50% off full retail. For our $250, we found the Sky to be an excellent boat--not at all tippy and easy to drive through the swells in our home waters of Birch Bay, WA. So far, we've taken her off Point Whitehorn on a blustry day and around Blaine and Birch Bay and I can only describe the experiences as "joyful!" First day out, we glided by an eagle perched on a piling and saw two more close-up on our next day's paddle--these are experiences that only a kayak can give.
The hull is, to my eye, built along the lines of a WWII Japanese naval destroyer at the bow with generous sheer and flair. It tends to plow because of the short length to beam ratio, but the flair and sheer assure water gets thrown to the side rather than in the lap. The boat also takes a while to get up to speed, but when you're cruising along, she maintains her momentum easily and handles open water swells quite well.
With her short overall length of 9', the Sky fits easily into the bed of my Toyota pickup and rides alongside my wife's 9' kayak. Short boats have inherent handicaps, but on the plus side are easily handled, carried and stowed. There's a lot to be said for being able to bungge cord the boats into the pickup without having to go out and buy special, and expensive, racks needed for longer boats.
The neat, sharp chines of the short hull allow good tracking when taking swells off the bow at an angle and when leaning into turns. The ship-like aft keel with the transom stern adds a touch of class. I can't stop thinking how much that stern looks like something you'd see in a larger ship, it's very pleasing to the eye and is a sound design feature. It's almost like the boat was designed by a naval architect with a desire to put ship-like features into the hull and he definitely succeded.
The Sky does tend to weathervane in the wind and on one windy trek, I had to keep paddling on the right side to keep the bow on track, otherwise she'd swing to starboard trying to circle around on herself. That can make for sore shoulders after a while as you don't "share the load" with both arms working in unison from side-to-side under certain conditions (in this case, a strong sustained breeze off the starboard quarter). maybe I'll add a rudder, maybe not...it would be a good excuse to buy another Necky for days when a rudder might come in handy. That's how impressed I am with the Necky brand. They are built tough and have thoughtful design features built in. It's also nice to know that the factory is just down the I-5 from me, in Ferndale, WA--great convenience should I ever need factory advice or decide to add a skeg or rudder sometime.
On the plus side, the cockpit is roomy. I have room for bottled water, thermos, snacks and even my deer-bodied chihuahua (she's a fifteen pounder.) The dog loves riding with me in the Necky Sky and wears her own West Marine life vest, which adds bulk, but she still has plenty of room in the generously sized cockpit. The forward bow space gives her a snug "cabin" to hunker into when the winds get too chilly for her.
All in all I'd rate the Necky Sky a "9" and would buy another if the need for two ever arose. It's definitely a best-buy and even if I had paid the full retail of $499, I would consider this to be a bargain for such a good product.
06-30-2006Submitted by: xwarrior26
- Rating: 10 of 10 First kayak I ever bought. Found the boat to be very stable. I love the deck rigging in the front. I now have two kayaks and decided to keep this boat as my river / fishing boat. Its tough, short and light enough for me to throw it on my shoulder for short portages. Its also very easy to get in and out of because of the large opening. Because of the short length - its nice to just be able to throw it in the back of my truck, strap it in quickly and run to the lake for a quick paddle or go fishing with it -- unlike my "touring" boat that I have to muscle up to the saddles on top of my truck and then tie down. This one takes me about 5 minutes strap on my truck and away I go. I took it to my first river paddle about a month ago and it performed real well in class I / II waters again without a skirt. The seats are nice and comfy and they backrest sits high enough that your back is really comfortable. Great rec kayak!
06-13-2005Submitted by: jhpellowski
- Rating: 7 of 10 Just took my new Sky on a 15 mile river float. All rapids 1 & 2. I bought it as a rec kayak for rivers, largely because of the roomy cockpit, much more than most. Great price at 350. The reviews on this site greatly influenced my decision to buy. The best thing about it is the seat. 15 miles and my 55 year old back feels fine. To say that it plows the water is an understatement. The prow is a shovel. Slow to turn. Not very responsive in current. A sturdy paddle for brake turns and pushing off is a must. This boat will be fine on slow moving water and long slow paddles.
04-25-2005Submitted by: jerlfletcher
- Rating: 9 of 10 I'm a bit on the heavy side, 5'9" and 235#. But the Sky has plenty of room for me. She plows a bit through the water, but moves well. I like the stability and ease of paddling. I'm just really learning about kayaking, had a canoe for over 20 years. The Sky is a forgiving boat, tracks well, and has fair speed. Now, if only I can learn how to get in and out of it without dumping the thing into the water. At least, I'm getting there.
04-19-2004Submitted by: Yakker
- Rating: 9 of 10 I bought my Sky so I could paddle flatwater with my wife, which in turn allows me to paddle whitewater with my friends (she's not at all
interested). The Sky does well on flatwater, not as well as her Pungo which is considerably longer and heavier, but well enough to keep up. It tracks well and is quite comfortable with a very supportive seat and plenty of foot space. I've had multiple back surgeries and that supportive seat is a godsend. Today I took it downriver (just class 1) with our paddling club. It way outdid my expectations. True, it can't spin on a dime like my whitewater kayak, but it's not built to. However, it can turn much quicker and easier than I expected, enough so that I could easily surf several small rapids. The seat was so comfortable that when everyone stopped halfway down to dump water and stretch, I happily stayed in my boat and went surfing the next small rapid 20 yards down all by myself! When we got off the river, I felt great with no backache, and I had a fun day playing in a very stable and comfortable flatwater boat. I probably won't pull out my whitewater kayak now for anything less than class 3's, but will use my Sky for all lesser rivers. Also, I grabbed the Pungo's sprayskirt at the last minute and it fit and worked well enough that I'll use it again.
08-04-2003Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is my first Kayak. And I must say I was amazed at how fast I became comfortable in this new craft. I went ahead and did what were all told not to do, bought it without first trying it out . I shopped around for a few hours in a few different stores and got all types of different information and opinions from the local shops and paddlers alike. They all gave me there own views of what would be best for me.
I was looking for a kayak that would give me a good choice of different types of water to float in . Basically a well rounded kayak for flat water open water and moderate rough water. The sky was the only kayak I found in 5 different stores that truly fit my needs. It is very maneuverable in tight spots . Tracks pretty well and is narrow enough that it doesn't get in the way while paddling in open water. Ive got a bad back from a few different injuries , and found that there seat design is very supportive and the adjustable back rest is a welcome feature . Overall a very good first timers boat. I'm 5'8" and 200# Built on a solid frame with a 34" waist . The boat fits me very well and no complaint to be found in room in the boat . Over all I'm very pleased with my new found love...
Only minor complaint is it tends to plow thru the water a bit and could benefit from a skeg in windy conditions . Luckily they thought of the choice of the owner in making it possible to add one...
For my first trip out I went to the Deer River state forest in Franklin county NY Upstate.. I spent almost 8 hours in my kayak with only 1 30 minute break and stretch. I covered almost 30 miles round trip according to my top o's.
Spent a little while in a nice calm pool to accustom myself to the new feel on the water then headed upstream . It paddled upstream very easy even in a mild current , I was rather surprised in comparison to my canoe it was a dream to do. The weight made it very easy to portage out in the few places that I needed to.
As for the down river trip a had an absolute blast. The secondary stability was very welcomed when I came down thru what I portaged around on the way up . The thermal plastic Hull held up very well against the hidden rocks I didn't see and the rocks my lack of skill wouldn't allow me to avoid.
Overall from my experience with this boat I would recommend it to anyone for a first time kayak.
08-04-2003Submitted by: B.E.N.
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is a great little boat. Paddles easily and is very stable. I tested it in some good chope and wind and it did the best out of the 9-10 foot kayaks. I bought a longer boat however to get more hull speed out of it, but the $399 price almost had me convenced.
04-17-2002Submitted by: Echo1
- Rating: 10 of 10 2002 Necky Sky. Base model comes standard with front deck rigging and a padded seat/backrest. Made of Superlinear polyethylene Length: 9'6", width 26.5". Weight: 42 lbs.
Reviewer: Male 6', 175 lbs. Novice experience.
Likes: Very comfortable cockpit, room for feet/legs in many different positions. Clever mechanism to adjust backrest position while seated. Speed, tracking, maneuverability, and construction materials.
Dislikes: Rear foam bulkhead limits storage
I recently purchased a Sky and have been out paddling in it 4 times for a cumulative distance of about 30 miles. When I started looking at kayaks, I had no paddling experience other than renting a SOT that I found very uncomfortable. I decided I would purchase a kayak if it met my basic requirements for comfort, fun to paddle on flatwater and coastal areas (Sea of Cortez), and, be easy to transport in the back of my Nissan pickup without a rack. I looked at several kayaks including a Swifty, Loon 100 & 111, Zydeco, and Sky. From my initial look, I concluded the Swifty would be a tight fit for me especially with foot space, and the Loons were a little larger and heavier than I wanted. The Zydeco was comfortable but I wasn't crazy about the backrest as it is just part of the seat and must be flexed forward to access behind the seat storage. For me, the Sky was the most comfortable and had lots of foot space because there is no keelson or tracking channels intruding. Prior to purchase, I test paddled a Sky and found it to be a little tippy in the beginning. As the day progressed, I became more and more comfortable with its stability and was impressed with its speed and tracking. By the end of the day I knew I was going to purchase the Sky.
Since purchasing, I've paddled in a variety of conditions and have concluded the Sky is the most sporty of the kayaks I looked at. It exceeds my expectations for comfort, fit, speed, tracking, and handling. The last time out, I took my GPS receiver (held in place by the front deck rigging) to map where I paddled and was surprised to see just how well it performed: I paddled 7 miles on flatwater (with chop) in winds of 5-15 mph. My sustained cruising speed into the wind was 2.6 mph and 3.5 mph downwind.
In summary, the Sky is one of the most sporty and versatile recreational kayaks available. It can be used for paddling flatwater, whitewater, and coastal areas. Surprisingly, the Sky received a 3.25 rating (out of 4) as a value whitewater kayak by the Gear Guide on OLN TV. It has good speed, tracks well, and can be lean turned for great maneuverability. Considering my requirements for a recreational kayak, I give the Sky a rating of 10.
02-28-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 10 of 10 This is my first kayak, and I absolutely love it. I do want to get something longer and sleeker soon, but this is the kayak that lit the fire. It does have some limitations that all kayaks in this group share; it does plow water do to it's short length, when playing in the ocean surf it can take on water rather quickly (i use a skirt). But it tracks great; is very comfortable for my 3 to 10 nm jaunts, portable and well made, and best of all it cost $350.00, for all the fun and exploration opportunities it has provided me. For what it's worth...10
02-28-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 9 of 10 Purchased my Sky a year ago as a second (1st is a Perception America for lake use with German Shepherd) to use for streams/inlets, etc. Realizing the limitations of a short kayak, I found it superior to all those in its class (not to mention the great Necky colors!). With a good paddle, it's taken me places a larger boat could never go (inlets off the 2nd Conn. Lake in NH), and the price was great. I've added, of course, a hatch cover in the rear and decking in the front.....she now looks quite snazzy! As others have mentioned, it's easy to load and lift. I've gotten several other friends to purchase Sky's, too.
02-27-2002Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 7 of 10 I wrote the first review here (at the bottom). This is a followup.
We just returned from Florida where we kayaked on flatwater rivers, Class 0 minus I would guess. This is for sure recreational kayaking. The Sky was very satisfactory for this general purpose. Its greatest feature is that I can put it inside my Ford van tucked in behind the drivers seat. VERY handy buzzing down I95 at 70MPH without worries. Also its short length is a big asset in tight corners, like mangrove swamps and narrow rivers.
There were two deficiencies that appeared on this trip. First is that the big cockpit can take in a LOT of water very quickly. I will be buying a skirt. Second is that covering any distance in the Sky made me long for my longer kayaks.
Still for this puttering around purpose I am still very content with the Sky. However unless the sub ten feet length is a limiting criteria for you I would recommend a longer (12 to 14 foot), narrower (22 to 24 inch) boat for these uses.
09-26-2001Submitted by: jmcphoto1
- Rating: 9 of 10 Just purchased a Sky last Friday, currently the 5th boat I own (total investment including skirts, paddles and covers less than $2000), and have sold an additional 4 boats during the 6 years I have been recreational kayaking. (Guess I'm sort of like a little kid who has kittens continually following me home.) The preceding post points out a few problems I have experienced since getting started paddling. First of all 250#s is probably pushing the limit of a 9'6" boat, though the poster did find it fun safe and stable on lakes and rivers (for which it was designed), until he took a self rescue class. Sometimes a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Unfortunately a lot of the rules and techniques that apply to traditional kayaks don't necessarily apply to recreational kayaks. In the six years that I have been paddling, I have never fallen out of one of my boats. I did attempt to roll my Zydeco in a pool and found out the large cockpit makes a roll impossible but a wet exit automatic. These boats are not intended to follow the course of Leif Erickson over vast expanses of open water and to require a self rescue means you have done something real stupid, probably requiring an automatic nomination for the Darwin Awards. Haven't had a chance with the Sky yet but I have filled my Loon 138 and Zydeco completely with water and they float. Bailed them with my half gallon poly laundry detergent bottle (with the top cut off) and have been able to get back in to complete the bailing without a paddle float. Would I try this in the open ocean in difficult conditions, no, would I take these boats there, no way? Would I fly fish standing up in my Loon, sure, would I try that in a 20" beam sea kayak, no way. Traditional kayakers tend to look down their noses on the recreational boats, but if you use them for the purpose they were designed you can have lots of enjoyment and get a bit of exercise along the way, and explore little ponds and channels that would be nearly impossible in a traditional sea kayak. If you want to tackle more than class 2 whitewater, get a white water boat, my own personal rule of thumb, if I can't paddle it up stream, I probably shouldn't attempt it down stream (small short chutes the exception).
Back to the Sky, fun boat, a little faster and better glide than the Zydeco, and able to handle my 220# nephew, though I would advise him to get a slightly bigger boat if he wanted to carry any gear, and it would be his only boat. Lacks deck rigging and a drain plug (which I will add myself for around $10) but for a $350 boat a real bargain (I bought a like new rental unit for $230, put more scratches on it myself in the first 2 paddles, a bargain I couldn't pass up). 9 out of 10? There are no 10s.
09-18-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 4 of 10 I'm a 250lb 6' novice and bought the Sky for size & $. I felt very safe and stable on lakes and rivers, lots of fun 'til I took rescue classes. Assisted rescue is difficult even for a smaller person since large cockpit and limited space for inflatables fore and aft allow a huge volume of water to enter boat. Very difficult for rescuers to haul boat across their own because of water in boat. Paddle rescue also difficult without using stirrup since buoyancy is so limited. If capsized alone in difficult water, I would probably abandon kayak and swim for shore. I am hoping to trade Sky in for larger boat with bulkheads for buoyancy and longer to provide faster travel with better control. I am hoping for a Necky Zoar Sport, which meets all those needs.
08-02-2001Submitted by: aqualung
- Rating: 8 of 10 I just bought the Sky and have only had it out a couple of times so far but I will give my first impressions. My main kayak experiences have been with the Keowee 2 used for both fishing and river travel. I wanted a single seat smaller kayak to haul when I am going to rivers by myself figuring it would be easier to handle. At 9'6" and 42 lbs. you still do not want to carry it real far by yourself. When deciding on the purchase I sit in the Swifty, which was a better price but I never felt comfortable in the Swifty compared to a relaxing fit of the Sky. The best aspect of the Sky is the fit. I am 5'10" and about 220 lbs (thick muscular frame with a waist of 36 inches) to give you an idea of the fit. The cockpit is easy to get in with a length of 39" yet at a cockpit width of 17.5" makes a perfect width for my body. With that and the boat width of 26.5" it makes it great for easy paddling because the narrowness keeps the boat out of your way. It is a little unstable compared to a wider boat but mainly only on getting in or out. It tracks very well for its length (maybe better than the 13 foot Keowee 2). It does not glide as well and seems to push quite a bit more water leaving a wake, thus is a little slower. I still was able to paddle well into some swift rapids. It sits not real deep in the water and that is great I think because kayakers encounter some mighty low water areas. It turns real well and seems to sit kind of lower in the rear helping that aspect. This boat has a large buoyant turned up hull and is actually made for some ocean or choppy wave conditions, but with its narrowness I would feel a skirt would be maybe a wise choice in those conditions. I think this is an excellent choice recreational kayak for the 5 or 10 mile river travelers, mainly because of a comfortable seat, roomy cockpit yet a snug width allowing your knees to catch the rim for stability and force. This kayak also has a hatch, very handy keeping any accessories away from the cockpit and feet area.
06-21-2001Submitted by: ---
- Rating: 7 of 10 I rated the Sky 7/10 because of the limitations of all ten foot kayaks. It has a limited glide and a little speed potential. We got mainly because of price ($350) and it will fit inside our van for camping trips.
What is very good about this small boat is its combination of comfort, reasonable tracking, easy low speed paddling, reasonable low speed gliding, stability and weight carrying capacity. I am 200 pounds. My neighbor is 250. We are both impressed with the Sky. My wife, who is about 100 pounds and 5'2" finds it too big internally. I find my weight too much for all the other ten footers, causing them to ride too low and therefore push too much water. The Sky for me is much better. Big guys or gals should consider it especially considering its $350 price
If I could rate it AS A TEN FOOT KAYAK I would give it a 9/10.
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