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Reviews for Napali Kayak by Perception


Rated: 8.67/10 Based On: 6 Reviews

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01-04-2008
Submitted by: richardSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've had my Napali for 6 months now, and can confirm it is a fantastic kayak.
I have used it mostly just for recreational and fitness activities, but the couple of occasions I have used it for touring it has been equal - if not superior to - any of the sit ins around me. It is fast, stable, and has a superb amount of storage, that stays completely dry always - regardless of conditions. It is great in swell, stable in cross winds, and tracks well running with the swell.

I have mine set up with a rudder and thigh straps - that while giving better paddler control, also double as useful loading and unloading straps. I highly recommend both of these additions to the basic set up. The shape of the boat is perfect, and has been beautifully designed to maximize both and stability & speed potential.

The only thing that stops it getting a 10 in my books, is the seating arrangement. While I don't have the issues, some do with the seat back, I am puzzled as to why they would have designed the seat bucket area without a drain hole. It fills with water after one wave, and has no way of draining until you get to shore and tip it up. Minor gripe in the scheme of things, but is a design fault nevertheless.
Still, this is a fantastic Yak, and one with which I am really happy.

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04-02-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is a very nice touring type sit on top kayak, no tankwell like the fishing SOTs have, but 2 hatches front and back. Plenty of storage down below. The inner Neoprene hatches are a little difficult to get back on, but not too bad.

The boat is designed very nicely for plastic with a sleek narrow shape in the front with lots of volume in the bow for getting over waves. If you do not have the plastic on the bottom of the backband in the slot behind where you sit, you will be uncomfortable, but once figured out and adjusted, its not bad.

From the front of the seat in the cockpit up to where my feet rested on the pegs, the cockpit floor sloped down, and I found it very comfortable to fit the natural contour of the legs as they bend forward. This boat, unlike some other sit on tops has zero hull slap, is very efficient and effortless to paddle.

I've owned a Cobra Tourer and a Prowler 15, and this yak seems a good deal more efficient with better speed. The initial stability is a little tippy compared to most sit on tops, but nowhere near the tippiness of the Cobra Expedition which I also had for a while.

I think in the speed department, the Napali would give the Tarpon 160 a run for the money, but will have to confirm this once I mount the depthfinder / GPS. I would agree with one reviewer on the net who stated that the Tarpon is more nimble - I can agree with this. I would say that the Perception paddles heavier than the WS.

This is my only gripe - the Napali is a heavy boat coming in at 75 lbs, the upper limit of what I can deal with, as far as loading and unloading. I've added thighstraps and some plastic tubing around the forward part of the decklines to assist in hefting a short distance.

In assessing the performance capabilities of this boat, I'd have to guess the weight must have been one of the major factors that did it in, because it is a pleasure to paddle.

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08-05-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Having owned and frequently paddled one for more than 2 months now, I feel like I'm still getting to know mine. It is a wet boat, and the standard seat outfitting is as uncomfortable as described. I believe any kayak benefits from some customizing. I glued in a hotseat, padded knee straps and the S to S low back, and it's comfortable for long paddles and very secure and controllable in bumpy weather.

The boat wants to weathercock, but not severely. I've not had to use the rudder on it. The boat carves beautifully when edged, really fun to play with around rocks or in tight quarters.

For a plastic SOT, it's faster than most. You can expect to keep up with the crowd pretty easily, and it's fun to be passing people. The aforementioned knee straps make great side carrying handles. I'll probably add a day hatch similar to the ones on the Na Pali's sistership double -- the Mandalay, which we also own.

I'm 6-4 and 230, and the boat just fits. I wanted a faster SOT, and this one compared favorably to the Necky Dolphin and Scupper Pro, and it was the only one that would comfortably hold my long legs.

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08-27-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 7 of 10

     The boat performs very well, with great speed and maneuvering. The seating is designed by the Marquis de Sade, as the backband hits you about crack high. Get rid of it and opt for a supportive sit-on-top seat rig (the boat comes with the hardware already mounted). The end loops are beefy and well-padded, but a boat of this weight also needs side handles at the balance points. While the foot well has scuppers, the butt well doesn't, and this boat sits low in the water. In other words, you will get splash and it will be retained to marinate your lower region. This is part of paddling SOTs, but there are degrees (with this boat toward the upper end). The hatch system involves snapping on spray skirt-like covers over the openings (easy if you have three muscular hands) and strapping plastic covers over these. Compared to other boats I have, it is difficult and sloppy looking. And, it may not be that effective since I'm shipping water (haven't figured out where yet). Aside from having a wet bilge, I've noted warping or dents on the bottom. In short, it's a great-performing rig, which makes up for some design and quality flaws.
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06-24-2002
Submitted by: BCrawfordSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is my first sit on top and I really love the feeling of being open to the elements compared to being enclosed in my Shadow. This boat is extremely stable and the trade off with speed is not at all bad, I can hold 4.5 mph measured from GPS. I paddled the Napali on the south coast of Lake Erie against a heavy northeast wind with rebound waves coming off breakwalls creating a chaotic hell. It took everything with ease. I didn't have the usual white knuckle grip on my paddle as I do with my Shadow. I was surprised at the volume inside for touring it actually has more room than most typical touring boats. About the boats design I would have preferred that the bottle holder be replaced with a dayhatch. It would be the perfect location for one. It seems really impractical to mold a bottle holder into the design when a dayhatch would allow you to stow plenty more water below deck among a multitude of other things. I think I will attempt to somehow try to put a skid plate across the backmost point of the stern, Being such a heavy boat It's gonna take some abuse while loading. I was dissapointed with the neoprene covers for the hatches, very cheap looking and feeling compared to those on my Shadow. Comeon Perception! Don't skimp here! The backrest has a ratchet that draws the backrest into your lower back, not evenly though! It pivots inward so the top edge of the backrest cuts deep into your back while the lower edge dosen't even touch. I plan on outfitting in this area with some foam or something, or possibly trying a different backrest/seat alltogether. With a few changes this boat would be perfect. Three letters descibe the paddle experience F U N
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06-24-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Initial impressions on paddling this boat from a big man (6'1", 275) is that she is well designed, well built, thoroughly thought out (except for the height of the ratcheting backrest). A hard chine hull that has an appearance that looks like neither a sit-on-top nor a closed deck boat. She is stable, initially and secondarily, accelerates easily, paddles effortlessly, tracks well, maneuvers readily, braces like a dream. Seating position is more than comfortable though jury is still out on the effectiveness of the backrest. Her hull is cavernous, hatches swallow larger items and tend to remain very dry. All in all a 10. More later as I gain experience with her.
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